UPDATED 4:00 PM PT — Tuesday, December 24, 2019
The majority of 2020 Democrat candidates have been outspoken in their critiques of Amazon, but a new campaign spending report showed they believe otherwise. According to a Bloomberg News report, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have spent the most on Amazon, compared to the rest of the Democrat field.
These two candidates have been the most critical of the retail giant’s working conditions and wages. Yet, campaign records showed Sanders spent more than $200,000 and Warren spent more than $100,000 at the online store within the first nine months of 2019.
“We’re seeing this incredibly large company getting involved in almost every area of commerce,” stated Sanders. “I think it is important to take a look at the power and influence that Amazon has.”
Following both senators’ attacks, the retail giant issued a statement in 2018. Amazon said it had invited Sanders to tour its fulfillment centers, but alleged he had not taken them up on the offer.
Sanders later launched an ad campaign called ‘Amazon Workers for Bernie,’ which showed Amazon employees touting the senator’s efforts to improve working conditions. The workers seemingly did not know about his campaign’s spending habits.
“Bernie Sanders has got a strong track record of standing up for workers, and Amazon workers in particular,” said one Amazon employee.
Warren, who has run her campaign on the slogan of having a plan for everything, touted a plan to break up big tech companies like Amazon. She and Sanders have made the argument that the company does not pay taxes, despite Amazon’s rejection of these accusations.
“Someone like Amazon runs a platform. You know, the place where you buy your coffee maker and get it delivered in 48 hours. And that’s great. But in addition to that, they’re sucking up all that information about every purchase and every other little businesses that are offering their products on Amazon. What I’m saying is, we’ve got to break these guys apart.”
– Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator
Other Democrat candidates who have publicly opposed Amazon, like Joe Biden and Cory Booker, have spent far less on Amazon. However, the report revealed they still spent anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 on Amazon products.
The Bloomberg News report itself even received backlash from candidate’s staffers after the outlet allegedly broke its policy to not investigate other candidates. According to the media company, funds were not yet reported for Bloomberg, who entered the race in November.