Beto’s claim of raising more than Bernie in 24-hour period is pure BS

But corporate media doesn’t question $6.1 million figure

By Yvonne C. Claes

Beto just wants to be in it, man. He was just born to be in it. Photo by KERA News

Beto O’Rourke, the man who last year lost to Ted Cruz — one of the most divisive characters in the Senate — claims his campaign for president raised $6.1 million in its first day.

That amount, if true, surpasses the $5.9 million raised by Senator Bernie Sanders in the Vermont Independent’s first 24 hours after announcing his second bid for the White House.

I call bullshit.

If O’Rourke — who is polling nationally at a pathetic 5 percent — really did raise that much, why did he wait three days to share the information? He announced via video his bid for president last Thursday, but only this morning his campaign declared he had reached the first-day fundraising milestone.

The reason for the delay is obvious. It’s bullshit.

If I were Beto and had surpassed the fundraising of the most popular politician in the country, you can bet I would be screaming that fact from the rooftop of my mansion, not refusing to answer reporters’ questions for three days on how much my campaign collected.

Despite claiming to have outraised all 2020 Democratic competitors, O’Rourke refuses to release details about his alleged haul.

According to an article by NBC News, which does not question O’Rourke’s $6 million assertion, “O’Rourke’s campaign provided only the topline fundraising number, not more detailed information that other campaigns have disclosed, such as the number of donors and new donors, the size of the average contribution, the geographical diversity of contributors, and how much money he’s raised since the first day.”

Translation: O’Rourke received the spike in funding from corporations — most likely the oil and banking industries — not individual donors, aka regular people.

But we won’t know, at least until the end of the month when candidates file financial disclosures with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), because the former Texas congressman is rejecting calls for transparency.

In other words, his fundraising story is a great, big steaming pile of bullshit. And Americans are in no mood for another disingenuous slimeball calling Pennsylvania Avenue his home.

But how can you be so sure? You have no proof!

Don’t be alarmed, gentle reader, I am providing just as much evidence as Bet My Stork … and I’m not even running for president.

The corporate media has been pathetic in its coverage of O’Rourke’s alleged windfall. Not only is the press accepting without question Beto’s figures, they are working overtime to construct a narrative that says Sanders has a serious contender for the Democratic nomination.

“Beto O’Rourke raises $6.1 million on first day, topping Sanders and all other rivals,” screams one headline. “Beto O’Rourke raised massive $6.1 million his first day in the 2020 race, campaign says,” screeches another.

If you tuned into MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, you were met with the usual out-of-touch talking heads discussing Beto’s “charm” and ability to bridge the “generation gap” but nothing about substance.

“The kids love him,” clueless co-host Mika Brzezinski declared without a shred of data.

No, the kids love Bernie Sanders. There is no “generation gap” to bridge because young people don’t mind Bernie’s age and in fact, love him regardless.

Again, bullshit presented as “news.”

But the media’s eagerness to get behind O’Rourke’s campaign makes sense. After all, the campaign of Wall Street darling and Clinton acolyte Kamala Harris hasn’t gained the traction big donors had hoped it would. Harris has too many skeletons in her closet as California’s top cop to be taken seriously as the Progressive she claims to be.

And Joe Biden, who has been teasing for weeks he will enter the already crowded Democratic field, carries too much political baggage, suffers from verbal diarrhea, and is a walking gaffe machine, all traits that could delay or outright prevent billionaire donors from getting behind his yet-unannounced candidacy.

But the corporate media is desperate to find someone — anyone — but Sanders to prop up and create a buzz around to go head-to-head with Trump in 2020. And if they continue down this path by showing favoritism to a corporate empty shirt over a substantive Progressive populist, they will end up with the same result they garnered in 2016.

But let’s face it. A Trump re-election won’t hurt the establishment or their puppet press. But it will hurt you and me, aka the people.

Bernie is far ahead of the competition or neck-and-neck with Biden in early primary states like New Hampshire and Iowa, and some news outlets are finally acknowledging Sanders is the person to take on Trump.

But back to Beto, who has further claimed, “In just 24 hours, Americans across this country came together to prove that it is possible to run a true grassroots campaign for president — a campaign by all of us, for all of us, that answers not to the PACs, corporations, and special interests but to the people.”

Americans across this country? Are you sure your father-in-law, who has a net worth of $500 million, didn’t just write you a check, Beto? If that is not the case, prove it.

Anything short of that is utter bullshit.

Sanders raised $5.9 million in the campaign’s first day, with the average donation under $26. Approximately 48,000 donors have signed up to make recurring donations from their credit cards. More than 108,000 of his first- day donors were 39 years old and younger, giving $2.5 million of the $5.9 million raised.

Most remarkable is nearly 40 percent of first-day donations came from new email addresses Team Sanders did not already have in its files.

Now that is an impressive campaign launch. In fact, Bernie’s early success was so imposing it left the establishment stunned, until today when it launched this bogus Beto balloon.

All that is needed to combat this latest bullshit bomb is a little critical thinking.

It’s simply difficult to believe a multi-millionaire with virtually no policy platform, other than his disdain for the highly popular Medicare for All, nudged out the fundraising of a man who has single handedly moved healthcare, minimum wage, income inequality, and climate change to the forefront of national discussion.

The numbers don’t lie, but Beto likely does. Graphic by Elizabeth Meyer

And not only has Sanders put these issues front and center, he has moved the entire Democratic Party — and more importantly, the electorate — closer to his policy positions in a mere three years.

Some have suggested that O’Rourke’s $6.1 million total is the result of creative bookkeeping. It is alleged he gave the leftover $4.5 million from his failed Senate bid against Cruz to the Texas Democratic Party, and the party simply returned the money. Several deposits from the party do appear in his “Beto For Texas” campaign finance filings.

We will have to wait until the end of this month to see if disbursements originating from these Senate deposits appear in his presidential campaign filings with the FEC. If they do, then it’s likely O’Rourke counted these leftover Senate funds as newly raised donations to inflate his stature in a candidate field already in the double digits.

Only time will tell.

But Sanders, who as of Dec. 31, 2018 had more than $9 million cash on hand from campaign fundraising for his Senate seat, has not included that hefty sum in any of his presidential donation statistics.

And that, my friends, is no bullshit.

©Yvonne C. Claes, 2019. I own this content. You can share my column, but please make sure my name is left on it. However, if you would like to license this article, please contact me or deal with my copyright attorney. Your choice. Since I do not get paid for my writing, please give my column some claps or some likes. Thanks!