Perpetual Loser Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) served in the US House of Representatives from Texas’ 16th Congressional District from 2013 until 2019. In November 2019, he threw his hat into the ring for the Democratic Party’s nomination to take down former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. However, he did not fare well in the primaries. Then he moved on to try to take down Republican Governor Greg Abbott in 2022 where he lost by nearly 11 points, and that contest is coming back to haunt him, but not because of his failed bid for governor.
Following the Money
It takes a great deal of money to seek a national political office or the governorship of some of the larger states, and Texas is no different. According to the website Transparency USA, O’Rourke’s campaign shelled out more than 70 million clams in his failed effort to shuck Abbott from office.
Now, one name on the list of contributors to O’Rourke’s cause is getting some attention. Sam Bankman-Fried (aka SBF), the 30-year-old now-disgraced founder of the cryptocurrency exchange and hedge fund FTX, donated a large sum of money to O’Rourke. His campaign financials show the young billionaire gave a whopping $1 million gift.
O’Rourke’s campaign spokesman Chris Evans told the press at the end of November they had indeed received the large domination on October 11 but returned it on November 4, which he claims was prior to the SBF troubles being reported. At that time, they purportedly sent the entire donation back because it was so large and “unsolicited,” in other words, no one ever directly asked for it. However, there are a few irregularities that have come to light regarding these statements.
First, it appears only $900,000 of the allegedly unacceptable pile of cash was actually returned, with news reports saying the other $100,000 would eventually, at some time in the undefined and murky future, be put into a yet-to-be-established fund for “victims of FTX’s collapse.”
Second, as an October 17 article in the Washington Post notes, FTX and SBF were already under investigation for questionable practices by the Texas State Securities Board, although those were unrelated to his eventual arrest on federal charges.
SBF is facing a litany of charges for allegedly defrauding lenders and borrowers with the shell game schemes he ran between his two companies. In a letter filed with the court in the Southern District of New York, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said it believes the evidence will show he “violated campaign finance laws” and illegally used customer funds that “enable the evasion of contribution dollar limits, corporate donation limits, and donation reporting requirements….” The letter went on to allege that he did this in an attempt “to influence the direction of policy and legislation on the cryptocurrency industry.”
So, what will actually happen with the remaining $100K, and why wasn’t it returned with the rest of the donation? Those are questions O’Rourke and his campaign will likely have to answer in the coming weeks.
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