More than 400 people who supported Bernie Sanders for president are running for Congress, state and local offices, according to the Berniecrats Network (berniecrats.net), which lists candidates regardless of their party affiliation (although most are Democrats, some are running as Greens, independents or other party affiliations). Among the Berniecrats who are running for Congress or statewide office:

In Alaska, Ray Metcalfe is one of three Democrats running for the Senate in the Aug. 16 primary, while US Sen. Lisa Murkowski faces three challengers in the Republican primary.

In Alabama, Jesse T. Smith (D) is challenging US Rep. Mike Rogers (R) in the 3rd Congressional District.

Arizona has Rep. Raul Grijalva (D) running for re-election to Congress in the 3rd District.

California had 52 candidates running in the June 7 primary. Preston Picus (I) took second place in the primary race for the 12th Congressional District to face Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in the general election. Wendy Reed (D) finished second in the primary to face US Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) in the 23rd District. Chris Blake Wiggins (D) finished second in the 37th District primary to face Karen Bass (D) in the general election. Ron Varasteh (D) finished second in a four-way primary election to face Rep. Mimi Walters (R) in the general election. Bao Nguyen (D) finished second in an eight-way primary to replace Loretta Sanchez, who is running for the Senate. Nguyen faces Lou Correa (D) in November. Patrick Malloy (D) finished second in a five-way primary to face Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) in the 50th District.

Colorado had 19 candidates running in the June 28, 2016 state party. Sanders supporters who are running on the Green ticket include Arn Menconi, who faces incumbent Sen. Michael Bennett (D), Darryl Glenn (R) and Lily Tang Williams (L) in the general election, and Robert Lee Worthey, who faces incumbent US Rep. Mike Coffman (R) and Morgan Carroll (D) in the 6th Congressional District. Misty Plowright (D) will face incumbent US Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) in the 5th Congressional District.

In Florida, two Berniecrats are running in the five-candidate Democratic primary for the US Senate on Aug. 30: US Rep. Alan Grayson and Sean Guthrie are Sanders supporters in the primary with US Rep. Patrick Murphy, Roque De La Fuente and Reginald Luster. The winner will face the winner of a five-way Republican race, including Sen. Marco Rubio, a two-way Libertarian race, four independents and five write-in candidates.

Florida Berniecrats running for the House include John Xuna, among three Dems running in the 18th District for the seat Patrick Murphy is giving up. W. Michael Trout is running as an independent in the 21st District against incumbent Rep. Lois Frankel (D) and Paul Spain (R). Tim Canova is challenging US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the 23rd District. Two Republicans and two independents also are running in the district. Alina Valdes (D) is challenging incumbent Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) in the 25th Congressional District. David Adams is challenging incumbent Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Peiro in the 27th Congressional District.

In Georgia, Jim Barksdale (D) will challenge incumbent Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) and Allen Buckley (L) in the general election.

In Hawaii, Berniecrat Javier J. Ocasio is one of seven Democrats running in the Aug. 13 primary for the seat formerly held by Rep. Mark Takai (D), who announced in May that he would not seek re-election due to a battle with cancer; he died on July 20. Former Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is considered the frontrunner. A Republican, Libertarian and independent also are running. US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) is seeking re-election in the 2nd District.

In Indiana, Barry A. Welsh won a five-way Democratic primary to challenge incumbent US Rep. Luke Messer (R).

In Michigan, Douglas Smith (D) is unopposed in the Aug. 2 primary to challenge incumbent US Rep. Justin Amash (R) in the 3rd Congressional District. Paul Clements (D) is unopposed in a rematch with incumbent US Rep. Fred Upton (R) in the 6th District. Lorence Wenke (L) also is running.

In Minnesota, Keith Ellison (D) is seeking re-election in the 5th Congressional District, with two challengers in the Aug. 9 Democratic primary, a Republican challenger and a challenger from the Legal Marijuana Now party. US Rep. Rick Nolan is seeking re-election in the 8th Congressional District. He’s unopposed in the Democratic primary but has a Republican challenger.

