Bernie Sanders‘ new political group, Our Revolution, is having some growing pains. Though it only officially launched last Wednesday, the organization has been plagued with infighting and shakeups. On Tuesday, Politico reported the departure of digital director Kenneth Pennington and “at least four others from a team of 15” in response to the promotion of Sanders’ presidential campaign manager Jeff Weaver, who has taken over as the group’s president.
Pennington’s exit comes after a long-simmering resentment between two factions of Sanders’ presidential campaign staff: young digital organizers who transformed the candidate into a viral internet sensation and older, more experienced aides who they felt didn’t give them the credit they deserved. When those younger aides, with Pennington at the forefront, found out that Weaver would be the group’s new president, they revolted. As an insider told Politico, “A majority of the staff quit as a result of Jeff joining.”
Claire Sandberg, who was the digital organizing director of Sanders’ campaign and the organizing director of Our Revolution before quitting this week, said that Weaver’s strategy represented a clash in visions. “It’s about both the fundraising and the spending: Jeff would like to take big money from rich people including billionaires and spend it on ads,” Sandberg said. “That’s the opposite of what this campaign and this movement are supposed to be about and after being very firm and raising alarm the staff felt that we had no choice but to quit.”
Weaver, on his end, brushed away claims of infighting. “This is an organization that’s a couple of weeks old, and every new organization has to find its footing,” he told Politico.