After outing Hillary Clinton supporters who infiltrated Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, Niko House has gone on to accuse Sanders campaign state director Ryan Hughes of receiving money from Hillary Clinton’s super PAC, Priorities USA (actually its legal name is Priorities USA Action). This charge has been echoed and amplified in written form by the Caucus 99% blogpost written by Steve D. House never reveals the source of this claim nor what evidence he has for it but Steve D does:
“Ryan Hughes was Sander’s campaign’s state director for Michigan, and is now the state director for Bernie’s Pennsylvania campaign, as well. Mark Craig, the founder of a grassroots volunteer group in Michigan that supports Bernie Sanders, Flint4Bernie.org, had many dealings with Ryan Hughes after Hughes came to Michigan. Mark Craig also said he was one of the primary organizers for Bernie’s March 2nd rally and speech to thousands of people at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University. His grassroots organization was started in 2015, long before Ryan Hughes showed up as the paid director for Bernie’s campaign in Michigan.
“Mr. Craig stated to me that knows a senior employee who works for Priorities USA Action (‘Priorities USA’), a Hillary Super Pac. In late February, after Craig casually mentioned that Ryan Hughes was running the Sanders’ campaign, that person told him that Hughes was receiving direct payments from Priorities USA, all while Ryan Hughes worked as the Sanders’ campaign’s state director for Michigan, along with several other paid Michigan staffers.”
Steve D goes on to echo Craig’s charges about the alleged misdeeds of Hughes while he was the Michigan state director:
“1. Hughes refused requests by volunteers to politicize the Flint water crisis. Even though the Hillary campaign was doing so for months prior to the election, Hughes told volunteers not to make the water crisis a point of emphasis until shortly before the date of the primary.
“2. Told volunteers they could no longer do door to door grassroots canvassing. Instead, volunteers in Flint were directed to canvas only those residential addresses that included likely Sanders’ voters. When volunteers went to those addresses they usually found abandoned homes, or people who were registered Republicans.
“3. Ignored volunteers request to canvas in African American neighborhoods.
“4. Kicked out all of the volunteers who were willing to work for free to staff the Flint office. Hughes replaced them with paid staff, many of whom had no Michigan ties.”
Within days of these allegations being made, a local Michigan Sanders supporter Monica RW of the Independent Underground news/talk podcast/blog made a video to set the record straight about what happened in Michigan:
Remember, Michigan is where Sanders overcame a 20-point deficit in the polls to beat Clinton in a ‘yooj’ upset. If Hughes successfully suppressed grassroots activism as the Michigan state director, that victory never would have happened.
The basic problem with the accusation that Hughes is on the payroll of Priorities USA is that Priorities USA’s entire payroll is publicly available for all to see and Hughes’ name is not on it! If you doubt that, check their Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings yourself.
House and Steve D. failed to do basic due diligence before going public with what is clearly a bogus accusation against Ryan Hughes. They possess zero documentation (a bank statement, a check, an FEC filing, a contract) and they did not contact a wide variety of contacts in Michigan to independently corroborate the claims of Mark Craig. Instead, they put on their Hillbot-detecting tin foil hats before going public without thinking through how their actions would undermine the campaign in Pennsylvania (where Hughes is currently state director) by creating needless infighting and drama both of which objectively aid the Clinton campaign.
The strangest thing about this whole fiasco is that we are supposed to believe the word of some anonymous political operator who is literally working for Priorities USA. Neither Niko House, nor Steve D, nor Mark Craig apparently had the intelligence to ask themselves: why would someone working for Clinton’s super PAC want to help us? Why would someone working for Clinton’s super PAC reveal that they had a mole in our camp?
If Craig’s story about where he got this misinformation is true, then he, House, and Steve D are being played for suckers by someone at Priorities USA. If Craig’s story is not true, then he is a liar. Those are the only two possible conclusions given that there is zero evidence that Hughes is on Priorities USA’s payroll.