Internet donations power Bernie Sanders ahead of Democratic primary

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Union Endorsement for Bernie Sanders.

The Communications Workers of America endorsed Vermont Sen. “With 271,527 votes cast — and all three presidential candidates campaigning directly for your vote — the results are in and they are extraordinary,” the organization wrote on its website Thursday. “Bernie Sanders has earned Democracy for America’s endorsement in the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary with an astonishing, record-breaking 87.9 percent of the vote.” The liberal group says its “endorsement brings with it a million person-strong grassroots army that has knocked hundreds of thousands of doors, made over 11 million phone calls, and raised and contributed more than $32.7 million to help elect 843 progressive candidates nationwide.” Though Dean started Democracy for America with activists from his 2004 presidential run, the former Vermont governor has endorsed Hillary Clinton in this Democratic primary. Bernie Sanders for president Thursday, giving a shot in the arm to his campaign against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who has already secured the bulk of organized labor’s support.

Sanders’s growing support from big labor, however, poses challenges to a candidacy built around his independence from big money and special interests. It’s a much needed boost for a candidate whose campaign’s momentum seemed to stall a bit lately, and it comes just two days before the party’s next presidential debate in the crucial state of New Hampshire. At an event where Sanders appeared with members of the union’s executive board, CWA President Chris Shelton said the decision to back Sanders was a reflection of strong support for him by the rank-and-file, expressed in a survey of the members. Bernie has called for a political revolution – and that is just what Americans need today.” Clinton leads Sanders in polls of national and Iowa Democrats. The union represents workers in telecommunications, media, health care, public service and manufacturing. “Our politics and economy have favored Wall Street, the wealthy and powerful for too long,” Shelton continued. “CWA members, like voters across America, are saying we can no longer afford business as usual.

With 700,000 members concentrated in states including Ohio, California, Texas and New Jersey, the CWA’s size far outstrips that of the nursing and postal unions that endorsed Mr. But Sanders is leading Clinton in polls in New Hampshire, where a Real Clear Politics polling average has Sanders at 48 percent, Clinton at 43 percent and O’Malley at 4 percent.

The unusual process did not include the executive board interviews common in other unions, though CWA officials did interview the candidates when they appeared at the AFL-CIO’s summer meeting this year. The CWA executive board followed that lead with a unanimous Thursday morning vote, Shelton said, because of Sanders’s stances on the financial sector, debt-free college, health care, and “retirement security,” among other issues. CWA’s immediate past president Larry Cohen, joined Sanders’ campaign as a advisor shortly after stepping down this summer. “Hillary Clinton is humbled to have such tremendous support from labor unions who represent a diverse coalition of millions of hardworking union men and women across the country.

Shelton declined to comment on other unions’ endorsements of Clinton, which include those of AFSCME, the Laborers, and the American Federation of Government Employees. Excluding contributions to the two parties and their congressional campaign arms, here are the campaigns with the most individual contributions since 1980.

She shares their commitment to fighting for an economy that works for every single American, not just those at the top,” said Clinton spokesperson Jesse Ferguson Thursday. At the top is the 2008 Obama campaign, understandably, followed by his 2012 race. (There are occasionally multiple committees associated with campaigns, so some candidate-cycle combinations show up multiple times.) Obama’s 2012 campaign committee actually got enough contributions in the 2014 midterm cycle to make the top 50. Sanders, who has sworn off super PACs, has faced questions over spending on his behalf from a super PAC affiliated with a nurses union that endorsed him.

Every once in awhile, he makes a decision that isn’t aligned with the grass roots.” Chamberlain said the organization plans to use it 1 million members to help raise money for Sanders and provide targeted support in Iowa, New Hampshire and other early nominating states. CWA has it’s own super PAC and Shelton did not rule out using it to support Sanders. “Bernie doesn’t want to it take it – OK, I respect that,” he said. “We’ll do everything I can to get the vote out to make sure he’s the next president.” The endorsement came the same day as Sanders’ campaign announced they had received 2 individual contributions, more than any non-incumbent presidential candidate in history. Sanders, by contrast, “supports our issues, supports working issues, supports union issues,” said Anetra Session, another board member who wore a red T-shirt and a CWA lanyard. That’s a big difference.” Sanders already faces scrutiny over his ties to National Nurses United, which endorsed him in August and has used an affiliated super PAC to spend significantly in support of the senator. Sanders’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, who jumped on the call, said the campaign has built an infrastructure that will allow groups like Democracy for American “to plug in” seamlessly.

Just 261 of the campaign’s donors given the legal maximum contribution of $2,700, the campaign touted. “You can’t level the playing field with Wall Street banks and billionaires by taking their money,” Sanders says in new TV advertisement touting the number. The CWA endorsement comes as Sanders prepares to face off this weekend against Clinton and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in the third Democratic debate of the presidential campaign season. With components ranging from the S&P 500’s price change to weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance, the business-research group’s index is meant to signal swings in the business cycle and to smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

The Democratic National Committee dropped the local TV sponsor of the event, WMUR, because the station has not resolved a labor dispute with one of it’s unions. The endorsements give a lift to Sanders’s campaign as the senator attempts to consolidate labor support and prove that he would do more to promote workers’ rights than Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Ed Zschau’s 1986 senate race in California.) Incidentally, that ActBlue in 2016 — the committee that’s got the most contributions so far this cycle — is raising money for a guy named Bernie Sanders.

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