03 November 2015

America's Views Align Surprisingly Well With Those of "Socialist" Bernie Sanders & This Is Bernie Sanders' Plan to Beat Hillary Clinton 19MAI&26JUN15

SEN BERNIE SANDERS I VT has a lot in common with the American people, and has a lot to offer them to. He is a candidate dedicated to improving the lives of the 99% without fearing the reaction of the 1%. Throw off your fear of the word "Socialist", check out these two stories from earlier this year from +Mother Jones and check out Bernie on the issues at Bernie 2016
and remember, Democracy isn't a spectator sport, and if the 99% vote the 1% won't matter!

So what does that make us?

| Tue May 19, 2015 5:15 AM EDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described socialist, is an extremely long shot to defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. Does that mean his views on key political issues are too radical for America's voters? Not necessarily. Here's how his policy positions actually fare in the polls:


Sanders: Describes himself as a democratic socialist.
His fellow Americans: While only 31 percent of Americans react positively to the word "socialism," just 50 percent view "capitalism" in favorable terms, according to a recent Pew survey. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, nearly half had a positive view of "socialism," while only 47 percent viewed "capitalism" favorably.

income Taxes

Sanders: Famously filibustered the 2010 extension of Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans.
His fellow Americans: In a February poll, 68 percent of likely voters said wealthy households pay too little in federal taxes.

estate taxes
Sanders: Introduced the Responsible Estate Tax Act last year. If passed, it would raise top estate tax rates and expand the tax to include estates worth more than $3.5 million. (It currently only applies to those worth more than $5.4 million, which covers only 0.2 percent of American estates.)
His fellow Americans: Results vary, but Kevin Drum notes that the estate tax (conservatives call it the "death tax") is generally unpopular.

Offshore tax havens
Sanders: Introduced legislation that would crack down on offshore tax havens by requiring American companies to pay the top corporate tax rate on profits held abroad.
His fellow Americans: Eighty-five percent of small business owners favor closing overseas tax loopholes entirely, while 68 percent of Americans believe "we should close tax loopholes for large corporations that ship jobs offshore."

Campaign finance reform
Sanders: Advocates a constitutional amendment that would effectively prevent corporations from making political donations. Supports public funding of elections.
His fellow Americans: Most Americans believe that corporations should have at least some limited right to make political donations. Even so, in a 2013 Gallup poll, half of the respondents said they would personally vote for banning all political donations from individuals and private groups and shifting to a government-funded campaign finance system. Only 44 percent would oppose such a law.

Climate change
Sanders: Cosponsored the 2013 Climate Protection Act, which would tax carbon and methane emissions and rebate three-fifths of the revenue to citizens.
His fellow Americans: Sixty-four percent of Americans strongly or somewhat favor regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, factories and cars, and requiring utilities to generate more power from low-carbon sources. However, only 34 percent of Americans support a carbon tax with a $500 rebate.

Health Care
Sanders: Advocates for a single-payer health care system.
His fellow Americans: A January 2015 poll found that just over 50 percent of likely voters support single-payer.

regulating wall street
Sanders: The big banks "are too powerful to be reformed," Sanders says on his website. "They must be broken up."
His fellow Americans: A recent poll by the Progressive Change Institute found that 58 percent of likely voters support "breaking up big banks like Citigroup."


Sanders: Introduced legislation this month to make public college tuition free in the United States.
His fellow Americans: Sixty-three percent of likely voters support President Obama's proposal to offer qualifying students two free years of community college. No recent polls have tested support for offering free tuition at four-year colleges and universities.

Sanders: Opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership and similar trade deals.
His fellow Americans: Sixty-two percent of voters oppose fast-track authority for the TPP trade deal, but fewer Americans oppose the agreement itself. A 2014 Pew poll put support for the TPP among Americans at 55 percent.

Pay equity for women
Sanders: Supports a federal law mandating equal pay for equal work.
His fellow Americans: Most Americans agree that women face pay discrimination, but only about one-third favor addressing the problem via legislation.

Sanders: Supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour "over the next few years."
His fellow Americans: Sixty-three percent of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2020.

