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Obama Tech Team In San Francisco To Raise Campaign Cash

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, January 26 2012

President Obama's re-election campaign is in town in San Francisco fund-raising fresh off of the heels of the national fight over anti-piracy legislation.

The leaders of the campaign's technology team will be on hand to meet and discuss campaign technology strategies with members of the tech community who are willing to shell out amounts between $25 and $35,800.00 and beyond for the privilege.

The timing of the event is interesting. It's taking place at The Founder's Den, a shared office space and club for local tech entrepreneurs right after the historic defeat of the legislation by entrepreneurs (among many others,) and after the White House came out against key provisions of the legislation.

The invite for the event frames it as an exercise to build a "Technology for Obama," fundraising group.

"Technology for Obama (T40) seeks to activate an influential fundraising and operational group from the broad technology community," says the text on the invite. "Through national, regional, and online activities, T40 will work to rally the tech community to endorse, and to commit time and talent to the campaign."

Harper Reed, the campaign's chief technology officer, Teddy Goff, the campaign's digital director and Catherine Bracy, the campaign's senior product manager will participate in a roundtable discussion and a panel reception.

The meeting could be a good place for the group to solicit talent too. The campaign currently has several openings for database and web engineers, a statistical modeling analyst, as well as state digital directors, and several web-related positions like a front end developer and a video editor.

Many of those listed as those who have signed up for the group as co-chairs are either already involved in the Obama administration, or have helped Obama in the past.

For example, green tech venture capitalist Steve Westly is a prominent Obama bundler and acts informally as an advisor to the administration on energy issues. Judy Estrin, author of "The Innovation Gap," is on the Department of Commerce's innovation advisory board. Other big name co-chairs on the Technology for Obama group are venture capitalist and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Chairman and CEO Marc Bienoff, Craigslist's Craig Newmark, Sean Parker, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie and others.

There's been a growing contingent of leaders in Silicon Valley who are worried that the United States is falling behind when it comes to innovation, and so have become increasingly vocal and active about the issue. The big question is whether the everyday entrepreneurs will also now get more involved in politics after the events of the past couple of weeks.

As my colleague Micah Sifry'srecent post indicates, that is still very much an open question.