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Election 2020

Monday, April 15, 2019

Bernie Sanders
Sanders Releases 10 Years of Income Tax Returns

Posted By on Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 8:31 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders - FILE: SOPHIE MACMILLAN
  • File: Sophie MacMillan
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders

Railing against income inequality has made Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) a wealthy man.

Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, released 10 years of federal income tax returns Monday showing that their financial fortunes have soared along with the senator's political aspirations.

The returns show that the couple earned nearly $2.8 million in the three years since Sanders’ first presidential campaign catapulted him to national political prominence.

After years of earning less than $300,000, Sanders’ income shot up to $1,073,333 in 2016, mostly on the sale of his best-selling book Our Revolution.
The book was released in November 2016, after his rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, lost the presidential election to Donald Trump.

The following year, Sanders earned slightly more, $1,131,925, again largely on royalties from the book’s publisher, Macmillan.

The income from royalties dropped off sharply last year, however, falling from $855,000 to $391,000. That figure could very well bounce back, given that Sanders’ followup book, Where We Go From Here, was released by Macmillan in November.

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Bernie Sanders
Sanders Takes On General Motors Near Shuttered Chevy Plant in Ohio

Posted By on Sun, Apr 14, 2019 at 9:47 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at Lordstown High School on Sunday in Warren, Ohio - AP PHOTO/DAVID DERMER
  • AP Photo/David Dermer
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at Lordstown High School on Sunday in Warren, Ohio
In the shadow of an idled General Motors plant, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday said that, as president, he would tear up the company’s federal contracts if it continued to outsource jobs.

“If entities like General Motors think that they can throw workers out on the street while they’re making millions in profits and then move to Mexico and pay people there starvation wages and then line up to get federal government contracts, well, they got another thing coming,” the senator said during a forum at Lordstown High School in Warren, Ohio.

Sanders issued the threat just miles from a GM facility that, until last month, employed more than 1,400 people assembling Chevy Cruze sedans. After the Lordstown plant powered down, President Donald Trump lashed out at GM, the United Automobile Workers and the union’s local president — setting off a fierce national debate over labor, trade, outsourcing and automation.

When Sanders came to town, he focused his ire squarely on the company, noting that it had taken tens of billions of dollars in government bailouts during the 2008 recession.

“Our job now is to tell them, whether they like it or not, they will be good corporate citizens,” he said.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Opinion
Walters: Massey Out at Vermont Democratic Party

Posted By on Tue, Apr 9, 2019 at 3:45 PM

Josh Massey - COURTESY OF JOSH MASSEY
  • Courtesy of Josh Massey
  • Josh Massey
For the second time in less than a year, the Vermont Democratic Party is looking to fill its top staff position. Its current executive director, Josh Massey, plans to leave his post later this month.

Massey's predecessor, Conor Casey, resigned in June 2018 — just as campaign season was kicking into high gear — to take a position with the Vermont-National Education Association. Massey was hired in July.

As a former party staffer, Massey had the experience to step in at a crucial time. But now, he’s not sure he wants to go through it all again. “It’s a lot to put my family through,” he said. “2018 was my third election cycle with the party. I’ve served my time.”

Massey and party chair Terje Anderson say they reached a mutual decision that it was better to cut ties before the next campaign season begins.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders Raises $18.2 Million in First 41 Days

Posted By on Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 11:26 AM

Sen. Bernie Sanders - FILE: JAMES BUCK
  • File: James Buck
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
Updated at 12:46 p.m.

In the first 41 days of his run for the White House, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) raised $18.2 million, his campaign announced Tuesday.

The money came in the form of nearly 900,000 contributions from 525,000 individual donors, according to campaign manager Faiz Shakir.

"Supporters have shown up big time for this campaign," he told reporters on a campaign conference call. "Huge, you would say."

In addition to the $18.2 million in new contributions, Sanders brought to the race $14 million from other campaign accounts, including his Senate reelection fund and his 2016 presidential campaign kitty. He spent a little over $4 million in his first weeks in the race, leaving him with roughly $28 million cash on hand.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019

Bernie Sanders
The Bern Rekindles: Sanders Kicks Off His Second Bid for President

Posted By on Sat, Mar 2, 2019 at 5:34 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders working the crowd at his presidential campaign rally in Brooklyn - AP PHOTO/CRAIG RUTTLE
  • AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders working the crowd at his presidential campaign rally in Brooklyn
Bernie 2.0 turns out to be a lot like the old operating system.

Confounding media speculation that his current campaign for president would introduce revealing personal elements, the Vermont senator's speech at a Brooklyn College presidential campaign kickoff rally on Saturday consisted largely of themes he's been sounding for the past 40 years.

