“Change” overused in politics and most, if not all times a lie. Yet it is a word that we the voters tend to perk our ears up at and pay attention. So when I heard Bernie Sanders stated to The Nation on March 6, 2014 he was “prepared to run for President of the United States in 2016″, the first word that came to my mind was change. Sanders would be a huge departure from the norm of presidential hopefuls. For one Sanders is popular! Popular with his constituency Sanders was reelected in 2012 with 71% of the vote. This doesn’t mean his state popularity will correlate in a national landslide but considering the overall popularity toward Washington politicians? Sanders has this advantage over most if not all potential candidates.
Campaign finance being more transparent, Sanders was a supporter of the DISCLOSE ACT (s.3628-Senate) Amending the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, prohibiting foreign influence in Federal elections. Introduced in 2010 in response to Citizens United it would ban corporations with 20% foreign ownership from influencing elections. Also important the Act would have given citizens access to corporate and interest group election spending. The bill failed in a cloture vote in September 2010 59-39 . It clearly shows Sanders is different from most politicians.
Checking the record: Sanders has a substantial voting record for us to determine if he is “your candidate” or mine. ontheissues.org is where I read up on Sanders and where he has voted on issues. The site also provides some information on what groups like the NRA, AFL-CIO and others rank him. Without taking the information to full detail, the NRA ranks Sanders an “F” voting for controls and limits on guns. The AFL-CIO ranks Sanders at 100%. So one can say with some confidence that Sanders would be good for the worker. Sanders has supported union voting by card check instead of secret ballot. Stronger enforcement against gender based pay discrimination. And in 2006 to allow for an Air Traffic Controllers Union (see to refresh your memory if needed http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5604656
Jobs: Free-trade? We have learned through the North American Free-Trade Act that nothing is free. Sanders has consistently voted against such agreements. Voting “NO” on free-trade with Peru, the Central America Free-Trade Act , free-trade with Singapore, Australia and Chile.
Sanders and Social Security, currently he has legislation proposed that would protect SS until 2038. He wants to do this by making the wealthiest Americans pay the same as those paying the payroll tax up to $106,800 a year. Sanders proposal follows through on President Obama’s 2008 election promise.
Putting in the hours? December 2010 Sanders took to the Senate floor to speak against the President and Republicans tax-cut plan. For 8 hours Sanders spoke of the ill’s of Wall-Street, bad trade deals and taxes. Moving on to reading letters of opposition from constituents devastated by the Great Recession. “China, China, CHINA! and the $14 trillion in debt being financed through government bonds being bought by them. If you think this was a filibuster it wasn’t. The vote was on its way under a bi-partisan deal. So why did Sanders and some of his colleagues who briefly spoke during these 8 hours do it? One would believe (and should) that Sanders was standing up for the people, the poor and middle-class who were not benefiting under this bi-partisan tax agreement. To quote Sanders, “I’m not here to set any great records or to make a spectacle. I am simply here today to take as long as I can to explain to the American people the fact that we have got to do a lot better than this agreement provides.”
On Energy: The Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) in 2006 ranked Sanders at 100% indicating support for Energy Independence, a subject that would appeal to Republicans? They do seem to talk about it often and in the last election (Newt Gingrich)
Covering some of the issues,Taxes, Energy, America’s Workers, Guns/Gun Control and Campaign finance is Sanders my candidate or yours? We are a long way off so we have plenty of time as does Sanders (he hasn’t officially announced). We will dig further into Sanders while we wait to see if he decides to run and what other names get thrown out as potential candidates. We are in our vetting process at DMC, so far we have interest in Bernie Sanders and officially dismissed Ted Nugent. http://defenderofthemiddleclass.com/ted-nugent-for-president-the-stupid-sure-shows-up-early