As he swung through Iowa this week, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont rarely passed up a chance to bash the rising tide of money in politics, a system he said on Tuesday was “corrupt and undermining American democracy.”
At many of these stops, he was accompanied by members of National Nurses United, a seven-year-old union, fanning out from a bright-red bus in matching red scrubs to corral potential Sanders votes.
But the union is not just busing nurses into Iowa. The union’s “super PAC” has spent close to $1 million on ads and other support for Mr. Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate who has inspired liberal voters with his calls to eradicate such outside groups. In fact, more super PAC money has been spent so far in express support of Mr. Sanders than for either of his Democratic rivals, including Hillary Clinton, according to Federal Election Commission records.And its not just from the good guys:
Mr. Sander’s unlikely rise to super PAC pre-eminence is, in part, the story of an unusual alignment of strategies by different outside groups, including Republican ones eager to bloody Mrs. Clinton and lift Mr. Sanders, whom conservatives believe will be easier to defeat in a general election. While the nurses’ super PAC is the biggest left-leaning outside spender in the Democratic primary, conservative organizations have also spent at least $4.3 million attacking Mrs. Clinton in recent months.I have a real problem with Bernie getting Super PAC help from the likes of Karl Rove...and he would earn a lot of respect from me if he called it out and disavowed that. But I'm fine with him getting support from Democratic aligned Super PACs, because unfortunately it's the system that every candidate has to work with. Including Hillary Clinton.
But his repeated boasting about not having any Super PAC support is simply dishonest, especially since he is the reigning king of outside money on the Democratic side.