(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 37

(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 37

Good morning everyone,

Welcome back to another edition of the (A)Political Newsletter, Volume 37. This week we saw a major campaign fundraiser for President Biden, raising approximately $25 million. Former President Trump also saw success with his social media company, Truth Social, going public. Finally, third party candidate Robert F. Kennedy has announced his running mate for an independent bid for the White House.

In today’s edition:

  • Stock Watcher

  • Biden, Obama, Clinton, hold fundraiser in New York

  • Truth Social parent goes public, raising Trump billions

  • RFK Jr. announces Nicole Shanahan as VP pick


  • This seems notable. Representative Kathy Kastor just sold stock in Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

    • This is her first stock sale in almost 4 years.

    • Berkshire's largest holding is Apple.

  • Senator Chris Van Hollen has cosponsored the ETHICS Act.

    • This bill would ban congressional stock trading.

    • We have not seen Senator Van Hollen buy any stock while in office. We estimate that he has a net worth of ~$150K.

  • BREAKING: Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

  • NEW: We estimate that 17 members of Congress have already made a million dollars from stocks in 2024.

    • Nancy Pelosi leads the pack with an estimated profit of $9.5M.

  • Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has sold ~$16.2M of stock in his own company since the IPO last week.

    • COO Jennifer Wong has sold $16.6M.

    • CTO Christopher Slowe has sold $5.8M. CFO Andrew Vollero has sold $2.3M.

  • Representative Brian Mast just disclosed two small purchases of AT&T stock.

    • These were his first stock purchases in almost 3 years.

    • Mast sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

  • Representative Josh Gottheimer told us that he would set up a blind trust in 2022.

    • We haven't seen him follow through. We have seen him trade ~$265M of stock and options.

    • We've called him out for trades in companies that he directly oversees.

Biden, Obama, Clinton, hold Fundraiser in New York

(Photo - Al Drago/NYT)

March 28, 2024 - President Biden and former Presidents Obama and Clinton held a New York fundraiser for Biden’s re-election campaign. The fundraiser both raised $25 million and showed the financial gulf between his presidential campaign and former President Trump’s. The event, held at Radio Music City Hall, had both grassroots support and large-dollar funding. First Lady Jill Biden was the emcee of the event and had singers such as Queen Latifah join, too. The financial difference in funding between Trump’s and Biden’s presidential campaigns included $97.5 million versus $44.8 million.

Trump’s presidential re-election has to run a leaner but meaner election campaign. For example, there are fewer large campaign rallies, which are famous for Donald Trump. There are much fewer staffers in the RNC than in the DNC. However, the polling shows Trump as still having a competitive edge. Trump will have to keep that lead and continue to punish Biden for his expressed weaknesses, such as his age and immigration. 

Truth Social Parent Company Goes Public, Raising Trump Billions

(Photo - David Becker/Getty Images; Chelsea Jia Feng/BI)

March 27, 2024 - Former President Trump’s new social media business, Trump Media and Technology Group, has officially entered the stock market, rising considerably from the moment of its IPO. His legions of supporters flooded the stock, and it rose considerably before settling around $8 billion. This valuation is similar to those of other tech companies, like Lyft and Etsy. However, investors are much more cautious, noting how little money the company makes and how much more it expends.

In doing this, Trump has increased his net worth by approximately $4 billion, according to Bloomberg. Under the ticker DJT, the company will continue trading. The company has been faced with a myriad of legal difficulties. Its former founders are suing the company for alleged dilution of shares by Trump. Other legal cases included alleged involvement in funding by Russian billionaire Anton Postolnikov. Also, the company has allegedly had difficulties recruiting coders.

RFK Jr. Announces Nicole Shanahan as VP Pick

(Photo - Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

March 26, 2024 - Indepedent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., has picked Silicon Valley attorney and former wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin as his running mate. Nicole Shanahan has little political experience but has good connections and deep pockets. Shanahan has been a long-time backer of RFK Jr.’s campaign, being the primary funder of his Super Bowl advertisement. Shanahan reportedly donated $4 million to produce the video and air it on such a coveted advertisement spot. She also backed Democrats before, such as by giving $25,000 to President Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Shanahan’s effect on the campaign so far is unknown. She may be effective in garnering women’s votes and could also provide a fundraising network from Silicon Valley to RFK Jr.’s campaign. However, the biggest impact is that with a Vice President on the ticket, he is able to be put on the ballot in twenty more states, expanding his reach. Both President Biden and former President Trump are preparing to combat his noteworthy campaign. Trump verbally attacked him, and President Biden has been hiring staffers to collect opposition research in order to stymie RFK Jr.’s prospects. For now, it seems a third party may yet again have a strong chance of disrupting the presidential election.

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