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- The former VP held a fundraiser with John Morgan, a Florida lawyer who recently donated $75,000 to the Florida Republican Party—which is currently implementing a de-facto poll tax to restrict the voting rights of ex-felons who recently had their rights restored.
- A Fundraiser for Biden in Silicon Valley is being organized by Steve Westly, a former California state official who tried to help a disgraced Silicon Valley mogul—who punched and kicked his girlfriend 117 times in 30 minutes—avoid justice.
At a recent fundraiser Joe Biden held in California with Hollywood and tech heavyweights like Dreamworks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Joe Biden told the crowd: “I don’t want to hear anybody saying we’re doing things in secret, O.K.? I’m proud to say publicly anything I have, and I’m proud to stand with you publicly.”
If Biden’s proud to stand publicly with his donors, then his recent big-dollar financial support indicates the former Vice President sees no issue with raising money from those who’ve defected from the Democratic party because of the likes of Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—and given heavily to the Florida Republican party that’s actively restricting former felons’ recently-restored voting rights. Then there’s the former California State Controller who supported a disgraced Silicon Valley executive guilty of domestic violence.
Biden recently held a fundraiser at the home of Orlando mega-attorney and longtime political fundraiser John Morgan. Morgan is not far removed from defecting from the Democratic Party over what he perceived to be the terrible implications of the rise of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
In March, Morgan tweeted on why it was the Democratic Party who “left” him.
I did not leave the Democratic Party. @TheDemocrats left me.
A 29 year old bartender did this. https://t.co/J1hE5fALJI
— John Morgan (@JohnMorganESQ) March 19, 2019
Morgan didn’t stop at claiming the Democratic Party was lost because of the rise of an everyday woman of color championing Medicare For All, a Green New Deal, and workers’ rights. He recently gave $75,000 to the Florida Republican Party—the same party currently implementing a modern-day poll tax to try and stop 1.4 million ex-felons, who recently had their voting rights restored thanks to a historic ballot measure victory, from voting.
Morgan’s donations to the FL GOP didn’t faze Biden, who Morgan endorsed as a “man of character” at the fundraiser held in his home.
Biden’s fundraising with Morgan further exemplifies his campaign’s political calculus that the progressive insurgency coming from the Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party is minimal and irrelevant to him securing the Democratic nomination—and that raising money from Republican sources won’t affect his standing with Democratic voters. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made that same calculation in 2016, openly courting Jeb Bush’s donors while picking the moderate-to-conservative Democrat Tim Kaine as her running mate—despite progressive alternatives that may have boosted her standing among Bernie Sanders’ 13 million primary voters.
Clinton’s financial inroads to the GOP and pick of Tim Kaine helped her raise enough cash to outspend then-candidate Trump by a 2 to 1 margin: and the nation still ended up with President Trump.
Biden will soon embark on a West Coast Silicon Valley tour to cash in on a tech world that was fiercely loyal and generous financially to President Obama and Clinton. One Silicon Valley techie organizing fundraisers for Biden is Steve Westly, the founder of tech investment firm The Westly Group and former California State Controller. Westly made a failed-run for California Governor in 2006 and was toying with running for Governor again in 2018 before deciding against it. In 2016, he was forced to apologize for his role in trying to sweep under the rug his Silicon-Valley-mogul business associate’s brutal domestic abuse of his girlfriend.
Westly’s on the board of digital advertising company RadiumOne, founded by Gurbaksh Chahal, a digital start-up mini-legend in Silicon Valley. Chahal was shown on video punching and kicking his girlfriend 117 times in 30 minutes while also smothering her with a pillow for 20 seconds, according to The Daily Beast. The Beast further reported:
“She stated she was unable to breathe,” San Francisco Police Officer Anh Nguyen testified at the preliminary hearing against Chahal, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. “She stated that he said, ‘I’m going to kill you’ four times. She stated she was in fear for her life.”
Chahal, who Men’s Health once dubbed one of the earth’s “richest and fittest guys,” got support from Westly, who The Wall Street Journal reported suggested in a 2013 email to Chahal that he should ask former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to try and leverage his relationship with District Attorney George Gascon to “back him off.” Emails further showed Westly urged Chahal to “do whatever it takes” to shut down the case before the upcoming IPO for RadiumOne.
Apparently, Chahal took Westly’s advice: a later email penned from Chahal to Westly titled “Willie Brown” said that he had approached Brown and Brown wanted $1 million in the event ” he can make this go away.”
“Wow, That’s pricey, but probably worth it if he can make it happen,” Westly responded. “I suspect he will put out all the stops to get it done.”
Ultimately the horrific video of Chahal beating his girlfriend was tossed as evidence and Chahal pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors (and was fired from RadiumOne). Westly offered a mea culpa, but that didn’t satisfy women’s rights champions like Gloria Steinem, who advised Westly not to run for California Governor in 2018, citing his “unforgivable” attempt to help a domestic abuser resist justice.
This isn’t the first Biden donor who’s been involved with horrible treatment of women. As Status Coup previously reported, Biden hosted a Las Vegas fundraiser in early May with Greg Brower, a former federal prosecutor that was cited by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for misconduct over sexual discrimination and retaliation against a female prosecutor and subordinate to him in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada.
Biden is currently listed as the frontrunner among Democratic presidential candidates in most polls. As Status Coup has reported—and Bernie Sanders has called out—the majority of these polls have oversampled voters over the age of 50, while undersampling those under 50, resulting in lopsided margins for Biden over second-place Bernie Sanders. In polls where age demographics of those polled are more evenly distributed, Biden is up by less than 10 percentage points.
Biden’s campaign did not respond to Status Coup’s request for comment regarding his fundraising with John Morgan or Steve Westly.
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