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Murray, Schrier, WA Dems acquired marketing campaign cash from indicted FTX … – The Spokesman Overview


U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier and the Washington State Democratic Celebration acquired political donations from indicted cryptocurrency entrepreneur Samuel Bankman-Fried, who federal prosecutors say used embezzled cash to contribute to political campaigns.

Bankman-Fried was arrested Monday within the Bahamas. Federal prosecutors alleged Tuesday that he illegally diverted buyer cash from crypto trade FTX to Alameda Analysis, the crypto hedge fund Bankman-Fried cofounded, and to donate to political causes.

FTX had been a significant participant within the rising crypto business earlier than it abruptly imploded final month, amid studies that $8 billion in buyer funds had been lacking. The agency filed for chapter safety on Nov. 11.

Earlier than that beautiful collapse, Bankman-Fried – broadly identified by his initials, SBF – had thrown his wealth round to develop into a participant in politics nationally and in Washington state.

Marketing campaign finance information present he spent round $40 million on political contributions within the 2022 election cycle, making him one of many largest political donors within the nation.

Nearly all Bankman-Fried’s publicly reported political donations went to assist Democratic candidates. He mentioned in an interview final month he’d donated a roughly equal quantity to Republicans via “darkish cash” conduits that don’t should be publicly reported.

In Washington, Murray acquired $5,800 from Bankman-Fried in July 2021 for her Senate reelection marketing campaign. The state Democrats acquired $10,000 from Bankman-Fried in October of this yr, routed via the Democratic Nationwide Committee.

Additionally in October, Bankman-Fried donated $2,900 to the Kim Schrier Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee supporting Schrier’s profitable reelection bid.

In his largest political donation in Washington this yr, Bankman-Fried gave $135,000 to a Seattle initiative marketing campaign attempting to institute “approval voting” for native elections. The measure was rejected by voters, who as a substitute OK’d a plan to undertake a ranked-choice voting system by 2027.

Alameda Analysis contributed greater than twice that quantity, $315,000 to a 2020 marketing campaign known as Seattle for a Wholesome Planet. The group gave the impression to be making ready for a possible metropolis poll measure in early 2020 that by no means materialized.

Schrier and Murray’s campaigns each indicated they’re parting with the Bankman-Fried donations.

Libby Carlson, a Schrier marketing campaign spokesperson, mentioned the $2,900 donation to her victory fund was donated this week to Northwest Harvest, the nonprofit group supporting meals banks, “to verify Washington households have sufficient to eat this vacation season.”

Murray plans to donate the $5,800 to a Washington state charity earlier than the top of the yr and “believes Mr. Bankman-Fried ought to completely be held accountable for any crimes he dedicated,” spokesperson Amir Avin mentioned in an emailed assertion.

That was consistent with different outstanding Democratic politicians who’ve mentioned they’ll regift the Bankman-Fried money to charity. Final month, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York mentioned she’d donate $16,600 she’d acquired from SBF to a Bronx charity.

In the meantime, the Washington State Democratic Celebration mentioned that it by no means requested for political donations from Bankman-Fried or his companies, and that the $10,000 donation got here not directly via the DNC’s state occasion fund.

“We don’t choose any of the donors that give to this State Celebration Fund,” Washington Democratic Celebration chair Tina Podlodowski mentioned in an emailed assertion.

The state Democrats are ready on steerage from the DNC on what to do with the cash, Podlodowski mentioned. She added that state Democrats let the DNC know the occasion would help in any investigation of unlawful marketing campaign finance exercise.

Bankman-Fried’s brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, additionally donated to Washington politicians. He stepped down as director of nonprofit Guarding Towards Pandemics, an effort helped by his brother’s funding, final month. He faces no felony costs.

Gabriel Bankman-Fried donated $5,800 every to the campaigns of U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene and Murray this yr.

DelBene launched a invoice in 2020 that might have made as much as $200 gained from crypto transactions tax-deductible, but it surely wasn’t taken up in committee.

That invoice was launched “lengthy earlier than anybody was speaking concerning the household,” DelBene spokesperson Nick Martin mentioned in an e mail.

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