Crypto Billionaire Bankman-Fried is spending big to defeat Nina Turner. One example of how that industry is buying influence in Congress.

By Ryan Grim, The Intercept

Progressive Congressional Candidates are waking up to a new variable that is upending the electoral calculus of races across the country: cryptocurrency. Some candidates are finding it advantageous to take crypto-sympathetic positions, while others are facing an onslaught of crypto spending that is reshaping their primaries.

In a 2021 special election, former state Sen. Nina Turner faced more than $2 million in outside spending by the super PAC Democratic Majority for Israel, swinging the race for Shontel Brown in the closing weeks. In her rematch, Turner faces a new obstacle. A super PAC bankrolled by crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, Protect Our Future, has already spent more than $1 million backing Brown, according to Federal Election Commission reports. And this week, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC endorsed Brown after having backed Turner last year.

Big Crypto spends to defeat Nina Turner

In Oregon’s newly drawn 6th District, a handful of local candidates were vying for the nomination before Carrick Flynn barreled into the race with an ungodly amount of support from Bankman-Fried’s super PAC.

So far, the super PAC backing Flynn has dropped some $6 million on the sleepy race, followed by a startling $1 million cash infusion on the part of House Majority PAC, the super PAC linked to House Democrats themselves. In the process, they have undercut multiple progressive candidates — three of them women of color — with deep roots in the area and political bases of support that would make them formidable general election opponents. (House Majority PAC did not respond to a request for comment.)

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