Why is Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) laying off hundreds of campaign “workers”? He is still bringing in millions of dollars every month, his campaign is not broke, and although his path to the nomination is difficult, he has not yet been mathematically eliminated.
The answer may be in a little thing called a Leadership PAC. Here is how OpenSecrets.org describes a Leadership PAC:
“A leadership PAC is a political action committee that can be established by current and former members of Congress as well as other prominent political figures. Leadership PACs are designed for two things: to make money and to make friends, both of which are crucial to ambitious politicians looking to advance their careers.
Leadership PACs are used to fund expenses that are ineligible to be paid by campaign committees or congressional offices. Those costs can include travel to raise a politician’s profile, for instance…”
Interesting line here about funding things that are ineligible to be paid for with campaign funds. Ever wonder what happens to all of the money left over in a Federal Elected Officials campaign account when they step down? Well prior to 1994, that person could pay the income tax on those funds and keep them. Many observers believe that that was one of the main reasons for the large number of Congressional retirements that year. After 1994, the only thing you could do with those funds and maintain some semblance of control over them was to form a Leadership PAC. Effectively giving the former Federal Elected officials a slush fund to cover their expenses for peddling their influence. Want to take a trip to Disneyland? No problem, meet with one local official while you are there and give them a few dollars and bingo, the Leadership PAC pays for the whole trip.
Bernie might be a Democratic Socialist, but he’s not stupid. He can see millions of left over campaign dollars, and like all leftists, he likes being rich and in charge. Senator Sanders Leadership PAC allows him to enjoy the equivalent of hitting the lottery; the question is how do you explain it to his millions of economically clueless donors, that they have just been robbed again?