In Missouri, Cori Bush is one of four Democrats, including Secretary of State Jason Kander, running in the Aug. 2 primary for the US Senate. Incumbent US Sen. Boy Blunt (R) has three challengers in the Republican primary and two Libertarians and a Constitution Party candidate also are running. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) is running in the Democratic primary with incumbent US Rep. William Lacy Clay and Bill Haas in the 1st Congressional District. Jack Truman (D) faces Gordon Christensen in the Democratic primary for the 4th Congressional District. Incumbent US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R) also has a primary challenger and a Libertarian also is in the race.

Eric Morrison is one of four Dems, including Attorney General Chris Koster, civil rights activist Eric Morrison, and former state Senator Charles B. Wheeler, who will compete for the Democratic nomination for governor of Missouri. Four Republicans are running. Winston Apple is one of three Democrats, including former US Rep. Russ Carnahan, and three Republicans running for lieutenant governor.

In North Carolina, John P. McNeil (D) will face incumbent US Rep. George Holding (R) in the 2nd Congressional District. Christian Cano (D) will face incumbent US Rep. Robert Pittenger (R) in the 9th Congressional District.

In New Hampshire, Shawn O’Connor is running as an independent in the 1st Congressional District, where former US Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D) is also challenging the winner of a five-way Republican primary on Sept. 13 that includes incumbent US Rep. Frank Guinta.

In New Jersey, Peter Jacob (D) will face incumbent US Rep. Leonard Lance (R) in the 7th District.

In Nevada, Berniecrat Jarrod Williams is running as one of four independents for the open US Senate seat Harry Reid is giving up. Former Atty. Gen. Catherine Cortez Masto won the Democratic primary and US Rep. Joe Heck won the Republican primary.

In New York, Zephyr Teachout (D) faces Will Yandik (R) in the open 19th Congressional District as incumbent Rep. Chris Gibson did not seek re-election. Kent Iverson is running as an independent, 13th District

In Ohio, Janet Garrett (D) is running against incumbent US Rep. Jim Jordan (R) in the 4th Congressional District. Corey Foister is facing Warren Davidson (R) and James Condit Jr (G) in the 8th Congressional District. US Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D) faces Donald Philip Larson (R) in the 9th Congressional District. Keith Mundy (D) faces incumbebnt US Rep Jim Renacci (R) in the 16th Congressional District.

In Oklahoma, Tom Guild is in an Aug. 23 runoff with Al McAffrey in the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District. US Rep. Steve Russell (R) is the incumbent.

In Pennsylvania, Kerith Strano Taylor (D) is running against incumbent US Rep. Glenn Thompson (R) and Julian Subick (G) in the 5th Congressional District.

In South Carolina, Dimitri Cherny (D) will face incumbent US Rep. Mark Sanford (R) and LIbertarian and American Party candidates in 1st Congressional District. Arik Bjorn (D) will face incumbent US Rep. Joe Wilson and an American Party candidate in the 2nd Congressional District.

In Texas, Bill Matta (D) will face incumbent US Rep. Bill Flores (R) and Clark Patterson (L) in the 17th Congressional District. Tom Wakely (D) will face incumbent US Rep. Lamar Smith (R) and Libertarian and Green candidates in 21st Congressional District.

In Utah, Misty K. Snow (D) will face US Sen. Mike Lee as well as two indepdendent candidates in the race for the US Senate.

In Virginia, Shaun Brown (D) will face Scott Taylor (R) in the 2nd Congressional District, as incumbent Rep. Scott Rigell (R) is not seeking re-election.

In Vermont, US Rep. Peter Welch (D) is currently unopposed for re-election. Matt Dunne is one of five candidates who have declared for the Democratic primary for governor. State Rep. Kesha Ram and state Sen. Dave Zuckerman are Berniecrats who are running in the Democratic primary with state Rep. Shap Smith for lieutenant governor.

In Washington, Philip Cornell (D), Ted Cummings (I), Zach Haller (I) and Dr. Jeremy Teuton of the System Reboot Party are Sanders supporters in the 17-person all-comers primary on Aug. 2, from which the top two will move to the general election. Sen. Patty Murray (D) is the incumbent.

