An Anti-Sanders Group That’s Ticking Off Bernie Plans Another Round of Ads 1

A dark money group opposing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) presidential campaign is set to drop more than $2 million on digital ads in three states ahead of the March 10 primary, the executive director for the group confirmed Friday. 

The ads by Big Tent Project, an outside group formed by moderate Democrats in the wake of Sanders rise in the Democratic field, will run in Michigan, Idaho, and Washington. All three are states Sanders won in 2016 and needs to capture again in order to keep pace with the newly-minted frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden. 

One of the ads will focus on the cost and impact of Sanders’ signature Medicare for All proposal, including tax increases, the loss of private insurance and, the ad posits, Trump’s re-election.  

The Sanders campaign did not return a request for comment. 

Sanders has appeared to falter after losses in several delegate-rich states on Super Tuesday. But despite the changing dynamic of the race, Big Tent Project is not letting up. 

“Big Tent Project has spent nearly $7 million in South Carolina, Super Tuesday and now Michigan, Washington, and Idaho exposing Bernie’s radical record and ideas,” said the group’s executive director, Jonathan Kott. “Once voters learn more about him, they overwhelmingly reject his candidacy, because they know the only thing he can actually deliver is another four years of Trump.” 

Despite getting involved relatively late in the primary, Big Tent Project has managed to get Sanders’ attention. In a recent appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show, the senator said that the group’s presence in the race “bothers” him.

“There’s a group called the Big Tent, I don’t know if you’re familiar with that,” he said.  “It is a super PAC funded by corporate interests, I suspect the drug companies, insurance companies, the fossil fuel industry. They’re pouring millions of dollars into ugly negative ads against me, against our campaign.”

Big Tent Project is not, as Sanders claimed, a super PAC. It is a 501c4 organization, which means that it is not required to disclose its donors and has not done so.  

“[T]hat is the kind of political corruption that has got to end,” Sanders continued. “We need to end super PACs. We need to move to one person, one vote. We need to restore democracy in this country.”