How Much Did Tix to Tuesday’s Debate Cost?

Most working people that I know don’t spend $1,700 to get a ticket to a debate.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

My wife and I get weekly invites from local politicians, from the U.S. Senate to the state House, to join them for lunch.  These intimate affairs run from $250 to $1500.  But, NOW the deal is even better.  In South Carolina, you could sit in the debate audience for $1750!

“This is something that the average person doesn’t usually get to go to,” Colleen Condon, chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party, told local television news station WCSC-TV.

According to South Carolina Democratic Party officials, the tickets were handed out to organizers including the Democratic National Committee, CBS, Twitter, and the Black Caucus Institute. Then, they are first given to paid sponsors and handed to campaigns to pass out extras. Xochitl Hinojosa, a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee confirmed this in a tweet “the tickets were divided up between the DNC, campaigns (with equal allocation), SC Dem Party, CBCI, CBS, and Twitter.” The Charleston County Democratic party confirmed that “the only guaranteed way to get a ticket was to become a sponsor. ”  Sponsorships cost between $1750 and $3200. 

Sanders’ campaign staff claimed the audience was stacked for Bloomberg. “One might be forgiven for being somewhat skeptical that those attendees hadn’t been paid by the Bloomberg campaign for their presence and energy,” wrote the Washington Post‘s Philip Bump. “This is a campaign, after all, that paid Instagram influencers to bolster his candidacy. The campaign paying people to send regular text messages to their friends promoting Bloomberg’s candidacy.” Krystal Ball of The Hill said on CNN  “I can’t think of a better case to be made for Bernie Sanders and his desire to be an existential threat to that established order that you have a party that claims to be the party of the people, party that claims they want to get money out of politics, and yet on something so trivial, they stack the room with their donors,” Ball added. “I think that that’s disgusting and I think its important. And it’s not whining. It’s pointing out why Bernie Sanders is so appealing to so many people.”

The Bloomberg campaign denied that it stacked the audience.




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