Bernie may have lost in 2016, but his people built a comprehensive political machine that embedded radical candidates across the spectrum. Now as the sexual harassment revelations are starting to blow up his campaign, they may take his radical allies with him.
A former campaign aide to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid who allegedly made light of a sexual harassment complaint from a female staffer is set to begin a new job Thursday as chief of staff to incoming Democratic Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill.
Bill Velazquez was a manager on Sanders’ Latino outreach team in 2016. According to a story published Wednesday by The New York Times, when campaign strategist Giulianna Di Lauro told Velazquez she had been sexually harassed by a Mexican game show host who was serving as a Sanders campaign surrogate, Velazquez responded by laughing and telling her, “I bet you would have liked it if he were younger.”
Velazquez told the Times he didn’t remember making the remark, and said he took Di Lauro’s complaint seriously and passed it up the chain of command all the way to Sanders’ national field director, Rich Pelletier.
The Sanders campaign had a systemic sexual harassment problem. Along with various other issues. Bernie was a notoriously terrible boss. And the campaign was badly mismanaged. And afterward, Benrie’s people were embedded in the organizations of the people he supported.
Like Velasquez and Garcia.
As the revelations start to blow up Sanders, they’re also going to have a ripple effect, decimating his old campaign people and his political allies. The fireworks are just getting started.