Bernie Sanders struck a blow against Hillary Clinton's campaign priorities on Wednesday night, noting that while she was attending a fundraising event hosted by a $17 billion investment fund, he was revving up an overflow crowd in Iowa, which holds it primary caucus in just four days.
"My opponent is not in Iowa tonight. She is raising money from a Philadelphia investment firm," Sanders told a crowd of about 1,000 people at the Music Man Square in Mason City, Iowa. "Frankly, I would rather be here with you."
According to local station KIMT, "the topic of the night for Sanders: money, money, money. Most of the conversation centered on Wall Street and how he would change issues like health care, student debt and minimum wage for the better. He also made a point to note how he’s unaffiliated with super PACs — something none of the other candidates can claim."
"We do not represent Wall Street, we don’t represent corporate America, we don't want their money," Sanders said following an introduction by actress Susan Sarandon.
As Common Dreams reported earlier this week, Clinton was scheduled to appear at back-to-back finance industry fundraisers this week, just days before the February 1 caucus—seemingly unfazed by charges that her cozy ties to Wall Street will make it difficult for her to crack down on big bank malfeasance. The Intercept has since reported that the campaign has postponed a New York City fundraiser scheduled for Thursday until February 16.
But she still fit Wednesday's event with Franklin Square Capital Partners into her schedule, which raised eyebrows among Sanders supporters and the political punditry alike.
Hedge fund hosting Clinton's Bon Jovi fundraiser tonight is worth $17 billion https://t.co/iFEVawblIA— Jeremy Slevin (@jeremyslevin) January 27, 2016
Clinton reassures Iowans she's tough on Wall St...as she leaves Iowa campaign trail for a Wall St fundraiser tonight https://t.co/h7iozTTogM— David Sirota (@davidsirota) January 27, 2016
"[T]he truth is, events like this Bon Jovi gala at the Navy Yard are exactly why it feels like American democracy is livin' on a prayer these days," political columnist Will Bunch wrote at Philly.com on Tuesday, referring to the Franklin Square fundraiser.
"Franklin Square Capital may have brought a few better-than-good paying jobs to Philadelphia—thanks for your service, and all—but it also seems like the kind of company that would love, and need, to have the ear of the federal government," Bunch continued. "The financial press has questioned the company's aggressive marketing, its comparatively high fees and sometimes flagging investment returns; The Intercept notes that one of its main funds is deeply invested in the extraction of fossil fuels through controversial processes like fracking—issues that will be hugely influenced by the 45th president."
Recent polls have showed Sanders either leading or virtually tied with Clinton in Iowa, and continuing to close the gap nationally.