A Silicon Valley Millionaire With A D.C. Townhouse: J.D. Vance’s Financial Disclosure Reminds Us What a Fraud He Really Is
November 29, 2021
Columbus, OH — U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance finally filed his personal financial disclosure last week after he “blew past the October 29 deadline to file federally mandated financial-disclosure forms” – and it’s clear what he was trying to hide: his Big Tech ties, Hollywood ties, and his D.C. ambitions from Ohioans.
Two reports dive deeper into just how much money Vance made from his Big Tech ties and what questions remain from his financial disclosure. According to a CNBC report, in the year leading up to his Senate run, Vance made nearly $1 million, and a “great deal of his income as listed in the new disclosure report came from ventures linked to Facebook board member Thiel and other tech investors.” According to a Business Insider report, Vance did not include how much money he made from the Netflix adaptation of his novel.
“Silicon Valley Vance left Ohio behind to make a fortune in Big Tech while working Ohioans are just looking for a fair shot to be able to take care of themselves and their families. Ohioans can spot a phony when they see one, and all they see when they look at J.D. Vance is just another out-of-touch millionaire who is only looking out for his own interests, not theirs,” said Michael Beyer, a spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Business Insider: Senate candidate J.D. Vance just made $347,752 from ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ and has millions in business investments, documents show
Kimberly Leonard, Adam Wren, and Meghan Morris
November 26, 2021
- Republican Senate candidate and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance earned $347,752 in royalties last year from his bestselling memoir, new documents show.
- But Vance’s documents, filed November 24 with the Senate clerk and well past a federal deadline, appear to be missing key details, including how much money Vance made from the Netflix adaptation of his novel.
- In addition to detailing Vance’s income, the documents show that he holds financial interests that span numerous industries, including tech, healthcare, retail, housing, and energy.
- In recent months, Vance and his campaign repeatedly declined to answer questions about his finances from Insider, including how he, as a senator, would avoid conflicts of interest with his investments. Vance’s campaign did not immediately respond to Insider’s latest questions, including why financial information about the Netflix deal wasn’t in the document.
- In all, Vance has invested in 122 companies, shows an Insider analysis of the disclosure. That includes as much as $250,000-worth of shares in Rumble, the Canadian video sharing platform rivaling YouTube that’s popular with conservatives; and as much as $500,000 in Memoir, a photo-sharing app that rivals TimeHop.
- The value of his investments is as low as $730,128 and as high as $3.2 million. Most of his investments were individually valued between $1,001 and $15,000. (Candidates for Congress are required to report their investments only in broad ranges.)
- The document does show that Vance’s salary at Narya, the venture capital firm he started in 2019 before taking a leave of absence to campaign, is $408,106. Separately, Vance values “other” Narya-related income at more than $1.1 million.
- He earned another $125,000 through promoting his speeches and writing, according to his financial disclosure.
- The documents additionally show Vance made $125,216 from Rise of the Rest, a firm created by billionaire Steve Case that invests in tech startups located in areas friendly to former President Donald Trump. Vance left the company in 2019, and his Senate campaign didn’t immediately respond to a question from Insider about whether the payment was from 2019 or whether he is still employed there in some fashion.
- The personal-finance disclosure doesn’t offer a complete window into Vance’s finances and tech investments, most of could take years to pay off — if they ever do.
- Vance isn’t required to list the value of his primary residence, nor must he offer details about his charitable giving. He also isn’t required to detail his earnings from previous years, including his work at Mithril Capital, a venture-capital firm backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.
- While the document outlining Vance’s finances was by law due October 29, Vance filed it nearly a month late. Federal officials generally waive a $200 late-filing fee as long as a candidate files no more than 30 days late. But Vance is still in violation of the law for failing to disclose the financial documents on time.
- He has disavowed — and deleted — his past anti-Trump tweets and made peace with the former president in a Thiel-brokered meeting at Mar-a-Lago. Now, he’s a vocal Trump supporter who has been criticized for various inflammatory tweets and far-right rhetoric.
- Vance declined to comment on Insider’s August investigation into his mixed record as a tech investor and nonprofit founder.
- In May, Thiel wrote a $10 million check — Vox reported it was the “biggest political bet” of his career — to a super PAC supporting Vance’s candidacy. The Mercers, the billionaire conservative family who helped bankroll Trump’s rise to power in 2016, also made what a Vance aide called a “significant contribution” to the PAC.
November 26, 2021
- Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, an ally of billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel and an advocate for Trump-style conservative populism, earned nearly $1 million in income in the runup to the launch of his campaign.
- Most of Vance’s earnings came from his Thiel-backed venture capital firm and royalties from his bestselling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” according to Vance’s financial disclosure, which was reviewed by CNBC.
- A spokeswoman for Vance’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment on the newly released disclosure. Vance appeared to have previously missed the 90 day extension to file no later than Oct. 29, but his spokeswoman previously suggested to CNBC that they had an extra 30 days to comply.
- “We’re waiting on a few additional pieces to include in the report. Once received, we will file well within the 30-day period provided for in the rules,” Taylor Van Kirk, Vance’s spokeswoman, told CNBC last month.
- Vance announced his candidacy this past summer. He has made attacks on Big Tech a key focus of his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat that Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is vacating. Yet a great deal of his income as listed in the new disclosure report came from ventures linked to Facebook board member Thiel and other tech investors.
- Vance made just over $400,000 in salary from his Ohio-based venture capital firm Narya Capital. The $93 million firm is backed by Thiel and fellow major tech investors Marc Andreessen, Eric Schmidt and Scott Dorsey, according to Axios. Thiel has put $10 million toward a super PAC backing Vance. Vance once worked at an investment firm called Mithril Capital, which was co-founded by Thiel.
- Vance made a little over $125,000 from the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, a startup investment arm of Washington, D.C.-based Revolution, which was founded by AOL co-founder Steve Case. Vance also received $125,000 in salary from J.D. Vance Enterprises LLC, which, according to Ohio business records, is intended to “manage and promote the speaking, writing and media appearances of policy analyst and commentator J.D. Vance.”
- Royalties from Vance’s 2016 book “Hillbilly Elegy,” which was adapted into a Netflix movie last year, totaled just over $345,000.
- His new disclosure also lists investments into dozens of companies, including Anduril Industries, a defense technology company that for years has received millions of dollars’ worth of government contracts.
- Anduril was founded by Palmer Luckey, a previous supporter of former President Donald Trump. Vance’s disclosure shows the investment is worth between $1,000 and $15,000 in corporate securities and he made very little money off the investment. Thiel is also an investor into Anduril, according to a report by Bloomberg.
- Under his assets, Vance lists Narya Capital. He appears to have made an additional $1 million-plus in returns from the fund.
- Vance also lists BTC, the abbreviation for bitcoin, under his list of assets. His investment is valued between $100,000 and $250,000 into BTC. Vance has previously blasted efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies. He also owns between $50,000 and $100,000 in Walmart stock.