Cryptocurrency Billionaire’s Political Action Committee Spends Early and Big in Race for the Oregon’s New Congressional District

Cryptocurrency fortune may impact the race for U.S. House in Oregon.

Protect Our Future, a political action committee funded by cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, has bought more than $420,000 in TV ads for the last week of February and the first week of March, supporting the candidacy of political newcomer Carrick Flynn for Oregon’s new congressional seat.

It’s early in the primary for such a significant TV buy—and could lead to record spending for a congressional seat if that pace continues. Bankman-Fried made his fortune with the Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which sells Bitcoin, and he is seeking to influence federal regulation of virtual money, Politico reported earlier this month. (It did not report the new spending in Oregon.)

“A tax-dodging billionaire in the Bahamas has no place in Oregon politics,” says Robin Logsdon, a campaign manager for Intel engineer Matt West, another candidate for Oregon’s 6th Congressional District. “I don’t think the people of the 6th District are going to let himbuy a seat for his friend regardless of how much he spends.”

Carrick campaign manager Avital Balwit disputes the idea the candidate is friends with the billionaire: “Carrick has never met or talked to Sam Bankman-Fried.”

A representative of Protect Our Future PAC did not return calls seeking comment.