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The desserts of Obama’s 2011 tech dinner

By Laurie Bennett

June 25, 2012 at 7:30am

In his 2011 State of the Union, President Obama pinned his hopes on technology.

“The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation,” he told the nation.

Three weeks later he sat down to dinner with a dozen tech leaders at the home of venture capitalist John Doerr.

resident Obama and tech leaders toast during dinner on Feb. 17, 2011
President Obama and tech leaders toast during dinner on Feb. 17, 2011.
(White House photo by Pete Souza)

In the 16 months since, have Doerr’s dinner guests returned the love?

Not really.

As the table below shows, five of the people attending the dinner have contributed to the campaign, for a total of $203,000. None has given to Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting Obama.

Cisco CEO John Chambers gave $50,000 to the super PAC helping Mitt Romney.

The guest list would be different if the dinner were held today. Steve Jobs died less than eight months after the get-together.

His wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, has contributed $41,000 to the Obama campaign.

Carol Bartz, who donated $2,500 to Romney three months after the dinner, was later fired from the top job at Yahoo.

Two of the five billionaires aon the guest list - Larry Ellison of Oracle and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook - have no reported contributions to either campaign.

Although Ellison has given money to several congressional races, he has yet to support either presidential candidate.

Zuckerberg’s political donations total just $10,000, to the Facebook PAC.

As always, it’s possible that those on our list have contributed to organizations that don’t report their donors.

Reported contributions since the dinner:

Exec Company Obama campaign
Eric Schmidt Google $40,800
Art Levinson Genentech, Apple $15,000
John Chambers Cisco
John Doerr Kleiner Perkins $5,000
Larry Ellison Oracle
Reed Hastings Netflix $76,600
John Hennessy Stanford
Carol Bartz Yahoo
Dick Costolo Twitter
Mark Zuckerberg Facebook
Steve Jobs Apple
Steve Westly Westly Group $65,600
TOTAL $203,000

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