Paul Dame: VT Democrats took FTX fraud money

This commentary is by Paul Dame, chair of the Vermont GOP.

Weeks ago we knew that both of Vermont’s federal candidates, Peter Welch and Becca Balint, had accepted the max donation from the crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, but there was a new discovery from the weekend that shows it reaches further.

While Balint and Welch have promised to donate the money to their own hand-picked non-profits, this just allows them to gain attention for the charities of their choice and continue the fraud that FTX has perpetrated by moving money into yet another Democrat-supported organization instead of giving the money back to the victims who have been defrauded.

Wikimedia Commons

Sam Bankman-Fried

Since the allegations suggest that Bankman-Fried basically embezzled this money from his company, and used it to fund many political campaigns, it also raises questions of whether these personal donations were a way to circumvent campaign finance law, which has a strict prohibition on corporate contributions. Donations directly from the corporations would have been barred – but if the funds go into Bankman-Fried’s personal account first, that would be a loophole.

But Balint and Welch aren’t the only Vermonters who have received cash from the crypto conman. An FEC report confirms that the Vermont Democrat Party also took in $9,753.21 from Bankman-Fried on August 31st this year. Dozens of other Democrat State Parties received similar figures that look like one hefty processing fee short of the $10,000 limit.

This raises many questions about the similar donations. Did Vermont Democrats know where the money was coming from? Did they have any special instructions on what to do with the money, and was it funneled to other out-of-state interests in swing states like Arizona or Georgia to avoid campaign finance limits? Was this donation solicited? By whom? Or did it come in as a random online donation? Did anyone at the VT Dems have contact with this generous donor?

We have never seen this level of fraud so closely tied to political donations that support predominantly (though not exclusively) one political party. While Enron and Madoff were also depriving investors of incredibly large sums of money, Bankman-Fried introduced a new element that moved from greed into a corruption of our political system.

It’s nothing new that millionaires and billionaires have been pouring their money into campaigns on both sides. But Bankman-Friend was the first one not to spend millions of his own money, but millions of dollars that he owed back to his clients. Meanwhile those clients had no idea that he was using it to fund his own political pet projects, some of which likely may have been contrary to their own.

Democrats have to make it right and distance themselves from this corruption. The Vermont Democrat Party should return the nearly $10k it received from Bankman-Fried, so that law enforcement can use that money to make defrauded investors whole. Also the incoming Attorney General has an opportunity to investigate the matter, especially if there are any Vermonters who had investments in FTX. It wouldn’t be the first time that the State of Vermont joined in a lawsuit to protect consumers.

With a broad-reaching scandal like this with donations made across the country, Vermont Democrats must act swiftly and loudly to reject this fraud, work to make it right with the victims and can also call on their fellow states who also profited from this fraudulent theft to do the same.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

28 thoughts on “Paul Dame: VT Democrats took FTX fraud money

  1. OK, Paul, I will ask again.

    Why no mention of the $991,909 given to the Balint campaign by the LGBTQ Victory Fund ?

  2. All of the comments below are beside the point. They’re intended to give the illusion of political efficacy. Anyone who doesn’t know that ‘dark money’ is floating around is in denial. So what?

    The problem is not with the money, it’s with the people who vote for these political tyrants. After all, they’re in on it too. Vermont’s largest voting block is government workers, teachers, healthcare workers, social service non-profits and their relatives. They are going to bleed everyone dry before they are forced to feast on themselves – because they will, inevitably, be the only ones left standing… or so it will seem.

    This circumstance can’t be stopped. It has to burn itself out. And burn itself out, it will. Guaranteed. All we ‘little people’ can do is whatever it takes to not be burned along with them. If one thing is encouraging, it’s the stupidity of these political tyrants. Incompetence is their buy line.

    Be smart people.

    • Jay, You are right. It is our next door neighbors that vote for who governs our lives. They are the people who support Democrat leadership that pushes killing babies in the womb right up until the time of birth, They push open boarders that drives our good people who work there to commit suiside because of the evil that goes on there everyday. Evil that would not be taking place if it wasn’t for thei Left voting for it. The drugs that kill our kids are on their backs too.

    • So, all those Congressional representatives who knock off work at 1:30 during sessions are not going to give more attention to the contributors of $10,000 than to the constituents who gave $10? Right now, when there’s a conflict in scheduling, tyrant or no, the congresscritter will choose three out of four times to meet with the major contributor rather than a constituent .

      The problem is indeed with the money.

      • We all need money. Some earn it. Others steal it.

        But you’ve inadvertently hit on what it takes to be ‘smart’. The question is, of course, how much money do you need? I’ll leave it at that for now.

