Two billionaire backers leave Zuckerberg's immigration campaign in outrage at its 'pro-oil' adverts

By Katie Davies


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's foray into politics has already hit choppy waters after two heavyweights abandoned their support for the month-old project this week.

The CEO of electric car company Tesla Motors Elon Musk and Yammer creator David Sacks have both formally removed their support reportedly outraged at the group's ruthless tactics to garner support. is the tech whiz-kid's highly publicized project pushing for immigration reform.

The group spearheaded by Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley leaders such as LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, eBay’s John Donahoe and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer want a path to citizenship for current illegal immigrants in the U.S. as well as making it easier for firms to hire talented tech experts from overseas.

Controversy: Zuckerberg, pictured, is a founder of

Controversy: Zuckerberg, pictured, is a founder of an immigration lobby group which has angered environmentalists by promoting the pro-oil stance of some of the senators supporting it

Under-fire: is paying for adverts for its political friends

Under-fire: is paying for adverts for its political friends. Two such adverts promoted the stance of two senators in favor of controversial drilling projects angering environment groups

However, in order to get that the group has already done some political deals which supporters have found distasteful.

This month Fwd.Us bankrolled adverts in the home states of a handful of senators who support their campaign.

Instead of focusing purely on their stance on immigration the adverts offer wide ranging support for all their work.


One advert for Senator Lindsay Graham promotes his support for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and for Senator Mark Begich promotes his work advocating drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Preserve.

That stance was a step too far for Musk.

'I agreed to support because there is a genuine need to reform immigration,' Musk told AllThingsD.

Out: Yammer creator David Sacks
Out: Tesla head Elon Musk, right, announced his decision yesterday

Out: Yammer creator David Sacks, left, reportedly removed his support this week while Tesla head Elon Musk, right, announced his decision yesterday

'However, this should not be done at the expense of other important causes. I have spent a lot of time fighting far larger lobbying organizations in D.C. and believe that the right way to win on a cause is to argue the merits of that cause. This statement may surprise some people, but my experience is that most (not all) politicians and their staffs want to do the right thing and eventually do.'

Reuters also reported that Yammer founder David Sacks removed his support although he has not made a public statement on his position.

The 'pro-oil adverts' haven't only rocked Zuckerberg's political alliance. 

Many environmental groups have now withdrawn adverts from Facebook in protest as well. 

An umbrella group called Progressives United say they will not advertise on the site in light of the adverts and follow a handful of others promising the same.

Spokesman Josh Orton told 'The point of this is to send a political message to Zuckerberg. [They] have a legitimate story about why they support immigration reform. We are protesting their tactics.'

The group have also amassed thousands of pledges of support on a Facebook page entitled: 'Tell and Mark Zuckerberg: Pull Your Dirty Ads'.

Kate Hansen, communications director for FWD.US told ThinkProgress: ' is committed to showing support for elected officials who promote the policy changes needed to build the knowledge economy. Maintaining two separate entities, Americans for a Conservative Direction & the Council for American Job Growth, to support elected officials across the political spectrum – separately – means that we can more effectively communicate with targeted audiences of their constituents.'


The comments below have not been moderated.

GOOD! Hope more follow!

Click to rate     Rating   1

Boo-Hoo. Irrelevant rich kids can't get along. Go kill a fetus Lib-Tards.

Click to rate     Rating   1

"Causes" are usually leftist BS.

Click to rate     Rating   4

So now he gets political because he wants HIS employees from overseas to have a fast track citizenship in OUR country while millions are still out of jobs and being hit with decreased hours due to Obamacare?

Click to rate     Rating   7

without oil the world will stop and then what back to the stone age these liberals are just wacko.s with a lot of dangerous money

Click to rate     Rating   3

tesla an overpriced toy for rich people funded by taxpayers facebook really cannot see a use for yet Yammer ???????? what's that for? havent a lot of people who invested in these co lost a lot of money

Click to rate     Rating   3

Mark Zuckerberg is a sell out.

Click to rate     Rating   7

More and more I'm starting to believe in petroleum abiogenesis. Look it up, basically it means we have an unlimited supply of oil on this Earth. So far any alternative to it except nuclear power has been a total dud.

Click to rate     Rating   3

We HAVE the technology, Now is the time to convert to Electric cars anyhow... Where is That Battery that was the size of a Bandaid that could run a car?? What happened to the pellet you can drop into water and make it combustible??? Why oh WHY are we still dependant on fossil fuel when we have the technology to make the WORLD a better place for Future generations??

Click to rate     Rating   17

Idiots, I bet they left with oil in their fancy cars. Hippocrates want common people to stop using it so they can continue to.

Click to rate     Rating   9

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