Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters complained about having to disclose donations under federal campaign finance law in a recent podcast interview, appearing to agree with the suggestion that it’s similar to Kristallnacht, the Nazi attack on Jews in 1938.
“If someone gives $100 to a political candidate, why are we exposing their name and their hometown and their employer to the public? That’s really crazy. Maybe if you cut a million-dollar check, people should know that,” Masters said on the May 25 episode of “The Greg Medford Show.”
“It’s for hit lists. And AOC said this, one of the first things she said after Joe Biden was inaugurated is, ‘We need to de-Trumpify this country.’ And she said, ‘We’re making lists,’” Masters added, appearing to refer to this tweet by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
In the Nov. 7, 2020, tweet, Ocasio-Cortez actually said, “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future.”
Greg Medford, the host of the podcast, responded: “Right, that’s like Kristallnacht. That’s like Kristallnacht.”
“Yeah, that’s right,” Masters said. “No, it’s absolutely wild.”
Masters’ campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
Campaign finance law does not require campaigns to disclose information about donors giving $100, as Masters suggests. The current threshold for disclosure of donor information by a candidate’s campaign committee is $200. Some smaller contributions can be disclosed if made through a conduit political action committee like ActBlue, a Democratic digital fundraising hub, or the Republican WinRed.
Masters is a 35-year-old venture capitalist who is backed by tech billionaire and Republican megadonor Peter Thiel. He claimed in the same interview that campaign finance laws need “radical reform” because they solely benefit the Democratic Party and progressive groups.
“I know that I’m a target. [President] Biden’s DOJ would love to find a foot fault on something, and all of a sudden take me out,” Masters said of campaign finance regulations.
Masters has struggled to gain momentum in the crowded GOP primary to take on Sen. Mark Kelly (D). That’s likely to change with this week’s endorsement of his campaign by former President Donald Trump.
In a statement on Thursday, Trump praised Masters for echoing his misinformation about the 2020 presidential election.
“Arizona is a State where the 2020 Election was Rigged and Stolen, and a very thorough audit proved it,” Trump said. “Blake knows that the ‘Crime of the Century’ took place, he will expose it and also, never let it happen again.”
Wealthy investors have been quick to compare policies they don’t like to Nazi Germany in the past.
“It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939,” billionaire private equity investor Stephen Schwarzman, a major GOP donor, said in 2010 after then-President Barack Obama proposed raising the tax rate on capital gains.
“I would call attention to the parallels of Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich,’” wealthy investor Tom Perkins, who passed away in 2016, said in a 2014 Wall Street Journal letter to the editor. Perkins further compared Occupy Wall Street to Kristallnacht.
Schwarzman and Perkins both apologized after making the comparison.
Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, was a pogrom directed at Jews in Germany, Austria and the German-occupied Sudetenland after a Jewish man assassinated the German ambassador to France in 1938. The pogrom, officially endorsed by the German Nazi government, caused the deaths of hundreds of Jews, including those who committed suicide after, the imprisonment in concentration camps of 30,000 Jewish men and the destruction of thousands of Jewish businesses, homes and synagogues.