It’s been less than two weeks since Mark Zuckerberg launched his new immigration lobbying group, but the Facebook CEO seems to have already gotten the hang of the political game.
Politico’s Alexander Burns reports that Zuckerberg’s new organisation, FWD.us, is launching its first wave of television ads this week, under the auspices of a new subsidiary, Americans for a Conservative Direction, formed specifically to woo conservatives.
According to Burns, Zuckerberg has also brought on a fancy board of advisors to run Fwd.us’ conservative wing, including former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and longtime Bush aide Sally Bradshaw, Dan Senor, and Joel Kaplan.
The first ad, which will air in six states, features Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio making his pitch for immigration reform to sceptical conservative voters. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the seven-figure ad buy will run in six right-leaning states — Florida, Texas, Utah, North Carolina, Iowa, and Kentucky.
It’s a clever trick by Zuckerberg, who has become a vocal advocate for immigration reform, and particularly for expanding the H-1B visa program, a cause célèbre in the tech community.
Rather than trying a one-size-fits-all approach typically used by nonpartisan advocacy groups, Fwd.us’ strategy is to appeal to Republicans and Democrats separately, with unequivocally partisan messaging. (A different Fwd.us subsidiary, the Council for American Job Growth, will reach out to progressives and independents.)
So far, however, it looks like conservatives aren’t buying it.
Here’s RedState editor Erik Erickson (emphasis added):
How on earth does a billionaire liberal spend a pile of money to support immigration reform — and that’s what the group is for, conservatism be damned — and get a website and ad campaign that’s Dollar General level instead of even Target level?
What. The. Hell?!?!?!
Typical GOP consultants. Prop up a single issue — the Gang of 8 Immigration plan — and use “conservative” as the word to try to sell it. At what point do conservatives make Republican consultants stop whoring that word around? Heck, we’ve got the American Conservative Union now working with defence and infrastructure lobbyists for big government spending. This is nuts.
Friends, the consultant class of the GOP at least screws rich liberals too. Gotta give them applause for their equal opportunity con-jobs.
Of course, it doesn’t help that the group’s only other ad is 60-seconds of unabashed cheerleading for South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a longtime foe of grassroots conservatives who will likely face a GOP primary challenge in his re-election race next year.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.