Saturday, April 16, 2022

Strange story about a "self-described billionaire" who is exploiting election rules to run advertisements targeting Elon Musk

Politico on a man who may or may not be seriously running for senator against the Democratic party's wishes:

a self-described billionaire from Santa Barbara, has in recent days reserved nearly $650,000 in TV airtime to run in the state, according to data from ad-tracking services obtained by POLITICO. Separately, three people familiar with [the executive]’s plans ... told POLITICO that it’s just the start of a barrage of ads from [the executive] targeting Musk and Tesla over its self-driving technology. [The executive's company] makes competing software to Tesla’s and [the executive] has publicly derided Musk’s electric vehicles as poor performing and dangerous


Running for office entitles him to the lowest available ad rate in the run-up to the election — a perk that could save him considerable money depending on the ultimate spend. But a bigger advantage, two people familiar with his plans said, is the higher degree of first amendment protection a political run could give him for his loaded claims against Tesla.