In a conference call with reporters, the Hillary Clinton campaign pushed back hard and hinted at the hypocrisy of the Sanders campaign for complaining about the exact same joint fundraising agreement that Sanders has in place with the DNC.
Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook said, “It is also a very common practice. John Kerry did this in 2004. President Obama did this in both of his presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012. The DNC does the very commonly, and all of Sen. Sanders’ colleagues have done it. The fact that I find particularly ironic is that Sen. Sanders himself has set up a joint fundraising committee with the DNC. He has just chosen not to raise any money into it and support the DNC.”
A check of the facts reveals that Sen. Sanders did sign a joint fundraising agreement with the DNC in November 2015.
The move, which comes more than two months after Hillary Clinton’s campaign signed such an agreement in August, will allow Sanders’ team to raise up to $33,400 for the committee as well as $2,700 for the campaign from individual donors at events.
The Clinton campaigned denied that they were siphoning off any money from the joint fundraisers. Mook said that the Clinton joint fundraising committee operates under the same rules that all joint fundraising committees operate under. Mook said that there are two Democrats running in this primary, and only one of them is helping the DNC and state Democratic parties elect Democrats.
The allegations are serious, but the Sanders campaign has shown no sign yet that they are willing to file a formal complaint with the FEC. Unless Sanders files a formal complaint, there will be speculation that the motive behind the allegation is political. The Sanders campaign could be trying to change the conversation ahead of the New York primary.
The question that deserves an answer is why did Sen. Sanders sign a joint fundraising agreement with the DNC if he is so opposed to these kinds of fundraisers?
It is a contradiction that deserves an explanation. The ball is now in the court of the Sanders campaign. If they have proof of campaign finance violations, they need to make it public. The campaigns can bicker until the end of time, but without evidence, these allegations are just concerns raised by a campaign that is on track to lose the Democratic nomination.
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