Things That Matter

Sen. Bernie Sanders Leads The Democratic Field After Raising $34.5 Million In Fourth Quarter

Running for president isn’t for the faint of heart, and that goes for people light in their pockets. The presidential office in the United States costs a pretty penny, and even the most sincere and most qualified candidates don’t have a shot at winning a presidential election if they don’t have the money to back them up. That’s why it was so hard to see Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke leave the race. You know they had good intentions, and they were definitely qualified, but if you can’t get big backers, you practically have no hope. Now that the race is hitting up, it’s kicking off 2020 sort of the way it did back in 2016. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders is, as of now, the top Democratic presidential candidate that has raised the most money. In the fourth quarter of 2019, he generated $34.5 million topping all other candidates.

Credit: @thehill / Twitter

Sen. Sanders “is proving each and every day that working-class Americans are ready and willing to fully fund a campaign that stands up for them and takes on the biggest corporations and the wealthy,” Sen. Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir said to The New York Times. “You build a grass-roots movement to beat Donald Trump and create a political revolution one $18 donation at a time, and that’s exactly why Bernie is going to win.”

And those gains are just from the fourth quarter. Overall, in 2019, Sen. Sanders raised $96 million. 

“I’m incredibly proud to announce we raised $34.5 million from 1.8 million contributions in the fourth quarter,” Sen. Sanders tweeted. “Our average contribution: just $18. Together, we’re proving you don’t need to beg the wealthy and the powerful for campaign contributions in order to win elections.” He went on to tweet, “Ours is the only campaign in this Democratic primary with more donations than Donald Trump.” Ouch. 

Here is how the rest of the candidates fared in the last quarter:

Credit: @cascamike / Twitter
  • Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised more than $24.7 million.
  • Former President Joe Biden raised $22.7 million. 
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised $21.2 million. 
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang raised more than $16.5 million.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar raised $11.4 million.
  • Sen. Cory Booker raised $6.6 million. 

Things are looking pretty good for the Democratsas a whole, but there’s one issue: President Donald Trump has raised more than all of them combined.

Credit: @farhip / Twitter

The New York Times reports that Trump raised $143 million in 2019 and has a whopping $102.7 million in cash. We’ll wait until you pick up your jaw off the floor. 

While those values are pretty staggering, it’s important to note that Trump gets money from anyone, and that includes corporations and Super PACs. The Democratic candidates, with the exception of a couple, are raising money from individuals like you and me, not billion-dollar institutions. However, here’s a cool signal that the Democrats could win, if you do the math, the Democrats raised a lot more money together than Trump. Politico reports, “Democratic presidential contenders and the Democratic National Committee combined raised over $480 million in the last year.” That’s a lot more than Trump did, which means there’s still a chance to beat him. 

People on social media are very thrilled to see Sen. Sanders at the top, considering some weren’t too keen on having Biden as their only choice for a Democratic presidential candidate.

Credit: @ryangrim / Twitter

Claire Sandberg, the National Organizing Director for the Bernie Sanders campaign, tweeted that we may or may not be going to war with Iran but that Sanders is giving people hope that the future can still be a positive one.  

“Things feel pretty damn bleak this morning, but something giving me hope in the face of this nightmare is the fact that every day thousands of volunteer leaders are putting in long hours organizing around a vision of a fundamentally transformed society.”

We’ve seen so much momentum coming out of the Sanders campaign with massive crowds at each of his rallies.

Credit: @Channel__News / Twitter

Last month, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined Sen. Sanders, after she officially endorsed the candidate, out on the West Coast. She wanted to reach out to the Latino community and made a very significant effort to speak to them in Spanish. 

“Bernie knows that he’s not going to be able get all of these things done himself. He’s going to have to empower hundreds of thousands of people, which he already has successfully I would say,” Belén Sisa, Sanders’ Latino Press Secretary, told BuzzFeed News last month. “But with minority communities, it takes more. You have to be authentic, you have to be consistent, because we can see through efforts to only gain our vote when you need it.”

READ: Although She’s Still Too Young To Serve As VP, Bernie Sanders Says AOC Will Service In His Administration If He Wins

Congressman Steve King Of Iowa, Known For Racist Comments, Loses To Republican Challenger In Primary

Things That Matter

Congressman Steve King Of Iowa, Known For Racist Comments, Loses To Republican Challenger In Primary

Alex Wong / Getty Images

You might remember Representative Steve King of Iowa as the person who’s campaign attacked Parkland shooting survivor Emma González. The Republican politician is officially out of Congress after losing to Iowa State Senator Randy Feenstra.

