This fucking guy:
Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters complained about having to disclose donations under federal campaign finance law in a recent podcast interview, appearing to agree with the suggestion that it’s similar to Kristallnacht, the Nazi attack on Jews in 1938.
“If someone gives $100 to a political candidate, why are we exposing their name and their hometown and their employer to the public? That’s really crazy. Maybe if you cut a million-dollar check, people should know that,” Masters said on the May 25 episode of “The Greg Medford Show.”
“It’s for hit lists. And AOC said this, one of the first things she said after Joe Biden was inaugurated is, ‘We need to de-Trumpify this country.’ And she said, ‘We’re making lists,’” Masters added, appearing to refer to this tweet by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
In the Nov. 7, 2020, tweet, Ocasio-Cortez actually said, “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future.”
Greg Medford, the host of the podcast, responded: “Right, that’s like Kristallnacht. That’s like Kristallnacht.”
“Yeah, that’s right,” Masters said. “No, it’s absolutely wild.”
Masters’ campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
Campaign finance law does not require campaigns to disclose information about donors giving $100, as Masters suggests. The current threshold for disclosure of donor information by a candidate’s campaign committee is $200. Some smaller contributions can be disclosed if made through a conduit political action committee like ActBlue, a Democratic digital fundraising hub, or the Republican WinRed.
Donald Trump has stubbed his toe by endorsing losers in three Republican gubernatorial primaries (in Nebraska, Idaho, and Georgia) so far this year, with the most painful defeat being Brian Kemp’s 52-point demolition of David Perdue in the Peach State. The ex-president has also had some misses in U.S. House primaries and in high-profile down-ballot races, like Brad Raffensperger’s win over Trump’s candidate Jody Hice, again in Georgia. But so far Trump has done nothing but win in Senate primaries. Assuming Mehmet Oz’s tiny lead over David McCormick survives an ongoing recount, the MAGA success stories include Pennsylvania (Oz), Ohio (J.D. Vance), North Carolina (Ted Budd), and Georgia (Herschel Walker). And now in Arizona, Trump has gone bold with an endorsement of venture capitalist and Peter Thiel disciple Blake Masters, perhaps his most extreme Senate favorite yet.
It’s easy to compare Masters to Vance. Both are loudly “populist” Trump fans. Both are favorites of Tucker Carlson. Both are venture capitalists by trade. Both have been heavily backed financially and personally by Silicon Valley eccentric Peter Thiel.
But while Vance is better known nationally thanks to his book Hillbilly Elegy and the movie based on it, Masters is arguably the real deal in terms of being the edgiest “national conservative” or “right-wing populist” or whatever you choose to call the toxic politics he shares with Vance, Carlson, Josh Hawley, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., and other MAGA demagogues. Vance got money from Thiel; Masters has idolized Thiel for years, co-wrote his book on start-ups, and currently runs his family foundation. Vance comes across as an intellectual dilettante dabbling in politics. Masters has the cold demeanor of a true fanatic. Vance is troubling. Masters is scary. This Masters campaign ad really says it all:
Here’s some more info:
Behind the scenes: Trump, who relishes being a kingmaker and wants to be involved in every race, quickly took a liking to Masters, sources familiar with the matter tell Axios.
- Trump initially thought Masters wasn't great on TV but believes he's improved immensely in his public speaking and appreciates the way he's run his campaign so far.
- One key factor was Masters' attendance at a screening of the 2020 election conspiracy documentary, "2,000 Mules," at Mar-a-Lago last month — a move Trump thought gave him an edge over the other candidates, according to two sources.
- Masters is also the candidate people closest to Trump have been pushing the most, with many quick to point out the similarities between Masters and Vance.
- Both Masters and Vance are Thiel-backed, populist venture capitalists who were considered underdogs in their respective Republican primaries.
- Vance's success in Ohio following Trump's endorsement boded very well for Masters' chances, the sources said.
That ad from Masters could help change the narrative of the general election:
When Mark Kelly ran for Senate in 2020, he didn’t emphasize the issue that had long been at the core of his political identity.
He didn’t need to. There are few in Arizona who are unfamiliar with the story of Kelly’s wife, the former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and nearly killed in a Tucson parking lot in 2011.
That tragedy turned Kelly, a former Navy pilot and accomplished astronaut, into a nationally prominent gun violence activist. But his successful 2020 campaign was laser-focused on a small set of issues: health care, the economy, climate change, and money in politics. His approach to gun issues, several Democrats say, was simple: his background would speak for itself.
Now, with Kelly campaigning to earn a full six-year term in the Senate in this fall’s midterms, that playbook has the potential to change. The mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, have put gun violence at the top of the country’s political agenda for the first time in years.
That presents an opportunity for Kelly, according to Arizona Democrats. The senator has a singular background and authority on the issue, and Arizona has a growing population of voters who are exasperated with the cycle of inaction in Washington following each gun violence tragedy.
The day after the Uvalde shooting, Kelly was blunt in speaking to those fears and frustrations. “It’s fucking nuts,” he told reporters in Washington, “not to do anything about this.”
The senator is on record having supported gun control measures that opinion polls typically find are broadly supported in the public—things like universal background checks and closing loopholes for domestic abusers to buy guns.
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