- Billionaire investor Peter Thiel is heavily involved in fundraising efforts for two of his favored candidates.
- He partnered with his co-author Blake Masters, who’s running for Senate in Arizona, to sell NFTs of their book.
- Thiel has also held several intimate, high-dollar fundraisers around the country for his candidates.
Peter Thiel, the Republican tech billionaire who was a rare Silicon Valley backer of former President Donald Trump, is heavily involved with the at-times unconventional fundraising efforts of two candidates he’s backing in Arizona and Ohio, according to a Politico report.
Thiel, who has donated $10 million dollars apiece to super PACs backing Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters and Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance, reportedly helped Masters come up with a plan to mint 99 NFTs — purchasable digital assets that use crypto-related blockchain technology — of their book, Zero to One.
The sale, advertised on Twitter by Masters, offered “exclusive access to parties with me and Peter” in exchange for a maximum $5,800 contribution to his campaign.
—Blake Masters (@bgmasters) December 27, 2021
Ultimately, the NFT sold out within 36 hours, adding another half million dollars to Masters’ campaign account, according to Politico.
“Peter and I wrote ‘Zero to One,’ a book about the importance of doing new things, not just in business but also society and in politics. It seems only fitting that, years later, my U.S. Senate campaign was the first to fundraise in this new way,” Masters told Politico in a statement.
Politico also reported that Thiel has “brought in a wave of apolitical, idiosyncratic contributors” ranging from “everyone from Silicon Valley types to ‘crypto-bros'” as contributors to the two campaigns.
“He’s a well-known business leader, a well-known thought leader for political conservatives, and he’s also I think a very influential person in the crypto community,” Vance told Politico. “And so I think all three of those [groups of] people are just interested in what he has to say, and I think that makes his support very helpful.”
Thiel has also reportedly hosted several high-dollars fundraisers for the duo in Ohio, Florida, and California, which often bring in $100,000 apiece. The fundraisers are intimate, with Masters’ campaign reportedly setting up dinners at expensive restaurants with just 6 donors in attendance at a time.
The dinners, according to Politico, are often a site for unconventional political conversations, including about cryptocurrency, robotics, UFOs, “deepfakes,” and even Jeffrey Epstein.