Brent Budowsky: A Sanders People's PAC to elect liberal Democrats

Brent Budowsky: A Sanders People's PAC to elect liberal Democrats
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Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump: ‘Clapper has now admitted there was spying on my campaign’ Overnight Defense: Trump decision on Korea summit coming 'next week' | China disinvited from major naval exercise | Senate sends VA reform bill to Trump Senate sends major VA reform bill to Trump's desk MORE can change the course of American history and make the central point of his political revolution the law of the land by creating a People’s Political Action Committee to elect a wave of progressives to Congress, create a liberal Supreme Court majority, reverse the heinous decisions in the Citizens United case and against voting rights, and ignite a surge of small-donor grassroots democracy for America.

While Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP-Trump trade fight boils over with threat to cars Trump: Meetings on potential North Korea summit going 'very well' Freed American 'overwhelmed with gratitude' after being released from Venezuela MORE may lead Republicans to a landslide loss based on his cult of personality employing a politics of insults, Sanders can expand the small-donor miracle of his presidential campaign into a powerful and triumphant movement for sweeping progressive change.

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Regarding the central tenet of the revolution Sanders seeks — reversing Citizens United and an oligarchic system of big-donor super-PACs and voter suppression and replacing it with small-donor democracy, full voting rights and massive voter participation — there is not a dime’s worth of difference between what a President Sanders or President Clinton would do.

Sanders and his small donors deserve a standing ovation from all Democrats and all Americans who are in rebellion against a corrupt system that pollutes our politics and destroys our democracy.

The five conservative Republican men of the Supreme Court who ruled that the wealthy can buy elections and that regular Americans should lose protections of their right to vote will be condemned by historians for generations to come.

The Sanders small donors, by contrast, have confounded the experts and cleansed our system by proving that there is a better and nobler way that is superior in theory and works brilliantly in practice. 

There is magic for America in the Sanders small-donor movement, rooted in high patriotism and a push for powerful change. If this magic is expanded to progressives running for the House and Senate on a platform of ending the curse of Citizens United and escalating the cause of voting rights, the result could be a new era of progressive leadership.

A People’s PAC would combine the luminous achievements of the Sanders small-donor movement with reinforcements from leading progressive lights such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFortune 500 CEOs: The professional athletes of corporate America The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — The art of walking away from the deal Rising star Abrams advances in Georgia governor race MORE (D-Mass.), former progressive senator and current Senate candidate Russ Feingold and Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownMcConnell sees Ohio in play as confidence about midterms grows   Senate Dems to Mnuchin: Don't index capital gains to inflation Trump on collision course with Congress on ZTE MORE (D-Ohio), a leading financial reformer who would become chairman of the Senate Banking Committee if Democrats were to regain control of the upper chamber.

A People’s PAC could be formally launched at the Democratic National Convention and promoted by advocates to a national audience throughout the convention and beyond.

A People’s PAC could be championed by stars such as George Clooney, who supports Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump lashes out at 'rigged' Russia probe in pair of tweets Clapper: 'More and more' of Steele dossier proving to be true Republicans are strongly positioned to win Congress in November MORE but admires Sanders and fervently believes in small-donor democracy.

The enthusiasm and excitement of a People’s PAC would bring a new wave of additional small donors into the system, from the ranks of women, young people, blacks, Hispanics and supporters of LGBT rights, for the November election showdown.

A People’s PAC could raise between $200 million and $300 million from small donors, increase the strong odds that Democrats regain the Senate, give House Democrats a powerful election boost and promote Democratic unity with a higher purpose.

The ultimate historic destiny for Bernie Sanders may well resemble William Jennings Bryan, the progressive populist who first ran for president in 1896 against the corruptions of the Gilded Age and was opposed by the oligarchs of that age. Bryan did not become president, but he paved the way for the historic progressive populist triumphs of Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal.

My hope is that as Sanders continues his White House bid he campaigns as a positive progressive populist voice; that along with Clinton he avoids negative attacks against fellow Democrats that turn off many voters; and that he assumes his rightful place as a national and international champion of economic equality and justice, which he brilliantly advocated to the world last week at Vatican City, in the spirit of His Holiness Pope Francis.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sens. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors blog and reached atbrentbbi@webtv.net.