QAnoner Ron Watkins Begs Bitcoin to Fund Congressional Run

One month into one lackluster congressional campaign, former administrator of 8kun Ron Watkins sent a warning to his followers on the Telegram messaging platform.

“I am NOT messaging anyone directly asking people to buy crypto or gift cards,” Watkins wrote last week. “Please do not engage with accounts that claim to be me and ask you to purchase gift cards or crypto on their behalf. That’s not me. ”

At least someone is monetizing Watkins’ campaign. Although Watkins, a figure linked to QAnon, doesn’t have to file campaign financials until January, early indications suggest his bid to Congress has received huge support. . Watkins had previously pledged $1 million in donations, and incumbent Representative Tom O’Halleran was undaunted in Arizona’s Democratic-leaning 1st congressional district. Instead, more than a month after launching his campaign, Watkins is doing Telegram videos acknowledging “funding challenges” and trying to pivot to Bitcoin fundraising.

“The mainstream media has been running articles saying ‘hey Ron, your campaign can’t be monetized! What are you doing? ”

“I want to address that right now and say yes, we’re having some funding challenges, that’s true. A lot of platforms won’t work for us, and so we’re having a pretty hard time getting things going.”

Watkins announced that he is working on a new Bitcoin donation model with a website that “you may or may not find, but if you do find it, it is real and when things are rolled out, we’re going to build more and more steam and we’re going to raise more money and the purpose of this is to prove to the haters that we can raise money and we can win this. ”

Watkins campaign manager Tony Teora told The Daily Beast the campaign has raised several thousand dollars since ramping up fundraising calls last week, but the campaign can’t give firm figures. because it hasn’t opened all the mail yet.

Teora noted that Watkins is not fully committed to running in congressional district 1, and may change districts to avoid running against far-right Representative Paul Gosar.

“Note: We are waiting for the redistricting in Arizona to be complete as we may move into a new congressional district,” said Teora. “Ron does not (and will not) go against Paul Gosar, whom he respects most.”

While Watkins waited, he asked his Telegram followers to send him up to $2,900 in Bitcoin. That money is legal for congressional races and Arizona races, though other states have capped individual crypto donations at $100, based on a 2014 FEC decision. gave the green light to campaigns that accept $100 in individual Bitcoin donations.

Some of those rules stem from concerns about the traceability of cryptocurrencies, which, like cash, can be more difficult to trace than checks or credit card payments. The home page for Watkins’ campaign isn’t full of text, and devotes the largest of the three paragraphs to informing supporters that “federal law requires us to make every effort” to collect information. news about people who donated more than $200.

O’Halleran’s overturning of the seat poses a challenge even for mainstream Republicans. The incumbent Democratic Party has raised over 1 million dollars in September, in a county that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020. And Watkins is not the main candidate.

Until the end of 2020, Watkins was the administrator of 8kun (formerly 8chan), a troll forum owned by Jim, Watkin’s father. 8kun is home to QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory that falsely accuses Donald Trump’s enemies of pedophilia and Satanic cannibalism. Watkins’ proximity to QAnon led observers to speculate that they were related to the theory’s authorship, with a recent HBO documentary appearing showing Ron Watkins describing himself as “Q.” , the author of the conspiracy theory. Watkins has denied those allegations.

Watkins’ foray into electoral politics represents an attempt to distance himself from those associations — but, As reported by The Daily Beast before, he had a hard time saying goodbye to the group, he recently gave a keynote speech at a conference organized by people named “QAnon John” and “Q Queen Army”. Watkins also remains deeply enmity with the world of conspiracy and was implicated in the publication of leaked voting machine data, which, despite Trump’s insistence, does not indicate any failure in his life. election 2020.

Just three days before Watkins announced his crypto spin, he denounced crypto scammers on Telegram, warning fans to ignore imposters impersonating him to sell or solicit cryptocurrency and gift cards.

Cryptocurrency scams are common on Telegram, with channels impersonating themselves as celebrities (both dead and alive) to inflate NFTs or beg for Bitcoin donations from gullible fans. One of Watkins’ followers responded that he had been hit with similar Telegram scams impersonating conservative activist Scott Pressler and Arizona lawmaker Wendy Rogers.

Some Watkins followers claim to have fallen for the scam. “Damn, I bought you a gift card,” one person wrote.

“I fell in love with it,” said another. “I got most of my money back but I think it was a scam. Do not buy it. ”

Hours before warning about scammers, Watkins probably accidentally waded into what would soon become The biggest fight over QAnon rights.

Lin Wood I am a God-fearing Christian and have always been sincere and helpful in all my interactions with him,” wrote Watkins of Wood, an attorney for QAnon-hype in an attempt to overturn the presidential election. 2020″I don’t understand why he was attacked, but the allegations certainly seem unusual and don’t reflect the Lin Wood I know”.

Days later, Wood — who tried to hold out the right remote attacks that he betrayed Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse – leaked unflattering phone recordings of his former allies, including one made by former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne alleging one of his colleagues extorted money and an audio recording of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn accusing QAnon of being the CIA- had led a “disinformation campaign”.

On Tuesday night, Teora suggested that Watkins’ stance on Wood remained unchanged. “As for Ron’s stance on Lin Wood, his previous comments represent their own,” Teora wrote. QAnoner Ron Watkins Begs Bitcoin to Fund Congressional Run


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