29 June 2017

Giving Money as an Insult

When Bernie Sanders did his tour with Tom Perez in their mutual political tour, he paid his way for his expenses so as not to be beholden to the DNC:
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who clashed with the Democratic National Committee during his 2016 presidential campaign and continues to criticize the party, gave $100,000 to the DNC in May to help cover costs from his cross-country spring tour with DNC Chairman Tom Perez.

Sanders and Perez embarked on the nine-state “unity tour” earlier this year after Sanders' endorsed candidate, Rep. Keith Ellison — who supported Sanders in the 2016 presidential race — lost the race for DNC chairman to Perez. Sanders moved the money from his presidential campaign account to the DNC to help pay for the tour, according to campaign finance records and Sanders spokesman Josh Miller-Lewis.

The rare transfer of money from Sanders to the national Democratic Party comes after the unity tour and addition of Ellison as a “deputy chair” at the DNC, two changes that could signal a thaw in a high-profile, often-icy relationship. Former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile, who led the DNC after Wasserman Schultz resigned, were both Hillary Clinton allies — a fact that roiled Sanders supporters when hacked emails showed DNC staffers discussing Sanders unfavorably during the primary.

The Sanders campaign also filed a lawsuit against the DNC in 2016, alleging the party wrongly revoked his campaign’s access to voter data during that year's campaign. The lawsuit had marked a particularly low point in relations between Sanders and the party, which pulled Sanders campaign access to certain databases before the first 2016 primaries and caucuses, after discovering that Sanders staffers had improperly accessed data used by Clinton's rival campaign. Sanders withdrew the lawsuit last year.

But despite the unity tour and the May donation, Sanders is still outwardly critical of the Democratic Party, which he recently said needs “fundamental change” and "fundamental restructuring." During the 2016 presidential race, Sanders set up a joint fundraising committee with the DNC — but no money ever passed through it.
Claiming that the money transfer, "Signals a thaw in a high-profile, often-icy relationship," seems to me to be a little bit clueless.

If Bernie Sanders explicitly raised money for the DNC, that might constitute a thaw.

Refusing to let the DNC pay his way on a DNC tour is a way of staking out his independence of the Democratic Party establishment.

This is a f%$# you to the DNC, not a rapprochement.


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