Newt Gingrich opens office in Silicon Valley

Former House speaker, whose name was synonymous with the Republican Revolution and opposition to Bill Clinton, will set up shop for his conservative advocacy group just down the street from Google.

Newt Gingrich's conservative advocacy group, American Solutions, is coming to the modern home of American liberalism: the San Francisco Bay Area.

American Solutions' David Kralik told me Tuesday afternoon that the group is opening a technology office in Menlo Park to be close to companies like Google, Yahoo, and unnamed Web 2.0 firms. It's all about "embracing the latest technology and being there," he said. (American Solutions is a "527" political research and advocacy group.)

Right now the office is just Kralik, who says he may live in downtown San Francisco, but American Solutions has plans to expand it by a few more people by the end of the year. In the video above, Gingrich said, "We want to reach out to every interesting, innovative, entrepreneurial start-up. We want to learn the best ways to communicate, the best ways to socially network, the best ways to use information technology to improve public services."

There are free-market groups out here already (think the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco) and libertarian nonprofits (the Independent Institute in Oakland), but Kralik says there's not much of a presence on the part of national political organizations. TechNet, which does its level best to avoid politics, certainly doesn't count.

And will immigrant-heavy Silicon Valley warm to Gingrich, the mastermind of the 1994 Republican Revolution? They'll probably like the increased H1-B visas that are part of American Solutions' platform, but perhaps not claims that "terrorist Web sites at home and abroad should be closed down using computer warfare"; "We approve of a Christmas tree or a Menorah being placed on public property during the holiday season"; "Taxpayers should be given the option of a single income tax rate of 17%."; and "New immigrants should be required to learn English."

About the author

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.

 

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