back to article Trump fan Peter Thiel 'considering' CA Terminator role*

Peter Thiel, the only tech billionaire to back Donald Trump, is reported to be considering a run for governor of California. The PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor is reported by Politico to be considering the move, according to unnamed Republican Party sources. If the reports are true, Thiel would be the third …

  1. lglethal Silver badge

    How much money spent campaigning???

    Meg Whitman spent US$144m on TRYING to become the governor of California! WTF!!!

    To put that in context, (according to Wikipedia), Australian Public Funding for ALL PoliticaL Parties for the 2013 Federal Election received A$58,1million, which is about US$45million at current exchange rates. So Meg spent US$100 million more then ALL of the political parties in Australia received to conduct their campaigns, just to be come governor of one frigging state!

    If anyone needed an indicator of all that was wrong with American politics, there is a big bright red indicator right there...

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: How much money spent campaigning???

      I am going to go ahead and assume that spending $144 million to gain high office in the US leads to lucrative opportunities to recoup the money in some fashion.

      There doesn't seem to be much point bothering otherwise.

      It might also explain the wealth found at the top.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How much money spent campaigning???

        You get a lot of donations, it isn't like there's one guy giving $144 million to a campaign. Some of it is obviously self interest (making their companies more successful, lowering their taxes) but some of it is just people who crave power and may not get any personal gain out of it. Hopefully there are a few who have truly altruistic motivations, who knows?

        Unfortunately without a constitutional amendment, we won't be able to get rid of the money in US politics, since the Supreme Court has ruled political donations are a form of speech and thus protected under the First Amendment. A new amendment would require a 2/3 majority in both the house and senate, and approval by 38 of the 50 states. Since the politicians that won are generally going to be able to raise more money than any challengers, they do not have much incentive to support such an amendment.

        Given how divided the US is politically, getting both parties to agree on anything is unlikely, especially when one party controls everything as is the current situation in the US when Trump takes office. Why would they risk rocking the boat by making such a major change, unless they were sure it would hurt the democrats more than it hurt themselves? Since there's no way of knowing that, better to play it safe and stick with the status quo.

        1. Old Handle

          Re: How much money spent campaigning???

          It's probably fair to note that "one frigging state" has significantly more people than Australia.

          But yeah, way too much money being spent on this, I certainly wouldn't disagree there.

          And DougS, it's exactly like one guy giving $144M to a campaign. Except, one gal in this case, and it was her own campaign. If I'm keeping the numbers straight, she received a relatively unimpressive $16M additional from other people.

      2. RIBrsiq

        Re: How much money spent campaigning???

        >> I am going to go ahead and assume that spending $144 million to gain high office in the US leads to lucrative opportunities to recoup the money in some fashion.

        Some of it is that, yes. But not purely so.

        While close scrutiny of public officials is warranted, to catch the corrupt as well as the simply incompetent, one cannot automatically assume they must be corrupt simply because it doesn't make financial sense for them to seek office.

        Look: what good is money if you don't use it to buy the things you would like to have? I mean, why would anyone buy Ferraris, Veyrons and similar when there are perfectly serviceable Toyotas at a fraction of the price? Hell, the Toyotas are probably more reliable and thus, technically, better cars! The answer, of course, is that some people like having such vehicles for reasons other than transportation. And a subset of said group can afford them, so they do.

        Similarly, some people want to hold public office for reasons other than the paltry salary it pays. So it makes sense for them to pay a lot of money to get what they want. Now, the reasons for each individual budding politician will vary, naturally—again similar to the situation with the cars, really: some want the power, some crave the prestige and others simply like the looks of the things. I have no doubt that some of them seek office for the corruption opportunities it presents. But it's not a given.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How much money spent campaigning???

      There are roughly 23 million people in Australia. There are roughly 39 million in California. To spend the equivalent amount of money per resident Whitman would have had to spend $76 million. Whitman spend twice the amount of money per resident and didn't get anywhere. If there's a bright indicator in American politics it's that money doesn't matter that much. You have to spend a lot of money to be heard but it won't buy you the election.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: How much money spent campaigning???

