Skip to comments.(DNC Chair) Howard Dean endorses (Socialist) Bernie Sanders' run for U.S. Senate
Posted on 05/10/2005 7:57:33 AM PDT by ForOurFuture
Breaking party lines, former Gov. Howard Dean said Monday he supports Rep. Bernard Sanders' bid for the U.S. Senate, saying the Independent makes a "strong candidate." "A victory for Bernie Sanders is a win for Democrats," Dean said in a telephone interview Monday.
Sen. James Jeffords, I-Vt., announced last month he would not seek re-election, clearing the way for what's expected to be a crowded race in fall 2006.
But Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, added that his support is not unconditional.
"We've got a few things to work out with Bernie," he said, adding, "Bernie's not a Democrat."
Dean, the outspoken former presidential candidate whose aspirations for the White House abruptly ended during the primary more than a year ago, refused to describe Sanders' shortcomings in the eyes of Democrats.
"I'd rather tell him in person," Dean said.
Sanders' practice of voting with House Democrats and his name recognition - bolstered by his position as the only U.S. representative in Vermont - makes him appealing to Democrats desperate to regain seats in every branch of government.
"Sanders is a strong candidate," Dean said.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders' chief of staff and campaign spokesman, said the congressman won't formally announce his candidacy until "much later this year."
But Weaver said Dean's support is natural in a political atmosphere dominated by conservative voices.
"I think Gov. Dean and Congressman Sanders share an interest in beating back a very aggressive reactionary agenda of President Bush and congressional Republicans," Weaver said. "We intend to win this seat and Bernie will be a strong voice against the Bush agenda."
Weaver said the campaign will lean heavily on Democratic volunteers and supporters, but also on groups not necessarily aligned with a political party. He mentioned working families, farmers, senior citizens and veterans.
"This is going to be in many ways a historic grass roots campaign for Vermont," Weaver said.
Jim Barnett, chairman of the state Republican committee, criticized the new alliance, saying it raises questions about whether "backroom deals" are being made between Dean and Sanders.
"This is exactly the kind of cynical politics that Bernie Sanders once said was corrupt," Barnett said.
Weaver, calling Barnett a "White House protégé" and a "Karl Rove character," said, "He can throw his bombs and we'll do our work for the people."
Dean supporting a socialist? Who knew......
God, what a bunch of losers. These people are truly an embarassment to America. IMHO, their presence and anti-American, socialist attiutude is an abuse of freedoms.
Is there any hope that the GOP can wrest this seat from the grip of socialist moon-bats?
"Bernie's not a Democrat" but what the hell, Communist is close enough.
democrat/socialist same diff right?
Only better choice than Dean-o as DNC chair I can think of might have been Howie "Watch me blow this rubber glove up!" Mandel.
I can't see any Republican VT puts up as Senate candidate being anyone dependable. (ala Jeffords) Seems like pretty much a lost cause, in other words, since any that would win would clearly be a RINO if not an outright traitor like Jeffords.
It's funny though that despite what gave the Dems such losses in 2002 and 04 (their increasing move to the left), their leader (Dean) still doesn't see any problem with continuing the same kind of shift.
The implosion of the donkeys continues! :)
I once met Bernie Sanders' stepdaughter, who was studying in London. In future, please keep his relations out of Britain. Thank you.
The best hope was that Governor Jim Douglas would run as the Republican nominee. However, he has unequivocably said he will not.
Best chance now is probably Richard Tarrant, a very wealthy software company CEO. He may be willing to sink quite a bit of personal money into a race.
The thing is, it's Vermont . . . not a big state. Money isn't as important here as in most states. Not as many television markets to purchase in.
He'll win the Senate seat. VT loves Bernie.
I think that Dean's endorsement of Sanders should tell any and all Democrats what their party is all about---and should give the RNC plenty of ammunition in the future!
The Democrat party endorse a self proclaimed "Socialist" (Communist). I guess Howard Dean made up his mind.
Top Vermont Democrats not ready to back Sanders U.S. Senate bid
I'm not surprised.
It is Rep. Sanders' desire to turn Vermont into the blueprint for a Socialist America. I am concerned that this is starting to happen. I would hope that the other states make it clear that they will not bail Vermont out when it becomes a sclerotic, crime ridden, drug addicted mess.
Yes, who are the potential GOP candidates?
Sanders, Dean, Leahy, Jeffords....the worst of the worst are from Vermont.
Endorsing Sanders is like admitting that you have no viable candidates. The GOP should be able to take this seat.
No, Bernie isn't a Democrat. Bernie has the courage to admit he's a Socialist. The rest of the Democrats govern socially but cower at the title.
