A Virginia Candidate For Governor Connects His Opponent To Taylor Swift’s Masters In New Ads

Taylor Swift has gotten involved in politics in recent years, far more so in years prior, as she has made her voice heard on topics like voter registration and has voiced support for specific candidates. Politicians are making note of her influence and using it to their advantage, as Swift’s name and her journey with her masters have found their way into the Virginia gubernatorial race.

Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe has launched a series of ads — which appear on Facebook, Instagram, and Google search — that connect Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin to Scooter Braun’s 2019 purchase of Swift’s master recordings. One ad states (as Billboard notes), “Did you know that Republican candidate for Governor, Glenn Youngkin, helped buy Taylor Swift’s masters out from under her when he was co-CEO of Carlyle Group?”

The Carlyle Group provided funding for Braun’s purchase of Swift’s masters.

Youngkin’s camp has responded to the ads and the claims they make, with Renzo Olivari, McAuliffe’s press secretary, saying (via Axios), “In 2019, McAuliffe was as a passive investor at Carlyle, and did not have any investments associated with Taylor Swift’s masters.” Youngkin spokesperson Christian Martinez also told the publication, “Terry McAuliffe has reached the stage of desperation in his campaign where he’s rolling out the most baseless attacks to see what sticks. It’s a pathetic fall that could only be achieved by a 43-year political hack.”

In a 2019 message to fans, Swift specifically addressed Carlyle Group, writing, “This is WRONG. Neither of these men [Braun and Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta] had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans. So this is where I’m asking for your help. Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this. Scooter also manages several artists who I really believe care about other artists and their work. Please ask them for help with this — I’m hoping that maybe they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote. I’m especially asking for help from The Carlyle Group, who put up money for the sale of my music to these two men. I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it. I’ve tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything.”