Here is a statistic that strikes a blow against Citizens United and should worry the billionaire class who are attempting to purchase control of the United States government. Bernie Sanders raised $41.4 million, and 99% of his donors can give to his campaign again.
Here are the basic numbers from the Sanders campaign:
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ raised $26.2 million during the third quarter of this year – all of it for use in primaries and caucuses – in a grassroots presidential campaign that has drawn 1.3 million small donations since it began.
The average donation was $30 apiece.
The campaign closed the books at the end of the Sept. 30 reporting period with almost $27.1 million in the bank after spending about $11.3 million, according to a report filed on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.
Since his White House bid was launched last April 30, Sanders has banked a total of about $41.4 million, according to the report.
Only 270 of Sanders’ 650,000 donors gave the maximum $2,700 allowed.
That last sentence is what should scare the billionaires who are trying to buy the US government. Bernie Sanders was able to raise more money than every Republican presidential candidate, and he did it by not maxing out his donors. At thirty bucks a pop, his donors could give to him 90 times before they would max out and hit their contribution limit for the primary.
The billionaires can give unlimited funds to super PACs thanks to Citizens United, but the limitations of super PAC are becoming very obvious. Rick Perry and Scott Walker both had millions of dollars in super PACs, and both are no longer running for president. Jeb Bush’s super PACs have raised hundreds of millions of dollars, but he is stuck in single digits even after spending millions of super PAC dollars on ads in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Super PACs have yet to prove that they can elect a presidential candidate. The best way to directly aid a candidate remains a contribution to their campaign.
The billionaires have the dollars, but Bernie Sanders has the numbers. Sanders is demonstrating that the collective power of small donors can power a presidential campaign.
Sanders supporters are outnumbering the billionaires, and taking back the corrupt campaign finance system one thirty dollar donation at a time.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association