Hacking Politics

Silicon Valley's young guns changed the world, and with billions in the bank, they are looking to do the same to politics. Their first move: Hire all the lobbyists they can

Parker: Steve Jennings / Getty Images; Conway: Brian Ach / Getty Images; Zuckerberg: Paul Sakuma / AP

From left to right: Sean Parker, former Facebook president and Napster co-founder; Ron Conway, tech start-up investor; Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook and FWD.us, an advocacy group.

The mid-May gathering at a restaurant in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood was billed as a congressional fundraiser, but with rapper MC Hammer and a Grateful Dead lyricist mingling in the crowd, the room buzzed more like it was a product launch. Except this product wasn't designed for consumers, at least not directly. It was meant to disrupt American politics.

Sean Parker, the 33-year-old former Facebook president who is worth about $2 billion, stood before dozens of donors to lay out the idea. "We feel for a long time Silicon Valley hasn't been properly represented at a federal level," he explained...

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