U.S. Politics

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sanders Backers From Vermont Join Protests at the Philly Convention

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 12:13 AM

Connor Garrett, 9, of Hamden, Conn., taking part in a march on Monday. - KEVIN J. KELLEY
  • Kevin J. Kelley
  • Connor Garrett, 9, of Hamden, Conn., taking part in a march on Monday.
Vermonters were among roughly 3,000 Bernie Sanders supporters who shouted and strutted their way down Broad Street in Philadelphia in a pair of marches on a miserably hot and humid Monday afternoon. Their destination was Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, where a second day of angry protests against Hillary Clinton’s nomination would end amid thunder, lightning and lashing rain. 
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“I wanted to be a witness to this, to be a part of this history,” said Erin Stillson-Wolf, explaining why she, her husband and their two children, ages 3 and 10, had traveled to Philly from Jonesville, Vt., in a camper van.  Bernie Sanders had inspired her to “spread some hope,” the 30-year-old mom added.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Video: Sanders Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver on Democratic Divisions

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 6:11 PM

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As he waited for a ride to Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center on Monday afternoon, Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, took a moment to discuss the start of the Democratic National Convention.

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At a rally an hour earlier, Sanders delegates had booed the senator when he uttered presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's name. But Weaver said he didn't expect the episode to repeat itself  when the convention formally began.

"There were a lot of other people besides our delegates in the room today, so it was not clear to me who it was that was doing it," Weaver said of the booing. "But I expect all of our delegates to handle themselves with decorum inside the Wells Fargo Center."

Asked whether he worried Sanders supporters would refrain from supporting Clinton, the Highgate and St. Albans native said, "No, I think people in the end will realize the danger that [Republican nominee] Donald Trump poses."

Watch the video here: 


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Sanders Delegates Boo Hillary Clinton at Philadelphia Rally

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 3:32 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses delegates Monday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses delegates Monday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
At a raucous rally Monday in Philadelphia, hundreds of delegates to the Democratic National Convention booed their party's presumptive nominee.

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The moment of disunity came as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gave a pre-convention pep talk to an electrified crowd of delegates at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. After celebrating the successes of his insurgent presidential campaign, the senator from Vermont turned his attention to the general election.

"We have got to defeat Donald Trump!" he shouted. "And we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine!"

The crowd erupted in a chorus of boos that lasted for close to a minute. Sanders raised his right arm in an effort to quiet his most fervent supporters.

"Brothers and sisters," he started. "Brothers and sisters, this is — this is the real world that we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue."

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Green Party's Jill Stein Courts Sanders Supporters in Philly

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 3:09 PM

Jill Stein - GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Gage Skidmore
  • Jill Stein

Jill Stein, the Green Party’s likely presidential nominee, has come to Philadelphia to crash this week's Democratic party.

The Harvard-trained physician is working to recruit disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters, several hundred of whom have traveled to the City of Brotherly Love to protest the Democrats’ likely nomination of Hillary Clinton. The 66-year-old Stein is urging them — as well as their hero — to abandon the party of the Clintons and to carry on the political revolution under the Greens’ banner.

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Most members of the “Bernie or Bust” brigade share Stein’s view of the Democratic Party as a corrupt institution that conducted a rigged primary election. Hacked emails written by Democratic National Committee staffers “confirm people’s worst suspicions that the DNC in fact sabotaged Bernie’s campaign,” Stein said in an interview Sunday at the Green Party’s modest office on a working class residential street in West Philadelphia.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hot for Bernie: Sanders Supporters March in Sweltering Philly

Posted By on Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 11:47 PM

Los Angeles artist Alex Schaefer marched inside his 10-foot-tall Big Bernie creation. - KEVIN J. KELLEY
  • Kevin J. Kelley
  • Los Angeles artist Alex Schaefer marched inside his 10-foot-tall Big Bernie creation.
Searing heat didn’t initially stifle the spirit of about 2,000 “Bernie or Bust” marchers on Philadelphia’s unshaded Broad Street Sunday. They shouted their defiance of a Democratic National Convention poised to nominate Hillary Clinton for president.

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“Hell no, DNC, we won’t vote for Hillary!” fist-shaking marchers chanted along the first half of a 3.5-mile route from Philadelphia City Hall to Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park near the barricaded convention hall.

“If we don’t get it, shut it down!” the Sanders diehards also threatened.

