Thursday, July 16, 2015

Billionaires for Bernie

Senator Bernie Sanders for President

More proof that Bernie is a man of the people...

Three bullet points below to show how our next president will be elected in 2016 — and according to the Washington Post, how fundraising shows that the power is tilting to groups backed by the wealthy elite:

  • $4 out of every $5 raised so far on behalf of GOP White House contenders has gone to independent groups rather than the official campaigns. Just one example: Former Texas governor Rick Perry raised just $1 million for his official campaign, but he has generated more than $16 million in super PAC money, largely from only three wealthy backers.
  • So far, the dynamic is different on the Democratic side, with 80 percent of the more than $80 million raised so far to support Hillary Rodham Clinton and her competitors flowing to their campaigns, not to super PACs.  So far Clinton boasted the biggest campaign haul of any candidate, $47 million, driven by a largely female donor base*. Contributions less than $200 made up nearly 17 percent of her total. (Her super PAC fundraising irks "progressives".)
  • But nearly 76 percent of the $13.5 million in individual donations Bernie Sanders received for his campaign were under $200 — and he has raised no money from a super PAC (yet).
* National Journal: A groundswell of support, especially among women hungry to make history in 2016, fueled Ready for Hillary's growth (70 percent of the donors are women). [Some people believe that the "glass ceiling" must be broke, and that having a woman (any woman) as president is very important to the women's movement.]

From the Center for Public Integrity: More than 1,000 donors are hedging their bets by spreading contributions among multiple GOP White House hopefuls. Meanwhile, a few liberal contributors are backing both Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and one of her four primary challengers.

Like many people, I would like to get money out of politics — and that we have federally funded elections. Similar to the argument Obama had used in his campaign against Hillary in 2008, because of campaign laws and Supreme Court decisions, one has no choice but to "fight fire with fire" when financing campaigns — or else be at a severe disadvantage. So raising money with one's own super Pac (if the other is doing so) is just leveling the playing field.

So maybe will be a new super PAC called “Billionaires for Bernie” — but they'll will have to change the name, because unaffiliated PACs can’t bear the name of the candidate. And Bernie doesn't have to endorse the super Pac (staying true to his principals), let alone have anything to do with it, but still reap the rewards.

Al Jazeera: A Socialist? Fine by Me, Sanders Supporters Say:

Sanders laid out an agenda that gives the government a central role in promoting economic and social equality: a $15 an hour minimum wage, four years of tuition-free public college, higher taxes on the ultra-wealthy and on Wall Street transactions and a single-payer Medicare-for-all health system. But is it socialism?

Bernie Sanders, who since the beginning of this political career has called himself a “democratic socialist,” hasn’t disavowed or shied away from the term. Since the end of the Cold War, when America’s foes were once called socialist, the word has become less toxic. And the financial crisis and the fact that people are thinking about capitalism as a flawed system has made people think that maybe there’s a better alternative.

A Gallup poll released in late June found that 47 percent of Americans would be willing to vote for a socialist for president if their party nominated a well-qualified one. [That sounds like Bernie to me!]

Senator Bernie Sanders has been packing the house during his campaign tour, attracting more people than another other presidential candidate. Maybe Madison, Wisconsin (with 10,000 in attendance) was just another "liberal college town." Maybe Portland, Oregon (with 7,500 in attendance) was just another "liberal New England city." But what about Phoenix, Arizona — with the right-wing sheriff and right-wing governor?

Senator Bernie Sanders has recently moved his Phoenix, Arizona "town hall meeting" to a convention center, because his campaign reported 8,000 RSVPs. Per the Phoenix News Times:  "Sanders' will be speaking in a room designed to fit 10,000 people, but that has the possibility of moving walls so as to fit 12,000." (RSVP here)

Before Bernie announced that he was running, I had wanted Elizabeth Warren to run in 2016. But since she’s not, I wonder who Liz will endorse — Bernie or Hillary? Because, since she made it absolutely clear she wasn't running, Warren’s previous backers now support Bernie. It would be a slap in the face to Liz’s supporters if she endorsed Hillary. When Hillary had summoned Liz to her mansion last December, it was reported that Hillary did not ask Liz to endorse her. I guess we'll find out.

I once even considered having both Bernie and Liz running together, no matter WHO was on top of the ticket. But maybe Hillary already promised Liz a job in the White House to not endorse any other candidate if she wins the election. Again, I guess we'll find out.

But either way, now that we have Bernie in the race...

Feel the Burn!™


  1. A new AP-GfK Poll: Hillary Clinton's standing falls among Democrats amid questions about her honesty.

    Maybe it had something to do with her last speech...

  2. Washington Post: Female donors played a big part in Hillary’s $47.5 million second quarter haul.

    "Of the more than 250,000 contributors who donated to Clinton, 61 percent are women,” per Matea Gold. “That puts her on track to outstrip the presidential high-water mark set by President Obama in 2012, when 47 percent of donors who gave him more than $200 were women, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    {Would they have donated equally to Liz Warren, had she ran?]

  3. Washington Post:

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) has raised more than $15 million for his presidential campaign, according to a Federal Election Commission document that reveals the vast majority of those contributions totaled $200 or less. The Sanders campaign reported to the FEC Wednesday that it raised nearly $10.5 million in small contributions, and an additional $3 million in donations of more than $200 each. That $13.5 million fundraising haul -- which accounts for money he has raised since he announced his candidacy in late May -- was bolstered by an additional $1.5 million he transferred from his Senate campaign account.