By Andrew Kerr
Former Vice President Joe Biden has a “big corruption problem,” a prominent backer of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential bid said in an op-ed Monday.
Zephyr Teachout, a progressive Democrat who has lost three prominent elections in New York since 2014, said Biden’s support for the financial sector, refusal to endorse Medicare-for-all and weakness on the issue of climate change are all rooted in his relationships with corporate donors and special interests.
“It looks like ‘Middle Class’ Joe has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans,” Teachout wrote in The Guardian. “Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn’t being ‘moderate’. It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe.”
Teachout warned that the likelihood that Democrats defeat President Donald Trump in 2020 will be severely diminished if the party nominates a candidate like Biden.
“It will allow Trump to muddy the water, to once again pretend he is the one ‘draining the swamp’, running against Washington culture,” Teachout wrote. “Trump and the Cambridge Analytica of 2020 will campaign, as the did in 2016, on a message of radical nihilism: everybody lies, everybody is corrupt, nothing matters, there is no truth.”
Teachout’s op-ed did not make any mention of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, who has come under considerable scrutiny by Trump and Republicans over his service on the board of the Ukranian gas company Burisma while his then-vice president father pressured Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko to fire a prosecutor in return for $1 billion in U.S. loan assistance.
Two years later Teachout secured the Democratic nomination for New York’s 19th congressional district but lost in the general election after receiving 46% of the vote to Republican John Faso’s 54%.
Teachout made another run for a New York statewide office in 2018 as a candidate for the state’s attorney general.
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