Sanders, Warren Campaigns Spend the Most On Amazon While Trashing It

Spencer Soper

(Bloomberg) -- During the Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren once again made her position on Amazon.com Inc. clear. “You know what unites my three brothers?” she asked, noting that one is a Democrat, the other two Republicans. “Amazon. They are furious that Amazon reported $10 billion in profits and paid zero in taxes.”

Warren may have the most developed plan to curtail Amazon -- it involves breaking up the company -- but she is far from alone in targeting the Seattle leviathan for political and policy purposes. Her fellow Democrat, Senator Bernie Sanders, has hammered Amazon on the campaign trail. And, of course, President Donald Trump has launched what is perceived in some quarters as a political vendetta against the company and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.

So it may surprise voters to learn that the eight leading Democratic candidates and Trump have spent almost $600,000 on Amazon in the first nine months of 2019, mostly for office supplies, according to federal campaign records reviewed by Bloomberg. (Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, hasn’t filed campaign expenses yet because he didn’t enter the race until November.)

As the following table shows, the stridency of the anti-Amazon rhetoric tends to correlate with the size of the outlay on its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Spencer Soper in Seattle at ssoper@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net, Molly Schuetz

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