OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
11:17 PM – Monday, October 23, 2023
Senator Bernie Sanders allocated $75,000 from his campaign funds to a nonprofit run by his wife and stepson.
The Sanders Institute, established six years ago by Jane Sanders, Bernie’s wife, and David Driscoll, his stepson, aimed to serve as a “progressive think tank.”
However, the organization has raised questions due to its minimal work output, particularly in contrast to the substantial six-figure compensation received by Driscoll.
According to records from the Federal Election Commission, Senator Sanders (I-Vt.) moved tens of thousands of dollars on August 8th, labeling it as a “charitable donation.”
This financial contribution follows an earlier $200,000 grant the campaign provided to the nonprofit earlier this year.
While it may not be explicitly illegal, ethics professionals and legal experts have voiced concern about politicians directing campaign funds to family members.
They argue that this practice could potentially result in influential families benefiting financially from contributions made by donors.
The purpose behind the $75,000 transfer to the think tank remains unclear.
The inception of this think tank can be traced back to the aftermath of Sanders’ unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign. It temporarily paused operations when Sanders pursued the White House in 2020 to avoid any appearance of impropriety, as explained by Jane Sanders at the time.
The mission statement of the Sanders Institute is to “revitalize democracy by actively engaging individuals, organizations, and the media in the pursuit of progressive solutions to economic, environmental, racial and social justice issues.”
In the tax documents filed for 2022, it was revealed that Driscoll received a compensation of over $152,000 for an average of 40 hours per week, while other board members served without pay.
In April 2021, Sanders’s presidential campaign directed $350,000 to the think tank, as documented by the Federal Election Commission.
During the same year, a non-profit organization led by James M. Walton, the son of James Carr Walton, heir to the Walmart fortune and one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, also granted $350,000 to the think tank.
Together, these 2021 donations comprised 84% of the $716,000 received by the think tank during that fiscal year, according to Fox News reports.
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