Bernvolution Quickly Snuffed Out By Basic Economics
Daniel Gross documents how the Bernvolution was undone by finance. To his credit, by relying on small donors, Sanders has created his own economic engine that can power his campaign as long as he sees fit.
The problem? The Sanders campaign has managed to redistribute well over $150 million from the have-lesses to the have-mores. Put another way, several of the biggest concentrations of economic power known to mankind were the largest beneficiaries of the Sanders campaign’s spending.
The Finances of the Bernvolution
Through March 31, 2016, Sanders’ campaign had raised $185.8 million, compared with $186.7 million for Hillary Clinton. Sanders’ cash has come from legions of small donors – some two million, as of March. And the campaign boasts that in April, its average donation was $27.
Bernie raised $25 million in March alone. That was down from his February total of $45 million, but it’s still a substantial sum.
According to the FEC, as of March 31, 2016, Sanders had spent $168 million (leaving $17 million cash on hand then which is down to 6 million as of May 21st), while Clinton had spent $157.8 million. All told, this year’s field has spent $664.6 million directly from its campaign funds.
In the first quarter of 2016 the Sanders campaign spent $10,467 on carbon offsets. In the report for the second quarter of 2015, there’s an $822.46 item for Ice Cream.
Bernie’s spending breaksdown to: air travel ($3.34 million), campaign paraphernalia ($6.56 million); payroll ($5.89 million); postage, printing and mailing ($4.8 million); site rentals ($1.7 million); digital ad buys ($13.2 million); and media buys ($30.3 million). This means $43.5 million of the small-dollar donations Sanders has raised has gone directly into the coffers of some of the world’s biggest corporations including Facebook, Google, Verizon, and Comcast.
Bernie has redistributed cash from his legions of small donors to the shareholders of large corporations. What’s really unfortunate is that the four companies listed are some of the biggest donors to the Hillary Clinton campaign this election cycle. Ultimately, the Bernvolution helped to fund the Hillary Clinton campaign.