Charles Koch sponsoring ‘Liberty Hackathon’ in SF

One of the Koch brothers – billionaire benefactors of conservative causes near and far – is sponsoring a “Liberty Hackathon” later this month in San Francisco.

Democrats have clearly had an edge in attracting young tech-sector workers to volunteer campaign services, but the June 21-22 event at StumbleUpon’s headquarters looks like an attempt to engage and develop some of that talent on the right.

“Are you an entrepreneur or engineer with an interest in promoting economic freedom? Do you have ideas for market-based solutions that address big social problems?” the event’s website asks. “This hackathon will provide a diverse group of innovators the opportunity to build creative products that help to advance individual and economic liberty.”

This less-taxes, small-government-oriented event will be a competition among teams formed on-site to develop a web or mobile application in a weekend; cash prizes will be awarded, and top ideas will be considered for future investment. The judges will be entrepreneur and investor Scott Banister, formerly of IronPort, and Caplinked cofounder and CEO Eric Jackson, author of “The PayPal Wars.”

It’s being bankrolled by Charles G. Koch, the co-owner, chairman and CEO of Koch Industries. He and his brother, David Koch, have funded a variety of libertarian and conservative organizations and campaigns.

Oddly enough, it’ll coincide with the much bigger Netroots Nation gathering of liberal techies that same weekend in San Jose. Perhaps one group will ditch its hacking long enough to go t-p the other?

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.