My weekend of Berning

Sanders supporter ‎Susan Fusco‎ shares her story, meeting fellow supporters, and even the man himself.

I went to the annual performance of the nutcracker at the Boston ballet with my six-year-old date, so the weekend began wonderfully. Little did I know, I would be encountering Bernie Sanders supporters in the upcoming days.

My first encounter was a random stop at a bath goods store in Danvers, MA. During my search for a particular item, I asked where I could locate it. A strapping and thoughtful young sales associate, his name is Trevor, said “I know where that is.” He walked away and soon reappeared with a lot tray displaying all varieties of the product. I thought to myself “Well, this is customer service”! I chose one, thanked him and went on my way.

After looking around the store for a while I bumped into him again and asked where another item was. While we were talking he said to me, “I love your button” (I was of course wearing my Bernie 2016 pin.) It made my day. We chatted for a little while and he mentioned how he and all of his friends are registered to vote and will be voting for Bernie Sanders. It was reassuring and uplifting. I ended up handing him the pin. He reluctantly took it saying “Really, are you sure?” “Absolutely” I happily replied, indicating it was my pleasure and responsibility to spread Bernie’s message wherever I go.

Later that same evening, I was in a Chinese restaurant in Beverly, MA. After dinner, when the server brought the check, I asked if he was registered to vote and knew about Bernie Sanders. He had not heard of him. So we talked for a little while. He was impressed, of course. While we were talking, there were two young college aged women sitting in a booth nearby. And one of them piped up with “I’m from Vermont and I know Bernie Sanders, he’s awesome and he’s my parents neighbor!” I was speechless for a bit (a rare occurrence) then we chatted.

All in all it was a great day for Bernie!

The following day I had some appointments. I thought, since something was Berning on Sunday, maybe I’d promote Bernie on Monday too.
So sporting a Bernie 2016 T shirt, carrying a Feel the Bern travel mug and donning my Feel the Bern cap, off I go. Upon walking into the waiting area for my final appointment, someone declared “Nice shirt!” I spoke with a charming lady who was more into Bernie and I am (my friends think I am crazy over Bernie).

During our conversation she said “I hope I get out of here soon I’m going to see Bernie at 3:30. He’ll be at the campaign office in Salem NH.” I said “Maybe I’ll see you there.” My appointment was over, I checked the GPS, I could be in Salem in a half an hour, so on my way I went.

Turns out the lady I spoke with was instrumental in setting up his campaign office in Salem! She’s amazing, to say the least. After a time Bernie arrived. He spoke with the volunteers, he thanked them for their dedication and hard work and he was very encouraging. Photos were taken by all. Children presented Bernie with posters they made for him. I boldly asked him if he would sign my T-shirt and he did!

A true People’s President.

Sanders surges in early-voting states

New CBS/YouGov polls today show Sanders surging in three of the early-voting states, with less than two months to go until the Iowa caucuses.

In New Hampshire, Sanders has extended his lead over Clinton to a whopping 14 points. He leads her 56 to 42 per cent.

In Iowa, Sanders and Clinton are in a statistical tie. The poll put Clinton at 50 per cent and Sanders at 45 per cent. The poll has a margin of error of 5.3 per cent.

In South Carolina, Clinton’s dominance over Senator Sanders is shrinking. Today’s poll shows that her lead over Sanders has shrunk by 11 per cent just over the past month. Secretary Clinton is currently polling at 67 per cent in the Palmetto State, while Sanders polls at 31 per cent.

These new polls should be encouraging to the Sanders campaign. A win the first two voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire could trigger a domino effect, and set him up to win other states.

A critical moment last night: corporate America

Hillary Clinton showed her true colors last night on corporate America, and made a key blunder that Sanders turned to his advantage.

“Should corporate America love Hillary Clinton?” she was asked by debate moderator David Muir. Her answer was telling.

“Everyone should,” she responded, attracting laughs from the audience.

Senator Bernie Sanders was asked that exact same question moments later, but his response was very different to Secretary Clinton’s.

