Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sanders' influence on the Democratic platform

One of the benchmarks for how well Sanders is being heeded by the Democratic "establishment" is the policy statements in the platform. Sanders is getting a lot of his positions in that document - not all, but a lot. No one should expect any group to get 100% - it's an on-going negotiation. But Sanders' views are getting representation in the platform.

Here is the story with some examples reported by the Daily Star.

Sanders said Friday he would vote for Clinton but has so far declined to offer a full-throated endorsement of her campaign or encourage his millions of voters to back her candidacy. The Vermont senator has said he wants the platform at the summer convention to reflect his goals — and those representing him at a St. Louis hotel said they had made progress.

"We lost some but we won some," said James Zogby, a Sanders supporter on the panel. "We got some great stuff in the platform that has never been in there before." Added Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., a Sanders ally: "We've made some substantial moves forward."

The convention's full Platform Committee will consider the draft platform in Orlando, Florida, next month and it will be voted on at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in late July.

In many cases, Clinton's side gave ground to Sanders. The document calls for the expansion of Social Security and says Americans should earn at least $15 an hour, referring to the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour as a "starvation wage," a term often used by Sanders.

Sanders has pushed for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, while Clinton has supported efforts to raise the minimum wage to that level but has said states and cities should raise the bar as high as possible.

The committee also adopted language that said it supports a variety of ways to prevent banks from gambling with taxpayers' bank deposits, "including an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall."

Sanders, in a statement, said he was "disappointed and dismayed" that the group voted down the measure opposing the TPP. But he was pleased with the proposals on Glass-Steagall and the death penalty — and vowed to fight on.

"Our job is to pass the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party," he said.

So far Sanders' folks are doing well at that job.

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