Bernie Sanders, one of the most vocal advocates of transparency, essentially used the system to avoid transparency https://t.co/UUG2xd51O1
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) August 18, 2016
NBC sourced their story from the Center for Public Integrity’s “How Bernie Sanders beat the clock — and avoided disclosure”:
On June 30, Sanders’ campaign requested a second 45-day extension, saying the senator had “good cause” to delay because of his “current campaign schedule and officeholder duties.”…
Now that Sanders’ second extension has expired, spokesman Michael Briggs confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity that the senator won’t file a presidential campaign personal financial disclosure after all.
“We were told that since the senator no longer is a candidate there was no requirement to file,” Briggs said.
FEC spokesman Christian Hilland verified that Sanders has not filed a personal financial disclosure. He likewise confirmed that Sanders, who technically ceased to be a presidential candidate when Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic nomination on July 26, is no longer required to file one…
This seems like a very fair criticism of Sanders' refusal to disclose personal financial info https://t.co/5Vn3Kr3hlS – hope he addresses it
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 18, 2016
Me, I’ve been saying all along that “I seriously doubt there’s anything revelatory in the Sanders campaign finances beyond their embarrassing amateurism.” And now that he’s returned to his Green Mountain home(s), the only people with a real stake in the issue of Sanders’ finances are the voters of Vermont and the media in that unwealthy underpopulated state…
VTDigger, “Special report: Sanders campaign millions go to mystery firm“:
Nestled near the end of a suburban cul-de-sac in Alexandria, Virginia, is one of the most profitable media buying agencies in the 2016 primary race for the White House.
The unassuming two-story, single family home at 4507 Penwood Drive, is the registered address for Old Towne Media LLC — the media buying company that purchased more than $82 million in TV ad time for Bernie Sanders’ Democratic presidential campaign, Federal Election Commission reports through May show.
Old Towne’s income from the Sanders campaign has not been disclosed, but the industry standard for ad buy commissions is 15 percent. Based on that formula, the firm could have made $12 million.
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.
Old Towne Media has another connection to Sanders: The two principal buyers for the company worked in the past with his wife, Jane. Jane Sanders, Shelli Hutton-Hartig and Barbara Abar Bougie were media buyers during Bernie Sanders’ 2006 Senate race….
Bennington Banner, “The best legal form of siphoning“:
… According to recent reports and reports as far back as April of this year in VTDigger, The Washington Post, and Slate Magazine, “substantial portion” amounts to approximately $76.5 million or about 85 percent of the funds transferred to Old Towne Media LLC. It is generally accepted that the company placing the ads retains 15 percent as a commission. And of course, this begs the question of where the balance of the funds, $13.5 million, ended up.
There is a partial answer and, according to a statement in Slate Magazine, Tad Devine, a senior and longtime Sanders consultant, about $4.8 million was paid to his firm, Devine Mulvey Longabaugh, for video productions along with splitting a commission with Old Towne Media LLC…
A question raised is why did his campaign officials feel that it was necessary to place the funds with a company, not two years in business, with no employees, working out of a private residence in Alexandria, Va.? According to the 2016/17 Vermont Business Directory, there are 62 long established advertising/media firms in Vermont. Were any of them given an opportunity to do the ad placements? Also, did his campaign use Vermont banks for the depositories of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in campaign contributions?
These questions pale next to the big question which state and national media are trying to get answered-who owns Old Towne Media LLC? . Another question is who will be the recipients of the millions of dollars of commissions still left in the company now that the campaign has come to an end? Legally, the balance does not have to be returned to the campaign’s accounts in that it has been earned by Old Towne Media LLC…
To be fair, politics is a career like any other, and a successful politician is one who’s built the equivalent of a self-held business. It’s only logical that the best of such business tend to turn into family firms, with partners and relatives who once worked for free morphing into paid consultants or analysts. But not every successful politician has achieved peak career visibility with a splashy national campaign touting their own fiscal purity and implacable opposition to profiting from their political connections. Maybe it’s not dirty money if it accrues in modest little $27 chunks?