  3. Don’t expect any retribution for the the Drats as they own the Doj and fib. What may happen is the blunder boy of crypto may end up on hellerys suicide list if he attempts to talk. Nice going Vt voters you sure know how to pick the cream of the crop… NOT. Maybe the R’s in congress will get some testicles and investigate the relationship between Ukraine aid and dem and rino involvement in this scam. I’m not going to hold my breath though.

  4. These people should be made to return the money to the people it was stolen from.
    They should not be allowed to donate it to non-profits that will turn right around and return it to them in the form of their next campaign donation!

    These people have been caught red handed in a giant money laundering operation and their solution is to keep right on laundering money!

  5. Perhaps time to look at campaign finance reform and findind a way to make it so large corporations and wealthy individuals can not pour money into influencing who gets elected or the poltical process for their own advantage

    • John…you say….”(so that) wealthy individuals can not pour money into influencing who gets elected or the poltical process for their own advantage.”

      I’ll take it one step further. VT Digger is largely funded by Out-Of-Stae progressive/Democrat places….as well as a few very wealthy Vermont liberals and a couple of their “Foundations”……some of them are Trust funders or have large inherited wealth….living their dreams in VT and INFLUENCING political agendas with their “donations” (money) and that is how VT Digger survives….mostly on ‘Rich Peoples Money”.. Liberal & Progressive…and some are OUT OF STATE ( something new and different, huh)

      The thing with VT Digger is….I know who a couple of the Trust Funder Foundations that support VT Digger. Digger says they are a 501c3 Non profit. That is a very grey area and borders on a lie. VT Digger is an internet news site that promotes all things Liberal Democrat Progressive policy. That is NOT a “non profit” and thus TAX EXEMPT. They are a lobbying outfit, faking it, as a non profit. Digger shouts out loud often for….”DIVERSITY”…if that was true, just ask VT Digger how many conservatives they employ out of several dozen. Answer? NONE.

      I also see that Vt Digger, as a non profit 501c3….has NO WHERE on their website a link to review their filings and DONORS $$$. Like all biased Libs…they hide that as best they can….What is VT Digger afraid of to offer TRANSPARENCY to WHO & how they get all their money .

      This could be a wonderful detective expose’ project for JOHN KLAR… and ask to see their IRS filings VT Digger has to file annually and it lists where they get their money…and who. +As a 501c3 NON PROFIT that info must be made publically available.

      • Jeffrey,

        Yes! All in on the need for transparency not only for politicians and donors but also for news organizations. This is expecially true in our age of far too much intenet disinformation, foreign and domestic. Knowing who finances and is behind what, is an important part of guaging its veracity.

        In regards to VTDigger, I too have found reporters there too often slip into a point of view rather than objective reporting. I found this particularly true regarding school the school consolidation issue. On the other hand, to their credit, many of the commentaries found here are also published on it’s site. I too would be interested in the funding that supports VTDigger, as well for that matter. True North Reports.

      • Again…There is hope for Vermont from people like you who are speaking openly of the truth. ” VT Digger is largely funded by Out-Of-Stae progressive/Democrat places….as well as a few very wealthy Vermont liberals and a couple of their “Foundations”……some of them are Trust funders or have large inherited wealth….living their dreams in VT and INFLUENCING political agendas with their “donations” (money) and that is how VT Digger survives. Digger says they are a 501c3 Non profit. That is a very grey area and borders on a lie. VT Digger is an internet news site that promotes all things Liberal Democrat Progressive policy. That is NOT a “non profit” They should not be allowed to get away with such fraud.

    • Too late, SCOTUS case, Citizens United v. FEC, established corporations are people too. The money machine is stacked and loaded against the people. Now, we find out through the Twitter files that the government works with corporations to ensure their “selections” make it through no matter how the people think or vote. The CIA put a bullet in JFK to make sure they control every [s] election from President of the USA to the local Mayor from that point on.

      • Good point about Citizen United, Melissa. However better laws could be written requiring full disclosure, amendments to the Constitution made or the Supreme Cout could take up the issue again and reverse the previous split decision as it has for other issues.

        • Assuming the Republic still stands, perhaps legitimate, ethical, lawful order will be restored and equally applied to all. Until then, the Banana “Democracy” is what we have and it is Germany circa 1934.

  6. Yes Mr. Dame, Bad Demonrat’s. However I’m sure there are some Reblubicant’s and sports figures in there. BTW, when is the last time the two major parties took a timeout to actually be helpful to the people. When is the last time the parties weren’t pointing fingers at each other for the others misdeeds. Honestly both parties truly suck, and have lost all reality with the common folk a very long time ago. You’re all in line getting your pockets lined at the trough.Shame on on you Mr. Dame for not being a true leader and pointing out your partie’s faults and leading them in the right direction. Same old redundant hot air bellows from your mouth while the country spirals down the drain. Shame on you.

