Bernie Sanders firmly ahead in New Hampshire

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is now firmly in the lead in New Hampshire, according to a Public Policy Polling.

The poll, conducted between the 21st and 24th of August showed that Sanders is leading Clinton by 7 points in the Granite State.

According to the poll of 370 likely Democratic voters, 42 per cent said they would like to see Bernie Sanders become the Democratic nominee for president.

A staggering 78 per cent of respondents said they held a favorable opinion of Sanders, while just 12 per cent said they viewed him unfavorably.

This poll comes reaffirms the results of a Franklin Pierce/RKM/Boston Herald poll conducted earlier this month, which also put Sanders ahead of Clinton by 7 points.

Wisconsin poll puts Sanders within 12 points of Clinton

A Wisconsin poll conducted by the Marquette Law School shows Bernie Sanders trailing rival Hillary Clinton by just 12 points.

The poll, conducted between the 13th and the 18th of August asked almost 400 Democratic voters who they would support in the primary election. 44 per cent of respondents answered that they would support Clinton, while 32 per cent said they supported Bernie Sanders.

Joe Biden, who has not announced whether he would be running was favored by 12 per cent of respondents. 9 per cent said they were undecided, while other candidates received support of 1 per cent.

Bernie Sanders visited Madison, Wisconsin in July, where he attracted a crowd of 10,000 supporters at the Veterans Memorial Colosseum.

Clinton has not yet visited Wisconsin since announcing her candidacy, but has a trip scheduled to Milwaukee in early September.

Sanders holds onto campaign attendance records

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has kept a firm grip on his record attendances at campaign rallies after Trump event on Saturday night.

The media reported that 30,000 had attended the event in Mobile, Albama, however this panoramic photo of the 34,000-seat venue shows the turnout to be just half that, at best.

However, this didn’t stop media outlets, including CNN from reporting the turnout as 30,000. Have a look at the photo and decide for yourself how many people were there.

Following Trump’s rally, Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show estimated that just 20,000 turned out to the event.

This leaves the Sanders campaign with a tight grip onto records it has already set during the campaign for the largest attendance at any campaign event, of any candidate.

Sanders recently attracted crowds of 27,500 and 28,000 in Los Angeles and Portland respectively. It remains to be seen whether any candidate can beat Sanders’ record turnouts.

Bernie to make two-day swing in New Hampshire

Bernie Sanders will kick off a two-day swing through New Hampshire today, beginning in Salem for a town meeting.Bernie Sanders will kick off a two-day swing through New Hampshire today, beginning in Salem for a town meeting.

Senator Sanders will arrive in New Hampshire on Sunday, August 23 where he will kick off his swing at 5pm for a town hall in Salem. Doors will open at the Woodbury School Gymnasium at 4:30pm.

On Monday, Sanders will be hosting a town hall at the Kennett Middle School Cafeteria in Conway at 10:30am, with doors opening half an hour beforehand.

In the afternoon, Sanders will be hosting a town hall in Berlin. The town hall at the The White Mountain Chalet kicks off at 2:30pm, and doors will be open at 2pm.

The Senator from Vermont will conclude his swing through New Hampshire with a town hall at the Littleton Opera House on Union St in Littleton. The town hall will begin at 7pm, and doors will be open half an hour prior.

As with all campaign events, tickets are not required, and availability is on a first-come, first-serve basis, however you are strongly recommended to RSVP to the events on Sanders’ campaign website.

This swing comes after a Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll showed Sanders had the lead over Clinton in New Hampshire.

Momentum building for Bernie’s birthday moneybomb

Activists across the country are organizing to raise small campaign contributions of $8 on Senator Bernie Sanders’ birthday on September 8.

Sanders will be turning 74 on September 8, and his supporters across the United States are pledging to donate $8 to his campaign to mark the occasion.

The moneybomb is being organised by the Grassroots for Sanders group, which is to thank for the Sanders’ large following on social networking site Reddit, which has proven to be pivotal in organizing efforts for the campaign so far.

A similar moneybomb was organised on July 15th, aiming to raise $15 contributions in support of a $15 an hour minimum wage. That fundraising effort raised $62,000 for the campaign.

You can make a contribution directly to the campaign here.

Bernie Sanders and Black Charleston

Each city has its unique challenges, political culture, and history that candidates must be aware of and adapt to in order to become successful in these respective areas.