I do welcome Bernie to the U.S. Senate on provision the Republicans do not put up a strong conservative for the seat. An admitted Socialist of his stripes sets my teeth on edge, but I welcome him representative of the Democrat Party nationally. He'll be more helpful than Michael Moore to the cause of conservatives. :-)
Jane O'Meara Sanders, his wife, received $91,020 between 2002 and 2004 for "consultation" and for negotiating the purchase of television and radio time-slots for Sanders' advertisements, according to records and interviews.
Approximately $61,000 of that was "pass through" money that was used to pay media outlets for advertising time, Jane O'Meara Sanders said in an interview. The rest, about $30,000, she kept as payment for her services, she said.
Carina Driscoll, daughter to Jane O'Meara Sanders and stepdaughter to the lawmaker, earned $65,002 in "wages" between 2000 and 2004, campaign records show.
Driscoll, a former state legislator, served as Rep. Sanders' campaign manager in 2000, his fund-raiser and office manager in 2003 and his database manager in 2004, according to Jeff Weaver, Sanders' chief of staff.
"Both of them are regarded as people who are knowledgable about Vermont politics," Weaver said Tuesday. "They earned every penny they got."
It seems Sanders is the only member of Vermont's congressional delegation to employ family members. "Sen. Jeffords has not hired any members of his family on his current or past campaigns," said Erik Smulson, his communications director. A spokesman for Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said the same thing.
No laws prohibit candidates from paying family members for campaign work. But the appearance that lawmakers use their position to benefit people close to them concerns watchdog groups.
"Anytime you pay a family member there's going to be questions raised," said Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan research group in Washington.
The real question, he says, is whether family members conducted work commesurate to their pay. If they did, "then it's more difficult to say (lawmakers) are funneling money back to the family."
Mary Bloyer, a spokeswoman for Common Cause, a nonprofit advocacy group, said: "The danger here is that you want members of Congress who are in Washington to serve their constituents and not enrich their families. Something like this makes people look twice and makes them wonder what's going on here."
Jane O'Meara Sanders said she worked for her husband for years with no pay, and started charging him only after opening a consulting company, Progressive Media Strategies, which was changed to Leadership Strategies.
"It became clear I could not offer professional services to other candidates and charge them if I worked for Bernie for free," she said.
Still, Jane O'Meara Sanders said her fees are comparatively low, especially for her husband.
"I think the fact that other candidates have chosen to hire me and pay more than what Bernie pays me says that my services are pretty good," she said.
The ethics of lawmakers paying their families jumped into the spotlight on Capitol Hill last week, following reports that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas had paid his wife and daughter more than $500,000 for campaign-related work.
Jim Barrett, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, used Sanders' family payments to highlight what he said is Democratic "hypocrisy" for fiercely attacking DeLay. "It's the standard hypocrisy from the left," Barrett said. "When a Republican does it, it's inappropriate and front page news. But now it turns out, our own Bernie Sanders has been doing it for a long time."
He added: "If it's corruption when Tom DeLay does it, then it's corruption when Bernie Sanders does it."
Jon Copans, executive director of the state Democratic Party, declined to comment.
But Democratic groups are targeting DeLay for defeat in his 2006 election.
Vermont-based Democracy for America, started by former Gov. Howard Dean, disseminated a mass e-mail Tuesday asking supporters for witty slogans it can paste on billboards in DeLay's Texas district. The billboards, the e-mail says, will let voters there know "it's time for him to go."
Weaver, Sanders' chief of staff, said it was unfair to compare the Vermont Independent with DeLay, who paid his family much more in a shorter period of time.
"For the work they did, they got exactly what anyone else would have been paid," he said of Jane O'Meara Sanders and Driscoll. "Politics is like anything else - you always try to hire the best person."
Even Barrett admitted that the $65,000 earned by Driscoll over four years "almost sounds low."
But he said, "We don't know what she was doing for work. Was she a full-time operative? Were these just consulting fees? Who knows?"
"Is there any hope that the GOP can wrest this seat from the grip of socialist moon-bats?"
It's not all bad news. When Bernard Sanders was previously in the House of Representatives for Vermont his Conservative Voting Index (that is, the percentage of times he voted with conservatives) was 33%. At that time Teddy Kennedy's was 21%, John Kerry's was 13%, and the late Patrick Moynihan, touted as that great moderate, was 18%.
Maybe to move Congress more toward the center we need to elect more socialists.
The "Take Back Vermont" movement that animated Ruth O'Dwyer's second gubernatorial run-at the height of the civil unions friction-could be built upon to elect the first real Republican in decades.
As much as the migration of liberal, Ben & Jerry's yuppie effluvia has contaminated that state's body politic-and Bernie Sanders, an emigre from Kings County, is a perfect illustration of this unhealthy phenomenon-I still think that with enough effort we might be able to finally reclaim the Evergreen State.
General Secretary Dean announces formation of PFARF, the People's Front Against Republican Fascism, in solidarity with Comrade Sanders.
Democrats Against Fascist Tyranny happily joined this progressive Front.
