Bernie Sanders

2020-02-14 The Lessons of the Culinary Union Health Care Fight

The Las Vegas-based Culinary Union (UNITE HERE Local 226) announced Thursday afternoon that they would not endorse a candidate in the Nevada Democratic presidential primary, days after escalating attacks on Bernie Sanders over his Medicare for All plan.

“We’re going to endorse our goals,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the union’s secretary-treasurer, in a press conference Thursday. The goals include immigration reform (a majority of union members are Hispanic), living-wage jobs, and preserving the Culinary Health Plan, which the union and its members view as gold-standard coverage. The non-endorsement ends days of rising tensions. Argüello-Kline said Wednesday that Sanders supporters “viciously attacked the Culinary Union and working families” in retaliation for their position. This sent every other candidate in the field rushing to the union’s side to condemn online harassment. Sanders on Thursday sought to lower the temperature, calling on his supporters “not to engage in bullying or ugly attacks.”

Culinary Union leadership ran into the problem outlined in prior Prospect reporting: there simply wasn’t a candidate for them to endorse.

**[2020-02-14 The Lessons of the Culinary Union Health Care Fight] https://prospect.org/labor/lessons-culinary-union-health-care-fight-nevada/

2020-02-11 The Day One Agenda Polls Pretty Well

Pretty Well As his position for the nomination improves, Bernie Sanders has signaled that he wants to use the powers of the presidency to advance his agenda. His team is working up a series of executive actions that Sanders could take immediately upon entering office.

If this sounds familiar to Prospect readers, that’s because we outlined just such a strategy, called the Day One Agenda, last fall. Lurking in existing federal statutes are a host of robust policies that could make progress on all sorts of issues, from climate change to financial regulation to health care. Other candidates, like Amy Klobuchar, have proposed an expansive Day One Agenda as well.

We now have a real sense of the popularity of using the tools of the presidency to make change happen. The progressive think tank Data for Progress decided to poll the Day One Agenda, asking the public about 29 different executive actions that the next Democratic president could take. The results showed that 21 of the 29 actions were looked upon favorably, with plurality or majority support. In other words, voters want the next president to use the authority granted to them by Congress.

2020-02-11 The Day One Agenda Polls Pretty Well

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2020-02-07 Media, Democratic Establishment Panics as Sanders Predicted to Sweep All 50 States

Perhaps most notably, statistics and politics website Five Thirty Eight predicts that Sanders is the favorite to win in all 50 states, suggesting he will receive over 200 delegates in California alone – twice the total of any other candidate. This is all the more surprising as Five Thirty Eight’s Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver is a conservative, describing his politics as lying between Mitt Romney and Gary Johnson. The site also has a history of downplaying or underestimating Sanders’ chances.

2020-02-07 Media, Democratic Establishment Panics as Sanders Predicted to Sweep All 50 States

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2020-01-31 Bernie Sanders’s Evolution on Disability Policy

Four years after saying little on disablility rights issues, Sanders has emerged with the most comprehensive plan in the field.

2020-01-31 Bernie Sanders’s Evolution on Disability Policy

Environmental Voter Guide

Environmental Voter Guide The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund evaluated each candidate on four key environmental issue areas:

saving wildlife, protecting public lands, ensuring environmental justice and ending the climate crisis.

Senator Bernie Sanders Overall Grade = A Wildlife = B+ Public Lands = A- Environmental Justice = A Climate = A+

Senator Sanders has demonstrated a strong environmental record throughout his career, including having proposed the strongest plan to address climate change and being an original cosponsor of the Green New Deal. He has also voted in Congress, over the years, to protect wildlife and public lands, and has consistently opposed legislation that exempted the border wall from complying with U.S. environmental laws.

Environmental Voter Guide

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2019-10-05 How To Get Bernie Sanders Elected President of the United States

2019-10-05 Why Bernie Has To Win

2019-10-03 Keeping Our Eyes On The Ball

It somewhat frightens me when I realize how many people watch and enjoy MSNBC, because it shows just how distracted people are getting from what are fairly obviously the most important issues in the world:

climate catastrophe, the increasing power of the plutocracy, the threat of nuclear armageddon, the 2 million people in our prisons and the tens of thousands committing suicide each year.

These are, to be sure, extremely depressing, and watching Trump is like watching an insane alternate universe version of The West Wing where everybody is pure evil and has a screw loose. Hard not to want to stay glued to that. I understand why MSNBC, as a profit-seeking company, has chosen to focus on this bullshit rather than all the depressing stuff no one wants to hear about.

This is, of course, why I love Bernie Sanders so much. He has a way of hyperfocusing on what matters: people’s medical bills, the need for a Green New Deal, the rebuilding of the labor movement. He has this very satisfying contempt for issues that do not directly affect the conditions of working people’s lives. Yes, impeach the president, but can we talk about Medicare For All?

