8-31-16 – Bernie Sanders “Our Revolution”

by John McClaughry

Jasper Craven of Vermont Digger published an interesting report Tuesday about Bernie Sanders new national political organization called “Our Revolution”.

Sanders’ new group is a 501c4 social welfare organization. It’s income is not taxable, but contributions are not tax deductible.  Most importantly, the names of its donors are not required to be made public.

Writes Craven, “Sanders is building a political organization that will be able to avoid financial disclosure and influence policy from the shadows, a dark money strategy Sanders Has railed against for years.. …Although Our Revolution’s mission is not explicitly clear, a major goal appears to be electing leaders with policy positions similar to Sanders’.”

Continues Craven, “Sanders frequently railed against this type of influence — often called “dark money” — during his presidential bid, including during a CNN debate in April when he questioned Clinton’s ties to such groups. “Let’s talk about judgment,” Sanders said then. “Let’s talk about super PACs and 501(c)(4)s, money which is completely undisclosed. Where does the money come from? Do we really feel confident about a candidate saying that she’s going to bring change in America when she is so dependent on big-money interests? I don’t think so.”

Digger commenter Tom Sullivan added this from Bernie’s campaign website:  “As president, I will insist on complete transparency regarding the funding of campaigns, including through disclosure of contributions to outside spending groups.”

One may be excused for seeing Sanders latest gambit as utterly hypocritical.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

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