Shiva Ayyadurai who claims he invented e-mail is now running for US Senate
The Massachusetts man, Shiva Ayyadurai who for years has made a widely-disputed claim that he invented e-mail, has formally declared his intention to run as a candidate for the United States Senate in 2018.
The Federal Elections Commission only recently published Ayyadurai’s statement of candidacy online. It has a filing date of March 17.
The Boston-area political neophyte announced his intention to run about a month ago on Twitter. He would be challenging incumbent Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.
Earlier this year, Ayyadurai sued Techdirt, alleging the news website libeled him by calling him a “fraud” due to his claim to have invented e-mail. Ayyadurai had previously also sued Gizmodo’s parent site Gawker over articles that he alleged also disparaged him. As part of the settlement in that case, those two stories were removed and he got $750,000. In both lawsuits, Ayyadurai was represented by Charles Harder, the lawyer who also represented Hulk Hogan in his lawsuits against Gawker. The Hogan lawsuit led to a $140 million verdict, which drove Gawker into bankruptcy and shuttered the website.
The entrepreneur is a Republican, and his Twitter feed suggests he has been a supporter of Donald Trump for at least several months. Ayyadurai faces an uphill battle: in the last 25 years, Massachusetts has only elected one Republican senator, Scott Brown, whom Warren defeated in 2013.
“I don’t think she’s committed to this state, and she’s using the podium, I think everyone knows, as a podium to run for president,” Ayyadurai said recently on NightSide with Dan Rea, a Boston-area radio talk show.
“This is an individual that is based on rhetoric, based on division, and is not interested in solving problems,” he added, referring to Senator Warren.
Ayyadurai has not responded to questions about his US Senate campaign. His website contains biographical information, but contains no policies, platforms, or position papers.
Instead, his site contains paragraphs like:
“On my seventh birthday, in 1970, I left India and came to America: to this land of incredible opportunity. As a kid, I learned from my parents, teachers, coaches, and friends that what mattered most was Truth—to uncover it, share it, and fight for it. That core value is THE foundation of the America Dream. And my life has been about fighting for Truth, at every step.”
The site goes on to say he invented e-mail, “the system we know today,” during the years 1978-82. Many conventional histories put e-mail’s origins with ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet, which had firmly established electronic mail by the mid-1970s.
Earlier this month, Ayyadurai drew support from Curt Schilling, the former Boston Red Sox star pitcher, who has since become a conservative political pundit.
Ayyadurai makes a point of calling himself a “real Indian,” as someone who was born and partially raised in India—and presumably a dig at Senator Warren, who some believe exaggerated her Native American roots.