Good morning friends! A couple random Sanders related tidbits and then everything else I am reading/watching will go in the comments.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez will hold rallies this month across the country in an effort to rally grassroots support for a 50-state party strategy.
The rallies follow a heated race for the DNC chairmanship in which Sanders backed Perez’s rival, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).
“At a time of massive income and wealth inequality and a shrinking middle class, we need a government which represents all Americans, not just Wall Street, multi-national corporations and the top 1 percent,” Sanders and Perez said in a joint statement.
Beginning April 17, Sanders and Perez will hit the trail in so-called “red” and “purple” states, including Kentucky, Maine, Florida, Utah, Montana, Nevada, Arizona and Nebraska.
Other leaders in the Democratic party will attend the rallies, where they will speak about issues ranging from the minimum wage to criminal justice and immigration reform.
“I’m totally new to politics—I was inspired to run by Bernie. After the election, I decided to get out from behind my Facebook keyboard and try to make a difference, so I decided to run for office,” says James Thompson, a Kansas civil-rights attorney whose Bernie Sanders–style bid for an open Kansas House seat has spooked Republicans in Washington.
As Tuesday’s special-election vote approached, the National Republican Congressional Committee poured money into a last-minute media blitz to prevent Thompson from taking the seat vacated by Donald Trump’s CIA director, former congressman Mike Pompeo. House Speaker Paul Ryan even issued a “personal request” that donors open their checkbooks for the Republican candidate, Ron Estes, in “one of the most important House races in the country.”
Mike Pompeo was known as the “Koch Brothers’ Congressman” and “the congressman from Koch” because of his steady subservience to the right-wing agenda of billionaire campaign donors Charles and David Koch. Koch Industries is headquartered in Wichita, the largest city in the Fourth Congressional District that Thompson hopes to grab from the Republicans—and their wealthy patrons.
Thompson is running a campaign that proudly embraces the “not the billionaires” ethic of Sanders’s 2016 presidential bid. Raised in poverty—he quit high school to support his family at a time when they were living in a van—Thompson says he is running to preserve public education, health-care protections, and the social safety net that helped him make it from the streets to law school, and that Koch-backed candidates propose to shred.