I am honored to give OpEdNews an exclusive on this endorsement from the most progressive and most intelligent member of the New Mexico Senate. Jerry is Chairman of the Senate Public Affairs Committee, and has served since 2005. I ask only that the readers ask their State Senators and Representatives, and other politically important friends to write their own endorsement for Bernie and put it on the editorial pages of your area newspapers. Thousands read them; it coalesces our momentum; it gets fence sitters off the fence, and finally, the person reading them is usually the person who writes that paper's endorsements. Let's WIN THE BATTLE OF THE EDITORIAL PAGES! Here is Senator Ortiz y Pino's endorsement, verbatim:
The national electoral handicappers long ago decided that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016. Bernie Sanders, in their view, was a dogged challenger, a long -shot; at best someone to sharpen Clinton's debate skills while we all waited for one of the Republicans to survive the free-for-all taking place on that side of the ballot.
While the results from the four early-voting states have surprised those pundits by showing Sanders to have far more appeal to voters than they had predicted, most continue to dismiss Sanders' prospects by noting his age, his small state origins, his long-held socialist economic views and his lack of big-bucks donors. The coronation of Hillary as the nominee is inevitable, in their view.
I look at those same results, though and I see another very real possibility. Sanders has spent a long time listening to Americans' views and he knows what the answer to their concerns is, not because a team of consultants has framed one for him, but because he has honestly been listening and understanding. Bernie is for real"and I can't wait to cast a vote for him.
I have seen the polling results nationally: Sanders defeats each of the three Republican possible nominees handily--and he polls much better than Clinton does. Where she is neck and neck with Trump, Bernie knocks him off by six points. Where she is edged-out by both Cruz and Rubio, Bernie ties Rubio and beats Cruz by almost 5 points (Real Clear Politics poll taken on February 21). He would be the strongest Democrat in the general election by far. So the Establishment may have united behind Hillary, but the voters seem more excited by Sanders.
I admit I am an unrepentant optimist when it comes to outsider challengers of the Democratic power elite. I am always a push-over for the contender who seems able to ignite the passions of the grassroots against the mainstream party hierarchy, a party apparatus which grows increasingly indistinguishable from the Republicans' own structure and soul, dependent on the same founts of corporate money, unquestioning of the military-industrial complex, paralyzed in parallel with the GOP over global warming, terrorism and income inequality.
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Every four years I feel the old juices flowing and hope pushes skyward, undaunted by the lack of encouragement from the left side of my brain where reason rules. Hence the Bernie Sanders sticker affixed to my car. And I mean it. I will vote for him in the primary--though our New Mexico Primary is in June and long before that the Democrats nationally may have already decided the issue.
I also know it is high time we elected a woman to the Presidency.
Practically alone among the nations which select leaders by the people's decision, the U.S. has not had a female head of state. Hillary Clinton is certainly qualified to be President and is a determined and articulate campaigner. If she is the Democratic nominee I will have no problem supporting her in November.
But Bernie Sanders offers something else. I know why he is drawing standing-room only crowds to his appearances: he speaks the truth and he doesn't mince his words. He puts the emphasis of his campaign precisely where it needs to be placed"and where his audience knows it should be placed: our country has deserted the middle class and it has ignored poverty. He says it clearly: power has been used to produce great wealth for a very few while the momentum has gone out of the American Promise.
We need a President who would challenge Wall Street. We need a President who would close the off-shore tax havens of the 1%. We need a President who would unflinchingly confront the fossil fuel industry, Big Pharma, corporate medicine and all the other contributors to the destruction of the middle class and its dream of opportunity. But most of all, we need a President who would re-ignite this nation's flickering sense of itself as a country where the people count more than money does. Without that, we don't have democracy, we have oligarchy.
Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the most (more...)