Gay Billionaire Funds Ron Paul on the Down Low
PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel has donated $2.6 million to Endorse Liberty, the super PAC that supports GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Paul isn't the only candidate to have an extremely wealthy backer -- casino and hotel magnate Sheldon Adelson has thrown large sums of money towards Newt Gingrich and businessman Foster Friess has done the same for Rick Santorum. But unlike Adelson and Friess, Thiel does not favor the spotlight and prefers to stay behind the scenes, so much so that he has not even met Paul.
Thiel, 44, the co-founder of PayPal and the managing partner for the Founders Fund, has an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion. Born in Germany, the self-made billionaire identifies as a libertarian and is openly gay. Thiel has financially supported the conservative gay group GOProud and has even donated money to a "seasteading" foundation that wants to "create artificial, self-governing islands some 200 miles off the California coast to serve as experiments in innovative political, social and legal systems," the SFC noted.
"He has great insight," said Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud. "He also is inquisitive, and most of the conversations I've had with him have been him asking questions. He gathers a lot of information."
Thiel's donations to Endorse Liberty have helped sponsor viral videos that have slammed Santorum, Gingrich and former GOP presidential candidate, Rick Perry.
"I think Peter has a gift for seeing trends," said Endorse Liberty founder Jeffrey Harmon. "PayPal and Peter's early investment in Facebook are examples of the vision. I believe Peter can see that Ron Paul is the future of the Republican Party."
Harmon also said that Thiel is positive that Paul can win against Obama in the upcoming election.
"Even if he doesn't win, we are part of a movement that is one thousand times bigger than in any (previous) election cycle," Harmon added.
"Men and women who want freedom and growth should take action," Thiel said when he announced he would be donating to the pro-Paul super PAC. "A good place to start is voting for Ron Paul."