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Saturday, September 05, 2015

A request

Here's an opportunity for you to help out the local campaign IF YOU CAN. If you can't no problem, there will be other opportunities!

UW-L is starting soon and there are some students eager to start a campus group that will support the Bernie campaign and "spread the Bern" among young voters (a critical demographic). As you may know or remember, students like to get STUFF. In fact, lots of people like to get stuff - buttons, bumper stickers, signs, shirts. And we would love to have stuff to give out at events.

The problem is, official Bernie stuff is quite expensive - certainly more than most student budgets can handle. And that's why some of us have been making our own bumper stickers, driving hours to an official event to beg stuff from the campaign, and making our own shirts and signs.

So, ONLY if you can afford it, please consider purchasing some stuff to donate to the local Bernie campaign to have available at events. Students are hoping to have a presence at the September 16 involvement fest, so the sooner the better. (Though, again, we would use any stuff for all future events).

There are two ways to go:

1.  Some progressives organizers in Wisconsin have placed a large order of UNofficial Bernie bumper stickers (union made) that say We Want Bernie! Let's Rebuild America! (No picture of the design is available at this time). The stickers are CHEAP - 100 = $20 (including shipping), 250 = $45, 500 = $85, 1,000 = $165 - but again, they are not official Bernie stickers. At least a couple of local people are purchasing some of these stickers, but I'm sure we could use more. To purchase UNOFFICIAL Bernie bumper stickers as described, send your Name, Mailing Address, Phone number (with area code), NUMBER of stickers you want and a CHECK to Progressive WI – Let's Rebuild American,  c/o Buzz Davis, Treas., 1021 Riverview Dr., Stoughton, WI 53589. If the check is for more than $200 your place of work place and its address for federal reporting purposes.

2. The Bernie store offers bulk packages and items for events. The price is still too high (in my opinion), but there you are. There is an ORGANIZING PACK (LARGE) that includes different items for $80. That seems to be the best deal at the official store.  https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/events/products/organizing-pack-large

There are also bulk prices on things like rally signs - also useful DORM WINDOW signs (25 signs for $85) and bumper stickers purchased in bulk cost less than the single price of $5 each (an order of 100 official Bernie bumper stickers costs $125; 250 cost $250, and 500 cost $375).

If you can order OFFICIAL Bernie stuff and donate it to the group for future events, please do. If you might be able to donate a little toward a group order, please email Cathy.

A problem the Bernie campaign has not addressed yet has to do with campaign spending by individuals. The FEC has a citizen's guide brochure (download the .pdf here ) and it's stored at the shared drive: http://tinyurl.com/LaX4Bernie/

Keep in mind that the chair of the FEC has called the organization WORSE than dysfunctional, it is severely hampered by budget problems,  and it appears that, at every level, anything goes. But just in case, some highlights:

* Individuals may contribute up to $2,600 per election (primary and general election are two separate elections) to a federal candidate or the candidate's campaign (or to a group that is acting on behalf of the campaign)
* Anything of value given to influence an election is counted as a contribution except for volunteering, travel expenses and some business services

Why don't we just fund raise to buy the stuff? Currently we are not set up to raise, "store" and handle large sums of money. And, per the FEC, "In general, a group that raises or spends over $1,000 per year to influence Federal elections must register, keep records on financial transactions and file reports on the committee’s activities."
If anyone would be interested in organizing as a "political committee," you can check out the rules here:http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers_pac.shtml

Until the Bernie campaign comes up with some creative way for locals to raise money to purchase expensive Bernie stuff or we become a PAC, it seems our only options are making our own, begging at events, and individuals buying and donating merchandise to the local effort. 

Again, IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, then consider purchasing some Bernie stuff and donating it to the local Bernie effort. Thanks!

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