“No, I think they won’t,” Senator Sanders said in response, in clear contrast with Clinton.

“And Wall Street is gonna like me even less.”

Snowden tweets in support of Sanders

Whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted in support of Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy positions during last night’s debate.

In a tweet, Snowden says Sanders was the most credible candidate when it came to foreign policy, hitting out at failed ‘conventional wisdom’.

Snowden was not silent during the debate, and tweeted about many of the key issues as they were being discussed.

On the issue of Libya, Snowden posted a seemingly sarcastic tweet, hitting out at the United States’ role in the coalition.

Edward Snowden this year joined Twitter. He is a former employee of the CIA, and is wanted by the federal government for violating the Espionage Act, and theft. He is currently in Russia.

Sanders dominates ABC News debate

Senator Bernie Sanders dominated tonight’s ABC News Democratic debate, sticking to the key issues facing America.

Throughout the debate, Senator Sanders was the most-discussed candidate on both Facebook and Twitter.

The debate started with Sanders apologizing for one of his staffers accessing Clinton’s campaign data, and the issue was dealt with fairly rapidly.

Terrorism, the fight against Islamic State and gun control were the primary focus in the first half of the debate.

On gun control, Senator Sanders identified himself as one of the 77 per cent of Americans who think the government cannot protect against lone-wolf terrorist attacks.

“I think we have got to bring together the vast majority of the people who do in fact believe in sensible gun legislation,” he said.

“Who denies that it is crazy to allow people to own guns who are criminals or are mentally unstable?” Sanders said to applause.

“There is a broad consensus on sensible gun safety legislation.”

“We can do all the great speeches we want, but you ain’t going to succeed unless there is a consensus,” Sanders said to Martin O’Malley on gun control.

Sanders was asked why he doesn’t support United States combat troops joining a coalition to fight Islamic State.

“The United States of America cannot succeed or be thought of as the police of the world,” Senator Sanders said.

“This is a war for the soul of Islam. The troops on the ground should not be American troops, they should be Muslim troops.”

Sanders said that Qatar was spending $200 billion on the 2022 soccer World Cup, but very little on the fight against Islamic State, a point which was echoed on his Twitter account.

Senator Sanders contrasted his foreign policy views with Hillary Clinton’s.

“I worry too much that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change, and a little bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences would be,” Sanders said.

“I think yeah, regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy, but before you do that, you’ve gotta think about what happens the day after.”

“The United States is not the policemen of the world,” Sanders finished as the moderators moved away from terrorism and into the real issues facing the United States.

The second half of the debate started without Clinton, who was back stage. As Sanders was being asked how he would raise incomes for middle-class families, Secretary Clinton walked onto the stage to applause, leaned into the microphone and said, “Sorry.”

“We recognize that we have a rigged economy,” Sanders began.

Sanders said that millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages. He said that he would raise the minimum wage, close the wage gap between men and women, and invest $1 trillion in infrastructure to create 13 million new jobs.

“It is imperative that we have the best education workforce in the world.”

After Secretary Clinton was asked why corporate America loves her, Sanders was asked whether corporate America would like him. He said they would not, and used the issue to slam financial institutions and Wall Street.

“I don’t think I’m going to get a whole lot of campaign contributions from Wall Street. I don’t have a Super PAC. I don’t want contributions from corporat America,” he said.

“The greed of the billionaire class, the greed of Wall Street, is destroying this economy,” he said, and called for an economy that works for “all of us” and not just a handful of the powerful few.

Sanders’ campaign was quick to send out a rapid “fact check” email to the media, which stated that Hillary Clinton has raised $29.2 million from the PACs and employees of banks, hedge funds, securities firms and insurance companies since the year 2000.

“So far, donors in the banking and insurance industries have given $6.4 million to her campaign and allied super PACs, behind only those in communications and technology,” the email from Sanders’ campaign read.

Sanders was quick to jump in after Secretary Clinton invoked his name.

“I helped lead the effort against Alan Greenspan, against a guy named Bill Clinton, against the Republican leadership, who all thought it would be a great idea to merge investor banks and commercial banks,” Sanders said.

