Staffers Quit New Sanders Group After Campaign Head Joined
According to reports, several of Bernie Sanders’ staffers quit his new Our Revolution group after he hired Jeff Weaver.
The Hill reports:
Weaver, who ran Sanders’s presidential campaign that ended last month, was made president of the group Our Revolution, causing the exodus before the group officially launches.
Digital director Kenneth Pennington and four other team members departed over Weaver’s addition, Politico said.
“A majority of the staff quit as a result of Jeff joining,” one person told the news outlet, adding they had joined the group with a promise from Sanders that Weaver would not be involved.
“Over the last few days, almost the entire staff resigned from the organization because they would not work for Jeff Weaver or help to enact Jeff’s vision for the organization in any way,” one of the former staffers added Monday.
Weaver said late Monday that Our Revolution is merely experiencing the growing pains typical of any fresh enterprise.
“Kenneth chose to leave the organization. He’d worked on the campaign from the very beginning … he decided to do something else, I guess,” Weaver said.
“This is an organization that’s a couple of weeks old, and every new organization has to find its footing. The board asked me last week to come in and be the head. I’m very proud to do it. The board knew I shared Bernie’s vision and I’d be true to it.”
Jane Sanders, Bernie Sanders’s wife, chairs the board of Our Revolution and reportedly asked Weaver to join the group.
Pennington and the other departing staffers disagreed with Weaver’s vision on issues ranging from campaign finance regulations to fundraising strategy. A particular sticking point was Weaver’s push for traditional plus grassroots fundraising.
“It’s about both the fundraising and the spending: Jeff would like to take big money from rich people including billionaires and spend it on ads,” said Claire Sandberg, the digital organizing director for Sanders’s White House run.
“That’s the opposite of what this campaign and this movement are supposed to be about, and after being very firm and raising alarm, the staff felt that we had no choice but to quit,” added Sandberg.
Sanders will speak during Our Revolution’s launch Wednesday in remarks airing live at more than 2,000 organizing meetings nationwide.
He began fundraising for the organization earlier this month, with the stated goal of “transforming American society.”
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