Expect to see a lot of DAFT PFARFers on your TV screens next election cycle.
It is like good old days in Green Mountain State, no?
Okay.......yesterday Dean was not ready to endorse him, but today's article says he is...hm........that wouldn't be a flip-flop would it?
I KNOW you are not crazy, I have seen your posts and have respected them, so....
Are you convinced that the election of Sanders would NOT be the absolute worst thing for the Senate? I am sitting here listening to Schumer say that the reason that the judges should be filibustered is because HE represents 19 million voters, as opposed to other senators in states like Utah, who only represent a few million---which is exactly NOT the point of the Senate's voting system...
SO, if Bernie Sanders' vote is equal to say, Jeff Sessions, I get sick to my stomach...
I hope your diabolical scenario is correct, but I also hope that a GOP candidate can win, more.
Sanders will be the worst possible thing for Democrats. Since he caucuses with them, he'll be identified with them in the public mind. Since he isn't a party member, they'll have very little to control him with.
You are correct. His relations should move to Cuba where they can work in the sugar can fields. Britain is far to good for them.
Yes, if they like socialism so bloody much, they should starve on maggot infested rice like the people in North Korea do. There's socialism for them.
The fact is that Vermont, much like Sweden, can survive generations of socialism before it starts to decay. You have a rural, homogeneous state in which social pressures outweigh government coersion. Cities magnify the pathologies of socialism and make them readily apparent.
You can't compare Senators to Representatives with those indices. There are different bills and different issues.
Sanders has been elected and reelected in Vermont, statewide for seven consecutive terms. He was mayor of Vermont's largest city before that.
Yes.... kind of like a ship out in a big storm in the ocean, and the ship has to much weight, and is listing to port, and Dean tells them to bank the ship even farther to port side, and the ship is about to capsize.
Then again this is Vermont, where "middle of the road" is defined as "somewhere between Ché Guevara and Josef Stalin."
Paradoxically, I think that New Hampshire is beginning to slip from the GOP's grasp, but even more importantly, veering away from liberatarian conservatism into the morass of Northeasten liberalism.
That's why I thought that former Gov. Benson's warm reception of the the "free-staters" was a wise political maneuver.
If the Republicans can engineer a ticket containing both him and Gov. Owens-another executive from a state that the libs are furiously besieging-then I don't think Hillary-or Edwards, or Bayh, or whomever-has a shot in hell of capturing the White House in '08.
My position is that the Democrats currently in the Senate are no different than Bernie Sanders. Except that they fear being as honest as Bernie is in his beliefs. Bernie is no worse, no better, than Boxer, Kerry, Kennedy, Hillary...Hillary is a closet Marxist. I wasn't always certain of that, but when she slipped up and repeated the rhetoric about taking from the rich to give to the poor she sealed it. She even had to have a reporter come out with a bogus story about not quoting her correctly. Then the revised quote essentially said the same, only in a verbose way.
The election of a Socialist is a bad thing for the U.S. Senate under any terms, but reality is that we have Socialists in the Senate already. Bernie replacing Jeffords would at most retain the status quo of Socialists represented.
IF Bernie is elected what he will do is become the face of moveon.org. The Face of the Democrat Party. He'll do as Dean did in the primary, draw the Senators further Left. IMO, this benefits the conservatives/Republicans in furthering their majority over the long term. This is why I welcome bernie as a representative for the Democrats IF Vermont must elect a Liberal.
If Republicans can field a conservative Republican, then of course I don't want Bernie elected. But I've yet to see signs they are serious about doing so. They are serious in Maryland, Minnesota, etc..but so far not Vermont. I'd even accept a Liberal Republican IF that Liberal were like Rudy rather than Chafee. Yet I don't see signs of a Rudy Republican yet either. IMO, Reps may give this race a pass to focus on getting Santorum re-elected, picking up more "red" states and challenging vulnerable "blue" seats.
Sanders DeLayed! Or is he guilty of Barbara Boxerism?.
Those who voted for that Socialist AARP bus-driving scumbag of a Governor here in Montana will hopefully learn their lesson well. He's already made a going concern of driving business out of state. I'm contemplating moving out of Montana. I'm sick and tired of it. The Republicans here in Montana are gutless morons.
That is, he used a Republican-enrolled official to make the Dem. ticket more palatable to voters, when the Rep. that joined him was, in reality, merely a feckless, Rockefeller Republican.
When your ignorance is complete it is often best to remain silent.
Had nothing to do with his Republican running mate. Socialist scumbag Schweitzer won the Governorship by preying on the fears of the gun rights crowd. (Typically many of them Republicans). Gun ownership, aside from property rights, and farming and ranching, is a HUGE issue in Montana.
Truer words were never spoken, and the reason it will help RATS is because the RATS are Socialists! When you lay with the pigs, you smell like the pigs!