Bernie Sanders’ office has been accused of using political power to enact revenge “to make a point” against a Vermont business owner who ran an election ad exposing the hypocrisy of the socialist senator.
“Rodolphe ‘Skip’ Vallee, the CEO of St. Albans-based gasoline distributor and retailer R.L. Vallee, is alleging that Sanders and his senior press adviser, Daniel McLean, conspired against the business owner by drumming up a class-action lawsuit, according to federal court documents.”
Vallee, who owns more than 45 gas stations in and around Vermont, produced a television ad that aired locally in September, 2014.
“The advertisement criticized Sanders for lambasting ‘the rich’ over receiving tax breaks and golden parachutes, while his wife Jane Sanders received a $200,000 golden parachute after her involvement in a land deal helped to bankrupt Burlington College while she was president.”
A week later, Bernie Sanders and McLean allegedly sat down with members of the Vermont attorney general’s office claiming that Vallee’s company was participating in price-fixing.
Former Assistant Vermont Attorney General Ryan Kriger was one of the officials who met with Sanders and McLean.
“His hand recorded notes during the meeting noted that the office of the attorney general should ‘bring [a] case [against Vallee] just to make a point,’ reported Seven Days, an independent Vermont newspaper. It is not clear whether Bernie Sanders or McLean originally made the comment.”
“Following the meeting, McLean sent correspondence to Kriger multiple times inquiring whether or not former Vermont Attorney General (AG) Bill Sorrell would take legal action against Vallee.
“Sorrell ultimately declined to pursue any legal action, however, just over a year later, two law firms filed a $100 million class-action lawsuit against R.L. Vallee and three other companies alleging anti-competitive practices.
“In the months following Bernie Sanders and McLeans’ meeting with the AG’s office, and leading up to the filing, McLean corresponded with attorneys at both law firms involved in the lawsuit, some of which was via his personal email account.
“Vallee subpoenaed McLean in November seeking a deposition and access to thousands of documents from Bernie Sanders’ office.”
Sanders’ office responded by claiming the request was a “fishing expedition” and the simultaneously claimed that McLean, in his official capacity as a federal employee, could not be subpoenaed.
Vallee’s attorneys answered last week that by asserting sovereign immunity “it strains credulity that Mr. McLean’s official duties as a press aide for a United States Senator” included “attempting to persuade the [Federal Trade Commission] or Vermont Attorney General’s Office to bring a public enforcement action against Vermont companies” and “coordinating with Washington, D.C.-based counsel to develop a private, class-action litigation against Vermont constituents (‘just to make a point’).”
So basically, it certainly looks like Bernie Sanders decided to punish a man who exposed Sanders’ hypocrisy. Many people agree that like all socialists, taking from others and enacting revenge seems to be second nature, so the claim is not very far-fetched.