    • Nice try, Mr. Wright…but as most liberals do, you fail in truth….you wear “blinders” proudly….SBF overwhelmingly gave to Dems and leftist type groups. He gave little, if any to Repubs…and I saw that one semi repub outfit he gave to was one that was lobbying for….guess what….CRYPTO…and crypto is where SBF’s fraud was…so of course he’ll support any group that suppors crypto…D or R !

      Read this carefully so you understand fully. It comes from the VERY LIBERAL …Times Magazine.

      “Bankman-Fried contributed more than $70 million to election campaigns in less than 18 months, placing him among the nation’s top political donors. He personally gave at least $40 million to politicians and political action committees ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, mostly to Democrats and liberal-leaning groups, making him the second overall top donor to Democrats, only behind George Soros, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”

    • Mr. Wright, we could have campaign finance regulation which would do the following things:

      —Protects and enhances free speech for all qualified candidates
      —Eliminates the need to repeal Citizens United
      —Removes the obligation and compulsion to raise money.
      —Ends the unspoken debt of the candidate to the major contributors
      —Ends the need for incumbents in Congress to spend 30% of their workday raising money
      —Ends the need for “pay to play” in the House of Representatives, where members desiring a choice committee or Party assignment have to pay from $80,000 to $25,000,000, depending on the position
      —Focuses on the chokepoint of the campaign funding cycle, not on a welter of funding sources and limits
      —Provides near-instantaneous detection of violations
      —Provides fast-track adjudication
      —Rewards citizens for paying attention to political campaigns
      —Involves virtually no government funding
      — Can be instituted race by race

      It’s just that nobody really wants to talk about it.

    • Shame on you, Brian for not giving credit to the Republicans who do not vote to kill babies right up to the time of birth or for act 22. Those of us who do not vote for open boarders, that allows killer drugs into our country or CRT that ruins our schools and indoctrinates our kids into becoming supporters of Marxism. As far as I can see non of you give a damn about our great country and it God given freedom our fore-fathers faught and died for. It is our freedom that made our country great an will keep it great, if only enought of us will fight the good fight against those who are set on destroying it.

  7. If the Democrat policies, all things Progressive…are so GREAT for Vermonters…then how come there aren’t more well -to- do $ populace here of Democrats and Progressives (save the handful of rich trust funders and inherited wealth, that also funds VT Digger) ? humm? How come a huge majority of all money donated to Democrats and Progressives – is ALWAYS from OUT OF STATE rich progressives or Unions?

    And how typical… follow the money. Now that VT Progs & Dems seemingly got caught with tainted money from a criminal enterprise….they REFUSE to give it back? That explains it all. They have NO honor, ZERO integrity, and absolutely NO morals to guide them…….their attitude is — “It’s mine now, Let them eat cake.”

  8. They ALL need to return the money to the investors and not make donations to charitable organizations to allow them to claim it on the tax returns. Being the crooked individuals that they are, they’ll keep the money and to hell with the investor’s losses.

  9. This is a wonderful video…….they are going after 388 congressman and senators for violating their oath of office to investigate why they did not investigate the elections in 2020…

    going to the supreme court…they are taking the case.

    Scum bags of both parties take notice. From their lips to God’s ears.

    Jesus is King. 🙂

    this is a most interesting hour long video…..oh my too tasty….


      While there has been much public attention on the U.S. Supreme Court’s present consideration of the “independent state legislature” theory in Moore v. Harper involving North Carolina’s redistricting, that case would not immediately upend the 2020 Presidential Election. In contrast, a little-known case that appeared recently on the Court docket could do just that. The case of Brunson v. Adams, not even reported in the mainstream media, was filed pro se by ordinary American citizens – four brothers from Utah — seeking the removal of President Biden and Vice President Harris, along with 291 U.S. Representatives and 94 U.S. Senators who voted to certify the Electors to the Electoral College on January 6, 2021 without first investigating serious allegations of election fraud in half a dozen states and foreign election interference and breach of national security in the 2020 Presidential Election. The outcome of such relief would presumably be to restore Donald Trump to the presidency.

      The important national security interests implicated in this case allowed the Brunsons to bypass an appeal that was frozen at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and get the case to the Supreme Court which has now scheduled a hearing for January 6, 2023. The Brunson Petition for a Writ of Certiorari would require the votes of only four Justices to move the case forward.

      It seems astounding that the Court would wade into such waters two years to the day after the Congressional vote to install Joe Biden as President. But these are not normal times. Democrats may well push legislation in this month’s lame duck session of Congress to impose term limits and a mandatory retirement age for Justices, and thereby open the door to packing the Court. Such a course would seem to be clear violations of Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution which provides that Justices “shall hold their Offices during good Behavior.” In addition to such institutional threats to the Supreme Court, several Justices and their families have been living under constant threats to their personal security since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

      Perhaps these institutional and security threats have provided powerful incentives for the Court to put Brunson v. Adams on its dockets as a shield to deter any efforts by the lame duck Congress to infringe on the Court’s independence. Or perhaps conservatives on the Court are serious about using the Brunson case as a sword to remove public officials who they believe have violated their constitutional Oaths of office by rubber-stamping Electors on Jan. 6th without first conducting any investigation of serious allegations of election fraud and foreign election interference.

