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Could Control Of The U.S. Senate Be Up-Ended By A Childish Lovers' Spat Over

Alex Isenstadt and Issac Stanley-Becker are two of the savviest of the DC reporters and they broke some news yesterday about Nazi billionaire Peter Thiel. But both missed a key— very much hidden part of the story: Thiel’s over-the-top hatred for Santa Clara water board member Gary Kremen on whose defeat he’s willing to spend any amount of money, no matter what it costs. Thiel, who’s always whining that there’s not enough sex in Silicon Valley, is spending gigantically to replace Kremen as board director with one of his puppets, his former in-house lawyer, Rebecca Eisenberg. Wha's it got to do with Thiel's out-sized interest in sex? Plenty. Let’s start there.

Kremen, who pretty much invented commercialized on-line dating, founded in 1995, also owned, which several other people, also claimed the rights to. The courts validated Kremen’s claims in a very big way— awarding Kremen $65 million from Thiel’s parnter, first at Clarium Capital and then co-founder and creator of Palantir, Stephen Cohen— already a convicted fraudster— who promptly off-shored his assets (to Lithuania, Liechtenstein and the Isle of Man) and fled to Mexico. Kremen was awarded Cohen's mansion in Rancho Santa Fe but, despite offering a reward for Cohen’s capture, never got any of the $65 million, even when Cohen was eventually deported by Mexico and imprisoned in the U.S. (although he is out of prison and his net worth is currently close to $200 million).

Thiel has been furious at Kremen ever since. Thiel, who isn’t just a Trumpist, a billionaire and a German-born, South African raised Nazi, but is also proudly gay, married to a man and the parent of adopted children (a big no-no in Trump world). He’s also heavily rumored to have once had an affair with Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters, on whose campaign Thiel lavished $15 million so far. Not counting whatever he paid Trump to endorse Masters (and his other puppet-candidate, J.D. Vance, who everyone says he did not have an affair with).

The Democratic incumbent in Arizona, former astronaut Mark Kelly, has raised close to $60 million to Masters’ $5 million. To try make up for the disparity, Thiel and Mitch McConnell have spent close to $35 million against Kelly and bolstering Masters, which isn’t that much more than the money the DSCC and its allies have put into the race. It is estimated that it would take another $30 million to win the race for Masters. Every poll has shown Masters trailing, sometimes by double digits.

Recognizing the futility of throwing good money after bad, McConnell, pulled almost $10 million out of the race and said Thiel should go fund it himself. Thiel went bonkers but then started negotiating with McConnell and offered to match whatever McConnell would put in. Eventually it became clear that McConnell was done spending in Arizona. That inspired the Alex Isenstadt story in Politico yesterday, Thiel And GOP SuperPAC Can’t Reach Agreement On Arizona Senate Spending, calling the problem a “standoff.” On Monday Thiel said he’d put in $5 million if McConnell would. McConnell turned him down yesterday. After all, why would McConnell spend money on a hostile and very extremist Trump ally who has vowed to vote against him being Senate GOP leader?

And that inspired the Issac Stanley-Becker piece in the Washington Post which indicates that Thiel will put in the $5 million anyway, which Stanley-Becker termed “a reversal.” With early voting already underway, Thiel’s late, supplemental $5 million is not enough to do much damage to Kelly, who, in any case, is sitting on $25 million for the last 3 weeks of the campaign. Besides, Thiel seems more interested in defeating Kremen now than in spending more money on a race that Masters screwed up with his own extremist yapping. Thiel has already put close to $3 million into a waterboard election C-4-- Stop The Dam Santa Clara-- and is strong-arming all his friends into putting their campaign cash into that nonsense instead of poor Masters’ disaster of a campaign.

TIP: Thiel, I was just told by a tipster close to Thiel's family, is spending such an ungodly amount of money against Kremen in the water district race because, by law, Cohen isn't allowed to contribute to political campaigns.

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