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General News    H1'ed 8/7/16

The 2016 Democratic National Convention: 'Inside-Outside' Reflections of a Bernie Sanders Delegate

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Message Charles Pennacchio

On Thursday morning, 7/28, I participated in a three-way press conference at the PA Convention Center, along with two other leaders from Bernie Delegate Network/Roots Action/PDA: Norman Solomon and Donna Smith. We presented on the "Swing States" topic, with special focus on Pennsylvania and Colorado.

There were at least seven news articles that reported on the press conference. The one in Mother Jones by David Corn was the best and most accurate. Beyond that, the degree of inaccuracy among many reporters is truly remarkable. During the press conference itself , two reporters argued with me that exit polls are wildly inaccurate (wrong), whereas pre-election phone polls -- which, in fact, reach only 9-11% of people -- are highly accurate (wrong). In a Friday follow up interview with AP's Marc Levy out of Harrisburg, he actually contended that the AP's Super-delegate "secret poll" was methodologically accurate and, curiously, he could not recall that his employer released these "findings" and, thus, declared the presidential race "over" the night before the California (plus New Jersey and 5 other states) primary/primaries. David Weigel of the Washington Post wrote a similarly snarky piece in which he paints Bernie delegates and supporters, right along side Trump and wing-nut Roger Stone. Shameless editorializing masked as hard news. To their ever-lasting credit, at least the neoliberal media is consistent. These media folks are more lost in denial, cherry-picking, and counter-factual bias than I remember from ten years ago while running for US Senate here in PA. It was really bad then; it seems even worse today.


Her name is MaryEva Candon, a Democratic National Committeewoman and, to her abiding credit, she had the guts to show up to a super-sized post-convention national Bernie delegate gathering at the Xfinity (Comcast) super-bar in the midst of Philly's sports stadium super-complex.

Fellow delegate Tim Butler introduced me to MaryEva and a detailed conversation ensued. MaryEva described one of the Bernie delegates, who had introduced the pro-democracy super-delegate reform during the Platform Committee hearings, as a "bombastic" and as a "demagogue." For the record, this was State Representative Diane Russell of Maine.

The conversation then moved on to MaryEva's status as a super-delegate. "Who are you and what's your mission," I asked? "How are you chosen?"

"Well," she told me, "we are chosen to be super-delegates on the basis of wisdom and experience." Her exact words. "Really," I said, "this has nothing to do with networks and money?" She maintained that there is absolutely no link to money contributions or connections. ""None, none at all," she said. "We have been involved in Democratic Party politics for a long time. We just know more. That's really it." When did she endorse Hillary Clinton for president, I asked? "Why, the day she announced," replied MaryEva. She maintained that no debates or votes were needed for her to make her choice. "Not necessary," she said. "We already know Hillary is the most qualified person in US history to run for president." "More so than Washington or Eisenhower?" I asked. "Yes," she retorted. "More than anyone."


(Image by Chuck Pennacchio)   Details   DMCA

The morning after the DNC concludes. 6:30 a.m. Why am I not comforted with the site of Geraldo Rivera doing a news shoot in front of my cafe? I later learned from someone who was there, that a few days earlier Geraldo had been doused with water by Black Lives Matter activists at a BLM protest after organizers repeatedly asked him to leave.

About The Author:

Chuck Pennacchio, PhD., is an elected Bernie Sanders delegate from PA CD-8, an Associate Professor of History and Politics at the University of the Arts, Senior Advisor to Healthcare for All Pennsylvania, and a former U.S. Senate candidate (2006).

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Chuck Pennacchio, Ph.D. and M.A. (Colorado-Boulder), B.A. (California-Berkeley), is associate professor of history and politics at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (2003-), co-founder and president of the One Payer States network (more...)

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