Charleston, South Carolina, with its prominence in racial issues in recent headlines and its past, is no exception. While Mr. Sanders has minimal chances of winning the allegiance of the vast majority of white residents of this city aside from the minority of far left elements due to the tendency of most local whites toward either conservative or mainstream Democratic politics, there are certain factors that Mr. Sanders must also consider if he is to win the allegiance of the city’s black voters.

The Factor of History

Charleston’s black history runs deeper than that of most American cities. The first Africans arrived here in 1670 aboard the ship “Three Brothers” along with Captain Nathaniel Sayle, which, according to historian Peter Wood in his book ‘Black Majority,” began a process that led to the black population actually outnumbering the whites in this area from the 1700s to the Great Migration to Northern cities in the 1920s. This surplus was due to the demand for slave labor in the local rice fields. There were two important results of this population dominance; the black population in Charleston maintained more of their African speech patterns and cultural practices than almost any other black community in America in what is called the Gullah culture (alternately called Geechee) whose names are said to be inspired by the Gola and Gizze tribes of Sierra Leone and Liberia of which most Charleston blacks are descended. This community, which has traditionally consisted mostly of the city’s black poor and working classes, faces problems of displacement and cultural issues typical of indigenous populations that will be discussed later in this essay. Another result of the dominance in population was the greater risk of slave rebellions. The best known of these were the attempted rebellion by Denmark Vesey and his followers in 1822, and the Stono Ferry rebellion of 1739. Each of these resulted in the execution of its plotters and greater restrictions upon the black population.

During Reconstruction, the black community temporarily prospered in the rise of black political power, as African Americans served as Lieutenant Governors, college professors, city councilmen, policemen, and other prominent positions. With the fall of Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow laws and disfranchisement at the close of the 1800s, a sense of bitterness and futility settled in, but occasional advancements took place. Among these was the 1898 meeting against lynching at Mother Emanuel AME Church, the rise of black schools and local businesses, and armed resistance during the 1919 race riots. Unfortunately, the best and brightest of the black population was led by the lack of opportunities to migrate to cities such as New York City, Washington DC, and Philadelphia, while the local masses remained largely stagnant.

However, in the 1950s and 60s, local leaders such as businessman Esau Jenkins, educator Septima Clark, mortician Herbert Fielding, and several others led the local civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King occasionally visited these leaders and spoke in this city, inspiring considerable change in regard to segregation and political restrictions, reaching its peak during a hospital strike of black workers in 1969. Local radio station WPAL also mixed programs of political information with Soul and Gospel music. However, with the deaths of these leaders and the fall of WPAL by the beginning of the millennium, apathy and despair again set in. While the city of Charleston prospered under its leadership, a major side effect was the gentrification of Charleston and the displacement of its poor black population and the decline of its traditionally black schools.

The Walter Scott and Mother Emanuel killings

Two events in the first half of 2015 brought national attention to the problems of black Charlestonians. The North Charleston police department was infamous in its reputation in dealing with its black citizens. Many blacks have complained of frequent stops by the police of that section, and it was not uncommon for local blacks to warn others about driving or walking in North Charleston. On April 4, 2015, 50 year old Walter Scott ran from Officer Michael Slager at the Advance Auto Supplies Store on Remount Road and Craig Streets in North Charleston during a traffic arrest. Scott was then allegedly shot eight times in the back to death by Officer Slager while Scott was running away. Slager was arrested for his actions after a local individual filmed the incident, which was then broadcast on television and social media. While it may be said that the arrest of Officer Slager prevented possible rioting that plagued other cities where such shootings have occurred, there were still angry protests that received far less attention from the mainstream media than the peaceful demonstrations, and when the Charleston Post and Courier attempted to interview North Charleston residents about complaints regarding local law enforcement, many refused to be quoted out of fear.

Two months later on June 17, nine local blacks including the church’s pastor were killed during a Bible Study at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston. Again, the suspect was arrested. The international media focused on peaceful and harmonious demonstrations between the city’s racial and ethnic groups, but angrier nonviolent protests by more militant groups were again largely ignored.

The Role of Bernie Sanders

Sanders was scheduled to attend a rally in Charleston in June that was arranged before the Mother Emanuel shootings, but he cancelled this rally out of respect for the shooting victims. As it stands, while he is liked among the small community of black intellectuals and those who are not fond of the current Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, he is not widely known among the black masses. While this was also true of current president Barack Obama in the early years of his campaign, President Obama had the advantage of inspiring racial pride among many blacks with his polished oratory and charisma.

