Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called on the Democratic Party to ban super PACs from the party’s primaries, Common Dreams reports.
Sanders issued the call after criticizing Democratic super PACs funded by billionaires for spending millions in dark money to defeat progressive candidates like Summer Lee in Pennsylvania and Nida Allam in North Carolina.
"The Democratic leadership has, appropriately, condemned Republican 'dark money' super PACs which spend huge amounts of money to elect their right-wing candidates," Sanders wrote in a letter to Democratic National Committee Chair Jamie Harrison. "I am concerned, however, that I have not heard any criticism from Democratic leaders about the many millions of dollars in dark money being spent by super PACs that are now attempting to buy Democratic primaries."
"The goal of this billionaire-funded effort is to crush the candidacies of a number of progressive women of color who are running for Congress," Sanders added. "I am writing to you today to demand that the Democratic National Committee make it clear that super PAC money is not welcome in Democratic primaries. I believe the party should make a public statement about our values and simultaneously consider actions that punish candidates who refuse to adhere to this principle."
Super PACs drop big bucks:
The letter came after The Intercept reported that the United Democracy Project, the political action committee of the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), spent more than $1 million on ads to defeat Lee.
"In total, United Democracy Project has spent more than $2.3 million on the race so far,” the Intercept reported.
Bain Capital billionaire Joshua Bekenstein and Lone Pine Capital billionaire Stephen Mandel also dumped millions into a super PAC backing centrist Conor Lamb in his flailing Senate primary bid against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
"The billionaire class is playing an outsized role in propping up Conor Lamb's sagging electoral chances," the American Prospect reported.
Sanders targets AIPAC:
Sanders during a rally for Lee last week called out AIPAC and on Tuesday argued that Democrats should have to "compete with each other based on their ideas and grassroots support, not on the kind of billionaire super PAC money they can attract."
"A super PAC is a super PAC, whether it is funded by Republican billionaires or Democratic billionaires. Dark money is dark money, whether it is funded by Republican billionaires or Democratic billionaires," Sanders wrote. "There is no question but that the continuation of super PAC money in Democratic primaries will demoralize the Democratic base and alienate potential Democratic voters from the political process."