There’s a meme floating around, claiming the Sanders campaign paid Tad Devine, campaign consultant, $800,000 in March. That’s a lot of money, more money than most of us will see in our lifetimes. It’s especially huge, given how the Sanders campaign paints the 1%, and $800,000 for a month of work is most definitely a 1% kind of number. But is it true? Did Tad Devine really receive $800,000 in March for his work on the Sanders campaign? Let’s dig deeper, because the truth is always important.
Tad Devine is a founding partner in Devine, Mulvey and Longabaugh, a rather high-powered media company. When you visit their website, you are greeted with photos of Bernie Sanders, firefighters, a lighthouse, a meme about toxic chemicals, and a chart showing how wealthy the 1% is. Slick, eye-catching stuff, which makes sense, given what Devine, Mulvey and Longabaugh do. They are located in Washington, D.C., and their client list reads like a who’s who of political society. Al Gore, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and Lincoln Chaffee, to name a few. Devine, Mulvey and Longabaugh have international clients as well, most notably Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel. But we still haven’t answered the initial question: Did the Sanders campaign pay Devine, Mulvey and Longabaugh $800,000 in March?
Short answer is yes. The Sanders campaign paid Devine, Mulvey and Longabaugh exactly $810,211.44 in March. Now don’t get me wrong-I understand running for political office is expensive, especially running for president. You have to put together ads, create marketing packets, buttons, signs, prep questions, travel, etc. And normally, paying a media company almost $1 million wouldn’t capture my attention. This is Bernie Sanders, though. Who has said:
Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders, on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.
Washington is dominated by big money.
You’ve got the top 400 Americans owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans. Most folks do not think that is right. (source for all quotes)
Again, running a presidential campaign is expensive, and honestly, if Bernie Sanders wasn’t running on a platform of wealth equality, and a general disdain for the 1%, this never would have caught my eye. But he is running as that candidate. My guess is, the managing partners at Devine, Mulvey and Longabaugh make enough money to land them squarely in the 1%. Why didn’t Sanders hire a smaller firm? A grassroots firm, if you will. Run by a couple of single moms, with marketing degrees and student loans they’re trying to pay off? Because he knows that’s not how you win.
So a candidate who paints himself as anti-establishment is using a media firm that is as establishment as one can be, and he paid that media firm $810,211.44 in March. That’s a lot of $27 donations.