As a Democratic presidential candidate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has often railed against corruption in politics.
But Bernie was on the receiving end of similar accusations as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in the 1980s.
Bernie Sanders faced accusations of “cronyism” after doling out taxpayer-funded positions to his inner circle, including his then-girlfriend (who is now his wife), according to contemporaneous news accounts the Daily Caller News Foundation reviewed.
Sanders drew criticism after creating a salaried government position for his girlfriend, then known as Jane Driscoll, in 1983. The position was reportedly never advertised to the public.
On July 7, 1985, Vermonter Magazine reported in a feature titled, “The Friend Behind The Mayor.”
“Sanders came into office saying he would eliminate the cronyism he felt typified his mayoral predecessor. Yet he doesn’t see creating a special post for Driscoll in City Hall, without considering others for the position, as cronyism because he believes Driscoll has proven her qualifications for the job,”
At least one of Bernie Sanders’s fellow city officials took issue with the arrangement at the time.
“If I was to appoint my wife to a paying job, would that be inappropriate?” Democratic Alderman Paul Lafayette asked the magazine, rhetorically.
“Now she is a girlfriend. But how much closer can you get?” Lafayette continued. “I’m not saying she’s not qualified. But the mayor’s no different than any other guy.”
“He’s putting people around him that he’s comfortable with. If that’s not cronyism, what is?”
The Louder The Bernie Outrage, The More Guilty Bernie Is.
During Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run, Bernie and his wife practice of channeling money to family and friends through campaign organizations and nonprofits came under fire.
Bernie Sanders’s House campaign organizations alone paid his wife and stepdaughter more than $155,000 between 2002 and 2004, the Washington Free Beacon reported.