Senator and former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has just purchased a summer home on Lake Champlain in the small town of North Hero, Vermont, for about $600,000, according to Seven Days Vermont, prompting some on social media to question his credentials as a crusader against income inequality.
Apparently, the sale of Maine lakefront property belonging to his wife Jane’s family funded the new real estate transaction, however.
After a contentious presidential primary in which he was a runner-up, self-described socialist Bernie Sanders, to the dismay of many of his #NeverHillary, #BernieorBust supporters, endorsed rival Hillary Clinton on July 12 in New Hampshire and again late last month at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The follow-up endorsement came despite the revelations contained in the WikiLeaks #DNCLeaks email trove.
While still in Philadelphia, Sanders staged a kind of a #DemExit by announcing that he was returning to his roots as a political independent and leaving the Democratic Party upon resuming his day job in the U.S. Senate.
As the general election campaign heats up, Sanders has continued to slam GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, although both anti-establishment insurgents opposed the Iraq War, assail international trade deals that often send U.S. jobs overseas, and denounce the influence of Wall Street lobbyists on politicians.
Seven Days Vermont describes Sanders’ new summer home as follows.
“Sanders’ new crib has four bedrooms and 500 feet of Lake Champlain beachfront on the east side of the island — facing Vermont, not New York. The Bern will keep his home in Burlington and use the new camp seasonally. ‘We’ve traveled up to the islands many times over the years — almost always on day trips,’ Sanders’ wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, told Seven Days in a written statement. ‘We’ve been impressed with the North Hero community, eaten at the North Hero House and Shore Acres and have suggested them to friends who were looking for a beautiful place to stay or have dinner…'”
Perhaps because of his hero status, as it were, a local eatery in New Hero offers a “Feel the Bun” turkey sandwich in Sanders’ honor. The description in the menu explains that “It’s not fair that the Billionaire Class controls 99 percent of the bread. Here’s a sandwich for the rest of us…to keep us nourished until everything cool is free!”
The Champlain Islands location is Bernie Sanders’ third residence. He owns a home in Burlington, Vermont, where he served as mayor before going to Congress in 1991, as well as a row house in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, D.C.
According to NPR, the summer home purchase “had some of his former supporters this week questioning his Democratic socialist authenticity…and after the news broke of his recent purchase, the Internet became a breeding ground for complaints. Others came to Sanders’ defense.”
Noting that Bernie Sanders is one of the poorer members of Congress, Vanity Fair nonetheless quipped that “Bernie Sanders now has one thing in common with the millionaires and billionaires and other 1 percenters he so frequently attacked on the campaign trail: he now owns his very own summer home.”
In February, political consultant and Sanders foe James O’Brien, formerly publisher of Campaigns and Elections, estimated that the senator had a net worth of about $1.5 million, not including benefiting from a “multi-million-dollar” staff at the U.S. Senate.
According to a September 2014 report in Vermont Watchdog, Jane Sanders received a $200,000 golden parachute following her resignation as president of Burlington College. The college “was forced to close due to the ‘crushing weight of the debt’ incurred under her leadership,” Zero Hedge claimed.
Do you think it matters to his credibility at all that Bernie Sanders just shelled out about $600,000 for a summer home?
[Photo by Alex Brandon/AP Images]