      Mrs. Clinton out-spent Trump by a fairly large percentage, as I understand it. She still lost.

      Hopefully "2nd time around" Jerry Brown [cali-fornicate-you's WORST governor, EVAR], who's nickname I derive from the concept of EATING ONE'S OWN VOMIT, won't be able to CORONATE a replacement so easily. That guy ADMITTED to lying his backside off in TV interviews ONLY A FEW YEARS before he ran again, "on a technicality" I might add [he should NEVER have been allowed to run in the FIRST place].

      The current overwhelming number of LEFTISTS in state gummint leads me to believe that there is a HUGE collusion going on. I suspect that when the deportations start, and when federal immigration/hiring laws are ACTUALLY ENFORCED, the elections might shift a *little* more to the right - not because of the opinions of LEGAL voters, but by the *ELIMINATION* of the *ILLEGAL* ones.

      So maybe where Meg Whitman failed [she was too 'moderate' anyway], a Trump-like Republican is likely to succeed, so long as illegals and dead people no longer vote.

      1. KR Caddis

        Re: How much money spent campaigning???

        You fool! You are clearly in the minority group within the minority groups of California voters. You just have to look at how the votes went in California to see that Meg Ryan's waste of money could even be quadrupled by the next California Billionaire seeking to lose the next election for the office of Governor. (Actually that MUST be good for the economy somehow, trickle-down you know)

        Jerry Brown, who you insult with the mind of a feces fixated four year old, solved the State's huge deficit that in less than four years, which Republican Schwarzenegger couldn't manage to do anything about in 8 after building his entire platform with that one board. His predecessor, Gray Davis, was recalled, no-hounded out of office, through an ill-advised effort to neutralize the Republican/Enron, Electricity Free Market and Price Fixing Debacle that ruined the California economy, as well as each and every resident. That, BTW, was instituted under HIS predecessor; I believe we're STILL paying for that adventure in laissez-faire economics. Governor Davis went down in flames only a few months into office because of a Republican time bomb so successfully aimed that it became the formula for Bush Jr's ruination of the US economy just for President Obama. And of course, he couldn't be allowed to succeed, after all he is black AND a Democrat. Then two years later, both Houses of Congress Republican, sat on their hands and full wallets for the remainder of the President's eight years of success, despite their sabotage, The venom and hatred spewed roused those most damaged by the 2008 banking theft, et al, into believing they were even worse off, despite the President's effective and amazing economic recovery, health-insurance-for-everyone ACA, and recovery of American Image, at home and abroad, etc. led to near disenfranchisement of Democrats.. Thus Republicans, the self-righteous, and the ignorant, managed to "win" the 2016 Presidential Election despite the 3 MILLION MORE popular votes cast for a WOMAN (they snicker here) BETTER qualified for the office probably than any previous candidate, ever. Maybe it's just because Democrats decline to use long term strategies of voter manipulation, sabotage, blatant disregard of what is best for the country and the PEOPLE, chess style economic ruinations, assigns and decries their own most innate characteristics in the opponent, ballot box fixing gerrymandering, self aggrandizement, cheating, Bible-thumping, racism, bigotry, creating unwarranted fear and panic, personal enrichment (while denigrating wealth outside their own), devisiveness, distortion, etc, etc, and plain old lying to empower themselves; and, now we get Trumped.

        Now is the time for all good men to come to the aide of their Country (all peoples, all nations, and our planet)

      2. thomn8r

        Re: How much money spent campaigning???

        Mrs. Clinton out-spent Trump by a fairly large percentage, as I understand it. She still lost.

        Trump was able to leverage his celebrity status to get free media coverage, and when that wasn't enough, he just ran his mouth or his twatter account, which the media fawned over. It's estimated that the resulting free media coverage was worth between $2 billion and $5 billion

  2. LDS Silver badge

    Blood donation will be welcome, besides money...

    .... after all an electoral campaign is exhausting...

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    Support like this

    "Fiorina received endorsements from, among others, Sarah Palin, but lost ultimately to Boxer."

    is not so much support as a red flag warning everyone not to vote for you, if Sarah Palin likes you, give up!

