Report: Bernie campaign paid $200K to non-profit run by stepson

Jane Sanders, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and son/step-son David Driscoll (inset), recipient of salary of not-for-profit funded by the Sanders campaign. Photo credits Sanders campaign FB page, Sanders Institute website.

by Alison Despathy 

Less than a year after the sketchy FTX crypto-campaign funding scandal involving current Rep. Becca Balint (D-VT), Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT), and the Vermont Democratic Party, more financial finagling inquiries have surfaced on yet another Vermont member of Congress –  Sen. Bernie Sanders.  

As reported by Fox News, Sen. Sanders’ campaign transferred $200,000 to the Sanders Institute, his wife (Jane Sanders) and step son’s (David Driscoll) non-profit organization.

Recently acquired 2021 tax returns from the Sanders Institute reveal that 40% of the donations received morphed into salaries despite what appears to be a minimum of actual work performed by the institute itself. According to federal election commission records, the Sanders campaign committee donated $100,000 twice to the Sanders Institute. These donations were the largest made by the committee. 

Fox News reported: “The tax documents indicate that the progressive lawmaker’s stepson is the big winner of the operation. In 2021, the institute raised $716,618 and drove $257,000 into wages, including $152,653 in salary and other compensation to Driscoll, who acts as its executive director.”

Questions related to the funneling of money are center stage and many await a response from Senator Sanders and the Sanders Institute regarding this situation.  Further questions relate to the intention and actual work of the Sanders Institute since its inception in 2016.  

For example, a quick read of the Sanders Institute blog shows the most recent post authored by the Institute is over a month old – a story on homelessness in California. Most of the posts are reprints from other news sources. The website trumpets its organization of something called The Gathering – an event that (as far as website readers know) happened five years ago in Burlington.

For an essentially socialist politician decrying capitalism and its evils, Senator Sanders has earned significant income apart from his Congressional salary. Sanders doubled his income in 2022 with his new book, ironically entitled, “It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism.”  

Business Insider reported that Sanders almost doubled his income in 2022 with $170,000 in book royalties on top of his $174,000 Senator’s income. Apparently, he also made $170,000 from his book in 2020, bringing his book earnings to $340,000 thus far.

Categories: Congress

35 replies »

  1. Most important rIrst steps to spreading socialism is paying yourself and your family…

    Didn’t they do the same with their daughter in the catholic diocese land / mismanagement of school funds (enough to close it)?

  2. Upon reaching millionaire status, and no longer trashing millionaires, but narrowing the scope of his jealousy to billionaires, the Senator from Brooklyn New York when asked why he had suddenly seemingly forgiven millionaires stated “my wife wrote a book, if you want to be a millionaire, write a book”. I guess that millionaire authors are impervious to the sleazery that other millionaires, and billionaires are highly susceptible to ??? No wonder he’s silent on the investigation into the Biden families crime ventures.

  3. Did Bernie’s campaign accept any contributions from Bankman-Fried’s FTX Ponzi scheme?

  4. Bernie is just one example why we need people vetted before they can even run for an office and re-election thereafter. Mandatory drug testing also should be used. I’m sure people who donated to his campaign are really pleased that he used that money for personal gains! People who hold these offices are surposed to do so because of civic duty to the state and its people not for personal gain like this and the past Govenor’s illegal actions!

      • “… despite what appears to be a minimum of actual work performed by the institute itself. “, says the partisan hit piece. Really? They raised over $700k! Anyone who’s ever been involved in fundraising, including myself, knows it takes a lot of work to raise that kind of money.

      • Re: “They raised over $700k! Anyone who’s ever been involved in fundraising, including myself, knows damn well that it takes a lot of work to raise that kind of money.”

        Could this be a biased assumption by someone who wants to justify charging a lot of money to fundraise? Beating one’s head against the wall is work too. But that doesn’t justify paying someone the salary to do so.

        Get a ‘GoFundMe’ page and let the market justify the donations. .

      • I am so proud of myself ! I was going to say that Boinie is living proof that the socialists had coitus with buffalo, but I refrained from that.

  5. Now we know what “feel the Bern (burn)” means. It is the sudden realization that the champion of wokesters, seniors, and veterans is a thief, a liar, and sold us out to the highest bidder for personal gains. The media buying scam (election ads and kickbacks – brilliant Jane!) Another of Jane’s brilliant moves: The 32.4 acre property, includes a 77,000 square foot four-story structure that once housed St. Joseph Orphanage and slopes down to Lake Champlain. The sale completes the largest land deal in recent years in Burlington, she said. The $10 million sale price, which had been kept a secret when the proposed sale was first announced on May 24, 2010, exceeds the appraisals done on the property as it exists, Matano said. The Diocese first publicly listed the property at $12.5 million. On May 13, the diocese reached a $17.65 million out-of-court settlement in 26 lawsuits alleging long-ago child molestation by priests in Vermont. The diocese also agreed to pay undisclosed amounts to settle three cases that were on appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court.”

    Considering Bernie’s fondness of Voodoo Pizza in Oregon, there may be a whole lot more behind these “business” transactions – enough so to puke a dog.

  6. Guessing if an audit were done, the vast majority of buyers for the book would be bulk sales to union or PACs linked to the Democrat party. Grifters, not dissimilar to Hunter Biden.

  7. We seem to have selective/group amnesia on this site regarding The Donald J. Trump Foundation or the 20+ million dollars he made so far from sales of his coffee table book “Our Journey Together.” More selective amnesia. How about the $40 million in legal fees being paid by the Save America pact?

