- 25 января 2016, 19:25
- POLITICO. Top Stories
Supporters of Bernie Sanders could soon sample the sweet taste of victory, not only in Iowa and New Hampshire, but also from a pint from one of Vermont's most famous ice-cream makers, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry's. The brand itself, however, disavows any connection with the creation.
Ben Cohen, one of the co-founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and a longtime Sanders supporter, has for months talked about making a special flavor for his home-state senator. Earlier this month, Cohen told MSNBC that he would call the ice cream "Bernie's Yearning," featuring a milk chocolate disk covering the top of plain mint ice cream. The disc is meant to represent "the huge majority of economic gains that have gone to the top 1% since the end of the recession. Beneath it, the rest of us," reads the description on the back of the pint posted on the website.
"Nothing is so unstoppable as a flavor whose time has finally come #FeelTheBern #BerniesYearning," Cohen posted Monday on Twitter and Facebook, where he linked to a page promoting the limited-edition batch of 40 pints, 25 of which he says were donated to Sanders' campaign.
— Ben Cohen (@YoBenCohen) January 25, 2016
The Sanders campaign is running a contest for supporters to win the pints.
Ben & Jerry’s quickly distanced itself from the endeavor, tweeting from the company account Monday “This was created by Ben as a citizen. The company is not involved.”
While the packaging for the pints resemble that of Ben & Jerry’s distinctive containers, the company name has been replaced by “Ben’s Best”, and the slogan “Vermont’s Finest” has been replaced by “Vermont’s Finest Senator.”
Edward Erikson, a consultant working with Cohen on the project, explained that the Sanders campaign had purchased all the ingredients, services and supplies for the ice cream, and that Cohen and his co-founder Jerry Greenfield are volunteering their time to make the pints in Cohen’s kitchen.
There are “no plans for mass distribution,” said Erikson.
The arrangement appears to have been tailored to avoid running afoul of election laws. They bar corporations from donating anything of value to federal campaigns, and prohibit individuals from donating anything worth more than $2,700 per election ― with the exception of their own volunteer labor. The company was acquired in 2000 by the European multi-national giant Unilever, and, since then, Cohen has had little to do with its day-to-day affairs, though he has served on its advisory board.