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Bernie’s Dirty Tricks: The Vermont Socialist’s Troubling History of Campaign Shenanigans

TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Correct The Record
DATE: February 18, 2016
SUBJECT: Bernie’s Dirty Tricks: The Vermont Socialist’s Troubling History of Campaign Shenanigans

“We’re running a clean campaign. We don’t need dirty tricks.” Bernie Sander’s campaign manager Jeff Weaver said that two months ago. This was in the midst of the Sanders campaign’s exploitation of a data breach to access Clinton voter data, and right before they began a stream of misleading endorsements.

These kinds of tactics may be damning, but they are nothing new for a Bernie Sanders campaign. The irony may have been lost on Weaver at the time, but we’re here to make sure you aren’t left out. Bernie Sanders has a long history of dirty tricks – we’re talking a troubling thirty years of campaign shenanigans.

Watch this video to see Bernie’s more recent dirty tricks, and see below for a brief history of Bernie’s shady campaign tactics.

A Brief History of Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Shenanigans

2016 Democratic Primary

Data Breach

Bernie Sanders staffers exploited a temporary glitch in the DNC’s voter database to save lists created by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.  [Bloomberg, 12/18/15]


Bernie Sanders’s campaign distributed mailers in Iowa that included a photo of AARP members wearing shirts with the slogan of the group’s Social Security campaign. AARP’s Iowa chapter had to clarify publicly that it is not supporting Bernie Sanders. [Newsweek, 1/28/16]

Bernie Sanders’s campaign used the logo of the League of Conservation Voters on a mailer. The League of Conservation Voters later had to ask the Sanders campaign to stop using its logo.  [Newsweek, 1/28/16]

Nevada Culinary Union

Bernie Sanders campaign operatives wore culinary union pins to gain access to Nevada culinary workers dining rooms.  [Ralston Reports, 1/28/16]

Culinary Workers Union Local 226 confirmed and condemned “reports of Bernie Sanders’ campaign staffers attempting and gaining access to Employee Dining Rooms at Las Vegas Strip properties.”  [The Hill, 1/28/16]


Push Polls

Sanders was accused of “running so-called ‘push polls,’ a tactic considered deceptive in which a partisan caller, masquerading as an independent pollster, asks a potential voter leading questions with the intention of spreading negative information about an opponent.” [U.S. News, 2/16/16]

Manipulated Democratic Primary Process to Prevent Democratic Challenger

Bernie Sanders worked with the Vermont Democratic Party to keep Democratic candidates off the ballot in the general election.  [‘Party shuns Vermont Democrats in race; Seeks to clear way for independent in US Senate bid,’ Boston Globe, 7/13/06]

Part of Backroom Political Deal? 

According to a UVM political scientist, Bernie Sanders made a deal with Democrats in 2006 that, in return for ensuring Progressives would not challenge Democrats for Vermont’s House seat, no Democrat would run against Sanders in the general.  [Seven Days, 9/9/15]

Sanders’ Democratic Primary Opponents Criticized this as a blatantly Unfair Process

One of Sanders’ Democratic primary opponents called the Vermont Democratic Party’s support of Sanders in the primary “highly unethical.” [“Party shuns Vermont Democrats in race; Seeks to clear way for independent in US Senate bid,” Boston Globe, 7/13/06]

One of Sanders’ Democratic primary opponents on Bernie Sanders’ collusion with the Vermont Democratic Party:  “This is against the legislative intent to have the voters pick the candidates in primaries, not the political machines.”  [Burlington Free Press, 9/5/06]


Secret Deal with Democrats

Editorials in the Vermont Times accused Sanders of “backroom shenanigans in which Sanders struck a deal to run for Vermont’s U.S. House seat with just token Democratic opposition, in exchange for opting out of a run for governor.” [U.S. News, 2/16/16]


Misleading Flyer

Bernie Sanders’ campaign was accused of “distributing a flyer that implied the endorsement of the Rutland Herald, and of sending a letter that suggested it had the support of the Vermont National Organization for Women.” [U.S. News, 2/16/16]