Nov 11, 2019
Sen. Bernie Sanders has made principled opposition to billionaire campaign donations a centerpiece of his 2020 presidential bid. So when the Vermont senator's campaign learned recently that it received a $470 contribution from Marta Thoma Hall, it immediately vowed to return every dollar.
Hall, wife of billionaire inventor David Hall and head of business development at Velodyne, was not happy with Sanders' refusal to accept her money.
"I think it's disappointing," Hall toldForbes on Monday. "I don't understand why they would do that. That's ridiculous."
Grassroots group People for Bernie tweeted in response to Hall:
After reviewing federal filings, Forbes reported that it "could not find any other billionaire or spouse of a billionaire who has donated to the Sanders' campaign" aside from Hall, who also gave $505 to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and $685 to Beto O'Rourke, who dropped out of the race earlier this month.
When Forbes notified the Sanders campaign of Hall's contributions, a Sanders spokesperson responded: "Thanks. We are returning Ms. Hall's contributions."
Prior to Hall's $470 check, Sanders stood alone in the 2020 Democratic field as the only major candidate who had not received any campaign contributions from billionaires.
"I don't think that billionaires should exist," Sanders told the New York Times in September. "Enough is enough. We are going to take on the billionaire class, substantially reduce wealth inequality in America, and stop our democracy from turning into a corrupt oligarchy."
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.