Investigative reporter and author Peter Schweizer has made a career out of exposing the corrupt activities of public officials — and now, he has set his sights on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the current frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary race.
During an appearance on Fox News’ Fox & Friends on Wednesday, Schweizer revealed that Sanders has reaped the financial benefits of being in office for decades — and his family has, too.
Bernie and Jane
Speaking with host Steve Doocy, Schweizer suggested that Sanders’ campaign vow to take on greed and corruption is anything but genuine.
“This goes back to the 1980s when Bernie was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont,” said Schweizer, who recently released a book titled Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite. “One of the first things he did, Steve, was put his then-girlfriend, later-wife, on the payroll.
“The city council objected and said, ‘You can’t do this.’ Bernie ignored them,” Schweizer continued. “That began this pattern of steering money — taxpayer money and campaign money — to his family.”
The author went on to describe Sanders’ wife’s media buying business, which was reportedly done out of the couple’s Vermont home.
“She had no background in advertising, no background in media buying,” Schweizer said, alleging that Jane Sanders was working for her husband’s campaign. “And the dirty little secret here…is that when you do a media buy the buyer is entitled to a commission of between 10[%] and 15%, so it can be quite lucrative,” he added, according to Newsmax. “We know that at least $150,000 was funneled to Jane Sanders this way.”
More problems for Sanders
Schweizer also noted Wednesday that Bernie Sanders appeared to withhold from endorsing two of his political allies, who were running for governor and lieutenant governor in Vermont in the early 2000s, until after both had hired his wife to do their media buys. “He clearly seems to be leveraging his position for her business as well,” Schweizer concluded.
The author went on to say that while what Bernie Sanders has done isn’t technically illegal for politicians as it would be in the corporate world in terms of conflict of interest laws, it nonetheless seems shady and untoward. And that’s not the self-proclaimed democratic-socialist’s only problem; according to Schweizer, the senator’s stock portfolio shows he’s far from the “socially responsible” candidate that he wants voters to believe he is.
“He’s not buying solar company stock or buying into an organic cattle farm,” Schweizer alleged Wednesday, according to Fox. “He’s buying Fortune 500 companies, so he attacks Wall Street, he attacks Big Pharma, he attacks Big Oil… He’s invested in those companies. That’s where he’s actually putting his assets.”
In Schweizer’s eyes, this is “a major problem for Bernie, this gap between the image he portrays and the reality of how he actually conducts his own affairs.”
Indeed, if what Schweizer has alleged proves true, it could be detrimental to Sanders’ 2020 campaign. That is, if the mainstream media is willing to report on it.