Amazingly, even though no candidates have officially declared themselves, the negative advertising in the 2016 presidential campaign has already begun.
While Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind-VT) considers his options for a possible run for the White House, he’s facing some heat at home in the form of a new TV spot bankrolled by Vermont fuel dealer Skip Vallee. It accuses Sanders of talking about income inequality, even as his wife was accepting a $200,000 “golden parachute” from her former employer.
The ad is now airing on WCAX-TV in Burlington and may expand to other stations.
“What Bernie won’t tell you is that he and his wife, former Burlington College President Jane Sanders, got a golden parachute of their own,” says the narrator of the ad.
Sanders’ wife Jane had served in the college’s top spot for seven years, before stepping down under pressure in 2011.
“That is standard practice in academia, especially for someone like Jane, whose strong and effective efforts left the college in a lot better shape than when she began the job,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said.
Senator Sanders has long been critical of Vallee, charging that his fuel stations in rural parts of the state are gouging customers.
“Vallee clearly doesn’t like it that Bernie has exposed his ripoffs,” Briggs continued. “He clearly doesn’t like it that other Vermont leaders are joining Bernie’s calls for real competition. So instead of treating his Vermont customers fairly, he is dipping into his fortune to bankroll a smear ad campaign. How pathetic.”