Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Can Bernie Spread The Revolution Downticket?


Jonathan Clarke, Long Island Berniecrat

Bernie's endorsement of Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Lucy Flores (D-NV) and Zephyr Teachout (D-NY) has raised about $400,000 for each of them in about a month. His endorsement over the weekend of Tim Canova brought Tim $250,000 in the first 24 hours! Yesterday he endorsed 8 candidates for state legislatures. "I'm proud to announce," he wrote to his followers, "that I am endorsing seven progressive candidates for state legislatures across this country. These seven candidates-- activists, civil rights attorneys, and the children of immigrants-- will help lead progressive policy in the states, and some will be a part of one of the most important political powers: re-drawing Congressional districts after the 2020 elections. For decades, Republicans have been very good at winning elections at the state level, meaning conservative control of state laws and of Congressional districts, as well as a deep bench of Republican legislators who eventually run for Congress, governor, or even president. Democrats haven't been as effective. We need that to change, starting with these seven progressives... What this moment also requires is people in the streets fighting for change and legislatures across the country willing to stand with them. That is the political revolution, and that’s why splitting your contribution to Bernie 2016 and these candidates' campaigns is so important."

Goal Thermometer
Justin Bamberg (D-SC)
David Bowen (D-WI)
Clara Hart (D-SD)
Terry Alexander (D-SC)
Carol Ammons (D-IL)
Chris Pearson (D-VT)
Jane Kim (D-CA)
Joe Salazar (D-CO)
You can contribute to Justin Bamberg and Joe Salazar and to other dedicated progressives running for state legislative seats around the country by clicking on the thermometer on the right. Meanwhile, sources inside the Bernie camp have indicated he will also be endorsing candidates running for Congress. I don't know which ones. Maybe because I went to the same elementary and high schools in Brooklyn as he did-- albeit enough years apart so that we were never in the buildings at the same time-- several of the candidates endorsed by Blue America have asked me if I could help get Bernie to consider them. I can't. I've only spoken to him once and he has his own advisors telling him who to consider. I was pretty overjoyed he went for Canova, that's for sure.

This is an e-mail I got yesterday from Jonathan Clarke, the Berniecrat running for the Long Island North Shore seat Steve Israel was forced to relinquish, presumably by the FBI for his role in the scam that landed Ami Bera's father in prison.
Below is my official request I sent to Senator Sanders asking for his endorsement. I emailed it to him and Jeff Weaver.  I know he will be endorsing a little over 12 more candidates this week. I hope I am one of them.  Is there any way you can see that he gets this letter or if you can speak with him about his endorsement for me. This race is one of the most important congressional races in the country. Whoever wins the primary wins the general. I have only 5 weeks left on the campaign and I have worked so hard, but I worry since my opponents have the advantage of name recognition over me that anything could happen. I would really appreciate it.  Thank you in advance!  ~Jonathan

Dear Senator Sanders,

My name is Jonathan Clarke, and I am running for New York's Third Congressional seat. I am writing to you to ask for your endorsement.

I am a progressive and your historic run has inspired me to run for Congress. I believe in the vision you have for this country, and I want to help you make that happen with a progressive Congress.

New York’s Third Congressional race is a very interesting district and has been called by Newsday and community leaders as "Ground Zero" for corruption. It is also the only Congressional District in which a Sanders’ Democrat has a very real chance of victory.

I am one of five democratic candidates running in a primary to replace Steve Israel who recently stepped down. All four of my opponents are strong Clinton supporters, and I am the sole candidate who supports you. My four opponents are essentially the same candidate with the same corporatist agendas and deep ties to Long Island’s highly corrupt political system.

It is highly likely I could win this race since my opponents will divide the establishment vote four ways while I can garner the entire progressive vote. My only obstacle is name recognition. Your endorsement would catapult me to victory in this primary. Since the Third Congressional district leans democratic, the winner of the democratic primary has a distinct advantage in the general election. Therefore, your endorsement would be highly effective in getting a Sanders Democrat into Congress.

My strong support of you and your platform has earned me the support of many Sanders supporters here on Long Island. We all have worked very hard volunteering on your campaign when it was here on Long Island, and we would all love to have your endorsement for my congressional race.

I do want to say, whether you endorse me or not, I and the hundred or so volunteers on my campaign stand with you. We have seen the way your message has had an enormous impact here on Long Island. You have already inspired many people on Long Island to take back the Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Democratic parties. Hundreds of us are committed to becoming committee people in the local party so that we can fundamentally change the political system from the ground up. Similarly, there are many of us who are priming ourselves for local elections. Your race has truly been an inspiration, and you have started a groundswell that will fundamentally alter the political system of Long Island.

Thank you for reading my letter.


Jonathan Clarke
Candidate for Congress
New York District 3
Bernie didn't do that well in NY-03. The people who have sent Steve Israel to Congress over and over, seemed to be more comfortable with the establishment candidate. Bernie's Suffolk County total was 45.3% but in Nassu County he only scored 37.4% of the vote. And, alas, nationally, the Bernie voters by and large haven't been been especially supportive of congressional Berniecrats at the polls, a big disappointment for those of us who have been hoping the revolution would catch on for real. But, whether Bernie endorses him or not, you can contribute to Jonathan's campaign-- and to any of the other Berniecrats we've vetted at Blue America-- by tapping on the BernieCongress thermometer, which is, of course, different from the legislature thermometer up above:
Goal Thermometer

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