“Inside the pro-Sanders groups taking on Clinton’s powerhouse allies”

Matea Gold for WaPo:


While she has powerhouse allies such as Planned Parenthood, the National Education Association and two big-money super PACs on her side, the pro-Sanders effort is being driven by a combination of self-directed activists and liberal organizations such as MoveOn and Democracy for America.

The ad hoc network working on Sanders’s behalf is doing so in keeping with the spirit of his anti-establishment bid. But it is also employing professional political tactics, such as the use of entities that can raise and spend unlimited sums of money on campaigns, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

In some ways, their efforts cut against Sanders’s insistence that, unlike Clinton, he does not have a super PAC flanking his campaign — a declaration he repeated Tuesday in Des Moines after leading a rally at a union hall attended by several nurses in red T-shirts. In other ways, they don’t. Although these entities can accept massive checks from individuals and corporations — a practice Sanders abhors — they do not appear to be doing so, relying instead on small donations from grass-roots supporters.

“The difference is a pretty simple difference,” he said. “Hillary Clinton goes out raising money for her own super PAC. I don’t have a super PAC, and in the best of all possible worlds, which I hope to bring about, we will get rid of super PACs, we will overturn Citizens United. I do not have a super PAC, I’ve never raised a nickel for a super PAC, I don’t want a super PAC.”


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