Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg creating new political non-profit

    6:52 AM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CNN) -- Mark Zuckerberg is now trying to influence your life in a whole new way. The Facebook billionaire just made a major money move into politics, reportedly putting up $20 million of his own fortune to help launch a political nonprofit.

    Mark Zuckerberg is one of the youngest billionaires in the world: at just 28-years-old, he's worth $13.3 billion and his global empire, Facebook, has more than one billion unique visitors a month.

    Along with that money comes power, and lots of it. President Obama visited his company's headquarters, celebrities have showered him with attention, and Hollywood even made a movie about his life.

    But the sweatshirt-wearing Zuckerberg is looking to broaden his influence this year. Sources tell CNN he's one of a growing group of mega-wealthy tech stars throwing their famous names behind an issue advocacy organization to make waves in Washington.

    They're forming what's known as a 501(c)4, a non-profit organization that can raise unlimited amounts of money to lobby congress on the issues they care about, starting with immigration.

    The issue is obviously an important one to Zuckerberg and his contemporaries: earlier this month, he and more than 100 other tech leaders wrote to President Obama urging him to move on immigration reform this year.

    The letter was organized by a bipartisan political policy network, TechNet, and included top executives from Yahoo, Oracle, eBay and Microsoft.

    Rey Ramsey, president and CEO of TechNet says, "There are other issues but we view this issue as a defining issue. Last century, people talked about the arms race. Well now it's all about the brain race. And so whoever has the best brains, the best minds, the best talent, is going to win that race. And that's what the United States needs, and immigration's at the core of that issue, so when you think of immigration, it's about bringing talent from all over the globe.

    After facing criticism for not giving away enough of his fortune, Zuckerberg made a splash on Oprah in 2010, announcing his plan to plunk $100 million into Newark, New Jersey's schools.

    Two years later, Zuckerberg and his wife gave 18 million Facebook shares, or roughly $500 billion, to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for Health and Education Funding.

    But now, it's all about political influence. And Zuckerberg is playing both sides of the aisle, hosting a town hall for President Obama and a fundraiser for New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie.

    In addition to immigration, techies are taking on other issues close to their hearts: education and technology. Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and the founder of Square, joined Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and a host of others in a campaign that encourages schools to teach computer coding.

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