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Peter Thiel Candidate Has Touted His Big Tech Ideas And Could Get A Message For DC Next Year

Peter Thiel has taken a unique approach to this election cycle. Poured almost all his money and influence into his two candidates who strongly reflected his political views.

For the billionaire venture capitalist and co-founder of Paypal, it might pay off.

Thiel tipped former employees Blake Masters and JD Vance, who are running for Senate in Arizona and Ohio, respectively. With one or both of his wins, Thiel will be influential in Washington next year, especially with his one issue: Big His Tech.

“I think Thiel’s biggest influence on the Senate is precisely his business philosophy and his views on the American economy,” says Jake Denton, research associate at the conservative Heritage Institute’s Tech Policy Center. He said Thiel’s candidate could potentially “explain to Senate delegations that it’s important to these voters and our voters that we hold Big Tech accountable.” can be done,” he added.

After making his fortune in Silicon Valley, Thiel stepped down from Facebook’s board this year to specifically focus on politics. He reportedly became increasingly uncomfortable with companies’ attempts to crack down on political speech on their platforms, and said the best way to force change was externally through the political process. It was judged.

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 7: Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies and Founders Fund at the Miami Beach Convention Center on April 7, 2022 in Miami, FL I will be giving a speech at the Bitcoin 2022 conference held on April 6-9, 2020, with over 30,000 attendees and over 7 million live stream viewers worldwide. is expected.  (Photo by Marco Bello/Getty Images)

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies and Founders Fund, will speak at a conference in Miami in April. (Marco Bello/Getty Images)

A week into Election Day, Vance has maintained his lead in the polls in Republican-leaning Ohio, while the Masters are in contention in Arizona. The Cook Political Report now rates Arizona by a wide margin and Ohio as leaning toward Vance’s approach.

Campaign against ‘big government, big tech, big business’

A quick look at the messages from both the Vance and Masters campaigns reveals that the two campaigns are looking to incorporate the theme of technology into the race alongside major race issues such as inflation, immigration and crime this year. I can understand that.

In Arizona, Masters will race as one of Thiel’s most direct disciples. He attended Stanford University, where he was taught by Thiel and later became the author of a book he co-wrote. After that, he was COO of Thiel Capital and president of Thiel Foundation. Masters Mark, the first retired astronaut elected in 2020, faces the daunting task of trying to remove Senator Kerry (D-Arizona).

Masters got used to saying Kelly “Third Senator of the State of California”. And pledging to take on “an unholy alliance between big government, big technology, and big business,” he said, “This administration, working with the Democrats, will destroy America as we know it.” We are weaponizing technology,” he added.

This is a message that JD Vance has conveyed almost exactly, and it’s also a key concern for Thiel.

One of the most notable moments at the Masters in recent months was when he softened his rhetoric around the 2020 election, but continued to attack Big Tech at the same time. But the Masters specifically aren’t saying Joe Biden’s win is justified. Instead, as he claimed in a Fox appearance, it was “the big tech censorship that sent Biden into the White House”. Contrast with no claims.

The act of balancing is reminiscent of Teal himself. For example, he was a major supporter of Trump in his 2016, but after passing for president in the 2020 election, he’s back in political contention again this year.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Peter Thiel, Blake Masters, Fred Blackford, Isabella Huffington, Agapi Stasinopoulos attend Arianna Huffington Hosted Book Party for Peter Thiel and Blake Masters.

Peter Thiel (left) watches second from left Blake Masters at the 2014 Book Party. They co-authored a book called “Zero to One”. (J Grassi/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

It’s a similar story in Ohio, where JD Vance runs after working at Thiel’s VC, Mithril Capital. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) was Vance’s opponent, i like to call him “Peter Thiel’s Puppet,” but that doesn’t mean Vance has the upper hand in the race.

“I know the tech industry very well,” Vance advertises on his website, promising to split the company.

Vance spends much of his time talking about inflation and crime, Elon Musk buys Twitter To Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher To University of California, Berkeley PolicyIt’s easy to imagine Thiel sending out these tweets if he had an active account (which he doesn’t really seem to have).

Representatives of the Masters and Vance campaigns did not respond to questions from Yahoo Finance about Big Tech’s plans if it wins. Thiel’s representative also declined to participate.

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - OCTOBER 19: Republican US Senate candidate JD Vance speaks with hometown supporters at Butler County GOP headquarters on October 19, 2022 in Middletown, Ohio. Backed by former President Donald Trump, Vance faces Democratic candidate Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) in the November election.  (Photo by Galen Morse/Getty Images)

Senate candidate JD Vance campaigning in Middletown, Ohio in October. (Gallen Morse/Getty Images)

“Many Possibilities for a New, Greater Right Coalition”

But what all the campaign rhetoric will lead to in 2023 is an open question. Washington has struggled for years to regulate Big Tech, and even a relatively modest bipartisan effort has found itself bogged down in the face of intense lobbying. The bill would prohibit Big Tech from prioritizing its products over competitors such as Amazon, and relationships with third-party vendors are complex.

I doubt Teal’s squires tend to push that effort to the finish line.

In addition to Vance’s call for a company split, they have different priorities. A major concern for Thiel (and Vance and Masters) is the perceived silence of tech conservatives on his platform. Thiel also cut checks for figures like Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) and Harriet Haigman (R-Wyoming) in 2021.

US President-elect Donald Trump sits with PayPal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel during a meeting with technology leaders at Trump Tower, New York, USA, December 14, 2016. .  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Peter Thiel met with then-President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York in 2016. Trump is endorsing both Blake his Masters and JD Vance this year. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

But Denton said Democrats were less likely to support moves to make social media more freely available for everyone, and the reality in Washington made immediate action more likely on the antitrust front. said to mean until the dissolution of a large corporation.

“You already have people ready for the job,” says Denton. He cites recent actions, such as the bipartisan House passing modest efforts to reform merger application fees, as signs that lawmakers may be up to the task in the years to come. increase. He adds that the lack of tech expertise among existing senators means that incumbent senators may try to force newcomers to take the lead.

In that case, Teal’s influence would be enormous.

Vance and Masters, if either or both of them win voters next week, meanwhile, “will preach this new worldview that really speaks to middle-class Americans who think Silicon Valley from the outside.” says Denton. , what the hell is going on?

Ben Werschkul is the Washington correspondent for Yahoo Finance.

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