Pro-crypto Super PAC targets Rep. Katie Porter in California Senate race

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The Fairshake political action committee (PAC), a Super PAC backed by crypto firms including Ripple and Coinbase, has released ads targeting United States Senate candidate Katie Porter.

According to a Feb. 13 X post from AdImpact Politics, Fairshake spent $2.9 million as part of an ad campaign attacking Porter, running for one of California’s two seats in the U.S. Senate in 2024. The Super PAC ad spot claimed Rep. Porter took campaign contributions from “big pharma, big oil, and the big bank executives.”

Porter, currently serving as a U.S. House of Representatives member for California’s 47th Congressional District, is running for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Dianne Feinstein, who died in September 2023. California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Laphonza Butler to fill Feinstein’s seat until the end of her original term in January 2025.

Representative Porter was one of many members of the U.S. Congress who signed an October 2022 letter with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren requesting information from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas on the energy usage and potential environmental impact of crypto miners. She also signed a similar letter requesting information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department in February 2023.

It’s unclear why the Super PAC came out of the gate to target Representative Porter. According to data from the government transparency group Open Secrets, Fairshake had raised more than $85 million and spent roughly $19 million as of Dec. 31. Cointelegraph reached out to Fairshake for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

In a Feb. 13 X post, Representative Porter said:

“Californians aren’t fooled: Shadowy crypto billionaires don’t want a strong voice for consumers in the Senate. They fear people who call out corporate greed, so they’re spending millions on dishonest dark-money ads against me.”

Related: Crypto voters could provide ‘key swing’ in 2024 US elections: CCI poll

The 2024 election for the U.S. Senate seat in California is scheduled to take place on Nov. 5, with a special primary on March 5. Representative Porter will be in competition with other Democratic candidates including Representative Adam Schiff. According to data from Ballotopedia, Porter and Schiff had raised roughly $25 million and $27 million for their respective campaigns as of Dec. 31.

The 2024 election in the U.S. is roughly nine months away, with all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 33 seats in the Senate, and the Presidency up for grabs. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase speculated that crypto-focused voters in California would play a “meaningful role” in the 2024 elections, with roughly 8.2 million people in the state holding digital assets.

Cointelegraph reached out to Representative Porter’s campaign but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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