While Bernie Sanders’ ideas tend to appeal to the small black intelligentsia, many politically active blacks remain supporters of the traditional Democratic Party and of Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, many blacks in South Carolina are politically apathetic nonvoters (aside from being motivated to vote for President Obama in the last two presidential elections), and large numbers of men are disfranchised due to the felony restrictions put in place by the South Carolina “Jim Crow” Constitution of 1895, which remains in effect and continues in its original intention of reducing black voting power.

There is also the concern of the heckling by Sanders from two members of Black Lives Matter (a youth organization that grained prominence after a series of high profile killings of black youth by whites and policemen). While Black Lives Matter is still small in numbers on a national level as of this writing and their future remains to be seen, they are presently growing in influence and media attention, due largely to the lack of a coherent agenda of prominent traditional black leadership. As an emerging leader of the American left, Sanders would do well to engage in dialogue with its leadership.

While Sanders has recently published a position paper on race that covers such issues as police violence, disfranchisement, poor education, mass incarceration, affordable child care, and college costs, it needs additional input by black community members as well as the intelligentsia. The issue of gentrification and displacement, central to that of many blacks, needs to be covered, as well as the unique problems faced by rural blacks, who are ignored in policy discussions despite their large numbers (this is particularly true along South Carolina’s “Corridor of Shame,”-a poverty stricken black belt along Interstate 95 that was featured in the early days of the Obama campaign, but seldom heard from again, as well as the Mississippi Delta and the agrarian regions of other Southern states) must also be addressed.

Sanders must also make use of black media to reach out to this community. Appearances on radio programs with large black audiences such as Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey, and D.L. Hughley who are nationally syndicated are a must, along with black magazines as Ebony and Essence. Some inroads may also be considered among celebrities and music artists as well as ads in black newspapers. But while he is in Charleston, he would do well to travel throughout the black communities and listen to the common, everyday people to learn of their problems firsthand and unfiltered by officials and maintain contact and a relationship with these individuals if he is to succeed in preparing programs to gain the allegiance of the people.

Damon L. Fordham is a Charleston based author and historian.

Bernie fires up supporters in Charleston

Senator Bernie Sanders fired up a crowd of thousands of supporters in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday night, concluding his swing through the state.

Sanders called for a Medicare-for-all, single payer program, but said that his colleagues in Congress do not agree. He said that the Affordable Care Act has cut the uninsured rate across the United States. He called out the South Carolina legislature and governor for not signing on to the program, saying that more than 200,000 South Carolinians are missing out on health insurance.

In his speech to the rally, Sanders said real unemployment in this country is over 10 per cent, and that America is facing a jobs and unemployment crisis. He addressed youth unemployment, saying that unemployment for high school graduates aged between 17-20 is at 33 per cent for white children, Hispanic kids at 36 per cent, and African-American children at 51 per cent. Sanders called it an outrage, saying that this country is turning its back on an entire generation of young people.

Sanders called for a major government jobs program to put people back to work. He said that the United States’ infrastructure is crumbling, and is proposing to invest $1 trillion to put 13 million people back to work repairing it.

He said that millions of Americans work for wages that are ‘too damn low’. Sanders called the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour a starvation wage. He said the United States needs to move towards a national living wage of $15 an hour, over the next few years. people working 40 hours a week should not be living in poverty. Sanders also called for pay equity for women workers, saying there is no rational reason why women are earning 78 cents on the dollar compared to men.

Sanders touched on the fact that the United States has more people in jail than any other country on earth, and highlighted the connection between youth unemployment and young people in jails. Instead of building more jails, Sanders says will instead invest in jobs and education for young people.

Senator Sanders hit out at Republican ‘family values’, saying his sense of family values is very different to his Republican colleagues. Sanders said when he talks about family values, he talks about ending the national disgrace of not guaranteeing family and medical leave to its people.

Touching on campaign finance, Sanders said that the United States Supreme Court decided poorly in the Citizens United case. He said American democracy is meant to be about ‘one person, one vote’.

Sanders called for public financing of elections, saying that no candidate for public office should have to beg billionaires for campaign contributions.

Senator Sanders said it was time to end institutional racism in the United States, and pledges to transform and make radical changes to a criminal justice system that he described as ‘broken’.

