A Super PAC Continues to Spend Big on the New Congressional Seat in Oregon

A TV ad buy of more than half a million dollars is a notable sum, especially 13 weeks out from the primary.

HOW MUCH?

$1.37 million

WHO SPENT IT?

Protect Our Future PAC, a political action committee funded by the cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried.

FOR WHOM?

Carrick Flynn, a political newcomer running for Congress as a Democrat in Oregon’s new 6th District.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

A TV ad buy of more than half a million dollars is a notable sum, especially 13 weeks out from the primary. If the biweekly expenditures keep pace, that will mean more than $3.5 million by primary day, just on TV ads. The filings by the super PAC last week also show a digital ad buy of more than $800,000.

Protect Our Future PAC introduced Flynn to voters as someone who grew up poor and ready to serve and who would protect Medicare and Social Security. “Progress. Not Politics,” the tagline reads. But that might be misdirection: Bankman-Fried’s interest in politics has more to do with whether he has to pay taxes or can keep his Bitcoin profits offshore. The richest man in cryptocurrency, whose business is based in the Bahamas, is seeking to influence regulation of the new industry in D.C., Politico reported earlier this month.

WHAT DOES THE CANDIDATE SAY?

The Protect Our Future PAC is “supporting candidates who take a long-term view on policy planning especially as it relates to pandemic preparedness and prevention,” The Texas Tribune reported last month.

It’s an issue the Flynn campaign is emphasizing. “Carrick’s background and experience make him a leader on pandemic and disaster preparedness,” says campaign manager Avital Balwit. “He is running for Congress because we need representatives with the expertise to ensure we never go through another pandemic like this again, and to make sure that we are getting ready for the effects of climate change—like flooding and wildfires.”