BURLINGTON, VT—After accepting a check sent to his campaign office by a local elementary school teacher, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was roundly criticized Monday as being firmly in the pocket of the high-rolling educator who had donated $300. “He might have the reputation of being the people’s candidate, but when your candidacy is effectively bankrolled by the multi-hundred-dollar donation of a fourth-grade teacher, it’s clear who’s really pulling the strings,” said political analyst Peter Mathews, who noted that when a check arrives with a handwritten note that says “Behind you 100 percent, Bernie!” it comes with certain expectations. “He’s already spouting off talking points about supporting unions and increasing funding for education. Where do you think he got those ideas? He might think he’s not influenced by that money, but when someone has deep enough pockets to drop $300, you pick up the phone when they call.” Mathews went on to say he wouldn’t be surprised if Sanders’ strong support for a living wage could be directly traced to the fat $20 contribution he got from a fast-food worker.