One of the founders of Facebook (FB) has just become one of the most influential donors in the 2016 election cycle.
Dustin Moskovitz, who helped launch the social media company alongside his then-roommate at Harvard Mark Zuckerberg, in a post early Friday announced he and his wife are committing $20 million to help Democrats in the 2016 election.
"The polarization in America today has yielded a race that is about much more than policies and ideas," he wrote. "It has become a referendum on who we want to be - as individuals, as a nation and as a society. Will we be driven by fear, towards tribalism, emphasizing the things that divide us? Will we focus on how to advantage those most similar to us while building barriers to separate us from the rest of the world? Or, alternatively, will we continue in the direction of increased tolerance, diversity and interdependence in the name of mutual prosperity?
Donald Trump's entry into the race, accompanied by his inflammatory rhetoric and divisive policy proposals, appears to have been a principal driver for Moskovitz. He specifically nodded to Trump's immigration proposals (building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, imposing a Muslim immigration ban, mass deportation) as alarming, tying them not only to the candidate himself but to the Republican Party at large.
"The Republican Party, and Donald Trump in particular, is running on a zero-sum vision, stressing a false contest between their constituency and the rest of the world," he wrote, at the same time officially announcing his endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the presidency and his support for the Democratic Party.
The $20 million he has committed to donating will be split between a number of organizations, including the Hillary Victory Fund, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Color of Change PAC and MoveOn.org Political Action will also receive funds.
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The largest contributions are $5 million each to the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund, which advocates for environmental law and policies, and the For Our Future PAC, a group founded this year by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer.
"This decision was not easy, particularly because we have reservations about anyone using large amounts of money to influence elections," he wrote. "That said, we believe in trying to do as much good as we can, which in this case means using the tools available to us (as they are also available to the opposition). At the same time, we are being open about the amount of funding we're providing, even though transparency is not required in some cases."
According to OpenSecrets, Moskovitz's only previous political donation was to Sean Eldridge, who ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York in 2014 (and lost). Data from the group also reveals that once his contributions are made, Moskovitz will be the third most generous donor of the 2016 election cycle, behind Steyer and billionaire hedge funder Robert Mercer (who, alongside his daughter Rebekah, is backing Trump).
The $20 million won't exactly break the bank for Moskovitz. Forbes estimates his net worth to be $10.4 billion. He left Facebook in 2008.