Mike Lapointe (D) is a Berniecrat running against incumbent US Rep. Rick Larsen (D) and and three others in the 2nd Congressional District in Washington. Angelia Marx (D) and David McDevitt (D) are among five challengers to US Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) in the 3rd Congressional District. Joe Pakootas (D) is one of four challengers of US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) in the 5th Congressional District. Mike Coverdale (I) and Tyler Myles Vega (G) are among five challengers of US Rep. Derek Kilmer (D) in the 6th District. State Sen. Pramila Jayapal (D) is among nine candidates running for the seat given up by US Rep. Jim McDermott (D) in the 7th District. Dan Smith (D) i one of four challengers of incumbent US Rep. Adam Smith (D) in the 9th District. Jennifer Ferguson (D) is one of three challengers of US Rep. Denny Heck (D) in the 10th District.

Berniecrat Pat O’Rourke (D) is one of four challengers of Gov. Jay Inslee (D) for re-election.

In Wisconsin, where the primary is Aug. 9, former Sen. Russ Feingold (D) faces a rematch with incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R). Berniecrat Tom Breu faces Ryan Solen in the Democratic primary to challenge US Rep. Paul Ryan, if Ryan gets past his Republican primary challenger, Paul Nehlen, in the 1st Congressional District. Myron Buchholz is challenging incumbent US Rep. Ron Kind in the Democratic primary for the 3rd District, with no Republican in the race. Sarah Lloyd faces W. Michael Slattery in the Democratic primary in the 7th District to challenge incumbent Rep. Sean Duffy (R), who also has a GOP primary challenger, Donald Raihala, as well as a Libertarian candidate in the general election.

In West Virginia, Mike Manypenny (D) will face US Rep. David McKinley (R) in the 1st Congressional District.

In Wyoming, Berniecrat Charlie Hardy will face Ryan Greene in the Aug. 16 Democratic primary to face the winner of a nine-person Republican primary for the at-large congressional seat given up by incumbent Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R).

For more information on the candidates, including state legislative and local races, see berniecrats.net.

GOP PLATFORM BREAKS TRUMP’S ‘NO CUTS’ PLEDGE ON SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE. After a year of promising Americans he would “save Social Security and Medicare without cuts,” Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump looked the other way as his party’s platform endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plans to gut both, Jon Perr noted at DailyKos.com (7/24).

Democrat Hillary Clinton proposes to expand Social Security financing and benefits, a position enjoying growing support in Washington. Trump has said he would oppose any reductions to the pension plan for more than 60 mln Americans.

But the GOP’s delegates in Cleveland passed a platform that declared:

“We reject the old maxim that Social Security is the ‘Third Rail’ of American politics, deadly for anyone who would change it. The Democratic Party still treats it that way, even though everyone knows that its current course will lead to a financial and social disaster. Younger Americans have lost all faith in the program and expect little return for what they are paying into it. As the party of America’s future, we accept the responsibility to preserve and modernize a system of retirement security forged in an old industrial era beyond the memory of most Americans.”

The platform assures current retirees and those close to retirement will receive their benefits. But the platform rules out new revenue for Social Security by either raising payroll taxes or lifting the current income cap for taxable earnings at $118,500. That means to “save Social Security” the GOP would either insist on slashing benefits or “believe in the power of markets.” And that is just a non-threatening way of saying “privatization,” Perr noted.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported (5/26) that when the GOP nominee met with Paul Ryan (5/12), he told the House Speaker that he does indeed favor cutting Social Security, but he’s afraid to say so publicly because it would doom his chances in November. Bloomberg cites an unnamed source who was in the room when the meeting was held. According to the source, Trump told Ryan: “From a moral standpoint, I believe in it. But you also have to get elected. And there’s no way a Republican is going to beat a Democrat when the Republican is saying, ‘We’re going to cut your Social Security’ and the Democrat is saying, ‘We’re going to keep it and give you more.’?”

EMAIL LEAK IS LAST STRAW FOR DEM CHAIR. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to announce her resignation as Democratic national chairwoman, effective after the Democratic National Convention, after WikiLeaks released 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee. Most of the emails showed routine campaign planning among senior Democratic officials, Timothy B. Lee reported at vox.com (July 25) but some emails show “evidence of unseemly behavior by Democratic Party officials and at least one case where DNC officials discussed trying to undermine” Sanders.

The leak is believed to be the fruit of an intrusion of the DNC servers by Russian hackers, which raises the possibility that the Russian government is trying to manipulate the election.

