Bernie Sanders’ “non-partisan” nonprofit – The Sanders Institute – is collecting a lot of money, but like other so-called charities on the left, there’s been very little to show for it.
The “progressive think tank backed by star power and big money” has successfully leveraged the socialist senator’s celebrity status since its launch in 2016, despite concerns about nepotism, funding deals with the progressive Our Revolution, and questionable connections to Sanders’ presidential campaign.
“In a June 2017 interview with USA Today, Jane Sanders said the institute would be producing and distributing ‘original content,’ yet the organization’s website is largely filled with recycled work. In its first year, the group has released just four press releases, three of which were released in its first month of existence.
“Under the organization’s ‘Research and Reports’ section of its website, there are 18 posts, 16 of which are reposted from other sources, including from federal agencies and institute fellows. The remaining two posts are authored by Sanders Institute staffers. One is a breakdown of how citizens can contact their elected representatives; the text of the other — entitled A Freedom Budget For All Americans — is attributed to Wikipedia.”
The American Mirror had more to report:
“Jane Sanders, Bernie Sanders’ wife, works as a founder, fellow, fundraiser and non-voting member of the board, while her son, David Driscoll, takes an estimated $100,000 salary to run the Institute.
“The Institute’s only other paid employees include Ellyn Heald, director of its fellowship program, and Colleen Lineweaver as the director of research, both with estimated $75,000 salaries.
“Lineweaver is married to Our Revolution director Shannon Jackson, while Heald worked for Sanders’ presidential campaign and The Glover Park Group, a political consulting firm. The Institute’s unpaid fellows include philosopher Cornel West, author Bill McKibben and actor Danny Glover, according to the news site.”
While The Sanders Institute has collected a total of about a half-million dollars over the last year, it’s produced only one substantive report with help and funding from the National Nurses United union to advocate for Medicare for All.
While The Sanders Institute hasn’t collected tens of millions of dollars from Middle Eastern countries or other foreigners who wish to influence U.S. policy like the Clinton Foundation, it’s undoubtedly enriching the Sanders family and others who support Sanders’ progressive politics.