2019-10-03 Keeping Our Eyes On The Ball

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2019-07-18 The Worst Environmentalists in the World On Saturday, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) withdrew its support for a climate debate among Democratic primary candidates. The LCV, in Saturday’s statement about the climate debate, declared its decision to be “in line with its values.” That’s fair: choosing to soothe the feelings of the shameless fossil fuel profiteers on Wall Street over fighting for the survival of the 99 percent does seem congruent with at least some of the organization’s “values.” What kind of environmental group would prioritize the delicate sensibilities of Mayor Pete’s wealthy backers over debate among our leaders about how life on earth will survive the coming century? Answer: one that is deeply dependent on wealthy backers and the goodwill of neoliberal politicians. Financiers are well represented on the national LCV board. Its chair is Carol Browner of the centrist Center for American Progress. LCV’s VP of governmental affairs, Tiernan Sittenfeld, once gushed to John Podesta in an email that she would “love” to work in the Hillary Clinton administration. Most of their contributions go to moderate-to-conservative Democrats like Bill Nelson, Kyrsten Sinema, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O’Rourke — the kind of people who have been mostly an obstacle to environmental progress. Klein and Thies aren’t the only NYLCV board members lobbying for fossil fuel infrastructure projects opposed by more serious environmentalists. Christian DiPalermo is a longtime lobbyist for Spectra Energy (which is now called Enbridge), the company seeking to build the Algonquin Gas Transmission through New York State as part of Atlantic Bridge, a much-criticized pipeline system. The hardly radical Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) has called Atlantic Bridge a “serious threat“ to wildlife, wetlands, and the quality of drinking water for millions of New Yorkers. Other NYLCV members have even more intimate ties to the fossil fuel industry. Michelle Hook is vice president of public affairs for Danskammer Energy, which owns a power plant in the Hudson Valley and has been trying to get a new natural gas facility approved in the area. he political ties of the LCV are even more shocking than the corporate ones. You’d expect the board members of a corporate-friendly environmental group to be made up of those whom Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf has called “soft climate denialists” — e.g., centrist Democrats — rather than the hard climate denialists of the proudly anti-scientific GOP. But NYLCV’s board includes backers of Donald Trump, whose environmental record is probably the worst of any American president in history. Ed Cox, chair of the board of directors of NYLCV’s education fund, just joined the Trump campaign. And the big honoree at the NYLCV’s spring gala last year – also one of their board members – was Andy Sabin, a billionaire Trump donor who supports fracking and opposes serious environmental regulation, believing the EPA is guilty of “overreach.” Sabin was also a donor to Ryan Zinke, Trump’s disgraced former interior secretary. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/07/league-of-conservation-voters-fossil-fuel-climate-change-corruption

2019-04-04 Show Us the Money In 2016 Bernie rejected corporate PAC money. The move played well with working people concerned about corporate influence in politics, and many Democrats have found it politically prudent to follow suit, including Harris and Booker. But this presidential cycle, it’s becoming clear that officially rejecting corporate PAC donations is not synonymous with holding industry elites at arms’ length. While the widespread adoption of the practice may lead to decreased influence of corporate PACs themselves in the Democratic Party, it also functions as a means of dissimulation, allowing pro-business Democrats to strike a progressive pose while quietly maintaining bonds with wealthy individual donors. Clearly Harris, Booker, Gillibrand, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg’s rejection of corporate PAC money is not a solid gesture of allegiance to the working class in the fight against capitalist power. It’s a compromise they have to make in the face of a credible challenge from the left. That challenge is posed chiefly by Bernie Sanders, who both refuses corporate PAC money and refuses to solicit donations from industry magnates — and has fared all the better for it. To her credit, Elizabeth Warren has refused to make that compromise. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/04/2020-presidential-campaign-corporate-donors-fundraising

2019-07-18 The Worst Environmentalists in the World

On Saturday, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) withdrew its support for a climate debate among Democratic primary candidates.

The LCV, in Saturday’s statement about the climate debate, declared its decision to be “in line with its values.” That’s fair: choosing to soothe the feelings of the shameless fossil fuel profiteers on Wall Street over fighting for the survival of the 99 percent does seem congruent with at least some of the organization’s “values.”

What kind of environmental group would prioritize the delicate sensibilities of Mayor Pete’s wealthy backers over debate among our leaders about how life on earth will survive the coming century? Answer: one that is deeply dependent on wealthy backers and the goodwill of neoliberal politicians.

Financiers are well represented on the national LCV board. Its chair is Carol Browner of the centrist Center for American Progress. LCV’s VP of governmental affairs, Tiernan Sittenfeld, once gushed to John Podesta in an email that she would “love” to work in the Hillary Clinton administration. Most of their contributions go to moderate-to-conservative Democrats like Bill Nelson, Kyrsten Sinema, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O’Rourke — the kind of people who have been mostly an obstacle to environmental progress.

Klein and Thies aren’t the only NYLCV board members lobbying for fossil fuel infrastructure projects opposed by more serious environmentalists. Christian DiPalermo is a longtime lobbyist for Spectra Energy (which is now called Enbridge), the company seeking to build the Algonquin Gas Transmission through New York State as part of Atlantic Bridge, a much-criticized pipeline system. The hardly radical Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) has called Atlantic Bridge a “serious threat“ to wildlife, wetlands, and the quality of drinking water for millions of New Yorkers.

Other NYLCV members have even more intimate ties to the fossil fuel industry. Michelle Hook is vice president of public affairs for Danskammer Energy, which owns a power plant in the Hudson Valley and has been trying to get a new natural gas facility approved in the area.

The political ties of the LCV are even more shocking than the corporate ones. You’d expect the board members of a corporate-friendly environmental group to be made up of those whom Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf has called “soft climate denialists” — e.g., centrist Democrats — rather than the hard climate denialists of the proudly anti-scientific GOP. But NYLCV’s board includes backers of Donald Trump, whose environmental record is probably the worst of any American president in history.

Ed Cox, chair of the board of directors of NYLCV’s education fund, just joined the Trump campaign. And the big honoree at the NYLCV’s spring gala last year – also one of their board members – was Andy Sabin, a billionaire Trump donor who supports fracking and opposes serious environmental regulation, believing the EPA is guilty of “overreach.” Sabin was also a donor to Ryan Zinke, Trump’s disgraced former interior secretary.

2019-07-18 The Worst Environmentalists in the World