Google has officially signed on as a sponsor of this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC.
CPAC is an annual conference that brings together the who's who of American conservatives - activists, radio/TV personalities, and elected officials. Other than plenty of speeches, CPAC is known for its straw poll which is thought by some to represent the overarching mood of the party (though some fail to place such a high significance on it). Last year's straw poll winner was Ron Paul. The conference was founded in 1973.
Google is one of nine listed sponsors. The others include the American Center for Law & Justice, the American Principles Project, CitizenLink, Human Events, the National Rifle Association, The heritage FOundation, The Leadership Institute, and the Young America's Foundation. The event has dozens more co-sponsors and specialty sponsors, and is being co-hosted by the Tea Party.
One of the main reasons that this is big news involves Google's perceived political leanings. Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt is a proud supporter of President Obama, and Google's workforce is number three on the list of biggest sources of campaign funding for the President.
According to Bloomberg, Google says that they will have a presence at events from both sides of the aisle this campaign season. The CPAC was particularly attractive to Google because a large percentage of the attendees are young, technology users, they said.
Google also said that CPAC is a perfect chance to promote Google Politics & Elections. Google Politics & Elections is a dashboard they unveiled in January that allows users to track primary results, on-the-ground reporting, as well as find the most current news about all the candidates and issues. Google also plans to incorporate Google+ Hangouts into CPAC.
This year's CPAC will take place on February 9-11 in Washington D.C. The confirmed speaker list is filled with nearly everyone important in conservative politics these days - Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum and Scott Walker. There are some interesting oddities as well, like actor Stephen Baldwin and TLC reality show star Michelle Duggar (the one with all the kids).