Iowa Senator Randy Feenstra defeated Representative Steve King in the Republican primary in Iowa.

Sen. Feenstra defeated Rep. King by 9.7 points ending the incumbent’s career after 18 years. Rep. King will still be a member of Congress during the remainder of the election as Republican Sen. Feenstra goes against Democrat J.D. Scholten. Scholten almost defeated Rep. King in 2018.

Rep. King’s controversial and offensive attitude led to his colleagues stripping him of his committee roles.

Rep. King was shunned by the Republican Party in 2019. The Congressman asked in an interview with The New York Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

The language was enough to draw harsh criticism from members of his party. He was stripped of all of his committee assignments because of the comments.

Rep. King has a long history of racist comments.

In 2016, Rep. King was on tv when he asked if nonwhite groups have contributed to society. The comments were met with instant criticism from people denouncing the racist comments.

“This whole ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” Rep. King said on a panel. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

People are happy to see Rep. King lose his primary race.

There has been a movement to change politicians. It was clear in the 2018 elections that Americans wanted different representation when Democrats flipped enough seats in the House of Representatives to hold a majority over the Republicans. Rep. King is the latest in controversial Republican politicians to be voted out by upset constituents.

READ: AOC Called Out Rep. Steve King For Willfully Risking Pink Eye Instead Of Admitting Migrants Deserve Better Treatment

From DC To Iowa, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Yesterday’s Primary

Things That Matter

From DC To Iowa, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Yesterday’s Primary

Drew Angerer / Getty

With all that’s going on across the country – between a national health crisis and social unrest in response to the continued murders of unarmed Black men – you’d be forgiven for forgetting that we’re still in the middle of an election year. In fact, we’re still in the middle of a primary season. I know, it seems like 2020 has already dragged forever but we still have a ways to go.

Thankfully, despite all the challenges the country is facing, millions of voters still stepped out yesterday to let their voices be heard in the primary process.

In D.C., people lined up to vote despite protests, a pandemic, a city-wide curfew, and threats of police violence.

Credit: Stuart Garibaldi / Facebook

I anticipation of continued anti-police brutality demonstrations, all of D.C. was under a 7 p.m. curfew for a fifth consecutive day. However, Mayor Muriel Browser pointed out on social media and in interviews that residents would be allowed to cast ballots no matter the hour as long as they were in line before 8 p.m. Essential workers and journalists are also exempted from the city’s curfew.

More than four hours after polls closed for D.C.’s primary election, some District voters throughout the city were still waiting in line to cast their ballots, as the June 2 primary stretched into June 3.

In one part of the city, Ward 4, more than 100 people remained in line to vote as of 11:15 p.m. According to several elections volunteers however, most people at the polling center were sticking it out and “people are really positive and patient.”

The precinct is one of many across the city where people waited upwards of four hours to vote.

Police allegedly threatened D.C. voters who were in line to vote, despite being exempt from the city’s curfew.

The Mayor’s order made it very clear that as long as you were in line to vote before the 8 p.m. poll closing time, you would be able to cast your vote no matter the hour. Basically, anyone who was out past the 7 p.m. curfew to vote was exempt from the curfew order.

But according to some reports, some police didn’t seem to know or care about this exemption. Many took to Twitter to share that while waiting in line, police were harassing them and demanding they return home.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, Republicans finally drove racist and anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King from office.

King’s defeat was the top headline in Tuesday’s primaries. The nine-term congressman with a history of racist and anti-immigrant remarks was ousted after the GOP establishment lined up in support of his challenger, Randy Feenstra.

King’s defeat doesn’t necessarily mean a progressive candidate will take his place. Most pundits expect his Iowa district to remain in Republican control come the general election in November – Trump carried the district by nearly 30 points in 2016.

But getting rid of King is a win for all sides. He had a history of hate rhetoric targeting Black and Latino communities. But only after a New York Times interview in January 2019, in which the congressman questioned why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive, did he finally lose the support of GOP leaders.

In 2013, in response to proposed immigration legislation, King said this of migrants, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds—and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Yesterday’s primaries also revealed challenges states face in the upcoming general election caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic presents states with two immense challenges: how to deal with the wave of mail ballots from voters who don’t wish to travel to their polling place in person, and how to accommodate those who do show up and follow the necessary medical precautions.

Yesterday, lines stretch on for hours. So states need to figure out how to safely accommodate the increase in voters and provide them with social-distant ways to vote.

Obviously, it’s fantastic that Americans are voting in record numbers. We need everyone to vote to be able to achieve the kind of change that we want and need to see in this country. But all of this means that come November, America may not know who wins the presidency on Nov. 3.