“Wall Street is a threat to the economy that has got to be broken up.”

The debate moved to health care, and the moderator, Martha Raddatz, pointed out that Sanders supported a single-payer system.

“Not only are deductibles rising, 29 million Americans still have no health insurance, and millions of people can’t afford to go to the doctor,” Sanders said.

“Why is it that the Uunited States of America is the only country in the world today that does not guarantee health care to its people as a right?” he asked.

“We need to pass a Medicare-for-all single-payer system.”

Bernie Sanders’ Communicators Director, Michael Briggs, was quick to email the media to point out that families would save thousands under Sanders’ health care proposal.

Sanders was asked how free public college tuition would help the United States, when “taxpayers” would be footing the bill.

“This is the year 2015. If we are going to competitive in the global economy, we need the best educated workforce.”

He said that too many Americans cannot afford to go to college, and called for a tax on Wall Street speculation to pay for free public college. He also committed to lowering student loan interest rates.

“Now this is getting fun,” Sanders said as Clinton interrupted the debate moderator as he was attempting to ask about taxation.

Senator Sanders used the opportunity to call for paid family and medical leave. Martin O’Malley said he agreed with Sanders on paid family leave, and his proposal to expand social security.

“When a husband can’t get time off to care for his cancer-stricken wife, that is not a family value,” Sanders’ campaign tweeted.

The debate went into a break, before it entered its final segment. Sanders was asked how he would bridge the divide between civilians and law enforcement.

“Let’s be clear. Today in America, we have more people in jail than any other country on earth. 2.2 million people, predominately African-American and Hispanic. We are spending $80 b a year locking up our fellow Americans

“We need to make a major effort to come together as a country and end institutional racism.”

“Police officers should not be shooting unarmed people. predominately African-Americans,” Sanders said to apllause.

Sanders addressed the need to end the ‘War on Drugs’ and move toward community policing, to look like the communities that they served. He also called to end minimum sentencing.

Senator Sanders was asked about the heroin epidemic. He said that addiction is a disease, not a criminal activity.

“When somebody is addicted and seeking help, they should be able to walk in the door tomorrow and get a variety of treatments for them,” he said.

Secretary Clinton was asked how much responsibility she bears for the situation in Libya, and she was pushed hard on that issue by Martha Raddatz.

“This is a terribly complicated issue,” Senator Sanders said when it was his turn to discuss the issue.

Sanders said that it is easy for the United States to overthrow a dictator, but it is hard to predict the consequences. He said that Secretary Clinton is a bigger fan of regime change than he is.

Towards the end of the debate, the moderators asked about changing the role of the president’s spouse. Sanders was asked whether his wife, Jane would have a desk close to the Oval office. He said that she would because she is ‘much smarter’ than he is. The two share a desk and Sanders’ campaign headquarters in Burlington, Vermont.

He said he thinks his wife would do a fantastic job in achieving his goals as president.

The debate took its final commercial break for the evening, before candidates made their closing statements.

In his closing statement, Sanders said his Democratic colleagues, on their worst day, have more to offer than right-wing Republicans on their best day.

“I know something about economic anxiety, and living in a family that does not have sufficient income. That is why I am pledged, if I am elected President of the United, to bring about a political revolution,” he said.

“This country belongs to all of us. Not just a handful of billionaires.”

DNC to restore Sanders database access

The DNC have agreed to restore the Sanders campaign’s access to its own campaign voter files late Friday night.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign will be able to access its crucial NGP VAN database today, the campaign said in a statement released in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“We are extremely pleased that the DNC has reversed its outrageous decision to take Sen. Sanders’ data. The information we provided tonight is essentially the same information we already sent them by email on Thursday,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

“Clearly, they were very concerned about their prospects in court. Now what we need to restore confidence in the DNC’s ability to secure data is an independent audit that encompasses the DNC’s record this entire campaign.”

The campaign said that access to their systems should be restored on Saturday morning, in time for volunteer activities over the weekend.

