Sanders Adviser: Bernie-Endorsed Candidates Feed ‘The Beast’ By Hiring Establishment Consultants

Alex Pfeiffer | White House Correspondent

Lucy Flores, a Nevada Democratic congressional candidate who Bernie Sanders raised tens of thousands of dollars for, is “feeding the beast” by enlisting the services of establishment consulting firms, according to a former Sanders adviser.

Flores has her congressional primary Tuesday, and is one of a group of Democratic congressional candidates Sanders has endorsed and fundraised for. “Split a $2.70 contribution between our campaign and Lucy Flores today and send a powerful message that we are going to win this primary AND elect a Congress willing to stand up to the political establishment and billionaire class of this country,” Sanders wrote in an April 13 email to supporters.

“I think what Bernie Sanders has highlighted is there’s a consultant class of the establishment that kind of runs the entire Democratic Party that he’s trying to break up,” a former Sanders campaign adviser told The Daily Caller Tuesday. “He raised a ton of money for all these congressional candidates who I’ll be damned are giving the money right back to the establishment. Feeding the beast.”

LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 14: Democratic congressional candidate Lucy Flores speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) at Bonanza High School on February 14, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sanders is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination ahead of Nevada's February 20th Democratic caucus. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV – FEBRUARY 14: Democratic congressional candidate Lucy Flores speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) at Bonanza High School on February 14, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sanders is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination ahead of Nevada’s February 20th Democratic caucus. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Flores had raised $375,541 through April 15. From April 15 through May 25, her campaign raised $610,396. In May alone, Flores spent $82,337 in consultant fees to The Dover Group. A previous client of The Dover Group is “Hillary Clinton for President.” Flores has in addition spent $13,500 on NGP Van. NGP Van was heavily involved in the Obama campaign.

Other candidates that Sanders have endorsed have not yet released FEC reports since Sanders’ fundraising email, meaning expenditures on establishment consultant firms are not part of the public record.

The Sanders campaign adviser, who is heavily involved in Democratic consulting, told TheDC that the campaign of Pramila Jayapal, a Seattle congressional candidate that Sanders backs, has reportedly retained the services of GMMB and Wildfire Contact. Both of these are considered establishment consulting firms, as leadership of both firms have been involved in the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

The Sanders adviser told TheDC there is a trend among progressive candidates who have actually raised money to retain the services of establishment consulting firms. “It’s such a small world that the donors know who the big powerful Obama consultants are, so they think it legitimizes their candidacy,” he said.

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 28: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) greets Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and current Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (D-Las Vegas) after they spoke at a get-out-the-vote rally at the Springs Preserve on October 28, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clinton is stumping for Nevada Democrats one week before the November 4th election. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 28: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) greets Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and current Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (D-Las Vegas) after they spoke at a get-out-the-vote rally at the Springs Preserve on October 28, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clinton is stumping for Nevada Democrats one week before the November 4th election. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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