“Bernie’s not a democrat”

Many a partisan democrat has made the statement, “Bernie Sanders is not a democrat.” They say this to suggest whether implicitly or explicitly that because he is “not a democrat” he cannot possibly comment or criticize elected democrats (besides the fact he’s caucused with them for the past 25 years).

Why the hate for the longest-serving independent in senate history? Partisan democrats know Bernie is fighting for many of the same policies they know and love, but he’s “not a democrat” and this just pisses them off to no other. Anyone familiar with Vermont election law also knows you don’t register for the party, you simply select what party you’d like to vote for in the primary so to criticize him is ridiculous on its face.

Democratic party affiliation is also at a recent historic low according to gallup polling. With that in mind democratic partisans should be doing all they can to woo the future of the party, millennials who love Sanders and who overwhelmingly supported him in the primary, and independents who make up the majority of the voting population.

Not only is Sanders the most favorable politician in the country his policies are also supported by a majority or supermajority of Americans. If the Democrats were smart they’d be begging the alleged “democratic socialist” who they’ve now made party outreach chair the face & leader of the party. Instead the DNC has so far taken every action to stomp this newfound enthusiasm as witnessed by electing chair Tom Perez who smeared Sanders in the primary. A recent poll found Trump & Pence to be viewed more favorably than the democratic party, you would think in light of this information and after losing 1000 seats under Barack Obama & the easiest election ever to Trump the party’s donors would start paying attention. Democrats would rather be a permanent minority coastal party than win with progressives (prove me wrong).

Hillary Victory Fund

The Clinton campaign has been attacking Sanders for not raising any money for down-ballot democrats. However, has anyone asked if the Clinton campaign is actually raising money for down-ballot democrats?

On paper it would appear the Clintons have given $2 million to state parties however what is not mentioned is that same amount is then funneled back to the DNC & Clinton campaign.

The Hillary Victory Fund is taking advantage of a loophole in campaign finance law after the McCutcheon vs FEC decision allowing a couple to donate up to $1.320 million PER election ($660,000 per year). The limit a person can give to a candidate is only $2,700 per election, however by bundling their fundraising with 33 state parties and the DNC the Clinton campaign is able to raise a much more substantial amount.

Clinton fundraising leaves little for state parties; The Democratic front-runner says she’s raising big checks to help state committees, but they’ve gotten to keep only 1 percent of the $60 million raised.

In the days before Hillary Clinton launched an unprecedented big-money fundraising vehicle with state parties last summer, she vowed “to rebuild our party from the ground up,” proclaiming “when our state parties are strong, we win. That’s what will happen.”

But less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by that effort has stayed in the state parties’ coffers, according to a POLITICO analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

The victory fund has transferred $3.8 million to the state parties, but almost all of that cash ($3.3 million, or 88 percent) was quickly transferred to the DNC, usually within a day or two, by the Clinton staffer who controls the committee, POLITICO’s analysis of the FEC records found.

By contrast, the victory fund has transferred $15.4 million to Clinton’s campaign and $5.7 million to the DNC, which will work closely with Clinton’s campaign if and when she becomes the party’s nominee. And most of the $23.3 million spent directly by the victory fund has gone toward expenses that appear to have directly benefited Clinton’s campaign, including $2.8 million for “salary and overhead” and $8.6 million for web advertising that mostly looks indistinguishable from Clinton campaign ads and that has helped Clinton build a network of small donors who will be critical in a general election expected to cost each side well in excess of $1 billion.

Additional sources:

How Hillary Clinton Could Ask A Single Donor For Over $700,000

Outside billionaires fuel joint effort between Clinton, Alaska Democrats

Clinton donors use Maine Democrats to skirt campaign cash limits

UPDATED: Democratic Party of Wisconsin helps billionaires channel donations to Clinton campaign

Report: Minnesota DFL Party launders money for Clinton campaign, DNC

Democratic Party fundraising effort helps Clinton find new donors, too

The title for the above article is misleading:

“A record 32 state parties signed on to the fund, allowing the committee to solicit donations 130 times greater than what a supporter can give to Clinton’s campaign for the primary.

