Tag Archives: Senator Bernie Sanders

Sanders Criticizes Two-Party System for Blocking Competition from Third Parties

At Thursday’s televised town hall among Democratic presidential candidates presented by MSNBC and Univision, Democratic presidential candidate and independent U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders was asked a question that touched on the viability of third parties under America’s de facto two-party electoral system.

During the town hall, first-time voter Aidan Char asked Sen. Sanders, “So seeing that it is — as it is nearly impossible for a third party candidate to be elected and the fact you had to switch from an Independent to Democratic to be considered as a legitimate candidate, since reformation of our party system has never been addressed by a presidential candidate, how would you suggest to reform our system and allow for other parties and ideas to be represented?

[RELATED: Illinois Libertarian Party Wins Ballot Access Fight in Federal Court]

Well, I probably know more about that issue than any human being in the United States of America,” replied Sanders. “You know, when I became mayor of the city of Burlington, I had to take on Democrats and Republicans and so forth. Your point is well taken. I chose to run, proudly, in the Democratic primary and caucus process and I look forward to winning that process, but clearly, as a nation, I think we flourish when there are different ideas out there, when there are more differences of opinions.

He continued, “If you go to Europe, for example, there are many, many political parties. Sometimes the two-party system makes it very, very difficult to get on the ballot if you are a third party, and I think that’s wrong. I think we should welcome competition, welcome different ideas. And I think the two parties should be open to making sure that people have a fair shake if they want to run on another party.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

According to The Hill, Sen. Sanders, a political independent who caucuses with Democrats, has served for longer than any other independent in the history of the U.S. Congress.

For context, in July of 2015 the Truth in Media Project released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters, who incidentally are forced to fund major-party presidential primary elections that often fail to represent them, now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

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Bernie Sanders Attracts Large Crowd In Wisconsin

By Al Weaver 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attracted a nearly sellout crowd Wednesday night at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum In Madison, WI, which seats about 10,000 people.

CNN’s Dan Merica tweeted out the following photos from the event, which show the near-capacity crowd for the event.

Meanwhile, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had trouble filling most of the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA last Friday.

UPDATE (9:39 P.M.)

According to the Sanders campaign (via Merica), the crowd count for the campaign was at 9,600.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Supports Decriminalizing Marijuana

In a question-and-answer session on Reddit Tuesday, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stated that he supports the decriminalization of marijuana and hinted at the possibility of full legalization.

Last year when speaking to Time Magazine in an interview, Sanders said that while he approves of increased access to medical marijuana, at least in his mind, legalization is not “one of the major issues facing our country.” He did not explicitly mention decriminalization.

Now that Sanders’ name is in the running for the 2016 presidential election, one of the first questions voters appear interested in is the status of marijuana in the U.S.

“Let me just say this — the state of Vermont voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and I support that,” Sanders said on the Reddit AMA in response to a question about drug policy. “I have supported the use of medical marijuana. And when I was mayor of Burlington, in a city with a large population, I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana. Our police had more important things to do.”

Sanders said he’s paying very close attention to the results of marijuana legalization in Colorado, both the benefits and the costs. As the campaign unfolds, Sanders promised to have more to say about legalization in the next few months.

“It’s really exciting to have Sen. Sanders express unequivocal support for decriminalization and medical marijuana,” Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “And reading between the lines, it seems to me like he’s getting ready to endorse full legalization soon. Having his voice in the presidential race is going to force all the other candidates to also address the issue and will make it much more likely they’ll take favorable positions as well.”

Sanders has previously signed his name on legislation that would reschedule marijuana from Schedule 1 to a Schedule II drug.

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Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “Why should taxpayers subsidize starvation wages?”

During a Congressional panel discussion on Thursday, Indpendent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont blasted the Walton family for what he sees as their tax-subsidized fortune.  He contends that they maintain their status as some of the wealthiest people in the world by paying poverty wages to their 1.4 Million US employees.  He states the taxpayers are left paying for the rest for the workers and their families with taxpayer subsidized Medicaid, food stamps, housing, and other government benefits.

Sanders was calling into question whether its morally or ethically right for a massively wealthy and profitable company to have such high rates of full times employees on government assistance.  He says the discussion about income inequality inside the Beltway are divorced from reality, and that the lobbyists and representatives for these large corporations are getting rich off fighting for corporations that hoard the earnings of the labor for just the executives and board of directors, as well as shareholders.  Sanders said in the 1950’s the average working class wage was (today’s equivalent of) $37/hour.

He said today the average wage is $8.80, with the net result of exploding rates of poverty and workers needing help just to pay their bills and raise their children.

Sanders said there are more people living in poverty today than in the history of the US.  This is likely due to big boxes stores and mega-corporations running the small mom & pops stores out of business, the ones that populated every neighborhood into the 1970’s, where wealth stayed in the town.  Now with mega-corporations, the labor is extracted from a town the benefits don’t go right back reinvested into the neighborhood, they get moved out to the shareholders that are in other parts of the country, or other parts of the world.  Sanders nearly edges into the idea that shareholders at the mega-corporations that exploit workers are similar to a modernized slave owner.  The shareholder and executives of the corporation own the labor whereas the laborer just barely subsists for their 40 hours per week.

Sanders goes on to say between 2009 and 2012, 95% of all new income generated went to the 1%.  He also says the top 1% owns 38% of the nation’s wealth.

The bottom 60% of people own 2.3% of the entire nation’s wealth.  He asks the panel if this makes moral or economic sense.  He asks is it okay that one family (The Waltons) own more wealth than the bottom 40% of the American people.  He also says the Walton family is the wealthiest family in America, and yet they are the biggest recipient of welfare in the US due to the taxpayer covering the gap on their employees needs.   The Walton’s are reportedly worth $100 Billion.  They are the largest employer in America.

Senator Sanders posted his panel discussion to YouTube.  There is much more in the less than 7 minute clip, check it out here and tell us what you think and feel about the issue.