Additional Information on Bernie Sanders

Additional Information on Bernie Sanders


* In 1979 Sanders, as part of his work for the American People’s Historical Society, wrote and directed an audio documentary lauding the life and work of the socialist revolutionary Eugene Debs,

* In October 1988, journalist I. F. Stone, a former Soviet agent and secret member of the Communist Party USA, wrote a letter endorsing Sanders’s congressional campaign. Said Stone: “He has proved that a socialist, running as an Independent … can be successful by speaking out for working people, the elderly and the poor,” and by advancing “a pragmatic socialism to deal with the grave problems of our economic system.”

* In October 1994, Sanders joined Maurice HincheyMajor Owens, and Nydia Velasquez in introducing to Congress a “Jobs and Investment Bill” calling for the appropriation of $42 billion for “make-work” construction and infrastructure projects.

* In 1995 Sanders joined fellow House members Peter DeFazioMarcy Kaptur, Gene Taylor, and Nydia Velasquez in co-sponsoring a bill designed to force the U.S. to withdraw from NAFTA within 90 days. The bill never became law.

* In 1995 Sanders supported Rep. Ron Dellums’s “Living Wage, Jobs For All Act,” along with David Bonior, John ConyersLane EvansBob FilnerAlcee HastingsMaurice HincheyJim McDermottCynthia McKinneyEleanor Holmes NortonMajor OwensNancy Pelosi, Edolphus Towns, and Nydia Velasquez.

* Sanders was a guest speaker at a January 9, 1997 event titled “The Progressive Challenge: Capitol Hill Forum,” sponsored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Democratic Socialists of America, and numerous other left-wing organizations. The primary objective of this event was to “identify the unifying values shared by progressives at this point in U.S. history, to help define core elements of a forward-looking progressive agenda, and to pinpoint ways to connect that agenda with the concerns of millions of disillusioned people who lack voices in present politics and policy-making.” Other speakers included Noam ChomskyBarbara EhrenreichPatricia IrelandJesse Jackson, and Richard Trumka.

* In 1997 Sanders co-sponsored Congressman Matthew Martinez’s Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act, which proposed to use $250 billion in federal funds for the establishment of union-wage jobs rebuilding infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, and parks). Martinez had previously introduced this bill in 1995 at the the request of the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, whose leaders were all supporters or members of the Communist Party USA.

* In October 1998 in Chicago, Sanders was a guest speaker at a “Back to Basics” conference on the future of the American Left. Other speakers at this event, which was sponsored by In These Times, included Barbara Dudley, Jim Hightower, Cynthia McKinney, Paul Wellstone, and Quentin Young.

* In February 2000, Sandra Caron, a staffer from Sanders’s congressional office, went on a six-day “fact-finding” tour of Havana, Cuba, to study the “effects of [the] U.S. embargo.” The trip cost $1,778.47 and was paid for by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation.

* Between 2000 and 2014, Sanders used campaign donations to pay his wife and stepdaughter more than $150,000 for campaign-related work, according to Federal Election Commission records.

* From 2005-07, Sanders participated in the Campaign For America’s Future‘s (CAF) annual “Take Back America” (TBA) conferences, whose goal was to help leftist political candidates win their respective races. Sanders has also been a supporter of CAF’s sister organization, the Institute For America’s Future. In 2011 he addressed the “Take Back the American Dream” conference—the new name for TBA—hosted by CAF and the Institute for Policy Studies.

* In an effort to promote the Media Ownership Reform Act in 2007, Sanders addressed the Free Press at its national conference that year.

* In July 2010, Sanders — along with fellow Senators Al FrankenTom Harkin, and Jeff Merkley — was part of a Senate delegation to Vietnam to “look into environmental remediation of dioxin and the joint funding of medical services for people with disabilities, and [to] meet with Vietnamese government officials to discuss education initiatives, labor issues and trade relations.” Dioxin was a highly toxic ingredient in the Agent Orange herbicide which the U.S. military used in the Vietnam War.

* During part of Sanders’s tenure in Congress, his official spokesman was David Sirota of the Center for American Progress.

* Sanders believes that America should withdraw from the World Trade Organization because the WTO favors multinational corporations and the wealthy, rather than the poor.

* Sanders is a strong supporter of the Apollo Alliance.

* Sanders has been a contributor to the left-wing magazine, The Progressive.

* Among the notables who have contributed money to Sanders’s political campaigns over the years are Aris AnagnosEd Asner’s wife Cindy, Brent BlackwelderOssie DavisRob ReinerSusan SarandonJan SchakowskyPete SeegerBarbra Streisand, and Margery Tabankin.

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