Trump has expressed admiration of Putin throughout the presidential campaign and Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, once advised Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Putin former leader of Ukraine. Jeffrey Goldberg of TheAtlantic.com noted (July 21) that “Trump’s understanding of America’s role in the world aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests; that his critique of American democracy is in accord with the Kremlin’s critique of American democracy; and that he shares numerous ideological and dispositional proclivities with Putin—for one thing, an obsession with the sort of ‘strength’ often associated with dictators.”

VA. COURT BLOCKS FELON VOTING ORDER, GOV READIES PEN. The Virginia Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision (7/22) ruled that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) could not restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons by a sweeping order in April restoring rights to all ex-offenders who are no longer incarcerated or on probation or parole.

McAuliffe replied that he would go ahead and sign the individual orders, as the court says the state constitution requires. “It is a disgrace that the Republican leadership of Virginia would file a lawsuit to deny more than 200,000 of their own citizens the right to vote. And I cannot accept that this overtly political action could succeed in suppressing the voices of many thousands of men and women who had rejoiced with their families earlier this year when their rights were restored ...

“The men and women whose voting rights were restored by my executive action should not be alarmed. I will expeditiously sign nearly 13,000 individual orders to restore the fundamental rights of the citizens who have had their rights restored and registered to vote. And I will continue to sign orders until I have completed restoration for all 200,000 Virginians.”

TRUMP ORDERED TO PAY $300K LEGAL FEES FOR STIFFING PAINT STORE. While developer Donald Trump was picking up the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, he was losing big in a Miami-Dade County courtroom, where a judge ordered the Trump’s company to pay a local paint store nearly $300,000 in attorney’s fees after Trump forced the store to sue for the balance he owed them.

According to the lawsuit, as reported by the Miami Herald (7/22), Trump tried to stiff The Paint Spot on its last payment of $34,863 on a $200,000 contract for paint used in the renovation of the Trump National Doral Miami golf resort, home of golf’s famed Blue Monster, two years ago.

Trump National’s insistence that it had “paid enough” for the paint despite a contract, according to the lawsuit, caused The Paint Spot to slap a lien on the property and Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto ordered the foreclosure sale of the resort. Trump’s company got the judge to cancel the June 28 courthouse auction after it placed the $34,000 in escrow, and the case was put on hold while Trump National’s owner, Trump Endeavor, considered an appeal. In the meantime, Cueto was asked to rule on the fees for The Paint Spot’s three $500-an-hour attorneys and two $150-an-hour paralegals that lawsuit loser Trump Endeavor will have to pay. The judge approved legal fees of $282,949.91, including copying and expert testimony.

“I’m happy I have a judgment,” said Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot. “But he [Trump] hasn’t paid yet. You know how he says he’ll surround himself with the greatest people if he is president? In this case, he might not be surrounded by the right people.”

Trump depicts himself as a protector of worker rights and jobs, but USA Today reported (6/9) that hundreds of people – carpenters, dishwashers, painters, even his own lawyers – say he didn’t pay them for their work.

Philadelphia cabinet-builder Edward Friel Jr. landed a $400,000 contract to build the bases for slot machines, registration desks, bars and other cabinets at Harrah’s at Trump Plaza.

The family cabinetry business finished its work in 1984 and submitted its final bill of $83,600 to the general contractor for the Trump Organization, the resort’s builder. The money never came and the carpentry business went under.

USA Today found Trump has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

The actions paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometimes tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources. Some just give up the fight, or settle for less; some have ended up in bankruptcy or out of business altogether.

WHO’S UP IN THE SENATE IF DEMS TAKE OVER? If Democrats can overtake Republicans, who now control the Senate by a 54-46 margin, Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) is slated to take over as majority leader to replace retiring Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV). Dick Durbin (IL) will remain assistant Democratic leader. Among those who will be promoted from ranking member to chairs will be Bernie Sanders taking over the Budget Committee from Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, will take over Banking from RIchard Shelby, R-Ala. (with Elizabeth Warren as chair of the subcommittee on economic policy), Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., will take over Energy from Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Ron Wyden, D-Ore., will take over Finance from Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Pat Leahy, D-Vt., will take over Judiciary from Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., will take over the Joint Economic Committee from Dan Coats, R-Ind., Debbie Stabenow will take over Agriculture from Jack Roberts, R-Kansas, and Jack Reed, D-R.I., will take over Armed Services from John McCain, R-Ariz.

From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2016


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