Sanders did pause 20 minutes into his 35-minute oration to offer “a few personal words.”

He spoke of his Polish immigrant father, a paint salesman “who worked hard his entire life but never made much money.” Most of Eli Sanders' family, the candidate noted, had been “wiped out by Nazi barbarism.”

Sanders also described growing up in a three-and-a-half-room apartment not far from the snow-covered college quadrangle where he was addressing an adoring crowd of about 10,000.

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders' Campaign Account Tops $9 Million

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 1:23 PM

Rep. Peter Welch and Sen. Bernie Sanders - FILE: PAUL HEINTZ
  • File: Paul Heintz
  • Rep. Peter Welch and Sen. Bernie Sanders
In the weeks following his reelection last year, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) continued to fundraise at a brisk pace, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Between November 27 and the end of December, Sanders collected close to $560,000 and spent nearly $250,000. He finished 2018 with roughly $9.1 million in his Senate campaign account.

Sanders, who is reportedly close to announcing a second run for president, could legally transfer the funds to a presidential campaign committee. A separate, mostly dormant account affiliated with his 2016 campaign had more than $4.7 million in it at the end of the year, according to another FEC filing. A third account under Sanders' control, the Progressive Voters of America political action committee, reported $125,000 in the bank.

Sanders' latest Senate campaign report shows that he kept his reelection team of roughly a dozen people on payroll at least through the end of the year. That included several people who are expected to play a role in a potential 2020 presidential bid: 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver, spokesperson Arianna Jones, Senate campaign manager Shannon Jackson and senior adviser Joshua Orton. (CNN reported last month that Weaver would not reprise his role as campaign manager but would likely serve in another capacity.)

The senator also paid a Des Moines political consulting firm $2,500 in December, according to the filing. The company, PAD Consulting, is run by Pete D'Alessandro, who was Sanders' Iowa campaign coordinator in 2016. D'Alessandro did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his current role.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Opinion
Walters: Scott Doesn't Support Trump's Reelection

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2019 at 5:11 PM

Gov. Phil Scott - JOHN WALTERS
  • John Walters
  • Gov. Phil Scott
Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday declined an opportunity to endorse Republican President Donald Trump for reelection in 2020. During his weekly press conference, Scott did not utter the name "Donald Trump." But in a series of brief answers to press inquiries, he implicitly rejected Trump as his party's 2020 standard-bearer.

When asked if he had a preference in the next election, Scott replied, "I do not have a candidate I favor for 2020."

Asked if he would like to see a competitive Republican primary, Scott said, "It wouldn't bother me." When asked if a contested primary would be a good thing, he said, "From my standpoint, I think it would be." He would not suggest any alternative candidates.

Scott refused to endorse Trump in 2016. Since then, Scott has repeatedly distanced himself from the president, sometimes drawing the ire of VTGOP loyalists for doing so.

Scott's criticism has often focused on Trump's style. "Leaders should unite, not divide," Scott said, during the final debate of his reelection campaign. He has drawn a contrast between the rough-and-tumble of national politics and his own efforts to maintain an atmosphere of civility in Montpelier. He has differed with Trump on numerous issues as well.

In 2017, Scott signed a bill that set limits on state or local law enforcement agencies' participation in federal immigration-enforcement actions. He has been critical of Trump's hard line on the issue and opposed the separation of immigrant families at the border with Mexico. He also slammed Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords. And he refused to sign a Republican Governors Association letter endorsing Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to serve as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Monday, January 28, 2019

Bernie Sanders
Sanders' Campaign Spending on Facebook Ads Surges

Posted By and on Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 4:53 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders in San Francisco - FILE: AP PHOTO/NOAH BERGER
  • File: AP Photo/Noah Berger
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders in San Francisco
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hasn’t announced that he's running for president in 2020, and members of his staff have been tight-lipped about his intentions. But if money talks, his campaign organization spoke up — loudly and suddenly — this month.

Friends of Bernie Sanders, the senator's campaign committee, spent big on Facebook ads in January after lying largely dormant for the last three months of 2018. The splurge hit a high of $45,908 last week, around the same time that Yahoo News reported Sanders will launch a presidential campaign "imminently."

The campaign's most recent big buy landed it in the top 20 for weekly political ad spending on Facebook, trailing companies such as ExxonMobil, advocacy groups such as MoveOn, and presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Sanders' campaign spent a total of $85,439 on Facebook ads over the past four weeks.

Friends of Bernie Sanders staff did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday afternoon.

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