For a man who has Many Serious Thoughts about the relationship between cronyism and government efficiency, Bernie Sanders and his wife certainly seem to have taken advantage of the public system themselves, when given the chance.
According to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, Sanders and his wife frequently steered money from his campaign and her job at a Burlington College to their own benefit, and to the benefit of their kids, and used their positions of influence to do favors for family friends.
According to Jane O’Meara Sanders, the senator’s wife, Sanders’ House campaigns paid her more than $90,000 for consulting and ad placement services from 2002 to 2004. She pocketed about $30,000 of that money.
Her daughter Carina Driscoll, Sanders’ stepdaughter, also drew a salary from the campaign. She was paid more than $65,000 between 2000 and 2004, according to her mother.
After working for the campaign, the senator’s wife would come under scrutiny for expenditures at Burlington College, where she was hired as president in 2004. While she led the school, it paid six-figure sums to her daughter and the son of a family friend.
Burlington College offered its students a study abroad program in the Caribbean, according to tax filings. It reported spending about $47,000 on that program in the tax year beginning in mid-2008.
Around that time, the son of Jonathan Leopold, a Burlington College board member, purchased a small resort in the Bahamas called Andro’s Beach Club and an accompanying hotel, Nathan’s Lodge.
Leopold served with Sanders in the Burlington city government—as mayor, Sanders appointed Leopold city treasurer—before becoming embroiled in scandal involving millions of dollars in payments to a Burlington telecommunications company.
You can read the full report at the Beacon, but rest assured, that Beach Club in the Bahamas is most certainly involved.
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