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California Congressional candidate goes after fellow Democrat with anti-Bitcoin attack ad

A political hopeful recently aired an anti-Bitcoin attack ad against a rival competing for the Democratic nomination in the upcoming Congressional race for California’s 45th district. The ad, ran by Dave Min, targets Brian Forde’s donors, calling them “Bitcoin speculators that oppose cracking down on drug deals and human trafficking.”

File this under: Entertainment for people who hate Democrats.

A screenshot from the ad.

Min, A former SEC attorney, who was also an aide for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, ran the ad which – among others – targeted Forde, an Obama-era White House cryptocurrency guru and former head of MIT’s cryptocurrency initiative.

Forde may very well be the first — or at least one of the earliest — American politicians to come out of the crypto-closet and openly accept donations in the form of cryptocurrency. Which makes Min one of the fist politicians to run anti-Bitcoin ads against an opponent.

We contacted Forde, who told us:

We’ve raised more than $130,000 at crypto.forde.com in response to his sensationalist and wildly inaccurate attacks on me, my supporters, and a technology he clearly does not understand. We’ll use this support to promote our positive message to elect a representative who believes in science, technology, and evidence-based policymaking.

As far as we can tell, there’s absolutely no truth to the allegation that one of Forde’s donors said anything remotely close to the language in the attack ad. A report from Axios indicates that Min’s campaign manager feels the language is warranted because Forde accepted donations from a board member of The Bitcoin Foundation, Brock Pierce:

Pierce, while extremely controversial, has never publicly said he opposes “cracking down on drug deals and human trafficking” — but Min’s campaign apparently believes the statement is fair because Bitcoin Foundation opposes certain regulations that could, in theory, make such things more difficult.

Forde responded to the attack in a Facebook post, saying he’d “rather fight for our progressive values than with fellow Democrats, and stay united in our goal of defeating Rep. Mimi Walters and her wholescale endorsement of the dangerous and irrational Trump agenda.”

We also reached out to Min, but didn’t immediately receive a response.

No matter what your politics are, the tired rhetoric that only criminals use Bitcoin has become borderline bigotry. Criminals use Bitcoin, but not quite as much as they use cash — according to experts. Criminals also use hammers, cars, and AR-15s, but those items don’t seem to be associated with them in the same way cryptocurrency is.

It stands to reason, for Min, that being branded a Luddite in a California Congressional district might hurt his campaign’s chances of success.

As for Forde, the attack ad may have actually helped his campaign. Cryptocurrency blogger Kiki Shirr, of dyorffs.org, yesterday attended an event celebrating his recent fundraising success.

She told TNW:

The overall feeling of the night was that none of the honest business innovators in the room wanted to see a Congressperson take office who thought they were no more than human traffickers and drug dealers–and bitcoin and ether donations poured into the Forde wallet as a result.

Published May 22, 2018 — 19:12 UTC