Oregon congressional candidate Carrick Flynn swears he's not an instrument of crypto cash. However, nearly $9 million is being spent by a crypto billionaire to promote Flynn's face all over television stations in the area.
Willamette Week explained that Sam Bankman-Fried, who lives in the Bahamas, created a PAC to dump money into promoting Flynn over his five other opponents in the Democratic Primary for the Oregon Sixth Congressional District. The district is a new one that was added as part of the population influx to Oregon representing mostly suburbs and farmland. It's expected to go Democratic.
Flynn's personal story has made news because he rose from a family struggling with homelessness to attend Yale Law School and work for think tanks, the Facebook foundation and consulted for the president.
“Who is this guy? I still don’t know, and I’m mayor of the largest city in the district,” Willamette Week quoted Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett. “He’s not made any contact with me. As far as I know, he has never been to Salem. Frankly, I found it a little disturbing.”
Local farmer Ramsey McPhillips noted the Caribbean man funding him isn't someone you'd likely see at a local joint around town.
“People out here call him Mr. Creepy Funds,'" he said of Flynn.
Laws that regulate PAC money say that independent expenditures cannot be coordinated with the candidate, so Flynn's face appears in the ad with a smile and no words.
Willamette Week noted that they tried to talk to Flynn for their endorsement interview, but it was canceled after he said he was exposed to COVID-19. He also refused to join on Zoom. Willamette Week said they worked near-daily to get a hold of him for the interview, but it wasn't until two days before their report was to be printed he spoke with them for 25 minutes. The interview asks Flynn what his relationship is Bankman-Fried, and the candidate claims they've never even met.
Washington Post columnist David Weigel wrote that Flynn didn't even know that the ad was running and he spilled whatever he was drinking when he heard it. He and his wife were watching a YouTube tutorial for something and heard his name. After a short debate over the drink, the couple concluded it was Diet Mountain Dew he spilled.
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