Some suggested in interviews that there is still hope of the Democrats turning to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday night, delivering victory to the Vermont socialist as an act of penance for what many of his supporters maintain was a rigged primary voting process. Failure to right that perceived wrong will mean trouble in Philly, the more militant protestors seemed to suggest.

WikiLeaks’ publication of hacked emails written by Democratic National Committee staffers showed they are “not a bunch of crackhead conspiracy theorists,” said Los Angeles artist Alex Schaefer. Some of the leaked messages confirmed Sanders’ complaint that the nominally neutral Democratic Party hierarchy was actually working to ensure Clinton’s nomination.

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Wasserman Schultz to Resign as Democrats Seek Convention Unity

Posted By on Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 5:48 PM

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a debate last December in New Hampshire - FILE: PAUL HEINTZ
  • File: Paul Heintz
  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a debate last December in New Hampshire
Updated at 9:32 p.m.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said Sunday she would resign her chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee at the conclusion of the party's convention this week in Philadelphia.

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The move came as party leaders sought to quell an uproar over leaked DNC emails suggesting that committee staffers had undermined Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) presidential campaign. In one internal email, released Friday by WikiLeaks, DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall asked two other party officials whether the organization could "get someone" to ask Sanders about his faith — an apparent effort to hurt his electoral chances in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Speaking Sunday morning on CNN's "State of the Union," Sanders called the emails "outrageous," but "not a great shock to me."

"I mean, there's no question, to my mind, and I think no question to any objective observer's mind, that the DNC was supporting [presumptive Democratic nominee] Hillary Clinton — was in opposition to our campaign," he said. "So I'm not quite shocked by this."

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Friday, July 15, 2016

We Want to Hear Your Bernie Sanders Stories!

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 2:30 PM

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The past 15 months have been a wild ride for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — and for his many passionate supporters. Thousands of Vermonters donated to his presidential campaign, attended his rallies and went door-to-door to persuade others to join his political revolution.

As the Democrats prepare for their nominating convention in Philadelphia on July 25 to 28, Seven Days is looking back at what Bernie has accomplished, and we need your help. Please take a few minutes to answer our (very short!) survey below by Sunday, July 17. We'll publish a collection of your responses in the paper and online.

[UPDATE: You really came through with your responses! Thanks for your participation — the form is now closed.]

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sanders Supporters Grieving After Clinton Endorsement

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 7:27 PM

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaign together Tuesday morning in Portsmouth, N.H. - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaign together Tuesday morning in Portsmouth, N.H.
Shyla Nelson stood near the stage Tuesday in Portsmouth, N.H., as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) used the words she hoped never to hear: He was endorsing rival Hillary Clinton for president.

“I’m grieving,” Nelson said hours later after returning home to Norwich. “It’s fair to say it’s not what we, Bernie supporters, wanted.”

As a strident Sanders supporter and Vermont delegate to the Democratic National Convention, Nelson had held out hope against all odds that Sanders would continue to pursue the nomination at the convention later this month in Philadelphia.

“We could have headed to Philadelphia with a contested convention,” Nelson said. “Neither candidate has the official threshold of pledged delegates.”

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Bernie Sanders Concedes, Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaign together Tuesday morning in Portsmouth, N.H. - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaign together Tuesday morning in Portsmouth, N.H.
Updated at 8:39 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) brought his insurgent presidential campaign to a close Tuesday morning and offered a robust endorsement to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Standing beside her in a Portsmouth, N.H., high school gymnasium, Sanders thanked his supporters for delivering more votes, states and delegates “than almost anyone thought we could win.”

“But it is not enough to win the nomination,” he conceded. “Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination.”

The campaigns worked hard to project a message of unity, hanging blue and white banners throughout the gym reading “Stronger Together.” The candidates emerged together, waved to audience members and stood arm in arm, whispering to one another.

But they were quickly reminded of the deep divisions that marked their protracted campaign. Sanders supporters held his campaign placards aloft and chanted his name. Some booed when he announced his endorsement — and at least a dozen walked right out of Portsmouth High School. Others in the crowd responded with cheers of “Hillary!” and “Unity!”

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Gender Imbalance Shakes Up Vermont Democratic Delegation

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 6:22 PM

State convention delegates show their support for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Barre in May. - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • TERRI HALLENBECK
  • State convention delegates show their support for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Barre in May.
Two Vermont men chosen last month as delegates to the Democratic National Convention learned last week they’ve been nixed from the roster.

The reason: gender imbalance.

The Democratic National Committee directed the Vermont Democratic Party to remove two men from the list of delegates and replace them with women, said Conor Casey, the state party’s executive director.

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