Former top advisers to Senator Bernie Sanders are teaming up on a surprising new venture to try to rally progressive support for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s 2020 campaign: a super PAC.
Jeff Weaver, who served as Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager in 2016 and as a top adviser in 2020, and Mark Longabaugh, who worked for Mr. Sanders in 2016 but left the 2020 campaign early on, are the leading figures behind the effort, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Sanders has railed for years against super PACs, which can accepted unlimited donations, emphasizing his reliance on millions of small contributions from supporters online to fuel his two presidential bids. Mr. Sanders, through a spokesman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new group.
The paperwork for the new committee was filed last Wednesday, by Lora Haggard, who was treasurer of the 2020 Sanders campaign. Ms. Haggard declined to comment on the new group, which is called Future to Believe In PAC, a play on Mr. Sanders’s 2016 slogan.
Mr. Weaver and Mr. Longabaugh did not respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Longabaugh was a top architect of the 2016 Sanders campaign but parted ways one week into the 2020 effort, issuing a public statement with two fellow consultants, Tad Devine and Julian Mulvey ,that they were leaving “because we believe that Senator Sanders deserves to have media consultants who share his creative vision for the campaign.” The media firm eventually worked for Andrew Yang’s campaign.
This is not the first time that an independent entity sprung out after Mr. Sanders ended a presidential campaign.
In 2016, veterans of Mr. Sanders’s campaign formed a different outside group, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit called Our Revolution. Mr. Weaver was initially installed as president, a posting that caused an exodus of other alumni who had clashed with Mr. Weaver during that race. Mr. Weaver left the group in 2017, at which point Nina Turner, another top Sanders adviser and surrogate, took over.
Our Revolution continued to support Mr. Sanders through 2020. With the new group, both halves of the title of Mr. Sanders’s post-campaign book in 2016, “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In,” are now the names of entities that sprung out of his movement.
The new effort is actually the second super PAC formed by a former top adviser to the Sanders campaign. Chuck Rocha, a senior adviser to the 2020 campaign, recently created Nuestro PAC, a super PAC dedicated to turning out Latino voters in the fall, using the same model and methods that the Sanders campaign used to win over such voters in the primaries.