WASHINGTON – There is no denying that Bernie Sanders was able to raise an impressive amount of money during his run for the Oval Office, a whopping $220 million, in fact. When dealing with a presidential campaign, what exactly does an insanely high number like that get you, though?
The Presidency? Not even close, Bern.
It turns out that under all of the “revolutionary” mumbo-jumbo, Mr. Sanders ran a pretty conventional campaign. Our friends at Slate kindly break down how exactly that is:
On the strength of this appeal, Sanders raised more than $220 million, and almost 60 percent of those dollars came in the form of small individual donations. A recent analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that about $1 out of every $4 donated to Sanders came from people who aren’t in the workforce, including the unemployed or retired. Outside groups supporting Sanders have raised just $610,000, and the only super PAC to offer him significant support this cycle—$3,262,105—was National Nurses United, which is funded from union dues, not the checks of “millionaires and billionaires,” as Sanders put it on the stump.
But what did that money buy, exactly? Where did all those $27 checks go? A close examination of public records and interviews with campaign finance experts and grass-roots organizers suggests that, in some significant ways, a campaign that took in money like folk bandits wound up spending it like drearily conventional pols. In April, the campaign had a burn rate of 143 percent, meaning it was spending nearly half as much again as it was bringing in. A great deal of that money bought a blast of commercials preceding caucuses and primaries across the country, one effect of which was to enrich a small group of Democratic consultants whose compensation is tied to media spending. Disclosure forms examined by Slate suggest the campaign contracted with a front company—possibly created to obscure who made what off the Sanders movement—and in one cozy arrangement, effectively shared a third-party vendor with a pro-Bernie dark money group.
Can you blame the guy, though? If I had $220 million, I know it’d be Bernin’ a hole in my pocket too! Be sure to SHARE this article and/or comment below, we love reading your thoughts!