Sanders Puts National Fundraising List to Work for Minter, Zuckerman | Off Message

Sanders Puts National Fundraising List to Work for Minter, Zuckerman

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Sen. Bernie Sanders stumps for Sue Minter, far left, and David Zuckerman, far right, Sunday in Burlington at the University of Vermont. - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders stumps for Sue Minter, far left, and David Zuckerman, far right, Sunday in Burlington at the University of Vermont.
Updated at 9:48 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spent the weekend stumping for Vermont's Democratic slate. Now he's putting his fundraising might behind two of its top candidates. 

In a message sent Monday afternoon to his national email list, Sanders called on his loyal base of donors to contribute to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter and Democratic/Progressive lieutenant gubernatorial nominee David Zuckerman. The email encourages Sanders' supporters to split their donations evenly between Minter, Zuckerman and three out-of-state candidates and causes: California State Senate candidate Jane Kim, California State Assembly candidate Eloise Reyes and California's Proposition 61, a ballot initiative designed to lower the price of prescription drugs. 

A Sanders web page designed to raise money for five candidates and causes. - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • A Sanders web page designed to raise money for five candidates and causes.
By 8:30 p.m. Monday — six hours after Sanders sent the email — Zuckerman had already raised roughly $20,000 from 2,800 donors, he told Seven Days. Minter's campaign declined to comment on its haul but issued a statement thanking Sanders for his support.

"We're excited to have Bernie Sanders highlighting Sue as a candidate who shares his values, who will strengthen the middle-class and truly tackle Vermont's affordability issues, rather than simply rehashing trickle-down economics and the national Republican line," said Minter spokesman Elliott Bent.*

Sanders has not previously raised money for Minter or Zuckerman, but he has proved to be an extraordinarily powerful fundraiser. Last May, a single email to the former presidential candidate's list netted Rep. Chris Pearson's (P-Burlington) Vermont Senate campaign $60,000 within three days and, eventually, more than $80,000. That was more than enough to fund Pearson's entire campaign. Last week, Sanders raised more than $2 million within three days for various congressional candidates. 

In Monday's email, Sanders described his fellow Vermonters like this:

In my home state of Vermont, Sue Minter is the Democratic nominee for Governor. She will be a strong leader in making higher education tuition free for all, and in the struggle against climate change. But a new poll shows she is one point behind the Republican nominee, who is receiving strong support from billionaires around the country. In my view her running-mate David Zuckerman, a family farmer and food activist, will be the most progressive Lieutenant Governor in the country. He is an outstanding member of the state senate who has taken on powerful special interests throughout his career.
Sanders was referring to a recent Vermont Public Radio poll showing Minter in a statistical tie with Republican nominee Phil Scott. 

*Correction, November 1, 2016: An earlier version of this story misspelled Elliott Bent's first name.


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