Zero, zip, zilch, nada
Among the criticisms you will hear as a Bernie Sanders supporter is that Bernie is not a “real” Democrat (although he’s always caucused with them in Congress), and that he’s not assisting down-ballot Democrats. Sometimes, the Clinton partisans will even point to the joint fundraising program called the Hillary Victory Fund as evidence that Hillary is a good Democrat, and that Bernie is a bad one.
The Hillary Victory Fund was hatched, or at least adopted, during the Democratic National Committee’s soirée in Minneapolis last summer (when the heart-warming tableau above was created). Under the program, large contributions (like $350,000 or more: think of the party arranged by George Clooney), a small portion of each of these large contributions goes to the Clinton campaign directly, and a much larger amount goes to the DNC, and then to state parties. Neat, huh, and a great deal for the state parties to help elect all those down-ballot candidates.
In April, Counterpunch magazine published a story advancing the theory that Hillary Clinton had purchased the loyalty of thirty-some odd state Democratic organizations (and the attendant superdelegates) through the Hillary Victory Fund.
If she did, and it sounds plausible, given all the early lock ups of superdelegates Clinton got, the state party units, including particularly Minnesota, got rooked. Because as Politico reports today, most of the money paid to state party units was rerouted, usually almost immediately, to the DNC, for the benefit of guess who?
Here’s what Politico wrote about the operation in Minnesota:
For example, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party received $43,500 from the victory fund on Nov. 2, only to transfer the same amount to the DNC that same day. The pattern repeated itself after the Minnesota party received transfers from the victory fund of $20,600 on Dec. 1 (the party sent the same amount to the DNC the next day) and $150,000 on Jan. 4 (it transferred the same amount to the DNC that day).
That means that Minnesota’s net gain from its participation in the victory fund was precisely $0 through the end of March. Meanwhile, the DNC pocketed an extra $214,100 in cash routed through Minnesota — much of which the DNC wouldn’t have been able to accept directly, since it came from donors who had mostly had already maxed out to the national party committee.
Now some wags, livelier that me, have called this simple money laundering. But I can see how they might say that. Contributing to that conclusion is this, also taken from the Politico article:
According to the agreements signed by the participating committees, which were obtained by POLITICO, the money is required to be distributed, at least initially, based on a formula set forth in joint fundraising agreements signed by the participants. The first $2,700 goes to Clinton campaign, the next $33,400 goes to the DNC, and any remaining funds are to be distributed among the state parties.
But what happens to the cash after that initial distribution is left almost entirely to the discretion of the Clinton campaign. Its chief operating officer Beth Jones is the treasurer of the victory fund. And FEC filings show that within a day of most transfers from the victory fund to the state parties, identical sums were transferred from the state party accounts to the DNC, which Sanders’ supporters have accused of functioning as an adjunct of the Clinton campaign.
Apparently, COO Jones made some transfers in and out of state coffers on her own authority, without evening informing state party officials. It is more convenient that way, I’m sure. You’d hate to give the rubes the idea that the money is theirs.
I’ve written before about the gaslighting that Sanders supporters are getting from the Clintonistas. The next time, though, that one of them draws him or herself up to full height and tells you what a good Democrat Hillary is, send that individual a link here. Okay?
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