Silicon Valley rains money on Clinton

Is Trump really a total Silicon Valley fundraising disaster?

People living in Silicon Valley, including San Francisco and Oakland, have contributed some $31.2 million to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Donald Trump, in contrast, is getting pocket change.

Trump has raised just over $3 million from all of California, according to campaign finance data analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics. The totals are based on contributions of more than $200 from individuals.

Trump's lag in California is striking in comparison to the 2012 presidential contest. Then the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, raised $41.3 million overall in California, versus President Barack Obama's $62.8 million. Clinton has raised $76.4 million so far in California.

It is not surprising that Trump is doing poorly in Silicon Valley. In July, 150 Silicon Valley notables, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, called Trump a "disaster for innovation."

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, who backed Romney in 2012, now backs Clinton. She accused Trump of exploiting "xenophobia and racial division."

Trump's stances on immigration and trade have alienated him from many in tech, although there have been some exceptions. Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, spoke at the recent Republican national convention, and is backing Trump. "It's time to end the era of stupid wars and rebuild our country," he said..

Clinton has pitched a $275 billion infrastructure spending plan to upgrade roads, rails, airports -- U.S. infrastructure generally. Trump says his infrastructure spending plan will reach about $500 billion.

Regardless of who wins the presidential race, if Congress approves an infrastructure spending plan of any significant amount, that may send a lot of money to Silicon Valley.

Infrastructure today now involves networking, sensor deployment, data analysis and analytics to monitor, predict and schedule. It would be a massive Internet of Things deployment.

Shawn McCarthy, an analyst at IDC, said generally -- not specific to any candidate -- that a boost in national infrastructure spending would have a "significant" impact from an IoT perspective.

"These sensors can measure things like traffic flow, temperature, vibration, movement of bridge parts and more. This collected information can be very valuable to government," said McCarthy.

"Not every piece of new infrastructure will be built with sensors and IoT in mind," said McCarthy. "But it's more likely that IoT will be part of the planning with new construction. Thus it's very likely that infrastructure spending will have an impact on government technology spending," he said.

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Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld (US)
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