Big Tech <3s Josh Mandel and J.D. Vance
April 22, 2021
In Case You Missed It, Salon today did a deep dive on Big Tech’s favorite Republicans, Josh Mandel and J.D. Vance. As Mandel and Vance attempt to appear tough against Big Tech, in reality they’re deep in the pockets of Silicon Valley’s biggest names.
“Mandel has made attacks on Silicon Valley a central theme of his campaign, despite being funded by some of the tech sector’s most prominent financiers,” writes Igor Derysh for Salon.
“Vance worked for Mithril Capital, a venture capital firm founded by PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel that came under FBI scrutiny in 2019, before joining Revolution LLC, a tech investment firm founded by AOL co-founder Steve Case. Vance has criticized Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for donations to the Democratic Party, even after his fund raised money from the billionaire. In 2019, Vance founded Narya Capital, raising $93 million from tech titans like Thiel, Schmidt and Silicon Valley legend Marc Andreesen,” Derysh continues.
Playing to an audience of one, Mandel tries desperately to fit in with the anti-tech ‘cool kids’ and beats his chest as he claims he ‘won’t be silenced by Big Tech.’ Then he turns around and funds his campaign with donations from one of “Silicon Valley’s top investors,” the former CEO of Cisco and an executive at a tech firm founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
J.D. Vance is also working hard to try to keep up his populist scam and distract from his Big Tech roots while leaning on his controversial Silicon Valley pals Peter Theil — who had his venture capital firm investigated by the FBI — and Robert Mercer — who co-founded Cambridge Analytica — to bankroll his political ambitions. And the Big Tech tycoons are keeping a close eye on their investment as Theil ‘chaperoned Vance’s trip to Mar-a-Lago.’
Journalist Judd Legum sums it up well in the Salon article: “In fact, there is no political candidate more beholden to corporate money and the economic elite than JD Vance.”
Read more from Salon HERE and below:
- Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel received financial backing from technology executives and investors despite railing against “Big Tech” censorship and “ultra-liberal thugs in Silicon Valley” on the campaign trail.
- David Blumberg, managing director of the San Francisco-based venture capital firm Blumberg Capital and one of “Silicon Valley’s top investors,” and his partner Michael Armand donated $21,600 to the Team Josh committee last quarter, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Despite his ties to the tech world, Blumberg has backed Trump and his claims of tech censorship against conservatives while promoting right-wing online media figures like Jordan Peterson and PragerU founder Dennis Prager.
- John Chambers, the former chief executive officer of Cisco who now runs the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm JC2 Ventures, and his wife Elaine Chambers also contributed $10,800 to Team Josh, according to an FEC filing.
- Jordan Blashek, an executive at Schmidt Futures, a Silicon Valley nonprofit founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, also kicked in $5,800 to Team Josh.
- Mandel has made attacks on Silicon Valley a central theme of his campaign, despite being funded by some of the tech sector’s most prominent financiers.
- Like Mandel, Vance has made attacks on “Big Tech” a core component of his fledgling campaign.
- Vance worked for Mithril Capital, a venture capital firm founded by PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel that came under FBI scrutiny in 2019, before joining Revolution LLC, a tech investment firm founded by AOL co-founder Steve Case.
- Thiel, a major Trump donor who has also backed right-wingers like Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and multiply-defeated Kansas candidate Kris Kobach, was the first major contributor to a PAC backing Vance’s Senate bid, with a $10 million donation.
- The billionaire Mercer family, which also backed Trump as well as controversial tech ventures like Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart and Parler, joined Thiel in financially supporting Vance’s run.
- “In fact, there is no political candidate more beholden to corporate money and the economic elite than JD Vance,” argued Judd Legum, a journalist at Popular Information who tracks corporate influence in politics. “It’s all a scam, laundering right-wing politics through a phony everyman frame.”