Pando

Silicon Valley's 'best angel investor' declares "Ted Cruz is one of us." How exactly?

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on February 10, 2016

From The Politics Desk

Earlier this week, Scott Banister jointly accepted (with his wife, Cyan) the Crunchie award for “best angel investor”.

There’s no denying Banister is an extraordinarily smart investor, having made early bets on companies like Paypal, Zappos and Uber. He’s also a successful entrepreneur in his own right, having sold IronPort to Cisco for $830m back in 2007.  

When it comes to politics, however, Banister’s judgment isn’t looking quite as sound. A few days ago, Bannister tweeted this:

Or as CNN reported it:

Ted Cruz tries to seize Rand Paul's libertarian mantle

One major Republican megadonor, who had been one of the biggest backers of pro-Paul super PACs, Silicon Valley titan Scott Banister, pledged on Wednesday to Cruz as well -- though he said he has not yet decided to give to a Cruz super PAC.

"I've interviewed Ted, and while we don't agree on every issue, I believe he's one of us," Banister said in an email to CNN, "and libertarians will discover that."

The endorsement was certainly a big deal for Cruz, and not just because Banister had previously donated $3m to a super PAC supporting Rand Paul.

In fact, Banister has become a kind of pied piper for wealthy Valley libertarians looking to back a candidate who is “pro constitution”  (which just so happens to usually mean anti-tax). The beeping sound you hear is the Valley’s brightest and wealthiest backing their dumper trucks full of bitcoin onto Cruz’s lawn.

Unfortunately, as I’ve written before, Valley donors have been left red-faced after rushing to fund a libertarian candidate without doing even basic research into where the money was going. Hopefully, this time around, tech's best and brightest will apply the level of due diligence to their political donations as they do to their investments in the latest sharing economy startup.

To help them out, I’ve gathered together some of Cruz’s stated policy positions, as outlined on Google’s “Issues” search tool, his own website, and sources including PBS and the Washington Post.

Check out the following and see if you can fathom which policy or policies prompted Banister to assure his Silicon Valley friends that Cruz is -- quote -- “one of us…”

Cruz on women’s rights:

According to PBS, Cruz is anti- women’s right to choose, and would defund planned parenthood. According to OnTheIssues, he also wants to allow companies to refuse to provide birth control via their health plans. During a Primary debate, Cruz said “We shouldn't send $500 million of taxpayer money to fund an ongoing criminal enterprise.” Cruz also said:

If I'm elected president, let me tell you about my first day in office. The first thing I intend to do is to rescind every illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by Barack Obama. The next thing I intend to do is instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into [the now discredited anti- Planned Parenthood videos] and to prosecute Planned Parenthood for any criminal violations.

Cruz on Immigration:

Cruz said: “Border security is national security. We need to stop Obama’s amnesty and enforce the rule of law. And we need to reform legal immigration to protect American workers.”

Cruz on LGBT rights:

Cruz opposes civil unions and gay marriage. “[T]here is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage”

Cruz on Net Neutrality:

According to PBS, ‘The Texas senator strongly opposes “net neutrality,” which would block Internet providers from charging different rates or having different policies for different pieces of Internet content.’

Cruz on guns:

Cruz says: “From successfully protecting law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights at the Supreme Court, to defeating legislation that sought to take away this right, I have always championed the right to keep and bear arms.”

Cruz on foreign policy:

Says: “As Commander-in-Chief, I would [j]udge each challenge through the simple test of what is best for America, because what is best for America is best for the world.”

Cruz on healthcare:

“If I am elected President, I will repeal Obamacare."

Cruz on  energy:

“I will embrace an energy policy that utilizes the bountiful resources in this land - from oil to natural gas to ethanol - producing abundant and affordable gas and electricity resources. We are on the verge of an American energy renaissance, and I will lift the regulations that are prohibiting exploration, the Keystone pipeline, and job creation.”

Cruz on  the minimum wage:

According to the Washington Post, Cruz is opposed to a minimum wage. “I think the minimum wage consistently hurts the most vulnerable.” 

. . .

So, Cruz is anti- net neutrality, anti women, anti gay, anti minimum wage and affordable healthcare, anti immigration, but pro guns, oil and bombing the shit out of foreigners. Which of those policies, exactly, makes Silicon Valley libertarians believe Ted Cruz is “one of us”?

Oh! I almost forgot!

Cruz on tax:

Cruz’s Simple Flat Tax abolishes the IRS... For businesses, the corporate income tax will be eliminated. It will be replaced by a simple Business Flat Tax at a single 16 percent rate. The current payroll tax system will be abolished…. The Death Tax will be eliminated… Under the Simple Flat Tax, the Internet remains free from taxes.

Freedom!