He said that the United States has come a long way in combating institutional racism, but that it has a long way to go, citing electing an African-American as president as a huge achievement. Sanders said, however, that racism still remains a large part of society.

He said that when we are talking about racism, we are talking about Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and many others, including the names of others we do not know. He said these people died unnecessarily and wrongly at the hands of police officers, or in police custody and said it must change.

Sanders said that nobody would fighter harder than him as president to fight institutional racism and fix the country’s criminal justice system. He said that local police departments are too militarized, saying that they instead should be part of the community, and look like the communities. Sanders called for a move to community policing.

Senator Sanders called for a rethink of the war on drugs. He said that he finds it remarkable that a young person smoking marijuana can get a criminal record, while the crooks on Wall Street who destroyed the United States economy have no criminal record.

He said that he will introduce a bill when congress resumes that will put an end to private prisons in America. Sanders said that corporations should not be making money by locking people up.

The independent Senator from Vermont also touched on voting reform, making public colleges and universities in America tuition-free, student debt, expanding social security, trade policy and climate change.

He concluded by saying that when the people stand together, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

The rally in Charleston was Sanders’ last stop in his two-day swing through South Carolina. He will be in New Hampshire tomorrow, before taking a few days off the campaign trail.

Some of the reasons we love Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has gone from being an independent Senator from the small state of Vermont to a Democratic presidential candidate, and a household name.

What’s not to love about Bernie Sanders? He is straight up, honest and consistent. He’s been saying the same things his whole career, and he’s someone that we can trust to be president.

Here are just some of the countless reasons we love Bernie Sanders.

He’s building a political revolution

Admittedly, Bernie tells us what no other candidate will tell us. Nobody, no matter how good they are can solve America’s problems by themselves as president. It’s going to take a political revolution of millions of people across America to make real change. Bernie knows it, and we know it too.

He’s acknowledging problems other candidate’s won’t

A few months ago, there’s no way you would have thought any of the candidates would be addressing problems such as money in politics, and the disastrous Citizens United decision. Bernie was the first candidate to speak to the Black Lives Matter movement, and to say their names. Weeks later, Hillary was singing Bernie’s song.

He’s saying today what he said decades ago

Sanders first entered Congress in 1991 as the Representative of Vermont’s at-large district. On entering Congress, Sanders formed the Congressional Progressive Caucus, fighting for economic justice, civil rights and civil liberties, environmental protection and global peace and security. Much of what he said decades ago is the same as what he’s saying today.

He won’t take money from big corporations

Bernie Sanders is not for sale, and he will not take money from big corporations, and he does not want a Super PAC, unlike his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Sanders also believes that the Citizens United decision made by the Supreme Court needs to be overturned by means of a constitutional amendment.

The internet loves him

Just today, Bernie Sanders surpassed Hillary Clinton in total Facebook page likes. He’s got a Reddit following of close to 100,000 supporters, and his videos are attracting millions of views on YouTube. There are online communities dedicated to his campaign, with volunteers across the country organizing to help elect him.

Sanders to rally supporters in Charleston

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will address a rally of thousands of supporters in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday night.

The rally at the Charleston Convention Center will begin at 7pm on Saturday night, with doors opening an hour prior to kick-off.

Originally scheduled to be held at Burke High School, the campaign was forced to shift the rally to the larger Convention Center after higher than expected turnout projections.

The campaign is expecting a large turnout to the Charleston rally.

On Saturday morning, prior to the Charleston rally, Sanders will be holding a town meeting in Sumter, a city of roughly 40,000.

Attendees to both events are strongly encouraged to RSVP on the campaign’s website. Admission is free and it is advisable to get there early to avoid disappointment. We know how quickly these rallies fill up!

Bernie Sanders surpasses Clinton in Facebook race

Bernie Sanders has surpassed Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the Facebook race, with both candidates on more than 1.2 million page likes.

Early Saturday morning, Bernie Sanders for the first time overtook Hillary Clinton on the key metric of Facebook likes. Sanders currently has 1.203 million page likes, while Clinton has 1.201 million.

In the past week alone, Senator Sanders’ Facebook page has attracted a staggering 86,650 new likes, while Clinton saw 39,685 new supporters join her page.

On the key Facebook measure of how many people are talking about each candidate, Sanders also came out ahead, with 382,248 talking about the independent Senator from Vermont. Just 180,112 were talking about Secretary Hillary Clinton.

All figures correct as of Saturday, 22nd of August 2015 at 2AM EDT.