Bernie Sanders News Roundup week ending 12/27 | Blog#42

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Bernie Sanders appeared on Face The Nation on 12/27:

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Sanders hits Clinton for taking pharmaceutical money

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has criticized Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton for taking millions from pharmaceutical companies in a new fundraising email that frames her as beholden to the industry.

“I don’t go around asking millionaires and billionaires for money. You know that. I don’t think I’m going to get a whole lot of contributions from the health care and pharmaceutical industries,” he wrote in the note from Wednesday.
Sanders went on to remind supporters that he turned down a donation from Martin Shkreli, the CEO who raised prices on AIDS medications and is now charged with financial crimes. Both Sanders and Clinton repudiated Shkreli when that decision went public.
Then Sanders shifted toward a critique on Clinton.
“Secretary Clinton, on the other hand, has received millions of dollars from the health care and pharmaceutical industries, a number that is sure to rise as time goes on,” he wrote, arguing that Clinton has raised more money from the healthcare industry than the top three Republican candidates combined.

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Bernie Sanders Took A Walk Through Freddie Gray’s Neighborhood. Here’s What Residents Think About It.

“People will still be poor in Sandtown when Bernie leaves.”

BALTIMORE — As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) walked down the streets of one of Charm City’s most disenfranchised neighborhoods on a sunny Tuesday morning, he was met with straight talk from the area’s predominantly black residents.

“What you gon’ do with all this, Bernie?” shouted one man running alongside the crowd moving down the streets of Sandtown-Winchester, the neighborhood that was home to Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after a “rough ride” in police custody in April. Another woman yelled about the need for change, while others voiced a desire for better schools, more job opportunities and an end to police violence.

It’s understandable why Sanders chose to visit Sandtown. The neighborhood’s landscape underscores the issues addressed in his economic and racial inequality platforms, as well as his calls for criminal justice reform. The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate discussed increasing the minimum wage, eliminating mass incarceration and funneling money back into America’s black communities with several community leaders, including the Rev. Jamal Bryant, a prominent pastor in the city, and former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner (D).

“America is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. But anyone who took a walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you were in a wealthy nation. You would think that you were in a third-world country where unemployment is over 50 percent,” Sanders said at a press conference following his walk-through. “A community that does not even have decent, quality grocery stores where moms can buy quality food for their kids. A community in which the dream of getting a higher education for many kids is as real as is going to the moon.”

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FEC makes it easier for candidates to ask for Super PAC donations

A new advisory opinion from the Federal Elections Commission will make it easier for candidates to ask people to give money to super PACs that are taking an increasingly important role in political spending.

The opinion came after two key PACs with ties to congressional Democrats, the House Majority PAC and the Senate Majority PAC, made their pitch to the FEC, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the story.

Super PACs are playing a huge role in keeping candidates in the race for the White House, though their power to actually elevate a candidate to victory can be debated.

The Right to Rise super PAC backing Jeb Bush for president raised $100 million with the help of Bush, yet the former Florida governor is lagging in polls.

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Sanders: Trump coverage ‘an indictment of the media’

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says 2016 Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump intentionally makes “bombastic” and “silly” comments in order to draw media attention to his presidential campaign.

“I think this is more of an indictment of the media than it is Trump,” he added.

Sanders said news outlets have been negligent in blanketing the airwaves with coverage of the real estate mogul, pointing to data that show one program has spent 81 minutes of airtime on Trump compared to 20 seconds on Sanders.

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Hillary Clinton managed, twice, to offend this week. First, she offended by pandering to Hispanic voters with this tweet:

That started the #NotMyAbuela hashtag on Twitter. Then, on Kwanzaa:

Rep. Keith Ellison hones new voter-turnout strategy for Democrats

Democrats around the country have high hopes the new effort will lead to more victories in nonpresidential elections.

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison has been poring over election turnout data around the country to find a solution to a maddening problem for Democrats.

Potentially bedrock Democratic voters in the inner cities sit out off-year, midterm elections in massive numbers. Despite strong turnout when President Obama was on the ballot, Democrats nationally have lost 910 state legislative seats since 2008 and occupy the governor’s mansions in only 18 states.

Ellison is launching a new voter effort that Democrats around the country have high hopes will lead to more victories in nonpresidential elections, particularly in races where they have lost by razor-thin margins. Even nudging up voter turnout a few percentage points could have massive implications for legislative and statewide races. As a fifth-term Minneapolis Democrat who routinely wins his elections by more than 65 percent, Ellison is increasingly convinced that the future of Democratic victories is hiding in apartment buildings and low-income urban areas across the country.

“Where are they going to come from? Trust me, there’s 3 percent in every congressional district in the United States,” Ellison said. “If we had a good turnout strategy across the country, you could really turn things around.”

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