One of the major criticisms Hillary Clinton and her supporters have consistently thrown at Bernie Sanders is the fact that he is not raising money for other downticket Democrats and “supporting the party.”
Clinton’s pricey fundraisers, which have been widely censured, are often used to help fund the DNC and down-ballot Democrats—this is how her supporters justify taking millions from wealthy lobbyists in lieu of publicly funding her campaign.
Sanders has been an Independent for decades, and although he caucuses with the Democrats in Congress, he owes no allegiance to the DNC or the Democratic Party (particularly as the DNC and its head, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have been in the bag for Clinton since the beginning and actively worked to crush Sanders’s movement).
However, he still managed to put these criticisms to rest after endorsing three women running for congressional seats: New York’s Zephyr Teachout, Washington’s Pramila Jaypal, and Nevada’s Lucy Flores.
On Sanders’s website, you can make a donation to the campaign that will be split among these candidates, along with Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley—the first member of the Senate to come out and endorse Sanders.
The Sanders campaign sent an email urging his supporters to make these donations, outlining Flores’s case in particular:
“During [Lucy Flores’s] 2014 campaign one D.C. pro-choice group, EMILY’s List, endorsed her and added that she was an ‘inspiring community leader.’ They even kicked off a program to elect more Latinas to Congress in 2016.
But then Lucy Flores endorsed our political revolution before the Nevada caucus, and everything changed. EMILY’s List decided to endorse a different person in Lucy’s House race this time around. So I want to support Lucy like she’s supported us, because we stand together. And I am asking you to join me.
Lucy Flores is exactly the kind of person I'm going to need in Congress when I am president. And we can help get her there.”
The beautiful thing about this choice is that Sanders is endorsing and raising money for progressive Democrats who are running against establishment Democrats in primaries. This is not at all what the DNC was imagining when it hoped Sanders would fundraise for Democrats, but it perfectly empowers the foundations of his progressive movement and helps to reduce pro-corporate Democrats in Congress.
Other progressive candidates that are running for Congress include Tim Canova (FL), Alan Grayson (FL), John Fetterman (PA), Tom Fiegen (IA), and Thomas Wakely (TX).
These are the seeds of the political revolution Sanders is hoping to build. With progressive congressional support, he would be able to enact his policies, and he is more than willing to help raise money for the candidates who stand by their progressive ideals.
Banner Image Credit: Reuters