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February 17, 2016

Philly mega-donor: Dems would throw big money at Bernie (even if he doesn't want it)

Bernie Sanders has consistently tried separating himself from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton with two assertions:

  1. Clinton takes money from Wall Street, I don't 
  2. Clinton embraces Super PAC money, I don't want it

Well that's all well and good, but if Sanders wins the nomination, Democrats will find every which way to throw big money at him to win the general election, says one Philly mega-donor. And they'll do it whether he likes it or not.

Mel Heifetz made headlines for being Pennsylvania's biggest political donor in 2012 after throwing more than $1 million at President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. Speaking with The Hill, he said he's supporting Hillary Clinton but would donate to Sanders if he became the nominee.

The website notes that several of Clinton's donors are skeptical of Sanders' approach of taking small, individual contributions, despite him raising almost $100 million by doing so. But as Heifetz explains, that doesn't mean they won't opt to throw money to Sanders if need be. More from The Hill:

Democrats will “go to extremes to make sure that we win and don’t give Republicans a chance to take over the presidency,” says Philadelphia real estate investor Mel Heifetz, a Democratic mega-donor who gave $1 million to President Obama’s super-PAC in 2012 and is now supporting Clinton.

“People will put up the money,” Heifetz said, adding that even though he has chosen to back Clinton in the primary, in a general election he would write a $100,000-plus check to a pro-Sanders vehicle if asked, regardless of whether Sanders solicited the super-PAC support.

Already, Sanders is being supported by super-PACs despite his condemnation of them in every stump speech and every debate with Clinton.

The Hill goes on to point out how the same sentiment may not resonate with big business Democrats considering Sanders' constant public battering of Wall Street.

Sanders has taken heat lately for benefiting from Wall Street donors and super PACs, actions seemingly contradictory to his platform.

It should be noted that the main super PAC at the center of said allegations is National Nurses United for Patient Protection. 

As the Huffington Post explains, that PAC is funded mainly by union members' contributions and is simply a PAC supporting Sanders, not one directly aligned with a specific candidate like Clinton and Priorities USA.