Former Vice President Mike Pence is making good money for the first time in his life — by mounting a campaign for president in 2024, according to a new report from Vanity Fair.
"Pence has a megawatt book deal in the bag with Simon & Schuster," the magazine reports, adding that Pence and his wife, Karen, now live in a $2 million mansion in "the gated abodes of Hamilton County," one of the wealthiest enclaves in Indiana.
"And the two are traveling widely, with Mike Pence getting paid upwards of $100,000 a speech, according to Republicans who spoke on background," the magazine reports, noting that Pence's advisers see a "clear strategy" in his recent remarks downplaying the Capitol insurrection, in which former president Donald Trump's supporters threatened to kill him: "He's running for president and making a buck for once in his life, until he can't anymore."
One longtime friend said although Pence's chances of winning in 2024 shouldn't be underestimated, "In the meantime, he's making real money for the first time in his life. Running for president is also a great way of making six-figure speeches."
Others suggested that Pence's recent maneuvers are "a simple ploy to make money," and applauded him for finally cashing in after 20 years in public office.
"Why else would someone be paying him $100k to come speak?" one veteran Republican strategist said. "There's no question the presidential race is driving his speaking fees."
"In March, Mike Pence signed on with the Worldwide Speakers Group, home to a number of former Trump administration officials parlaying their time in office into hard cash," the magazine reported, adding that "Indiana Republicans have long noted that Karen Pence enjoyed the trappings of high society, even if she couldn't quite afford them."
"The New York Times reported last week that State Department information indicated Karen Pence 'wrongly took two gold-toned place card holders from the prime minister of Singapore without paying for them.' (The Pences' lawyer rebutted, saying that she had received ethics clearance to do so from the White House)," according to Vanity Fair.
One longtime Indiana Republican said, "This is the first time they've had two pennies to rub together."
Civil War historian drops the hammer on Alabama governor after she says critical race theory teaches 'hate'
This week, Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) proudly announced that the state of Alabama has "permanently BANNED Critical Race theory," adding, "We're focused on teaching our children how to read and write, not HATE."
We have permanently BANNED Critical Race Theory in Alabama. We’re focused on teaching our children how to read and write, not HATE.— Kay Ivey (@Kay Ivey) 1634751901.0
Ivey's remark drew quick comment from Civil War historian Kevin M. Levin — who pointed out that the state of Alabama still has a number of explicit symbols of hate in public spaces, including a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis right outside of the state capitol building.
Confederate monuments were mostly installed during the enactment of Jim Crow laws in the early 20th century, and as a backlash to the Civil Rights Movement in the 50s and 60s, by officials seeking to re-assert the principles of white supremacy.
"Critical race theory" is a framework that views the role of white supremacy in America's history and institutions. Republicans have scrambled to denounce and ban its teaching in public schools — despite the fact that it is very rarely taught in public schools to begin with.
'Far outside the norm': Corporate law expert stunned by finances behind Trump's social media platform
The New York Times has written a detailed story about how former President Donald Trump got funding for his recently announced new social media platform, and it left one corporate law expert shocked.
As the Times reports, the Trump social media venture is being funded by a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which is essentially a company that raises money from investors and then goes searching for another company to merge with.
SPACs already have a dodgy reputation, writes the Times, as investors are often plugging money into a firm without even knowing what it does.
In the case of Trump's social media platform, it merged with a SPAC called Digital World that was set up just this past February.
"Investors in some cases ponied up as much as $30 million without much guidance as to how Digital World would spend their money," reports the Times. "All they knew was what Digital World said in its securities filing — that it was looking to invest in 'middle-market emerging growth technology-focused companies.' It didn't give any hint that it was hoping to merge with a social-media company or to work with the former president."
What made this deal so shocking was the speed with which it was consummated, as most SPACs normally take over a year to find a buying partner.
"That is an extraordinary time period," Usha Rodrigues, who teaches corporate law at the University of Georgia School of Law, tells the Times. "It is far outside the norm."
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