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The venture capital approach to campaign giving

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Andy Rappaport and his wife, Deborah, have never been shy about their support for liberal politics.

The couple have given thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party and progressive candidates. They've hosted political fund-raisers at their six- bedroom, contemporary home on Skyline Boulevard in Woodside.

But in the past year, the 46-year-olds have stepped up their involvement, committing more than $3 million to efforts to encourage Latinos and young adults to support the Democratic Party and progressive politics. In the process, they have come to rank among the country's biggest political donors.

Only a few individuals around the country, including international financier George Soros, Hollywood screenwriter Stephen Bing and Cleveland insurance executive Peter Lewis, have donated more to political groups this campaign season than the Rappaports, according to the Center for Responsive Politics and TRKC Inc., which both track political contributions.

Moreover, the couple are turning heads with their efforts to take a venture capitalist approach to political giving -- supporting and nurturing risky startups instead of just writing checks to established political causes. -- Couple's liberal largesse: Rappaports give millions to Democratic, progressive causes (San Francisco Chronicle)