Socialist Bernie Sanders' Beet Sugar Money

What does the sugar beet group want? Sugar subsidies.


Senator Bernie Sanders, the only official Socialist in the Senate, is talking about running for president and fundraising like he's actually about to do it, raising $327,000 for the Progressive Voters of America last year.

Meanwhile he's been giving the usual speeches denouncing the Koch Brothers and the oligarchy of billionaire politics.

And where does Bernie get his bucks? Aside from the usual union donors, SEIU, teachers' unions and the Association of Postal Workers, there's American Crystal Sugar.

American Crystal Sugar, a beet sugar agricultural cooperative, ranks as his fourth top donor. And what does the sugar beet group want?

Sugar subsidies.

In 2012, the sugar growing and production lobbies have poured more than $2.1 million into influencing legislators, according to Open Secrets. American Crystal Sugar, a leading lobbying group, has spent $951,300 alone over the last year.

Sanders is based out of Vermont so it's obvious why he would be involved in protecting sugar subsidies and the donations don't hurt.

American Crystal Sugar is quite unpopular with unions with the AFL-CIO calling for a boycott of it, but despite Sanders' talk about workers, it doesn't appear to trouble the Socialist senator any.

Other top recipients of Crystal Sugar cash included unfunny man Al Franken, Congressman Collin Clark Peterson of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party, as well as Congressman John Barrow, a Georgia Democrat, and radical leftist Zoe Lofgren.