More than 200,000 people signed a petition on Sanders’ campaign website, demanding that the DNC restore the campaign’s access to its own data. Additionally, petitions hosted by MoveOn and Democracy for America received more than 250,000 and 100,00 signatures respectively.

 

Sanders’ campaign manager: DNC holding our data hostage

Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver held a press conference following revelations of a voter file data breach.

“The leadership of the DNC is now actively working to undermine our campaign,” accused Weaver in a statement outside Sanders’ Washington, D.C. office.

The Democratic National Committee suspended the Sanders’ campaign’s access to voter file software developed by NGP VAN after it was revealed that a firewall designed to prevent rival campaigns from accessing each other’s data had failed, and a Sanders staffer discovered the glitch.

Sanders’ campaign manager said that the campaign had discovered an error with the software’s firewall two months ago, and was worry about its data being stolen by other campaigns. He said that the DNC assured them that it would be fixed.

Weaver said that the campaign will go to Federal Court this afternoon to seek immediate relief if the DNC continues to hold its own data ‘hostage’.

“We are announcing today that if the DNC continues to hold our data hostage, and continues to try to attack the heart and soul of our campaign, we will be in federal court this afternoon seeking an immediate injunction.”

“The DNC is clearly acting in a heavy handed way, an unprecedented way,” Weaver said.

“Individual leaders of the DNC can support Hillary Clinton in any way they want, but they are not going to sabotage our campaign – one of the strongest grassroots campaigns in modern history.”

You can view Weaver’s full speech in front of the campaign’s Washington, D.C. office on C-SPAN.

DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement, accusing Sanders campaign staffers of ‘inappropriately’ and ‘systematically’ accessing Clinton campaign data.

“Staff on the sanders campaign not only viewed the Clinton campaign’s proprietary data, but from what we’re being told, downloaded it, exported it and downloaded it,” she said.

A petition calling for DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to reinstate Sanders’ access to the voter file through NGP VAN software has received more than 100,000 signatures.

Social media users have shown their frustration with the DNC for their decision to suspend Sanders’ campaign’s access to the data.

“Why is Sanders being punished for the DNC’s computer goof?” asked Kate Collins on a post on The Hill’s Facebook page.

“This is a good time to make another donation to the Sanders campaign,” proclaimed an optimsitic Nick Scelsi in a comment.

Sanders campaign to hold press conference

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has announced that it will hold a press conference on Friday afternoon, following its DNC data blockade.

In a press release sent out Friday morning, Bernie 2016 Communications Director Michael Briggs announced that the campaign would hold a press conference at 1pm Friday at its Washington, DC office.

You can view the press conference live courtesy of NBC News.

It comes after a Sanders campaign employee was let go after discovering Clinton campaign data on NGP VAN software, used by candidates to manage voter contact and field campaigning. The DNC has since suspended the Sanders campaign’s access to the crucial software.

A petition circulating online following the suspension calling for DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to re-instate Sanders’ campaign’s access to the voter file has so far attracted more than 100,000 signatures.

The Bernie Post will keep you updated as more information comes to hand. Keep refreshing this page to receive the latest updates.

Sanders raises $3 million in three days

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has raised $3 million since Monday, in its push for 2 million individual campaign contributions.

“What our vision of a political revolution has already accomplished is to show that we can run a strong and we believe winning campaign without a super PAC, without contributions from millionaires and billionaires,” Sanders said.

In a press release, the campaign said that more than $3 million was raised since an online push was launched on Monday to top 2 million donations. Of that total, about $1.6 million has been raised since Wednesday alone.

The average donation to Sanders’ campaign this week has been about $20.

The campaign pointed out that just 261 contributors to Sanders’ campaign had donated the maximum amount of $2700, in contrast to Clinton’s campaign, which has 17,575 maxed out donors, accounting for 62 per cent of her money raised.

Sanders said he is proud of what his campaign has achieved.

“We are enormously proud that we have received more individual contributions at this point in the campaign than any candidate who is not an incumbent president. As the campaign continues to succeed, we expect those numbers to grow exponentially.”

A new television and online ad released by the campaign this week highlights its people-powered credentials.