United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s latest push advocating for crypto holders to “speak directly to lawmakers” featured a House of Representatives member who previously acknowledged 11 ethics violations.
As of Aug. 15, more than 54,000 individuals had signed on to Coinbase’s ‘Stand with Crypto Alliance’ in an effort to engage with U.S. lawmakers at the federal level. The initiative, which allows users to view the “crypto sentiment” of members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representativdavi
At the time of publication, the initiative’s landing page featured Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Brad Sherman as “strongly against” crypto policies, and Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Ritchie Torres and David Schweikert as “very supportive”. Sen. Warren has often suggested that crypto is linked to illicit activities such as facilitating the fentanyl trade in China, while Rep. Torres called on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to limit its enforcement cases concerning crypto firms.
According to the Stand with Crypto information page, Rep. Schweikert has backed 3 pro-crypto bills during his time in office, as well as made 4 statements referencing digital assets. The alliance included the disclaimer that “Members of Congress may have views you strongly agree or disagree with”, but did not explicitly mention any non-crypto policy stances.
Earlier this week, bipartisan Blockchain Caucus co-chairs @RepTomEmmer @RepBillFoster @RepDarrenSoto and I, sent a letter to the House of Representatives concerning the Bipartisan Senate Infrastructure Bill being funded by our crypto currency industry. pic.twitter.com/duEHPzD5gu
— Rep. David Schweikert (@RepDavid) August 11, 2021
In 2020, the House Ethics Committee fined Rep. Schweikert $50,000 for violations of campaign finance that broke House ethics rules. In 2022, the Federal Election Commission fined the Arizona Representative $125,000 for related allegations. The violations centered around a failure to report loans and using campaign funds for personal matters. Cointelegraph reached out to Rep. Schweikert’s office for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
Among the donations the Stand with Crypto Alliance had received at the time of publication included more than $215 from a crypto user with the X handle ‘Jerry Mander’ — a play on words of gerrymander, the process of manipulating district boundaries to favor a certain political party. There was also a $191.98 donation from an unverified account that may belong to Roger Bartlett, Coinbase’s head of institutional operations solutions and Coinbase Treasury.
The political initiative was the latest in Coinbase’s policy of calling for crypto users to “elect pro-crypto candidates” in the United States. The exchange is currently facing a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegedly unregistered securities offerings, with many lawmakers and industry advocates calling for the regulator to dismiss the case.