Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is not down with Hillary Clinton’s upcoming “obscene” big-ticket California fundraiser with George Clooney, even though the lawmaker insists he respects and likes the actor.
The domination of big money is a “cancer” on American politics, Sanders claimed.
Sanders was reacting to the fact that if you want two seats to sit at the head table next to the Democrat front-runner and George and Amal Clooney at the home of a San Francisco-area venture capitalist on April 15, you’ll have to cough up $353,400. Most Hollywood movers and shakers, at least publicly, line up with the Democrats in an election year, which is perhaps why Bernie Sanders avoided leveling any disparaging comments directly at Clooney.
“On April 16, Clinton and the Clooneys will reunite at the Clooney Los Angeles mansion, where tickets cost $33,400 per person to dine at the table with one of Hollywood’s most glamorous couples,” Politico added.
Sanders, who won the Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington caucuses yesterday, favors public funding of political campaigns, i.e, the taxpayer footing the bill. He has repeatedly called for the reversal of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which currently allows corporations to make political donations. In general, if Citizens United were to be overturned either by Congress or a subsequent Supreme Court decision, big labor unions could continue to make such donations but corporations couldn’t.
Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner who is self-financing his campaign, has also denounced big money donors, including Wall Street investors, special interests, and lobbyists, all of whom exert undue influence on the political process.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 27, 2016
The Vermont Senator, a self-described socialist who is running for president as a Democrat, took a dim view of Team Clinton’s fundraising techniques for the Hillary Victory Fund in an interview this morning on CNN with Jake Tapper.
“It is obscene that Secretary Clinton keeps going to big-money people to fund her campaign. But it’s not only this Clooney event. It is the fact she has now raised well over $15 million from Wall Street for her super-PAC and millions more from the fossil fuel industry, and from the drug companies…So it’s not a criticism of Clooney. It’s a criticism of a corrupt campaign finance system, where big money interests — and it’s not Clooney, it’s the people coming to this event — have undue influence on the political process.”
Sanders noted that the average individual donation to his campaign clocks in at $27, and he only charges a nominal amount to attend his events in the range of $15 to $50.
Hillary Clinton has positioned herself as a crusader against income inequality, but as has been widely reported, prior to this presidential run she made a fortune giving six-figure speeches to Wall Street groups. Clinton foes have also claimed that she allegedly traded favorable treatment of foreign governments and multinational corporations for large donations to the Clinton foundation while she served as U.S. Secretary of State in the Obama administration.
Sanders also argued on Tapper’s State of the Union show that with his caucus victory momentum, he will be able to dislodge the super delegates who are already committed, for now, to voting for Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination at the Democrat convention this summer.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 27, 2016
Bernie Sanders also made news on the Tapper broadcast by his unwillingness to promise for the time being to support Hillary Clinton if she ultimately secures the Democrat nomination, especially if she declines to endorse his Medicare-for-all healthcare plan.
“I don’t want to talk about what happens if we lose. We’re in this race to win, Jake. And the reason that we have the kind of momentum that we have is we’re talking about not what media gotcha questions are about; we’re talking about the real issues impacting the American people. Why is the middle class disappearing; we do we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality…”
Sanders, 74, has been a member of Congress since 1991 and voted for most of the Obama agenda in the past seven years. Prior to his election to the U.S. House, he served eight years as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont.
Bernie Sanders spent his honeymoon in the former Soviet Union as part of his official duties as mayor of Burlington. According to Investor’s Business Daily, Bernie Sanders entered middle age before he began earning a regular paycheck, upon his election as Burlington’s mayor.
[Photo by Andy Manis/AP]