Bernie gets a Democratic Challenger for Senate in 2018

The only other candidate who made money while running for President in 2016 won’t have a cakewalk to a new term in the Senate in 2018.  U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Socialist Independent from Vermont, will face a challenger for his seat from a Democrat.

Jon Svitavsky, a homeless advocate who has never held public office, tore into Sanders for undercutting Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party during last year’s presidential primaries.“I hold him absolutely, centrally responsible for Donald Trump being president,” Svitavsky told NBC News, expressing a view held by other Clinton loyalists. “That’s my number-one issue.”

He said that within hours of “soft-launching” his campaign, he had already heard from thousands of people across the country who want to donate or volunteer. “There’s a lot of anger out there in my party against Bernie,” Svitavsky said.The political novice, who clashed with Sanders over homelessness policy in Vermont in the past, thinks Democrats need to stop “coddling” the senator.

“I believe that Bernie Sanders’ entire involvement with the Democratic party has been devastating,” he said. “I think it was a big mistake for the Democratic party to let him in in the first place.”

Meanwhile, Bernie’s wife Jane, who ran Burlington College into insolvency and got a nice Golden Parachute out of it, is facing possibly Bank Fraud charges.  The Burlington Free Press reports that the Washington Post has learned of a federal grand jury investigating the issue.  From the story:

The existence of the grand jury, which is kept secret, was first reported Monday by the Washington Post, which posted a subpoena for documents sent to the Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Financing Agency. 

The Burlington Free Press has independently requested documents from the agency related to the federal investigation.

According to the Post, the executive director of the agency has been asked to provide documents to the grand jury. The Post backed away from earlier reporting that the grand jury was seeking testimony. 

From the Washington Post:

The investigation centers on the 2010 land purchase that relocated Burlington College to a new campus on more than 32 acres along Lake Champlain. While lining up a $6.7 million loan and additional financing, Jane Sanders told college trustees and lenders that the college had commitments for millions of dollars in donations that could be used to repay the loan, according to former trustees and state officials.

Trustees said they later discovered that many of the donors had not agreed to the amounts or the timing of the donations listed on documents Jane Sanders provided to a state bonding agency and a bank. That led to her resignation in 2011 amid complaints from some trustees that she had provided inaccurate information, former college officials said. 

From that Newsweek story, Bernie has joined the 1%:

According to a Senate financial disclosure form he filed over the weekend, the former Democratic presidential candidate made some $858,750 off book royalties alone last year. Combined with his Senate salary, he likely cleared $1 million in earnings. To make it into the top 1 percent, a family’s income must top $389,436, according to a report last year from the Economic Policy Institute.

Sanders released his book Our Revolution last year—priced at $27 in a nod to the average donation made to his campaign—and has reportedly sold some 200,000 copies. He also received $795,000 as an advance for Our Revolution. While the vast majority of royalties came from that book, he also appeared to receive payment for his upcoming book for young readers, titled Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution, which is set to be released this summer by publisher Macmillan.

There’s nothing wrong with this, but its a tad hypocritical to rail against the 1% while being a member of this group.  From all appearances, Jon Svitavsky seems to be out-Bernieing Bernie.