Just over four months before the midterm elections, Elon Musk is already taking up a lot of space.
He speaks on all topics, cold and hot.
But he managed to do what none of his peers had dared recently: get involved in politics. Failing to stand for election himself, Musk has decided to become a kingmaker.
The richest man in the world, with a fortune on June 16 estimated at $203 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, now publicly displays his support for candidates running for election.
For example, he announced to his 98.4 million followers on Twitter that he supported fellow billionaire Rick Caruso in the race for mayor of Los Angeles.
Musk has also brought his voice to a candidate for a local election in Texas, where he has lived since 2021.
The whimsical and charismatic chief executive of the manufacturer of premium electric vehicles has above all announced his favored candidate for the presidential election of 2024.
Musk Would Vote DeSantis for President
He said he would vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis if he ran. While Musk has indicated he would reinstate the Twitter account of former President Donald Trump if he completes the microblogging website’s pending $44 billion acquisition, Musk finds the billionaire real estate developer too divisive as a presidential candidate.
Facing criticism from Democrats after he said he would vote Republican in November, Musk predicted a “massive” Republican and conservative wave in the midterm elections.
The billionaire, who says he’s gradually evolved on the political continuum from Democrat to moderate Republican, has decided to weigh in the next elections.
And when you’re as wealthy as Musk, one of the most obvious ways is to put up your money.
Musk Is Going to Launch a Super PAC
The 50-year-old Musk understands this well: He is going to set up a political action committee, or PAC, to financially support “moderate” candidates.
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“I’m thinking of creating a “Super Moderate Super PAC” that supports candidates with centrist views from all parties, ” Musk posted on Twitter on June 15.
The serial entrepreneur — he founded the rocket company SpaceX and is involved in infrastructure company Boring Co. and medical-technology provider Neuralink — did not give further details.
We don’t know, for example, when he will establish this PAC, what his criteria for selecting candidates to support are, how he defines “moderate” among candidates, and when the PAC start operating.
“Do you see yourself becoming more and more outspoken about who you are going to support ?” asked Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, an account for Tesla fans.
“What gave it away? Haha” Musk replied with a laugh, preferring to maintain the mystery.
PACs and the Law
A PAC in the U.S. designates a private organization whose purpose is to help or hinder elected officials, as well as to encourage or to dissuade the adoption of certain laws.
Since a 2010 judgment of the U.S. Supreme Court — Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission — donation limits have been abolished for political action committees that are theoretically independent of political parties and candidates. These are the Super PACs.
Super PACs have reinforced the influence of the wealthiest on electoral campaigns and politics. They are widely criticized because they make it possible to finance political and/or smear campaigns on a very large scale with almost unlimited funds.
By law, a donor can donate up to $2,500 to a candidate in primaries and another $2,500 in elections. But super PACs are not subject to the same rules. They can receive millions of dollars in donations, launch direct attacks and encourage voters to vote for their favorites.
Donors range from billionaires to corporations and interest groups, which have a very clear goal of directly influencing the vote.
The announcement unsurprisingly provoked sharp exchanges on Twitter. Some users, like this one, however, asked Musk to found a third political party that would be neither Democratic nor Republican.
“Skip the PAC and just make a whole 3rd party. Call it Extra Medium,” the user said.