Bernie Sanders has stated he does not want or need a super PAC to back him, and he has no interest in spending his time at exclusive fund-raisers, attempting to sell himself to wealthy donors. Speaking about a super PAC, formed by a nurses union to support him, he said,
“What I have said over and over again is that I have not and will not raise a nickel for a super PAC. I am the only Democratic candidate who does not have a super PAC. I will not have a super PAC. They are nurses and they are fighting for the health care of their people. They are doing what they think is appropriate. I do not have a super PAC.”
It is true. Bernie does not have a super PAC. Certainly not in the same way Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton have super PACs. There are, however, outside organizations who support Bernie Sanders who have created PACs and super PACs as his support grew. Bernie has no control over these separate organizations.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver said,
“We have by far the most transparent fund-raising of anyone in this campaign. Yes, there’s this or that event, but the question eventually is, ‘where is all your money coming from?’ The important thing is what percentage of Bernie’s money comes from contributions under $200. It’s almost all of it.”
Compare the Nurses’ super PAC to Hillary Clinton’s and Jeb Bush’s super PACs. In both cases, the presidential wanna-bees have coordinated with their Super PACs. In the case of Jeb Bush, he communicated and coordinated with his “massive” super PAC by stalling on the official announcement of his campaign for the presidency. Hillary Clinton, understanding the FEC is impotent, has ignored the laws regarding separation of candidate and super PACs. She openly coordinates with her super PACs.
It is now common knowledge among the candidates there is no established fine for offenders. The six-member FEC panel is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, and its purpose is to decide on punishment. Because the 3 Republicans don’t actually support the panel or its mission, nothing ever happens. They have meetings, but nothing gets accomplished. There are no investigations.
The executive council of the National Nurses United voted to endorse Bernie Sanders in August, becoming the first major union to support him. The union’s super PAC, National Nurses United for Patient Protection, has spent over $610,000 on billboards and web advertising in support of Bernie Sanders.
Union spokespeople say that the nurses’ super PAC’s funding comes exclusively from its own union members’ dues, making it quite different from other super PACs funded by a handful of ultra-rich contributors.
Michael Lighty, director of public policy for National Nurses United, said,
“A PAC that enables the union to use resources for someone who is 100% with them is a very easy thing to do, and there is no concern over the vehicle for doing it. The union doesn’t even really believe it is a super PAC.”
It would be foolish and self-destructive for Senator Bernie Sanders to denounce the support of people and organizations who legally form super PACs, and per the law, do not coordinate with him during the campaign. Those candidates taking large donations (also known as bribes), which get funneled into a super PAC, will owe a debt to those large donors.
Bernie told a crowd at a Beverly Hills fundraiser,
“The truth is, there are many people in this country who have money, but also believe in social justice.”