Sen. Mitch McConnell got some financial help from FTX
One of the things revealed when FTX, a huge cryptocurrency exchange, collapsed is that its owner, Sam Bankman-Fried, was a major Democrat party donor. Not long after, we learned that he also donated money to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who used that money to defeat MAGA candidates. Now news has broken that FTX also donated to a super-PAC associated with Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who's also been no friend to the MAGA movement.
In 2020 and 2022, Sam Bankman-Fried, following in his mother's footsteps, was incredibly generous to Biden and the Democrat party:
Biden's second-biggest donor, cryptocurrency billionaire wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried, a k a SBF, saw his business file for bankruptcy days after the election, but not before pumping $40 million into the Democratic Party to spend on "get-out-the-vote" and other shadowy ballot-harvesting mechanics for the midterms.
The shambolic 30-year-old whiz kid, once said to have been worth $16 billion, had spent $10 million helping get Biden elected in 2020.
SBF's mother, Stanford law professor Barbara Fried, also is co-founder of left-wing political action committee Mind The Gap, which has raised a reported $140 million to help Democrats win elections through the same "get-out-the-vote" grift.
Like all good corporate donors, though, Bankman-Fried and FTX were careful to show a little love to Republicans. That's always a good policy to ensure continued access to helpful politicians. What's unpleasant about the way FTX money got sprinkled around is that money from an obviously hard-left source found its way into the pockets of two prominent Republican politicians: House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.
Image: Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, and FTX from Reality Bites by Broc Smith.
The news about McCarthy already broke in September, in the Washington Post, which reported that McCarthy used the money to defeat Madison Cawthorn and other MAGA candidates:
Targeting Cawthorn was part of a larger behind-the-scenes effort by top GOP donors and senior strategists to purge the influence of Republican factions that seek disruption and grandstanding, often at the expense of their GOP colleagues. The political machine around McCarthy has spent millions of dollars this year in a sometimes secretive effort to systematically weed out GOP candidates who could either cause McCarthy trouble if he becomes House speaker or jeopardize GOP victories in districts where a more moderate candidate might have a better chance at winning.
Most of the rest of the money, $700,000, came from Ryan Salame, an executive at crypto currency exchange FTX U.S., a major donor both to McCarthy's own operation and to other groups backing McCarthy's favored candidates. West Realm Shires Services, the corporate name used by FTX U.S., gave $750,000 to CLF in August. Advisers to Salame and FTX declined to comment.
But Mark Wetjen, the head of public policy and regulatory strategy at FTX, was invited with his family to McCarthy's August donor retreat in Wyoming.
It's now emerged that a PAC associated with Mitch McConnell also made use of FTX-related funds to destroy MAGA candidates:
The now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX donated $1 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, a Super PAC associated with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), two weeks prior to declaring bankruptcy. FTX first filed for Chapter 11 protection two weeks ago.
The Senate Leadership Fund was the top spending Super-PAC in the 2022 midterm elections, reportedly giving out over $200 million in political donations, the organization Open Secrets found.
Moreover, according to Politico, it seems that McConnell refused to use the Senate Leadership Fund to fund viable MAGA candidates:
According to the outline, Mitch McConnell has withdrawn spending of the Senate PAC funds from MAGA senate candidates. McConnell is telling his senators who are more favorably aligned with President Trump, to push the Trump PAC to spend more on them if Trump wants to see them win in 2022.
I will be forever grateful to McConnell for keeping Merrick Garland off the Supreme Court. It's one of the finest things McConnell has ever done. However, his machinations during the civil war in the Republican Party certainly dim his luster and indicate that he believes that his political wisdom is greater than the collective wisdom of American voters.
And of course, we're seeing — again — that big money runs Washington, D.C., and it doesn't matter how dirty that money may be.