      Moreover, recent weeks have brought a cascade of news suggesting the likelihood of an impending constitutional crisis that could be difficult to resolve without the Court’s intervention. It is now clear that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was colluding with social media giants Twitter and Facebook to censor news of Hunter Biden’s laptop in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election – a most egregious First Amendment violation intended to rig the election outcome and perhaps to install an unaccountable and criminal puppet government. Meanwhile, the January 6th committee may soon send a criminal referral to the Justice Department to arrest President Trump even though his reinstated tweets are a reminder that he was not calling for insurrection but for peaceful protest on January 6th. More recently, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) was reportedly working with Big Tech to censor election critics.

      Supreme Court Justices may well see these approaching storm clouds and conclude that the Court’s intervention is necessary to prevent larger civil unrest resulting from constitutional violations that are undermining public trust and confidence in the outcomes of both the 2020 and 2022 elections. When criminals break the law — state and federal statutes — to rig an election, we are dependent on prosecutions by law enforcement agencies that have sadly become politicized and complicit. When they break the Constitution — the supreme law of the land — to rig an election, the only recourse may be the Supreme Court or military tribunals.

      As the Brunson lawsuit argues, all of Congress was put on notice prior to its January 6th vote by more than a hundred of its own members detailing serious allegations of election frauds and calling for creation of an electoral commission to investigate the allegations.

      Moreover, the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was required to submit a report on foreign threats to the 2020 Presidential election by December 18, 2020. That deadline was set by executive order and by Congress itself. When December 18th came and went without ODNI submitting its report, Congress should have started asking questions and investigating. In fact, DNI John Ratcliffe announced on that day that the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies he was overseeing had found evidence of foreign election interference but were split as to its significance and whether such breach of national security was sufficient to overturn the outcome of the election. And yet there was no action whatsoever by Congress, no inquiry and no investigation. Instead, Congress approved the possibly fraudulent election results on January 6th without asking any questions of the DNI and the Intelligence Community.

      When the results of the 1876 presidential election were in doubt, Congress created a special Electoral Commission made up of five House members, five Senators, and five Supreme Court Justices to investigate. In contrast, in early 2021 Congress had nearly two weeks to investigate before the January 20th date of the Presidential Inauguration. Had Congress waited even just one more day to January 7th, they would have received the long-awaited ODNI report reflecting a split in the Intelligence Community and the DNI’s own conclusion that the People’s Republic of China had interfered to influence the outcome of the presidential election. As Dr. Barry A. Zulauf, the Analytic Ombudsman for the Intelligence Community, concluded at the time, the Intelligence Community shamefully delayed their findings until after the January 6th Electoral College certification by Congress because of their political disagreements with the Trump administration. This paints a picture of collusion and conspiracy involving members of Congress and U.S. intelligence agencies to coverup evidence of foreign election interference and constituting the crime of High Treason.

      The Brunson lawsuit does not claim the election was stolen, merely that a large majority of Congress, by failing to investigate such serious allegations of election rigging and breaches of national security, violated their Oaths to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic – an Oath also taken by Supreme Court Justices and members of the U.S. military.

      The fact that the Brunson case has made it to the Court’s docket suggests profound concerns about a lawless January 6th Congressional committee, politicized federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and major constitutional violations intended to overthrow an elected government by manipulating the outcome of the presidential election.

    • Indeed Neil Your video is so right on that I will ask for it to be posted in There you will discover both Dr. Douglas Frank and Col. Shawn Smith will be featured speakers on Jan. 14th at the CELEBRATE AMERICA EVENT where they will dive deeply into VT election results that has been turning our great state into a deep blue and show us how we can put a stop to it.
      Hope to see you at the event along with liberal republicans who have been attempting to woo the democrats by being nice to them. So far, it hasn’t worked. Like many of us, they too just want to address the thuth.

  10. SFB’s contributions were penny ante in the larger scheme of things. I believe I’ve pointed out before that “pay to play” in the House means the Reps who fund-raise the best get all their party’s plum jobs. Kevin McCarthy is going to have to pony up $25,800,000, same as Nancy Pelosi did each time she was elected Speaker– and that’s only one position. To be a member of the caucus– $125,000, plus another $75,000; to be a member of a powerful committee, $80,000 and up. To be a chair of one, hundreds of thousands. To be a Party Whip, $800,000. The fee schedule is the same for Republicans and Democrats.

    This of course puts those pols into the pocket of people like SBF– and neither Reps nor Dems want to address it.

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