The worst fear of the Koch brothers has always been that people will learn about their activities and fight back. On Face The Nation, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced that people are fighting back, and his campaign now has more than 200,000 donors.
DICKERSON: I want to talk about the role of campaign donations in campaigns.
Hillary Clinton in her speech yesterday talked about the unaccountable money that is distorting elections. You’re only taking small donations. She has a super PAC. Is that one of those distinctions voters — is that a big distinction or little distinction between you two?
SANDERS: I think it is, John.
Look, let me be very clear. This disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision is undermining American democracy. And when you have a family like the Koch brothers, second wealthiest family in America, going to be spending more money in this campaign than either the Democratic or Republican parties, I worry about us moving toward oligarchy, where our political system is controlled by the rich and the powerful.
I am raising money from small individual contributions. BernieSanders.com has raised now — some 200,000 people have sent in small contributions. I don’t have a super PAC. I don’t want money from the billionaires. And that’s the way we’re going to run our campaign.
DICKERSON: Senator, one last question. We have just very little time here. If the system is corrupt, does that also mean that the lawmakers who are accepting money are also corrupt?
SANDERS: It means that you have a campaign finance system which is absolutely corrupt.
Look, American democracy does not mean that billionaires should be able to buy elections and buy candidates. We have got to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. And, in my view, John, we have got to move public funding of elections.
The worst nightmare of all oligarchs is popular rebellion. Bernie Sanders is speaking for millions of Americans who are not going to sit back and allow the Kochs and corporations to purchase the federal government through a corrupt campaign finance system.
Some in the Democratic Party establishment aren’t getting why Bernie Sanders is popular. Sen. Sanders is popular because he is addressing issues that matter most to people who are just getting by or having trouble paying their bills.
The candidacy of Bernie Sanders is not rooted in protest. There is an authentic populist anger in this country that should frighten the Koch brothers and other conservative billionaires.
Bernie Sanders is bringing national attention to the role of the Koch brothers and others in our elections. The Sanders movement is growing, and the right-wing billionaires should be very afraid.