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Geeks on a Plane: Silicon Valley's Conservatives Head to GOP Debates in Vegas to Be Heard

The group of conservative- and libertarian-minded technologists hope to bring attention to innovation.

Lincoln Initiative

Republican presidential candidates may drop by Silicon Valley in hopes that the cool tech vibe will rub off, but they’re not exactly trumpeting issues of interest to the industry’s conservatives once they reach the national debate stage.

So the Lincoln Initiative is flying a group of conservative- and libertarian-minded geeks to Las Vegas to crash the GOP debate on Dec. 15 in the hope of getting the attention of the major Republican candidates.

“A lot of the discussion going on during the debates wasn’t focused on innovation,” said Aaron Ginn, one of the group’s founders. “Yet all of these candidates, they roll up to Silicon Valley talking big game, ‘Oh we want more Ubers and Airbnbs.’”

The group, which seeks to build connections between conservative politicians and the tech community, is promising free airfare, lodging and debate tickets to 10 Lincoln Initiative members. Those selected also get the chance to participate in an entrepreneurship forum, State of the Startup, that’s sponsored by the Lincoln Network and the Economic Innovation Group. The half-day event precedes the debate.

Ginn said Lincoln Initiative invited the various candidates to meet and discuss topics near and dear to the group (a.k.a. the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship). So far, it has no takers — “we’re still working on it.”

This article originally appeared on

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