Sanders touts union, liberal endorsements

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bernie Sanders lands key endorsements ahead of Iowa caucuses.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont secured two key endorsements on Thursday as he solidified his place as the main challenger to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.“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.The Communications Workers of America formally backed Sanders after a vote by the 700,000-member union of technology and telecommunications workers showed a “decisive majority” supporting his primary bid. 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.

Bernie Sanders is trying to demonstrate fresh momentum heading into the upcoming Democratic debate, announcing Thursday the largest labor endorsement of his presidential campaign. Last month, the two million member Service Employees International Union, the primary backer of the Fight for $15 fast-food worker strikes around the nation, endorsed Clinton.

Clinton, on the other hand, has relied on larger donors — 74 percent of contributions to her campaign were $1,000 or more, according to numbers from the Campaign Finance Institute. He’s also touting new fundraising numbers, demonstrating his ability to raise millions of dollars online at a pace comparable to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. 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 communications workers’ former president, Larry Cohen, has been an unpaid labor adviser to Sanders’ campaign and a vocal opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which Sanders has assailed as detrimental to middle-class jobs and wages. “We will use whatever we need” to drive the campaign, said the union’s current president, Chris Shelton. “We will use our PAC money. His team announced Thursday it had received 2 million financial contributions from supporters – underscoring Sanders’ online fundraising successes.

DFA, formed in the wake of Dean’s failed 2004 campaign, had previously been an active supporter of the effort to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for the Democratic nomination. Excluding contributions to the two parties and their congressional campaign arms, here are the campaigns with the most individual contributions since 1980. Even if some of those endorsements were mainly the work of politically-connected leaders, as opposed to the desire of members, they’ll still produce a lot of action on primary election days. This endorsement – combined with that of CWA, which has 700,000 active members – gives Sanders’ campaign a much needed boost with only 45 days left until the crucial Iowa caucuses. 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 told an audience at the union’s headquarters Thursday. “We’re going to create an economy that works for the middle class and working people of America.” The Conference Board’s leading economic index climbed 0.4% last month, pushed higher by rising building permits and suggesting solid fourth-quarter growth. If Bernie doesn’t want to take it, ok, I respect that, but we’ll use it to make sure we’ll do everything we can to get the vote out.” Unlike many other unions, CWA did not ask Sanders to answer a questionnaire or sit for interviews with their executive board. Their leadership instead helped develop questions for a live interview conducted at the AFL-CIO summer meeting. “It would have been an empty endorsement coming from me,” said Shelton. “He could have gotten 22 votes from our executive board. That’s because these nods send cross-organization signals about who backs whom, and whom to support, develop into a kind of rough party consensus on nominees. 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.

It weights them for importance – a governor’s endorsement is worth more than senator’s, which in turn is worth more than that of a representative. Elizabeth Warren into the presidential campaign earlier this year and many of its backers migrated to Sanders’ campaign after Warren opted not to run. For all the talk of Donald Trump and his strength on the right, it’s clear there’s a very deep cadre of grass-roots support on the Democratic side, too. But it’s another chunk of news the Sanders campaign is using to try and convey a new sense of momentum with voting now only a few weeks off and the polls of the Democratic race largely unchanged since October. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the only other person to raise $2 million at this point in a presidential campaign was Barack Obama in 2007.

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. Linda Sanchez, of California, in a Spanish-language op-ed. “Lasting change was bound to take more than a single presidency,” she wrote. “It will take a multi-generational effort, led by someone with the skills and the scars that making real progress often demands.”

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