Elizabeth Warren’s Warren Democrats, Inc., spent $3,340 on Facebook ads from December 11 to December 18. Who did Warren spend most of that money on? Apparently, smearing Elon Musk.
The attack ads were part of a promotion for Warren’s proposed wealth tax. They accused Elon Musk of being a freeloader who added billions in wealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also accused him of failing to pay his “fair share” of taxes and called for reform of the tax code to ensure that billionaires like Musk can’t dodge them through accounting tricks.
Some required financial disclosures filed on behalf of Warren Democrats., Inc., can be found on the Federal Election Commission’s official website. This includes information about contributions and individuals who donated.
Some recent ads supporting Elizabeth Warren and attacking Elon Musk pleaded for a $10 donation. In typical Musk fashion, he retorted by calling Warren the freeloader:
Warren’s ads frequently accused him of “whining like a baby” about it.
According to information on Facebook, organizations supporting Elizabeth Warren spent $9,764,183 on Facebook ads between May 7, 2018, and December 17, 2021. These organizations include Warren for President ($3,396,973), an apparently separate organization called Warren for President Inc. ($4,991,695), Warren Democrats, Inc. ($360,540), the Elizabeth Warren Presidential Exploratory Committee ($219,471), and Elizabeth for MA ($781,272). An unknown party ran $14,232 in ads without a disclaimer.
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will be up for reelection in 2024. Musk had this to say about it:
Elon Musk is currently best known as the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. He previously founded X.com, an online payments company that was later sold to PayPal. He later netted $165 million from the sale of Paypal and sank that money into SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. SolarCity was later sold to Tesla.
SpaceX’s notable accomplishments include becoming the first company to create fully reusable rocket boosters. It also became the first company to launch NASA astronauts on a privately owned, reusable spacecraft. SpaceX currently owns Starlink, which is currently the fastest satellite-based Internet service in existence even when the weather gets frigid. SpaceX is currently working on developing the Starship/Super Heavy rocket and spacecraft.
Tesla is especially well-known for becoming the first company to exclusively sell viable electric vehicles that, so far, have only been subject to occasional recalls to fix manufacturing defects. Electric vehicle predecessors included General Motors’ EV1, Honda EV-Plus, the Ford TH!NK, Toyota RAV4 EV, Nissan Altra, Chevrolet S10 Electric and Chrysler Epic. Most of these models were recalled and, in cases like the EV1, destroyed or donated to museums. With the explosively growing success of Tesla vehicles, however, competing auto manufacturers are taking electric vehicles more seriously.
With the acquisition of SolarCity, which is apparently controversial with Tesla shareholders, Tesla added solar power products like the solar roof to its product lineup.
Is Elizabeth Warren right about Elon Musk, and is it worth spending money on Facebook ads on attacking him? Could donors have made better use of their money? Well, here’s some things that you could do instead of donating $10 to a politician:
- Donate five pounds of rice to a food bank
- Pick up a cheap gift for that office white elephant gift exchange
- Replace that charging cord you could swear you didn’t lose while traveling for the holidays
- Enter to win one of the attractive prizes on Omaze (and, yes, make a donation to charity)
Not that I’m gonna tell you what to do. It depends on whether you’re comfortable with Elizabeth Warren giving Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg money to spread attack ads against someone who isn’t even running against her for public office.