Senate

Thiel Looks To Elect Literal Employee in Arizona

A new report from KPNX-TV highlights tech billionaire and Facebook board member Peter Thiel’s overt efforts to buy Arizona’s Republican U.S. Senate primary for his current employee Blake Masters, who appears to have a vested interest in the long-term performance of Thiel’s assets, via an “executive bonus plan” that’s “based on Thiel Capital investments.”

After a months-long delay, Masters last week submitted his personal financial disclosure that reveals his deep Thiel ties and, according to a government ethics expert, raises “questions about potential conflicts of interest.”

Watch:

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Key points, via KPNX-TV:

  • “Thiel has been a mentor, boss and now political patron of Masters, as the 35-year-old Tucson native makes his first run for office.”
  • Thiel put up $10 million to create the Saving Arizona PAC, an independent expenditure committee that is already up with TV ads attacking another GOP Senate candidate, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.”
  • A government ethics expert said Masters’ financial disclosure raised questions about potential conflicts of interest. ‘Is this member of Congress here to serve the voters or do the bidding of a wealthy donor?’ said Delaney Marsco, senior legal counsel for ethics at the Campaign Legal Center.”
  • “Masters’ financial disclosure revealed his lucrative ties to Thiel […] A salary of $774,427 at Thiel Capital,” and “An executive bonus plan, based on Thiel Capital investments, that vests over five years, ending on Jan. 1, 2023. Under the plan’s terms, payments are made when the plan vests. It’s not clear whether Masters would give that up.”
  • Thiel himself has a significant financial stake in what happens in the Senate. The PayPal founder is also a board member and the first outside investor in Facebook, the subject of intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill. Thiel is also a co-founder of Palantir, a data-mining company with more than a billion dollars in federal contracts.”

Read the full report here.

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