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Amy Klobuchar, a critic of big tech, will be raising money in San Francisco next month

Tickets to the Klobuchar event range from $1,000 to $5,600 a seat.

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar.
Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar is taking her campaign to San Francisco.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Amy Klobuchar has made plain her criticisms of Silicon Valley giants that step on user privacy and fail to protect consumers.

She’s headed to town, though, next month to raise money from some prominent San Francisco families, according to an invite obtained by Recode. The names on the host committee are not narrowly in the tech industry, but it’s fair to expect some tech names to drop by the event being held at Spruce, the high-end restaurant in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights neighborhood, on March 19.

Hosts include Azita Raji, a top Obama fundraiser who was later appointed ambassador to Sweden; Diana Nelson, the chair of Minnesota’s massive hotel company, Carlson; and her husband John Atwater, a prominent real estate investor. Tickets to the event range from $1,000 to $5,600 for a seat.

It’s not shocking or hypocritical that she has support from the tech industry despite her criticisms.

Klobuchar has won plaudits for her constructive, pragmatic way of dealing with tech companies. In the wake of the 2016 election, Klobuchar became one of the most outspoken members of Congress on questions of tech accountability, through legislation like the Honest Ads Act. But she has tried to do so in a generally industry-friendly way, and that has meant she’s counted the industry among her campaign donors.

“It’s the kind of office that you want to deal with,” one tech industry source told Vox this month. “I don’t mean that in the sense that we always get what we want. You want somebody who’s thorough and fair-minded and deliberate.”

But still, campaign-finance issues are becoming more and more of a litmus test in the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders, another tech critic, has tried to run his campaign entirely on small-dollar donations. And Elizabeth Warren, for instance, on Monday said she wouldn’t hold any high-dollar fundraisers during the primary, which inevitably shines a light on her competitors who are still holding pricy dinners.

This isn’t a problem specific to Klobuchar, of course. Cory Booker, for instance, was out in Silicon Valley this past weekend for three high-dollar events, which similarly opens him to criticism.

And yet the risk for Klobuchar, who is also reportedly raising money from Hollywood on this California swing, is that opponents might try and turn her high-dollar events in the heart of Silicon Valley into a liability. The louder a candidate is on tackling big tech, the more of an opening he or she creates for rivals in a competitive Democratic race.

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