Friday, January 13, 2023
SBF on Citizens United and Liberal Reporters "Freaking the Fuck Out"
I got a hearty chuckle from this Insider article (and the YouTube video you can listen to by clicking above) noting that SBF was the second largest contributor to Democrats, after George Soros. I swear this guy is amazingly chatty, forthright and candid to a fault. I would like to speak candidly in language this precocious kid can understand: Sam, bro, shut the fuck up! He reminds me of my dear old mother, who literally has no filter anymore. Except he doesn't have the sanctuary old age gives us to say whatever we want, whenever we want and, oh yeah, he is looking at serious jail time. The stories I could tell you. Anyway, in the interview SBF pushed back on his portrayal as a big Democratic donor, stating that he gave equally to Republicans thanks to Citizens United vs. FEC:
"I've been their third-biggest Republican donor this year as well," he said. Bankman-Fried explained that this was "not generally known," because "all my Republican donations were dark." He also referred to the 2010 Citizens United case in the Supreme Court that let corporations and outside groups make unlimited political donations. This created financing loopholes because these groups did not have to disclose their donors, giving rise to "dark money" that are called "disturbingly common" by the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice.
Bankman-Fried said he did so to avoid media criticism, rather than for regulatory reasons. "Reporters freak the f*** out if you donate to a Republican," he said. "They're all secretly liberal and I didn't want to have that fight, so I made all the Republican ones dark. Despite Citizens United being the literally the highest-profile Supreme Court case of the decade and the thing everyone talks about with campaign finance, for some reason in practice no-one can possibly fathom the idea that someone actually gave dark."
Ha! But there is a deeper point in his pithy comments that is worth noting. Maybe Republicans are generally in favor of Citizens United, and Democrats generally opposed because they know that donors are reluctant to give to conservative causes. This, because of our cancel culture that fairly regularly shames people for supporting conservative causes. I have to admit that I would never buy even a pillow case from "The Pillow Guy," no matter how cheap his prices, or superior his pillows are because he supports what passes for conservativism these days. Maybe neither side cares about the integrity of the political process or free speech. Maybe Dems want to repeal Citizens United because doing so will actually reduce donations to Republicans, Republicans want to keep it because they know the same thing. Dark money allows closet conservatives to donate to unpopular causes or politicians without whatever public ridicule or shaming comes along with doing so.
Have a great weekend, and try not to freak the fuck out.
SBF's actions feed into the misinterpretation that so-called "dark money" primarily benefits GOP candidates. House efforts to regulate dark money were complicated by the work of the Capital Research Center (CRC), which maintains that Democratic candidates benefit as much or more than GOP candidates from such funding sources. In support of this assertion they cite Arabella Advisors specifically. Here's one article with a graphic; the article also hyperlinks to CRC's seminal work on the topic: https://capitalresearch.org/article/we-broke-new-ground-on-arabellas-dark-money-in-2022-repost/
Lest this post appear to be simple pleading for the Right, I wrote about the Koch brothers' use of a 501(c)(6) nonprofit as a facility through which $250 million in political funding was transferred during the 2012 election cycle: https://nonprofitquarterly.org/koch-brothers-new-nonprofit-business-league-gave-250m-in-2012/
Posted by: Michael L. Wyland | Jan 13, 2023 9:15:44 AM