    1. genghis_uk Bronze badge

      Re: Support like this

      Palin endorsed Trump which gave some hope that The Donald was doomed.... Although in that case the speech was so off the wall and garbled it was probably hard to tell who or what she was endorsing.

      Fiorina and Palin... too scary to have in one sentence!

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: Support like this

        I remember that "speech" where Sarah wittered on like the total idiot she is.

        That must be the only time I've ever seen The Donald look embarrassed.

  4. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Did Thiel not notice that California doesn't care much for Trump?

    California knows the types of deregulation: 1) Making it easier for new businesses and new technologies to get started. 2) Making easier for big businesses to block new businesses. We know the politicians are trying to dump a #2 on us.

  5. martinusher Silver badge

    Been There, Done That

    Having a celeb businessman as governor sounds like a great idea until you actually get one. It didn't work our terribly well for Arnold despite him working quite hard to make it a success. (He differs markedly from the other political dabbling Celebrity Apprentice host in that respect -- Donny's apparently got neither the attention span or the sheer application that Arnold has.)

    Currently Republicans are a seriously endangered species in California, and for good reason. They bring nothing but chaos and divisiveness in their wake and their promises of fiscal probity are laughable -- they economize so they can feed the loot to their mates. There are signs that somewhat more sensible ones are about but given the current Federal government we're unlikely to embrace a Trump clone unless there's a provable Second Coming.

    The answer to the puzzle as to why people want our governor's job so badly that they're prepared to spend huge amounts of money on it is simple. California's economy is one of the largest in the world -- about the same size or slightly larger than France's, I'm told. We are a major country in our own right (too bad we have to carry large swathes of the "Heartland"....).

    1. ma1010

      Re: Been There, Done That

      California Republicans tend to be the stupidest of the lot nationwide, for some reason. They had an opportunity to make a mark on the state a few years ago when all they had to do was agree to put on the state ballot a measure that would increase one tax during the economic crash in 2008. Not adding a tax, mind, but just allowing people to vote for it if they wanted it. They refused. They said they would agree, but came up with a ridiculous laundry list of demands on the Democratic leadership that was rejected. The Democrats replied by managing to put a different law on the ballot removing the Republican's former ability to block the state budget every year, so now California Republicans have been pretty much marginalized by their own stupidity.

      I doubt Republicans will ever control either house of the legislature in the foreseeable future. However, it is quite possible for a Republican to be elected governor.

      1. Jim84

        Re: Been There, Done That

        California may just be the future of US politics. They've gotten rid of gerrymandering, and skewed selectorate primaries (which tends to result in extreme candidates). It's not exactly like the former French presidential system (a jungle primary) where everyone goes into the first round and then the top two go into a runoff. The top two candidates from each party go into a runoff, but all voters rank all the candidates from first to last in the primary.

  6. lansalot

    ah, why not give him a shot... Seeing as Trump is going all out on filling the swamp, instead of draining it, he'd fit right in.

  7. Mystic Megabyte

    Rumpy Pumpy Trumpy

    When a critical amount of arseholes start circling around the great arsehole attractor a massive black hole will form and we will all die.

    Luckily they may never be all in the same venue.....oh wait!

  8. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Pedantry, etc.

    "Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina spent $22m taking a shot a California state senate in 2010, too, to topple career Democrat and seat-holder Barbara Boxer."

    First, Fiorina ran for a US Senate seat. The California state senate is another entity entirely. It sits in Sacramento and has forty members, each representing not quite a million persons. (

    Second, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a celebrity already. Peter Thiel is moderately well known, mostly for doing to Gawker what Schwarzenegger's characters did to movie bad guys. But does his celebrity extend outside techie and journalistic circles?

  9. Gis Bun

    California is a Democrat state. Only reason why Arnie got in was that he's a Tinsletown celebrity [not saying he did a bad job as the Governator].

    For Thiel, I wouldn't bother if [as expected] Trump makes a mess of the US.

    1. thomn8r

      Only reason why Arnie got in was that he's a Tinsletown celebrity

      Being married to a Kennedy didn't hurt, either.

  10. Cubical Drone

    No electoral college at the state level.

    We should be safe.

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