DSCC - Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

04/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/22/2021 15:10

New Report: J.D. Vance, Josh Mandel Under Scrutiny For “Big Tech” GOP Hypocrisy In Nasty Ohio Senate Primary

April 22, 2021 Press Releases

Tech-Backed Venture Capitalist Vance Under Attack For 'Raking In Cash From Silicon Valley' While Disingenuously Attacking 'Big Tech'

New reporting from Salon today highlights the hypocrisy brewing in Ohio's 'crowded and nasty ' Republican primary for Senate as prospective candidate J.D. Vance and declared contender Josh Mandel attack 'Big Tech' while 'raking in cash from Silicon Valley.' With a $10 million Super PAC donation from California tech billionaire Peter Thiel supporting his potential campaign, Vance - a tech-backed venture capitalist - 'has already been targeted by anonymous attacks from the right' and drawn 'allegations of hypocrisy for courting the same Big Tech moguls he now constantly criticizes.'


Salon: J.D. Vance leads GOP hypocrisy on 'Big Tech' - while raking in cash from Silicon Valley
By Igor Derysh
April 22, 2021

Key Points:

  • Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel received financial backing from technology executives and investors despite railing against 'Big Tech' censorship and 'ultra-liberal thugs in Silicon Valley' on the campaign trail.
  • Mandel has made attacks on Silicon Valley a central theme of his campaign, despite being funded by some of the tech sector's most prominent financiers.
  • Though Mandel and Timken have been the most prominent Republican contenders for Portman's seat, the race is expected to be upended by the entry of J.D. Vance, best known as the author of 'Hillbilly Elegy.' Vance has not formally announced his candidacy but told friends and colleagues he plans to run for the seat, according to Axios, and recently visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
  • Vance, who drew support from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., when he toyed with a run for Brown's seat in 2018, has long branded himself as a champion of the forgotten Appalachian working class, although he grew up outside Cincinnati and attended Yale Law School before moving to San Francisco to become a venture capitalist… Like Mandel, Vance has made attacks on 'Big Tech' a core component of his fledgling campaign.
  • 'Establishment Republican apologies for our oligarchy should always come with the following disclaimer: 'Big Tech pays my salary,'' he tweeted last week before many reminded him that his salary 'has literally been paid, at least in part, by two directors at Facebook and the former CEO of Google.'
  • Vance worked for Mithril Capital, a venture capital firm founded by PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel that came under FBI scrutiny in 2019, before joining Revolution LLC, a tech investment firm founded by AOL co-founder Steve Case. Vance has criticized Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for donations to the Democratic Party, even after his fund raised money from the billionaire. In 2019, Vance founded Narya Capital, raising $93 million from tech titans like Thiel, Schmidt and Silicon Valley legend Marc Andreesen.
  • Thiel, a major Trump donor who has also backed right-wingers like Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and multiply-defeated Kansas candidate Kris Kobach, was the first major contributor to a PAC backing Vance's Senate bid, with a $10 million donation.
  • The billionaire Mercer family, which also backed Trump as well as controversial tech ventures like Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart and Parler, joined Thiel in financially supporting Vance's run.
  • Vance has already been targeted by anonymous attacks from the right for opposing Trump while drawing allegations of hypocrisy for courting the same Big Tech moguls he now constantly criticizes.