Former Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s biggest political donor was recently revealed to also have given a substantial amount in donations to a major political ally of President Donald Trump.
According to Shane Goldmacher, a national political reporter for The New York Times, recent filings show that Warren’s “Persist” Super PAC was almost entirely funded by Silicon Valley mega-donor Karla Jurvetson. In total, Jurvetson donated a mammoth $14.6 million to support Warren’s campaign.
NEWS: Elizabeth Warren super PAC funded almost ENTIRELY but one mega-donor: Karla Jurvetson
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) March 21, 2020
However, while Jurvetson mainly supported Democratic candidates such as Warren, she also made another large contribution — to the tune of $2.7 million — to the 2018 Senate run of former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio, an outspoken Trump supporter, has been one of the most vilified figures on the left due to his tough stance on immigration. He has been the subject of multiple civil rights lawsuits after being accused of racial profiling and abuse of power. Arpaio also earned a contempt of court conviction — though he was later pardoned by Trump.
Moreover, Warren had previously spoken harshly about Arpaio, even releasing a statement on her website in 2017 after news of his pardon.
“Speaking of making America less safe, President Trump and Sheriff Joe Arpaio are two of a kind: both believe the law doesn’t apply to them and have used their office to create a platform for racism and bigotry. No one – not Trump and not Arpaio – is above the law,” the statement read.
The Massachusetts senator had already taken heat earlier this year for her decision to backtrack from her pledge to disavow all Super PACs after her polling numbers began to fall during the primary season. At the time, she defended herself by claiming that all candidates received money from PACs.
“If all the candidates want to get rid of super PACs, count me in, I’ll lead the charge,” she told reporters shortly after the New Hampshire primary (via Time).
“But that’s how it has to be,” she added.
However, the newfound link between big donor money, Warren, and Arpaio has amplified the former law professor’s critics, and several tweets referencing Warren and Arpaio ended up going viral on Twitter.
The person who funded Elizabeth Warren's super PAC to the tune of $14.5 million also maxed-out to Joe Arpaio's 2018 Senate campaign. Wonder why Liz was so terrible on the issue of mass incarceration? https://t.co/1ci6lu3qCG
— gato fumador ❼ (@QueenInYeIIow) March 21, 2020
holy smokes Warren's dark money millionaire donor ALSO maxed out Joe Arpaio's campaign
no wonder she didn't want people to know about it until after she'd quit
— Eric Williams (@Geoliminal) March 21, 2020
Warren’s supporters have pointed out that Jurvetson’s contributions to Arpaio were likely made in the hopes that his campaign would hurt Republican rival Martha McSally, thus strengthening Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema’s chances. Sinema ended up winning the Arizona seat.
However, other progressives have rejected the argument.
“If anyone justifies giving money in any way you Joe Arpaio you’ve proved yourself to be the lowest scum of the earth,” wrote a user on Twitter.
Though Warren has not shied away from the public since ending her run — even conducting a “campaign post-mortem” on SNL — she has not yet released any comment on Jurvetson or Arpaio.