LinkedIn co-founder and venture capitalist Reid Hoffman is joining forces with a group of Obama administration officials to launch an initiative aimed at storing “all of the progressive community’s voter data,” according to a report released Monday. The DNC reportedly considers the effort an “existential threat.”
Supporters of the ambitious “likely for-profit” initiative are prepared to invest at least $35 million with Hoffman putting up a sizeable portion of the funds. “As we build this effort, we will be reaching out to all the key players soon to get this done,“ one unnamed source familiar with the project told Politico. “Across the board, everyone involved agrees that the Republicans have a tremendous advantage when it comes to data infrastructure going into 2020, and that there needs to be a real shift in our thinking and action in order to set candidates up to be successful for people around the country.”
It is unclear which members of the Obama administration will be a part of the project.
The Democratic National Committee has expressed concern over Hoffman’s plans to launch a database as party leaders are said to be considering their own separate voter data log, as first reported by Politico last Thursday. Top DNC officials are said to be characterizing Hoffman’s plans as an “existential threat” to the party’s governing body and are mulling options to collaborate with the Silicon Valley entrepreneur on the initiative.
The structure will afford the group the ability to raise an uncapped amount of private sector funds normally limited by campaign finance laws, while creating a centralized database aggregating information from third-party groups, including political campaigns, in real time — a system the Republican Party already employs, offering operatives a meaningful advantage over their Democrat rivals.
“The DNC believes the creation of a data trust is imperative to winning in 2020 and beyond, and we are open to participating alongside a variety of partners in a data trust that protects the interests of our party and ensures state parties have what they need to win,” senior DNC advisor Mary Beth Cahill told Politico.
Hoffman, a notable critic of the Trump administration, has previously supported left-wing advocacy groups such as American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Win the Future, a group he launched with Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus aimed at rethinking the Democrat party’s failing strategy following the loss of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.