Big story on VTDigger a few days ago, detailing the weird secrecy around much of Bernie Sanders’ campaign spending.
The campaign funneled a cool $82 million through an obscure media-buying firm located in a suburban DC house. Old Towne Media LLC did the media buys for Sanders — despite having no track record to speak of. $82 million is roughly 40 percent of Bernie’s total campaign expenditures.
The ad agency, established in 2014, has almost exclusively served the Sanders campaign, and the company keeps a low profile. It has no website and no listed phone number. A full list of principals isn’t publicly available.
The principals of Old Towne are two longtime colleagues of Jane O’Meara Sanders who have worked on some of Bernie’s past re-election bids. But it’s a big leap from staffing a slam-dunk campaign in little old Vermont, to playing a crucial role in a bid for the presidency
But hey, perhaps Bernie values loyalty over experience.
There may be a good explanation. The problem is, the Sanders camp has resolutely refused to offer any. Digger contacted numerous people around Sanders and tried repeatedly to reach Old Towne, and got stonewalled. The only actual interchange was a “tense” encounter with Bernie’s longtime chief Senate staffer Michael Briggs. who demanded to know why Digger was pursuing the story.
Well, Mike, because it’s a flippin’ story, that’s why.
Even more so when you get all huffy about it.
The question, in my mind, isn’t so much “Why Old Towne Media?” as “Why won’t Bernie answer a few simple questions?” If there are simple answers, why the runaround?
This, taken along with his Trumpian refusal to release tax returns (except for one year, far less than the accepted standard), leaves a seemingly unnecessary air of mystery around Sanders family and campaign finances.
That troubles me. It ought to trouble you.
Bernie posits himself as the one true political force, steadfast in principle. So what’s wrong with a little transparency, dude?
If, as O’Meara Sanders once said, their finances are “really pretty boring,” why not some simple disclosure? In the name of transparency and openness in politics, which are reputedly two of the core principles of politics Bernie style.
Sauce goose, sauce gander. Right?