A right wing web site that claims to be an “independent watchdog” has attacked Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for defending the US Postal Service and its employees. The site, which calls itself Vermont Watchdog, claims that Sanders is more interested in campaign contributions from postal workers then in the USPS itself:
BURLINGTON, Vt. — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says he’s worried the U.S. Postal Service is running out of cash, but he may be worried more about his own campaign cash.
In a March 4 editorial published in the Wall Street Journal, Sanders, a Vermont independent, called the USPS one of the country’s most important government agencies.
“It supports millions of jobs in virtually every other sector of our economy. It provides decent-paying union jobs to some 500,000 Americans, and it is the largest employer of veterans,” he wrote.
For Sanders, however, these “decent-paying union jobs” translate into high-paying campaign supporters.
Since Sanders was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 and then the U.S. Senate in 2006, labor unions with ties to the USPS have ranked among the top financial supporters of his political campaigns.
The American Postal Workers Union has given $36,200 since Sanders went to work in Washington. The National Association of Letter Carriers has dumped $50,000 into Sanders’ campaign coffers.
The Koch crowd apparently figure that Vermonters will be shocked at all that money flowing from what the wingnuts like to call “union bosses”. But take another look at the numbers- $86,200 total from two labor unions over the course of twenty four years!
That works out to the princely sum of $3,591 a year. Less than ten dollars a day.
Golly. Imagine the influence that kind of money buys!
Consider also the fact that those wicked “union bosses” didn’t get that money from their Communist overlords- they got it from middle class working people who voluntarily donated money to union PACs. No one forces you to contribute, and no one forces you to belong to the union.
Of course the real problem with corrupt politicians selling themselves to the highest bidder has nothing to do with unions. The problem is people like the billionaire Koch brothers.
From the Huffington Post:
The two billionaire industrialists, Charles and David Koch, and their dual networks of undisclosed donors and “dark money” nonprofits, have emerged as the largest independent political force on the Republican side. Already, groups linked to the Kochs have spent more than $25 million on television and radio in crucial 2014 House and Senate races, according to Democratic media-buying sources. Other reports, which also count spending on digital advertising, show a total that is closer to $30 million.
That’s $30 million for just the current Congressional campaign, not a few thousand bucks spread over two and a half decades.
So why is Vermont Watchdog worried about $10 a day from a few working Americans and not millions and millions in the space of a few months from two shady speculators?
Guess who helps pay for Vermont Watchdog. Yup, the Koch brothers.
The Vermont Watchdog’s Koch connection is easy to trace- the parent watchdog.org site says
Watchdog.org is a collection of independent journalists [sic] covering state-specific and local government activity. The program began in September 2009, a project of Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity,
“Independent journalists”. Good one!
According to the Columbia Journalism Review, “95 percent of the Franklin Center’s revenues came from the liberty advocacy group DonorsTrust, whose top contributors were Libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch”.
It’s worth noting that while union contributions to political campaigns are completely voluntary, the Koch’s dirty money comes from people like you and me. When you buy Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups, you’re involuntarily donating a fraction of the purchase price to the Koch’s bought and paid for politicians. (Not to mention their stable of “independent journalists”!)