“A man is known by the company he keeps,” wrote Aesop. So’s a woman.
In their pursuit of power, Tina Kotek and the Democratic Party of Oregon chose to keep company with Nishad Singh, the 27-year-old wunderkind director of engineering at FTX, the disgraced and now bankrupt crypto company.
They welcomed Singh’s 2022 $500,000 contribution to the party’s campaign coffers.
But the wheels of justice have turned since Singh made the contribution.
On Feb. 28, Singh pleaded guilty to six criminal counts, including conspiring to commit securities and commodities fraud, during a hearing in federal court in Manhattan.
He also pleaded guilty to defrauding the U.S. in a campaign-finance scheme in which he made illegal donations to political-action committees and candidates using funds from disgraced cyypto manager Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto hedge fund Alameda Research. Singh has also allegedly taken part in a straw donor scheme to funnel money to left-leaning candidates and causes Bankman-Fried didn’t want connected to his own name, according to the Wall Street Journal.
John Ray III, the new boss of the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, wants the $500,000 back.
I asked the party whether it intended to do so, but got no response.
Campaign finance records with the Oregon Secretary of State show the Democratic Party of Oregon has been merrily spending money, $166,424.05 so far in 2023, but none of it has been a refund to FTX. That has left the party’s account with just $37,128.95, down substantially from the $691,532 it had on hand as of Nov. 28, 2022.
Frankly, it looks like the party is deliberately trying to avoid building a balance sufficient to repay Singh’s donation. It may also be hoping time will diminish the public pressure to return Singh’s donation.
Oregonians shouldn’t let Kotek and the Democratic Party of Oregon off the hook. It’s time for them to pay the piper.