Tech titans generous to Ed Lee's run for San Francisco mayor 

click to enlarge Sean Parker (AP file photo) - SEAN PARKER (AP FILE PHOTO)
  • Sean Parker (AP file photo)
  • Sean Parker (AP file photo)

What do Mayor Ed Lee and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have in common?

They both can count Sean Parker as an early investor in their dreams.

Parker, the young tech investor played by Justin Timberlake in the film about Facebook’s origins, “The Social Network,” donated $100,000 to an independent campaign committee supporting Lee for mayor, records show.

Parker, a co-founder of the controversial music-sharing service known as Napster, cut the six-figure check to San Franciscans for Jobs and Good Government. The committee was launched in August by businessman Ron Conway and, according to its most recent filings with the Ethics Commission, raised $364,000 through Sept. 24.

Other tech luminaries also have donated to the cause: Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff gave $50,000 and Marissa Mayer, vice president of Google, donated $2,000. Conway himself gave $151,000.

Conway’s committee has paid for a TV ad lauding Lee for keeping jobs in The City through incentives for tech companies Twitter and Zynga.

Unlike individual candidates, independent third-party committees such as San Franciscans for Jobs and Good Government aren’t subject to contribution limits. The maximum someone can donate to an individual mayoral candidate is $500.

Total third-party spending in the mayoral race has hit $313,000 so far, according to the Ethics Commission’s latest tally.

Many third-party spending groups were recently formed to back Lee.

Another third-party committee supporting Lee, known as Committee for Effective City Management, has raised $18,452. Contributors include New York-based 4U Services, an IT company and subcontractor for work on the Central Subway contract, which donated $5,000.

Another $100,000 was spent in opposition of Lee by groups backing state Sen. Leland Yee, who is also a mayoral candidate.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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