While there is nothing to be gained at this stage by engaging in the debate regarding the counts in the US mid-term elections, there are two salient stories perhaps that deserve comment in the aftermath of what appears to have been an unpredicted triumph for the Biden administration whose “achievements” appear on the face of it to be meagre.
One is that the DeSantis administration succeeded in passing an electoral reform Bill in 2021 that reduced the possibility of results being disputed because of the manner in which elections are conducted. Among the key measures are that voters now need to register in order to be sent a postal vote; that third parties cannot conduct mass registration; that vote drop off points have to be monitored; and that there are restrictions on who can approach voters and offer to provide “assistance” close to voting centres. Each party is also allowed to have observers present as the votes are counted – Tallymen as they are known in Irish electoral folklore.
The latter point indeed illustrates that all of the Florida reforms, attacked by the left as “voter suppression” are part of the electoral process here and in most other democracies. Despite a number of legal attempts to block the Florida legislation by the corrupt Black Lives Matter, and various NGOs, there have been no claims that last week’s Florida elections were conducted other than fairly and transparently.
The other electoral story concerns the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. In the high-profile collapse of the company, it was reported that the exchange’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried secretly transferred $10 billion of customer funds from FTX to his trading company Alameda Research. A very large portion of those funds seem to have now disappeared.
Bankman-Fried resigned last Friday as the company filed for bankruptcy. The company had previously valued itself at between $10 and $50 billion.
Bankman-Fried is now under investigation by the Currency Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and it is claimed he might face extradition from the Bahamas to the United States as investigations are likely to begin into some $8 billion that has disappeared.
The Bahamas police have confirmed that an investigation to discover whether there was any criminal activity involved is under way.
The FTX founder was a major donor to the Democratic party.
The major beneficiary of those donations, as reported by Forbes, was the Protect Our Future group which funds candidates it claims are preparing for another Covid type scare. Among their endorsements are Anthony Delgado the former rap artist who is now the Lieutenant Governor of New York.
It was reported in October that Bankman-Fried was intending to donate up to one billion dollars as part of the 2024 Presidential campaign. He gave an interview in May to financial journalist Jacob Goldstein in which he boasted about all the leftie causes he had supported and was intending to support in the future.
Bankman-Fried was clearly hoping to rival Soros at the top of the Woke billionaire leftie patronage tree. Ironically, he told a clearly admiring journo from the Los Angeles Times, who described how he was a regular sight in the Capitol mingling with “lawmakers” and “aides” and testifying before Congressional Committees, that one of his concerns was the better regulation of his own crypto currency sector.
It is unlikely that the Democrats, including one of Bankman-Fried’s main beneficiaries Richard Durbin – the Democrat Senate whip before the elections – will have much to say about his generosity to them in the light of the FTX collapse.
FTX’s actions in Ukraine may also come under additional scrutiny.
In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that the cryptocurrency exchange “gave $25 to each Ukrainian registered on the platform”, adding that:
“Ukraine’s central bank has temporarily suspended the country’s currency market, limited the withdrawal of cash and prohibited the issuance of foreign currencies to the general public after the nation declared martial law.
“The limitation of access to foreign currencies could prompt interest in cryptocurrencies, which are not controlled by any government and trade continuously, analysts say.”
The Blaze reports that: “Ukrainian government launched a cryptocurrency donation website in March that was backed by FTX.”
CoinDesk reported in March, “‘Aid for Ukraine,’ which has the backing of crypto exchange FTX, staking platform Everstake, and Ukraine’s Kuna exchange, will route donated crypto to the National Bank of Ukraine, Everstake’s Head of Growth Vlad Likhuta told CoinDesk. Ukraine’s crypto-savvy Ministry of Digital Transformation is also involved.”
The fallout from the FTX crash may be interesting.