    Is there one standard of conduct for the Far Right and a different standard of conduct for the Far Left?

    America is a bottomless cash cow milked daily by both sides of the aisle.

    • Personally Jay Dee, I do remember the incidents that you cite, the veracity of them I am not so sure of . My issue with Boinie (besides him being a pompous flatlander) is his incessant bashing of all things capitalistic, while reaping the fruits of the system. I find that just a wee bit disingenuous . Talking out both sides of his mouth ? Excuse me if I am wrong, but I don’t remember Trump ever bashing the system that gave him, and his family so much .

      • If you knew anything about how the Trumps made their money, you’d know that his father made his money off of Section 9 government subsidized housing, so the Trumps are a lot cooler with Socialism than you think

      • Hey goes both ways, Was Trump, or his father a Senator, Vice President, or just plan old President when he/they committed these egregious offenses which you claim ?

    • Re: “Is there one standard of conduct for the Far Right and a different standard of conduct for the Far Left?”

      Yes. And you just identified an instance of it.

      Trump and Bernie, both, profit from book sales. Fine. No foul.

      But I can’t find any reference to Trump using his campaign finances to pay his wife’s and son’s independent non-profit salaries.

      Yes, Trump has been accused of settling a dispute with Stormy Daniels (a settlement deal breached by Ms. Daniels). But the allegation has not been proven in court.

      Further, Trump’s real estate company was convicted of tax fraud. But that’s a completely different issue. The case has been concluded. Trump, himself, was not charged in the case.

      But with so many ‘lawfare’ allegations of Trump wrongdoing (19 actions pending), it’s difficult to keep them all straight.

      So… how many lawsuits are pending against Bernie Sanders or, for that matter, Joe Biden? None so far. And I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for a similar ‘standard of conduct’… no matter how convincing the criminal allegations against Sanders and Biden are.

  8. This would be hilarious, except it’s not- Sanders plays to Bennington audience about drug prices. Meanwhile,

    “WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee meeting, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chairman of the HELP Committee, forbid U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) from offering an amendment that would require federal employees to reveal financial disclosures and royalty payments.”

    Bernie the Pharma Bro.

  9. Was Bernie’s book on the non-fiction best sellers list? Or was it fiction?
    Has anyone identified the pimp yet?

  10. Just another SWAMP RAT 🐀 Crook like
    The Biden’s, Pelosi’s, Obama’s, Clinton’s and other’s Degusting to say the least period! Wake up Americans wake up period!! Are you awake yet people????
    Degusting human beings period!!
    The Vermonter and Legal American!!

  11. Not all crooks & criminals are behind bars, most are in politics and running free,
    so ask Bernie when he was Mayor of Burlington, what happened when Jane was fired from her Burlington Police Department Job ??

    Or ask Bernie where did the funds come from for Jane funding her daughter’s wood
    working school ??

    And now a slight of hand for $200k for a stepson, sounds like Bernie is taking
    lessons from the Biden’s, but just a smaller scale ………….wake up people !!

  12. I’ll just add that Bernie has never had an honest job in his life, like most of us have. I’m sure he considers Mayor of Burlington and his current position as “jobs”, but I don’t. Also, he is the only person I have heard of that was kicked out of a commune during the 60s-because he was such a lazy pot smoker.

  13. The Sanders Institute (like all non-profit organizations) is required by law to make their tax returns available for public inspection. Anyone here can view those tax returns by signing up at the non-partisan, entering Sanders Institute into the Search box, and clicking on “Show forms 990.” It makes for informative reading. I leave it to each individual here to make their own judgement about the potential merits of the work of the Institute.

    You will learn, for instance, that the primary work thus far of the Institute is to create something called “The Timeline Project,” which would be, quoting now, “a policy-focused resource based on Bernie Sanders work over four decades that will be one of the key pilars [sic] of the website. After researching many timelines, from presidential libraries to foundations to other organizations and not finding one as robust and complete as we would like, we designed our own wireframe and we are working with vendors to implement it. We are devoting a great deal of time researching documents, broadcast materials, photographs and legislative records to provide the contents of the Timeline.” End quote.

    • I looked up Trump University. This is what I got. Biggest tax cheat ever.

      Trump Foundation
      Sunny Isles Beach, FL|EIN: 13-3054537





      Trump Family Trust
      Hackettstown, NJ|EIN: 46-5718872





      Americans for Trump Inc
      Fort Lauderdale, FL|EIN: 82-5411002





  14. See how Socialism works you fine people in Vermont. What yours is Bernie’s but what’s Bernie’s stays in the family. You bunch of of saps, he took you for a ride.

  15. For all the Bernie Bro suckers, he got the mine, and you all got the saft. Did you feel the burn? I still see the Bernie bumper stickers on the cars owned by his useful idiots who all sent him donations thinking he would turn their pathetic lives around. Bernie has been selling snake oil since his communist Liberty Union party days. How do these shady politicians continue for 40 or 50 years in Biden’s case? Voter ignorance and media censorship. For those of you who believed in Bernie all those years, please congratulate yourselves for being on Bernie’s team, he’s living large and you are still an idiot.

  16. Richmond North of Richmond about sums it up.

    Bernie has always been a poor excuse for you name it and always will be.

    If you don’t believe in terms limits you need look no further.

    • Aw man you took my reply!! Yep,… he’s nothing but a ‘rich man north of Richmond’. HA ! Just ask Oliver Anthony, he’ll tell you all about it in 3 minutes.

  17. This whole conversation about Bernie being corrupt (always has been and should be kicked out of the senate) is moot if Vermont does nothing about revamping the voting integrity laws.

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