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The investing and philanthropic arm of Laurene Powell Jobs is purchasing what is believed to be its first-ever political ads on TV, according to advertising placement records seen by Recode.
Emerson Collective, Powell Jobs's vehicle for activism and investments, will begin a flight of spots on Wednesday in the television markets of Denver, Colo.; Louisville, Ky.; Raleigh, N.C.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Milwaukee, Wis., according to the records. The 30-second spots will run until next Tuesday, and only tens of thousands of dollars of ad spending appear to be behind them. They were placed by Democratic media firm GMMB.
Emerson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the placements come on the same day that Powell Jobs, a large Democratic donor, lambasted the Trump administration for rescinding the DACA program that protected young immigrants who arrived in the United States without proper papers.
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"Is there anything more heartless and less intelligent that our government could do?" Powell Jobs wrote. "Is our common humanity so frayed in this country that we cannot agree even about the children?"
In recent years, political donors have begun launching their own shadow organizations, choosing to operate their own outside groups rather than merely fund them.
Powell Jobs, who is among the fiercest defenders of DACA, appeared with Sen. Kamala Harris at the Code Conference in May, who had met with President Trump about the program.
She recalled at the conference that Trump was "engaged in our meeting" — but also said deportations had risen noticeably since he arrived in the White House. At their discussion, the president communicated that he is the "only one" who could bring about comprehensive immigration reform. "So let's see it done in a humane and viable and thoughtful way," Powell Jobs said.
—By Theodore Schleifer, Recode.
CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.