One-time presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders stirred up the wrath of Twitter yesterday. In a tweet he put out on April 20, late at night, he asked how much did billionaires need to own. He ended it by writing, “You can have it all.” It appears he made a mistake because he quickly deleted the tweet and then reposted it with the word “can’t” replacing “can.”
However, it didn’t appear to make a difference to the world of Twitter as his followers and readers quickly tore him apart for hypocrisy and being out of touch. People were quick to point out he just purchased a new home in Vermont, which makes him the owner of three houses. He has a house in Washington, D.C., his usual residence in Burlington, and now a new home in North Hero, Vermont.
Bernie Sanders is not the wealthiest of politicians. In fact, after a lifetime in politics, which many politicians leave as millionaires, Sanders is nearly at the bottom of the income level.
According to Politifact, a fact-checking organization, Sanders has a minimum net worth of $160,000. According to Money, his annual salary as a senator is $174,000 a year. He also receives a $5,000 a year pension for being the mayor of Burlington, Vermont. These assets do not include his savings or retirement plans. It also does not include the assets or salary of his wife, Jane.
According to Federal Election Committee records, during his campaign, Sanders had a campaign chest of $7.8 million. He is prohibited from using any of that money for personal expenses.
The tweet was obviously a jab at the wealthy lifestyles and multiple toys and properties many billionaires own. He seemed to be calling them out for their excessive spending on things they don’t need. However, people are asking those same questions about his recent purchase.
A politician having two homes, one to live in and one in Washington, D.C., is not unheard of or considered extravagant. Many people who work in politics need two residences because they live out of state.
According to Google Maps, the distance from Burlington to North Hero is about 34 miles. That’s less than an hour drive from his usual residence to his new vacation home. They are both located close to Lake Champlain, and both are single family homes. The message from the hundreds of Twitter responses was evident, and they didn’t see the need for the third house and Bernie is part of the group he was chastizing.
The new house is located on the shore of the lake, has four bedrooms, and 500 feet of beachfront. The cost of the house was $600,000.
The Sanders have been visiting North Hero for years for vacations and day trips. According to his wife, Jane, they were “impressed with the North Hero community” and decided to buy the residence as a vacation home. Jane had to sell a house that has been in her family since 1900 to facilitate the sale.
Because of their regular visits to the area, Bernie is already a fixture in the small community. A local sandwich shop, Hero’s Stand, even has a sandwich called “Feel The Bun,” a concoction of sliced turkey, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, apple chutney, and hot pepper relish. It is served on a large bun and sells for $6.99. North Hero is the kind of small community people picture when they think of Vermont. The population is a little over 800, according to the 2010 census. The median age is 42-years-old, and the median income is $52,000 a year.
According to residents, they are excited and happy that Sanders has decided to settle, at least seasonally, in their city. He is already considered a “local,” and his family is excited about the new purchase.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]