Elon Musk: I can't vote Democratic because they've become the party of division and hate

Elon Musk: I can't vote Democratic because they've become the party of division and hate
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

A follow-up to last night’s revelation about his voting intentions.

I’d guess most Americans voting Republican this year are doing so because they regard Democrats as the party of inflation. (Or the party of spelling “women” as “womxn,” ugh.) But when you’re worth a quarter trillion bucks, inflation isn’t your top concern.

This comment won’t reassure lefties that Musk-owned Twitter is prepared to play it down the middle when moderating content. And it’ll thrill righties who hope Musk-owned Twitter isn’t prepared to play it down the middle when moderating content.

The party of Trump has many priorities, but I’d place “kindness” somewhere below “overturning elections to maintain a grip on power” if I had to make a list.

Anyway. The last line of Musk’s tweet is interesting, and it’s part of a theme today:

Dirty tricks and political attacks, eh? It sounds like Elon expects something’s coming down the pike that’ll make his life harder, and that Democrats are behind it.

Possibly relatedly:

I find it hard to envision the world’s richest man being thrown in the clink for refusing to comply with a court order to complete his purchase of Twitter. But if you read last night’s post, you know that the standoff between Musk and Twitter’s board is getting more contentious, with Musk having recently responded to a series of tweets by Twitter’s CEO about spam bots with, uh, a poop emoji. Financial media believes Musk’s complaints about bots are a pretext he’s invented to try to negotiate Twitter down to a lower purchase price now that the company’s value — and Tesla’s — have slipped over the last few weeks. Twitter is vowing to play hardball in response:

Behind the scenes, the two sides are proceeding with the deal: They jointly put out a regulatory filing on Tuesday. Renegotiating a deal would not be easy for Mr. Musk. In addition to a $1 billion breakup fee, the deal with Twitter includes a “specific performance clause,” which gives the company the right to sue him and force him to complete the deal so long as the debt financing he has corralled remains intact.

Mr. Musk, who also leads the rocket company SpaceX and the electric carmaker Tesla, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Twitter’s board said in a statement: “The board and Mr. Musk agreed to a transaction at $54.20 per share. We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement.

Under Delaware law, a buyer can be compelled to complete the purchase of a company at the agreed-upon price under certain circumstances. The jail scenario that Gasparino’s fantasizing about would come about if the court issued an order to do so and Musk ignored it.

If Musk convinced a court that Twitter’s disclosures about bots were misleading, or had a “material adverse effect” on the company’s value, he could back out of the deal with relatively few consequences. But that would be a heavy lift under the circumstances, Reuters notes:

For its part, Twitter has said in its regulatory filings that it applied “significant judgment” in coming up with the estimate and has cautioned that its disclosure may not accurately represent the actual number of spam accounts.

It is these disclaimers that give Twitter protection against potential lawsuits, be they from Musk over the deal or shareholders over the accuracy of the company’s regulatory statements, four securities law experts interviewed by Reuters said.

Even if Twitter’s estimate is off, a plaintiff would have to show that the San Francisco-based company was seeking to willfully mislead investors — a tall order to prove in court. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. regulator which oversees the disclosures of publicly listed companies, would have a hard time doing so for the same reasons, the experts said.

Making matters worse, Musk waived due diligence from Twitter in his haste to complete a deal to purchase the company. He could have demanded full disclosure about the bot problem before proceeding. He chose not to. Oops?

Back to today’s tweet. What sort of “dirty tricks” and “political attacks” is Musk worried about? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Biden’s SEC has begun investigating why he took so long to disclose his initial purchase of Twitter shares last month, would it? (“Mr. Musk likely saved more than $143 million by not reporting that his trades had crossed the 5% threshold, said Daniel Taylor, a University of Pennsylvania accounting professor…”) There might be other irregularities that have since caught the feds’ eyes — most acquisitions don’t involve poop emojis, after all — and which Musk may know about even though the general public doesn’t yet.

So, theory: Maybe Musk has been noisy about his political conversion lately because he wants to cry “witch hunt!” later if and when Biden’s administration comes after him for misconduct in the Twitter deal. He’s laying the predicate here for defenders, especially righties, to accuse the White House and SEC of political retaliation if he’s accused of having engaged in misconduct of some sort. Watch out for “dirty tricks” against a Republican voter, he cries — shortly before an in-the-works SEC probe reveals its findings. The more politically painful he can make that probe for Team Biden, the less inclined they might feel to be hard-asses about it.

He didn’t make $250 billion by being stupid.

I’ll leave you with this polite retort from the “liberaltarian” governor of Colorado. “Unity”?

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