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US Politicians Reportedly Rush to Wash Their Hands Off FTX-Linked Funds

UTC by Mayowa Adebajo · 2 min read
US Politicians Reportedly Rush to Wash Their Hands Off FTX-Linked Funds
Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

O’Rourke declined a good hand gesture from Sam Bankman-Fried in October, calling the donation ‘unsolicited.’

It appears that the beneficiaries of political donations from former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) may be looking to return them. This follows after a recent publication by Texas Tribune reported that former gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke has returned a $1 million donation he got from SBF.

Having received the donation on October 11, Texas Tribune confirms that the Democrat returned the fund, some four days to the November election. Per the report, O’Rourke was said to have been made uncomfortable by the donation, especially since it was unsolicited. As confirmed by campaign staff, the fact that O’Rourke had not even met or discussed with SBF before the donation, made it all the more shocking.

But, despite declining the October donation offer, the now-disgraced crypto mogul remains the biggest campaign donor for Texas Democrats for the last fundraising cycle. That was between July 1 to September 29. Within that time, O’Rourke also received a total of $1 million from Bankman-Fried.

Are US Politicians Detaching from FTX?

Reports claim that SBF contributed no less than $40 million in total to US politicians. But as earlier mentioned, those donations were mostly focused on Democratic candidates.

With the recent turn of events, however, the beneficiaries are beginning to have second thoughts. That is, especially considering the several allegations leveled against Bankman-Fried following the FTX collapse.

For instance, another Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, is keen on removing any links that may tie her to FTX and its executives. The New York senator reportedly received no less than $16,600 from Bankman-Fried, and now promises to donate the money back in turn to charity.

Meanwhile, the current troubles of FTX and SBF might not be solely responsible for the recent actions of these politicians. For instance, O’Rourke’s decision to decline the October donation of $1 million, could also have to do with the political divisiveness over crypto in Texas. Democrats maintain the stance that crypto would usher in the influx of miners, which will ultimately star in the state’s energy grid. But Republicans, including Rourke’s opponent Gov. Greg Abbott – who eventually won the election – are vocal supporters of the crypto industry.

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