Beto O’Rourke Returned a $1M Campaign Donation From Sam Bankman-Fried: Report

Beto O’Rourke returned a $1 million donation from political megadonor and former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried 4 days earlier than the November election, based on the Texas Tribune.

The former Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate reportedly determined to reimburse the donation, which he acquired on Oct. 11, as a result of he was uncomfortable receiving such a giant, unsolicited donation. His marketing campaign workers advised the Tribune that O’Rourke and Bankman-Fried had not spoken previous to the donation, and it got here as a “shock.”

Bankman-Fried personally donated $40 million to largely Democratic candidates, whereas different FTX executives, together with co-CEO Ryan Salame, donated to Republicans. Some, together with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who acquired no less than $16,600 from Bankman-Fried, are dashing to clean their arms of the affiliation with the suspect donations, promising to offer the cash to charity.

While O’Rourke returned Bankman-Fried’s October donation, the now-disgraced crypto mogul was the Texas Democrat’s largest marketing campaign donor through the earlier fundraising cycle, from July 1 to Sept. 29, throughout which Bankman-Fried gave O’Rourke a complete of $1 million.

O’Rourke’s reluctance to just accept the more moderen giant donation might even have been influenced by the political divisiveness over cryptocurrency in Texas. O’Rourke’s opponent, Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott (who gained the election), is a vocal supporter of the crypto trade – significantly crypto mining – within the state.

Texas’ distinctive and fragile energy grid has struggled to assist the state’s rising vitality necessities in recent times, resulting in a rise in blackouts.

Abbott’s open invitation to bitcoin miners to arrange store in Texas has been criticized, particularly by Democrats, who’re involved the rising presence of crypto miners might additional pressure the state’s grid.

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