But the states have yet to see a financial windfall. Meanwhile, Clinton’s campaign has been a major beneficiary, getting an infusion of low-dollar contributions through the committee at a time when rival Bernie Sanders’s army of small donors is helping him close in on her financially. The fund is run by Clinton campaign staff, and its treasurer is Clinton’s chief operating officer.

Clinton officials said their use of the fund is proper and that the state parties will benefit from the millions of dollars the joint fundraising committee is generating for the DNC, which provides the infrastructure to support Democratic campaigns across the country.

So far, the state parties have served only as a pass-through for their share of the funds. Campaign finance records show that nearly $2 million in donations to the fund initially routed last year to individual state party accounts was immediately transferred to the DNC, which is laboring to pay off millions of dollars in debt.”

Please read the McCutcheon vs FEC dissent

Note the dissent even underestimated the total given per campaign by $120,000 ($1.2 million vs $1.320 million as the counterpunch article mentions).

“The two major political parties each have three national committees. Ante, at 4, n. 1. Federal law also entitles an individual to give $20,000 to a state party committee over two years. §441a(a)(1)(D). Each major political party has 50 such committees. Those individual limits mean that, in the absence of any aggregate limit, an individual could legally give to the Republican Party or to the Democratic Party about $1.2 million over two years. See Appendix B, Table 1, infra, at 39. To make it easier for contributors to give gifts of this size, each party could create a “Joint Party Committee,” comprising all of its national and state party committees. The titular heads could be the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader of the House. A contributor could then write a single check to the Joint Party Committee–and its staff would divide the funds so that each constituent unit receives no more than it could obtain from the contributor directly ($64,800 for a national committee over two years, $20,000 for a state committee over the same). Before today’s decision, the total size of Rich Donor’s check to the Joint Party Committee was capped at $74,600–the aggregate limit for donations to political parties over a 2-year election cycle. See §441a(a)(3)(B); 78 Fed. Reg. 8532. After today’s decision, Rich Donor can write a single check to the Joint Party Committee in an amount of about $1.2 million.”

Open Secrets Hillary Victory Fund

What Has Sanders Done?

A common theme I run across is Sanders hasn’t gotten anything done and therefore he won’t be able to accomplish anything in the future. I will make no predictions about his ability to “get stuff done” in the future, however let’s take a look at what Senator Sanders has accomplished in the past.

Note: a majority of Sanders legislative success has been his ability to attach amendments to bills that have eventually became law so keep that in mind if anyone suggests he’s only passed 3 laws- that part is true however anyone knowledgeable about Washington understands amendments are commonplace.

Some articles talking about what Sanders has accomplished during his 8 years as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont and 25 years in Congress (16 in the House and 9 so far in the Senate). I’d like to add this is by no means a “comprehensive list” please visit pplswar’s blog for additional info (linked below).

Congress’s only socialist becomes a bipartisan dealmaker

Bernie Gets It Done: Sanders’ Record of Pushing Through Major Reforms Will Surprise You

As Vermont official, Sanders ‘got things done’

Sanders is the amendment king of the current House of Representative. Since the Republicans took over Congress in 1995, no other lawmaker – not Tom DeLay, not Nancy Pelosi – has passed more roll-call amendments (amendments that actually went to a vote on the floor) than Bernie Sanders. He accomplishes this on the one hand by being relentlessly active, and on the other by using his status as an Independent to form left-right coalitions.

Full credit to pplswar for the list below:

https://pplswar.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/what-bernie-sanders-got-done-in-washington-a-legislative-inventory/

102nd Congress — 1991-1992

  • Authorize grants or contracts to operate population-based, statewide cancer registries in order to collect certain data for each form of in-situ and invasive cancer except basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Authorizes grants for planning the registries. Mandates a study on factors contributing to elevated rates of breast cancer mortality in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services, directly or through grants and contracts, or both, to provide technical assistance to the States in the establishment and operation of statewide registries. H.R.4206 (Cancer Registries Amendment Act) enacted as S. 3312 (Cancer Registries Amendment Act).

104th Congress — 1995-1996

105th Congress — 1997-1998

106th Congress — 1999-2000

107th Congress — 2001-2002

108th Congress — 2003-2004

110th Congress — 2007-2008

111th Congress — 2009-2010

113th Congress — 2013-2014


Wisconsin Votes Tuesday April 5th!