Sanders: Supports legislation allowing workers to form a union by signing pledge cards.
His fellow Americans: A Gallup poll conducted in 2009, when card check legislation was being debated in Congress, found that 53 percent of Americans "favor a new law that would make it easier for labor unions to organize workers."

Social Services
Sanders: "Instead of cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and nutrition programs," Sanders writes on his website, "we should be expanding these programs."
His fellow Americans: Some polls have found that majorities of voters want to expand Social Security. A poll conducted last year showed that even voters in red states want to expand Medicaid.
Thumbs-Up icon by Nick Holroyd/The Noun Project

And without any attack ads.

| Fri Jun. 26, 2015 5:00 AM EDT

It's fortunate for Hillary Clinton that Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist from Vermont who is challenging her for the Democratic presidential nomination, despises and eschews negative advertising. That's because the political consulting firm that Sanders has retained to advise his campaign has a well-developed expertise in devising attack ads. Earlier this year, this outfit, Devine Mulvey Longabaugh, won a Pollie award from the American Association of Political Consultants for creating the best Democratic congressional ad of 2014. The spot slammed Dave Trott, a Republican running for a congressional seat in Michigan, for making millions of dollars by foreclosing on residents of his state, and it focused on the harrowing eviction of a 101-year-old Detroit woman. Trott survived this assault and handily won the seat in the Republican district, but the Washington Post called the commercial "one of the most brutal attack ads you'll ever see."
The Sanders campaign has no plans to hurl these kinds of ads at Clinton. As Tad Devine, the veteran political operative who leads this firm and a longtime adviser to Sanders, notes, mudslinging is not part of the campaign strategy that Sanders and his advisers have crafted. There won't even be one speck of dust directly tossed at Clinton. But, Devine tells me, implicit negative messages aimed at Clinton will certainly be "embedded" in Sanders' advertising and social media messaging.
Sanders does have an overall plan on how to beat Clinton. As Devine explains, it goes something like this: Raise enough money to devote significant resources to building a full operation and maintaining a media presence in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as Nevada and South Carolina. At the same time, develop a basic foundation for campaign organizations in other states, so if Sanders fares well in the initial contests, these preliminary outfits can quickly be built out. Devine and other Sanders advisers estimate they will need to raise $40-$50 million by the Iowa caucuses to be in such a position, and they claim Sanders is on track to hit that mark, mainly with thousands and thousands of low-dollar contributions. (Sanders has drawn crowds of thousands at recent campaign events.) "I don't know if we can outright beat her in Iowa and New Hampshire," Devine says, "but we have a real shot at it in both places."
Sanders has survived and thrived in politics by neutralizing negative ads and resisting the urge to attack.
And when—or if—that happens, Devine figures, Sanders will have about a million contributors already on his side, and this group will enthusiastically kick in more money to replenish Sanders' coffers and fund the continuation of Bernie-mentum. "I worked for Walter Mondale in 1984," Devine recalls, "but I saw what Gary Hart did." Hart, a former senator who went up against Mondale in a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, placed a surprising second in Iowa and won New Hampshire. "Things then moved fast. Some polls moved 50 points in seven days," Devine says. (Mondale, though, did end up squelching the Hart insurgency by exploiting the Democratic establishment in key states.)
If Sanders does score well in the early states, Devine insists, his campaign will have a delegate-accumulation strategy reminiscent of the one Barack Obama's 2008 campaign employed to focus as much on snagging delegates as winning caucuses and primaries. "Even if Clinton beats us in some states by 20 points, we can split the delegates with smart focusing," Devine says. And then Sanders will be in a position to make the case to the Democratic establishment that he can assemble an electorate in the general election that is favorable to Democrats (as Obama did in 2008). "We don't know yet what it will look like," Devine remarks. "We haven't done the strategic modeling yet. I've been trying to persuade Bernie we should do that." Instead, he says, Sanders at this point would rather concentrate on promoting his message: Inequality is killing the middle class, climate change must be addressed, big-money politics must be reformed, and new progressive policy ideas, such as free college tuition and expanded Social Security benefits, must be advanced. (Devine also gave Sanders a PowerPoint presentation on how the campaign can use Big Data methods: "He was impressed, but we're not sure we can scale up to that. We won't have $1 billion.")
