Bernie is running for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2016 Presidential Election. This is a fan-supported page with info about him, his ideals, and voting resources for all.
"After all, Wall Street is clearly the most powerful lobbying force on Capitol hill. From 1998 through 2008, the financial sector spent over $5 billion in lobbying and campaign contributions to deregulate Wall Street."
- Bernie Sanders
But.. but.. he's a politician, how is that possible?
Sanders has built his entire political campaign on donations from individuals (84%) and Union PAC's. People believe in him so much, they are single-handedly funding his campaign out of their own pockets, by choice. Most of his contributions are under $100, he just has a lot of them. Instead of receiving 20 donations of $700,000, he receives 7000 donations of $20 - and makes it work.
His campaigning isn't a flashy as other politicians, but it doesn't need to be. He is a man of his values, morals, and words. It has been a very long time since this country has seen a politician garner enough support and attention from people instead of businesses to finance his/her campaign. By a very long time, I mean these activities have been happening, documented, since Teddy Roosevelt (and probably long before that). While Wall Street's interests have been involved in politics - they haven't always been donating billions of dollars. This is a recently phenomenon once they realized they could literally buy the perfect government.
Since Bernie needs people to fund his campaign, instead of Wall Street, I hope my efforts pay off. America is so incredibly jaded by our political system, its habits, its candidates, that people don't even care about voting. I know - I was one of those people. I have registered to vote for the first time in my entire life - at the age of 34. Just for Bernie Sanders - and what is more astounding is that I am not alone, not even close.
I'm going to use Hillary here (sorry Hillary, you just make it too easy to use as a comparative base.) For a complete breakdown of political funding per candidate, please check out www.opensecrets.org. Below you will see Hillary vs. Bernie's Top (total amount) campaign contributions throughout their political careers (Since 1989). You're confused now - you see PACs on Bernie's contribution list. Scroll down below the graphic to have this explained.
PAC (Political Action Committee) is a term used for a political committee organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect candidates. PACs have a max donation of $5,000 per candidate committee, per election, as well as $5,000 to any other PAC. Additionally, they can give up to $15,000 annually to any national party committee.
Super PACs are a "new" (2010) kind of committee - technically known as "independent expenditure-only committees" and Super PACs have no limit. They are allowed to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations, and individuals - and worse yet they have no limit or rules to how they spend this money.
Union PACs - These are the PACs that are composed of union labor workers. Often, several unions may also combine into a combined Union PAC - such as Industrial Unions, or Public Sector Unions. Unlike Super PACs, however, Union PACs require the written consent of each and every member to have their paycheck garnished to fund the PAC in question. They also have donation caps.
It sure looks like Bernie has received a good amount of money from PAC donations.
This depends on what perspective you are looking at it from. PAC donations only account for 11% of Bernie's financing, whereas 84% comes from individuals - just like you and me. The majority of his donations are under $100. His first day of donations after announcing his candidacy, Bernie earned roughly $1.5 million dollars. The average donation size was $47.50.
It is unlawful for a labor union to take money from your paycheck for contributions to a Federal PAC or for the Federal PAC to accept such contributions without your written authorization.