The group has posted a job listing, obtained by The Daily Beast, for an individual to run an independent expenditure arm on behalf of the Vermont Independent Democratic Socialist. The hire would “report to the Organizing Director and work closely with other staff to develop and strengthen Democratic Socialists of America’s campaign work to elect Bernie Sanders President,” the listing reads.
Known historically as a left-wing institution on the outer edges of the ideological spectrum, DSA has become a more potent political force as its ranks have grown. The organization now boasts more than 56,000 members, and its creation of a Sanders-specific political post reflects its increasing comfort in wading into national elections. The campaign manager, according to the listing, is expected to visit chapters an average of one week per month, oversee organizational efforts alongside the Bernie 2020 committee and manage at least one campaign organizer.
DSA has already endorsed Sanders’ campaign despite some pushback from some members due to the senator’s prior comments on reparations, which he refused to explicitly endorse. An IE arm would not be legally allowed to coordinate with the senator’s team. But it would allow DSA to spend additional resources that it could not do through its political action committee, which can only place $5,000 behind a federal candidate. According to an internal document sent to chapter leaders explaining their decision, the low limit combined with the desire to move the group’s agenda in more aggressive ways is why the organization went this route.
According to an official, the role that DSA would fill in bringing on a Sanders’ campaign manager is, in part, to keep pushing the senator on various issues. That includes areas where he and DSA are on the same page and areas where they disagree, including on issues like SESTA, a bill Sanders and his 2020 competitors voted for but which sex workers have said puts lives in danger.