And what about Clinton? How will Sanders take her on?
Sanders recently boasted that he has "never run a negative ad," noting that he "hates and detests these 30-second negative ads." Devine says this is part of Sanders' DNA. "You need to know Bernie's history with negative ads to get this," Devine says. In 1988, when Sanders was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he ran for an open congressional seat as an independent and lost a close race to Republican Peter Smith. Two years later, Sanders was back to challenge Smith. In that 1990 race, Smith aired tough ads assailing Sanders, and Sanders' aides advised him to hit back. Instead, Sanders bought airtime for a five-minute spot in which he talked straight to the camera and decried the attack ads. (It didn't hurt Sanders that the National Rifle Association was slamming Smith for having voted for a ban on semi-automatic weapons.) Sanders ended up winning that race by 16 points. "This was his formative experience," says Devine. "Negative ads have to be denounced and jiu-jitsued."
"We have to present the differences in the ads without him coming across as part of the political system," says Tad Devine, Sanders' longtime strategist and ad man.
During his 1994 re-election race, Sanders had a close call. He won by only three points. He responded by doing what he swore he would never do: He hired a Washington consultant, Devine. But he told Devine he would stick to his no-negative-ads stance. In the next election, Sanders aired only positive spots and won by 22 points.
Ten years later, Sanders ran for the Senate, with Devine still advising him. His Republican opponent was a millionaire businessman named Rich Tarrant who dumped about $7 million into the race in a state where, Devine says, no candidate had ever spent more than $2 million on a campaign. "It was a vicious campaign against Bernie," Devine recalls. "He ran ads that accused Bernie of supporting child molesters and terrorists. Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid were telling Bernie, 'You must respond.'" Sanders replied with an ad Devine had cut, in which Sanders noted he was being unfairly attacked and asked voters to visit his website to get the truth. Subsequent commercials by Sanders attempted to refute the stream of attack ads from Tarrant. The Sanders campaign also pushed an ad in which country singer Willie Nelson endorsed Sanders and cited his work for family farmers. Sanders beat Tarrant by more than a 2-1 margin.
So Sanders has survived and thrived in politics by neutralizing negative ads and resisting the urge to attack. And part of his shtick is that he doesn't do conventional politics. So, Devine notes, he will not directly criticize or poke at Clinton. For sure, no personal attacks or cheap shots. "That won't help him," Devine says. "He rejects the status quo of politics." Sanders won't even do a straight-up contrast ad—as in, Bernie Sanders believes X about subject Y, but Hillary Clinton believes Z. "If we do that, we're done," Devine says. "If we do a classic comparative ad, it's over. We'll have to be smarter."
And Team Sanders does have what it considers to be a smarter way: implying a contrast. In previous campaigns, Devine says, "We have constantly embedded contrast in everything we do." One example: During the 2006 Senate race, Tarrant's residence became a political issue because he had claimed a Florida mansion as his home for tax purposes. Sanders ran a biographical ad in which he declared he worked in Washington and lived in Burlington—an indirect jab at Tarrant. In the campaign against Clinton, Devine notes, "There will be a lot of implicit negative. But it won't look negative. It won't feel negative."
That's how Sanders recently handled the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. He opposes the measure as a sop to corporate America and billionaires. Asked about Clinton's view—she has referred positively to this trade deal in the past but more recently has avoided stating a firm position—Sanders didn't proclaim that she's in bed with the 1 percent; he called on her to take a clear stance. "It's not a question of watching this," he said. "You're going to have determine which side are you on." Devine points out that "this is not negative, but contrasting. When you offer voters a contrast on the issues, they don't take that as a negative." He adds that Sanders is "very good at this."
Contrast without attacking—that's the mantra. "As someone making the ads, it will be a difficult challenge," Devine says. "We have to present the differences in the ads without him coming across as part of the political system." Devine fears that if Sanders crosses that line, the Clinton campaign will fire back hard: "They have all the tonnage. We're dead."