Keelan: Time to set the record straight, Bernie

By Don Keelan

The press in Vermont continues to give Bernie Sanders, the state’s U.S. senator and 2020 presidential candidate, a free pass when it comes to asking the questions that linger from the last campaign.

There are five that have continued to go unanswered, and out-of-state media sources are also attempting to seek answers.

Question 1. Is Old Towne Media still doing the media buying for the 2020 Sanders presidential campaign, and if so, who are the owners of this company? In the 2016 campaign, this Alexandria, Virginia, company, located in a single-family house, might have placed over $82 million in media purchases and could withhold roughly 15% to 17% as commissions. This translates to close to $14 million. Where did the funds end up?

Don Keelan

Bernie Sanders is exceptional in getting tens of thousands of donors to contribute $5 and $10 to his campaign (as of Jan 2020, $132 million was raised). But what is little known is that his campaign also gives millions of campaign funds to consultants who are close family friends.

Question 2. In 2010 or shortly thereafter, did Bernie Sanders or any of his family and or staff bring pressure to Burlington’s People’s United Bank to approve a $6.5 million loan for Burlington College? At the time, Jane Sanders was president of the college and in the process of purchasing its headquarters property, overlooking Lake Champlain, from the Catholic Diocese of Burlington for $10 million.

The loan from the bank should never have been made in the first place. The college’s financial statements did not support such a loan, small private college student enrollment was forecasted to have a major decline, and most importantly, the college’s pledges that were reported to the bank were substantially bogus and absent of any independent verification by the bank.

Question 3. Was pressure ever brought upon the Vermont Educational & Health Buildings Finance Agency to provide their imprimatur on the $6.5 million bond deal with People’s United Bank? The agency’s approval of the transaction enables the lender to have the bond interest to be received from Burlington College tax-exempt, which made the loan more attractive to the bank.

Question 4. Why hasn’t the Sanders campaign used Vermont banks as the depository for its fundraising receipts? In the 2016 Sanders for president campaign, close to $166 million was spent. As of January 2020, approximately $132 million has been raised from donations. If these funds were to have been deposited in Vermont’s banks, it would have gone a long way in helping the Vermont economy.

A request for clarification from the Sanders Vermont campaign headquarters was made but no response was received.

Question 5. Vermont is home to at least five dozen marketing and advertising companies. Why is it that none of the campaign’s media buying is placed with these in-state firms? Why are Bluewest Media, Aisle 518 Strategies, and Act Blue receiving so much of the campaign’s dollars?

It is no mystery that the dollars don’t leave the Sanders’ campaign treasury without first getting the blessing of Bernie, and especially Jane Sanders.

Let’s not be naive when it comes to the once-every-four-years presidential primaries and elections. We hear the public pronouncements of Medicare for All, gun control, taxing the very rich, ending racial injustice, combating climate change, and on and on. However, there is also the “hidden side of campaigning,” and that is where tens of millions of dollars are up for grabs and political consultants and media buyers are lined up — it is a huge pay day for many.

Sanders has been consistent for all the years he has been in politics. Not only is the message the same, but he also makes sure that family and friends do well and are taken care of, especially when millions of dollars are available to legally do so.

Don Keelan writes a bi-weekly column and lives in Arlington, Vermont.

Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr

8 thoughts on “Keelan: Time to set the record straight, Bernie

  1. Sanders go to Canada a lot.. They have banks up there.. Being a Vt Senator or the Senator’s wife, they aren’t asked questions. Easy to hide money. Ole Janey daughter’s so called Woodworking school (which is just down the road from me) is a joke, The so called students spend more time up at Smuggs ski area then in “class”. The school was given money from Janey through the Burlington college. Janey is very good at stealing and hiding money. Very good at destroying computers and files too. Remember when Burlington College toward the end was broken into and computers, laptops and files were taken, and what was found in the Van was destroyed.. That was a put up job..That whole family are crooks

  2. Personally believe we can all breathe a sigh of relief – numbers don’t lie – people do. 538 to the rescue:

    Not a fan of demanding *anyone* get out of elections as it runs counter to a democracy. However calls for Bolshevik Bernie to exit are fact-based – barring a dramatic turn of events and looking at the numbers – he cannot win the delegates. And superdelegates are packed w/Congress and anticommunist Dem party bosses. However if he has the cash and due to his secret nonprofit cash-cow Our Revolution he can make it to Milwaukee. Because of Trump victory we can never say never, but in this case election results say it all afaic and this is a primary not the general. His ppl not turning out in droves – so the so-called ‘revolution’ is in deepfreeze.

    Veritas videos emerging detailing Antifa-influenced campaign workers and tacit acceptence of thug-style tactics a huge eyeopener. Along w/60 Minutes interview featuring clear defense of US enemies communist Cuba – then doubling down – a self inflicted double-barrel to the forehead. And new sources show serving as apologist for Soviet Union and honeymooning during Cold War. And Marxist Nicaragua leader Ortez and its breadlines *facepalm*

    Posterchilding of Red China declaring it ‘lifted more people out of poverty than any other nation’ a pants-on-fire lie from a practiced pathological liar. Cough, cough: no we and rest of world did by allowing undeserved entry into WTO. W/its vast system of Nazi-style human right violations which include forced organ removal on demand of political prisoners and ethnic groups w/no anesthetic – resulting in the tortuous death of each donor. And the also tortuous deaths of defenseless household pets – cats and Mans Best Friend – dogmeat sold on open market and cruel killing thereof of sentient creatures. And brutal concentration camp enforced gulag system. And this is the short version 😉

  3. Don Keelan, I like your research and your articles.

    YOU would make an exceptional State Senator. I hope you will consider running.

  4. Very good article, and all very good questions, We will never know. I just hope and pray he doesn’t acquire any more power than he already has. What disturbs me even more is that the majority of Vermonters just love him!! I’m surrounded by them where I live. Believe me, these folks weren’t here when I was growing up.

  5. 2016 revisited. Sanders gets superdelegated out, crying all the way home to his 3+ houses and unspent campaign donations/siphoned cash, still collecting Senator’s paycheck for still doing jack constructive in Congress. Giimme-free-stuff supporters shift focus to state, local to continue Bern-ing up what’s left of Vermont.
    Meanwhile, Groper Joe Bumblehead gets nominated with spectre of Hideous Hillary–or worse– looming as chosen running mate who would step in after abdication of the first Alzheimer’s Chief Executive in U.S. history.

    Silver Lining?: Wuhan COVID-19 decimates Left side of the aisle, realistic congress installed via special elections begin dissolution of FRB and………..

    Must have got some doctored blends in my last delivery of pipe tobacco. Apologies for the unrealistic optimism. We are screwed if we don’t reelect The Donald.

  6. What passes for the Vermont press drool all over themselves when discussing this decrepit socialist charlatan. One of the worst is Darin Perrin.

  7. Vermont’s Barking Buffoon, yes just listen to him spew his nonsense, he’s going to save
    the country now that’s he running for President, but what has he done since he went to
    DC in 2007 until now ……….. Nothing, except take a paycheck !!

    Don’t ask him about consultants who are close family friends and can receive 10-15% of
    the $132M Sanders raised for his campaign or don’t ask him about his strong arming the
    financial institutions on getting Jane’s Burlington College loan she folded or the $500K
    that went to her daughters wood workers shop off that loan ….

    Bernie ” Ponzi scheme” Madoff has nothing over Bernie Sanders ” Political ” scheme !!

    Wake up, people !!

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