How Sam Bankman-Fried's Top Advisers Shaped State And Local Politics

Cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried’s spending in federal elections has candidates and party committees scrambling to either return the money, contribute it to charity, or

set it aside for potential victims of Bankman-Fried’s alleged fraud, after Bankman-Fried was arrested in December and charged with a stunning array of financial crimes. But

Bankman-Fried’s influence also extended into state and local elections, albeit to a much more modest degree. Sam’s younger brother Gabriel Bankman-Fried, head of Guarding

Against Pandemics, a political nonprofit that Sam bankrolled; Michael Sadowsky, head of Protect Our Future, Sam Bankman-Fried’s federal super PAC; and Sean McElwee, who advised

Protect Our Future, collectively contributed more than $221,000 to several Democratic state and local political campaigns and Democratic Party organs. Of that total, Sadowsky gave

more than $150,000, Gabriel Bankman-Fried gave more than $54,000, and McElwee gave more than $15,000. Guarding Against Pandemics and its de facto federal campaign spending

arm, Protect Our Future, had the stated policy goal of securing more federal funding to prevent, and prepare for, pandemics.  In the course of funding these organizations,

however, Sam Bankman-Fried was also pursuing a cryptocurrency policy agenda that would enable his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, to gain greater access to the U.S. market.

Achieving this cryptocurrency agenda mainly required the cooperation of Congress and the White House.  Bankman-Fried also had a stake in blocking efforts to regulate

cryptocurrencies at the state level, such as by banning or restricting cryptocurrencies’ energy-intensive “proof of work” mining.