Wisconsin voters will have their chance to have their say this election season with the primary for the respective party nomination for President this Tuesday, April 5th. Bernie has done much better in open primary states, Wisconsin being one, but we will need every single vote so please bring your friends and family. Note: The deadline to register to vote has passed, HOWEVER Wisconsin also has same-day voter registration at your polling place on election day.

Find out where to vote here Polls open 7AM-8PM statewide, if you are in line by 8PM you will be permitted to vote.

If that doesn’t work please use the Bernie poll finder where you can also find general election information including local Bernie campaign offices.

Check to see if you are currently registered to vote

Also note Wisconsin has a Voter ID law, please find acceptable photo ID here

Electability

Bernie Sanders is by far the most electable candidate for a general election, at least in terms of those currently running with any chance of winning (Governor Kasich likely would do well in a typical election). But this isn’t a typical election year with the likes of Donald J Drumpf a billionaire real estate investor and Senator Bernie Sanders an independent Senator from Vermont who calls himself a democratic socialist.

There are a few data points we can use to talk about electability and those include favorability ratings, general election match-ups, support among independents who make up about 42% of registered voters double the amount of republicans/democrats, support among young people, enthusiasm, whether voter turnout is up or down, how swing states have been voting etc.

Favorability ratings are a decent indicator of a candidate’s chances in a general election, and the only 2 candidates with positive favorability ratings are Governor John Kasich (who stands a close to zero percent chance of winning the gop nomination) and Senator Bernie Sanders (also a long shot). A Donald J Drumpf and Secretary Clinton matchup will be between 2 of the most hated people in the country. There is a good chance republicans will show up in droves to support the neo-fascist Drumpf as there is a considerable amount of enthusiasm for his campaign (whether there should be or not is another story). There is also a decent chance republicans will show up in equal numbers to vote against Secretary Clinton. This is a perfect storm for a campaign plagued with a complete lack of enthusiasm fueled mostly by large donors who is now even being out-raised and out-spent by her opponent (unless you count superpac spending, Source: FEC).

In terms of general election match-ups Senator Sanders consistently polls better against republicans than Secretary Clinton according to HuffPost Pollster  and RealClearPolitics averages nationally. The deep red state of Utah would prefer Sanders over Trump by larger margins than Sec Clinton. While this poll may be an outlier please note this is the case in virtually every other poll both in swing states, red states and blue states. In the swing states that have voted in the primary so far Sen Sanders has won New Hampshire, Colorado and Minnesota all by large margins in addition to Michigan. Iowa and Missouri were virtual ties and Nevada was a close loss. Outside of the South, states that are almost guaranteed not to vote for either democratic candidate, Sec Clinton only won 1 state – Ohio – by more than a few points. This was a disappointing loss however keep in mind many democrats among both candidates supporters voted in the republican primary for Governor Kasich as an anti-Trump vote.

Independents in states that have voted already have overwhelmingly gone to both Sen Sanders and Donald J Drumpf. Registered independents make up ~42% of all voters, an extremely important voting block for the general election. In Michigan, 71% of independent voters who cast ballots in the democratic primary voted for Sen Sanders. That increases to 73% of independents in New Hampshire and up to a whopping 92% of independents in Vermont – the people who know Bernie best. If we look at those same polls and young people we find that overwhelmingly those under 45 support Senator Sanders. Older democrats will show up and vote for whoever the party nominates, however these young people and independents simply will not, a hard reality democratic partisans will have to come to if they want to stump Donald J Drumpf.

Utah, Idaho democrats and Arizona vote tomorrow

Utah – anyone can vote for Bernie and you can even register up to and at the caucus (same day registration)

The doors open at 6pm and if you want to caucus you have to be in line by 8:30pm.

Vote in Utah

Register to vote online in Utah

How to caucus in Utah

Idaho – anyone can vote for Bernie as long as they didn’t vote in the March 8th primaries (republican, 3rd party). Idaho also has same-day registration and you can even reserve your seat at the caucus beforehand.

Caucus times vary based on time zone. If your caucus is in Mountain Time, it runs from 6PM-9PM with doors closing at 7PM. If your caucus is in Pacific Time, it runs from 5PM-8PM with doors closing at 6PM.

Vote in Idaho

Register to vote online

Arizona – only democrats who registered by February 22nd can vote for Bernie.

Vote in Arizona