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.

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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:

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  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Michael Bloomberg Apologizes For Stop-And-Frisk Policy But A Racially-Charged Audio Clip Shows A Different Side

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Michael Bloomberg Apologizes For Stop-And-Frisk Policy But A Racially-Charged Audio Clip Shows A Different Side

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An audio clip is circulating that shows Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s full-throated support of stop and frisk and racial profiling. The candidate has tried to distance himself from the racist and dangerous policy that did more damage to minority communities than it solved crimes.

Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s own words supporting racial profiling are coming back to haunt him.

The clip is from a speech the former mayor of New York gave in 2015. In the speech, he not only defends the use of stop and frisk but uses racist stereotypes and tropes to make his point. Bloomberg admits that he wants his police force to racially profile people in order to make the arrests. How? Well, Bloomberg believes that you can send the police to minority communities because that is where the crimes are committed. He also claimed that the victims and murderers fit one M.O. so you can Xerox the description to all of the police so any Black or brown person should be treated as a criminal subjected to unconstitutional searches.

But, don’t worry. Bloomberg feels bad about it now and wishes he acted sooner.

Before the event in Houston, Bloomberg tried to brag about how he cut back the program by 95 percent before he left the office of Mayor of New York City. However, what he fails to tell people is that during his time in office, he expanded the stop and frisk program. He also pressured the police force to keep the number of arrests and stops with stop and frisk at very high levels for years. He only cut back the program because his office was facing numerous and mounting lawsuits and political pressure.

Basically, Bloomberg is now apologizing for a program he embraced and expanded while mayor of New York. He is now backpedaling his racist comments and association to the program because he is running for president. Does he have any actual remorse? That’s yet to be proven.

In speaking to potential voters at the Christian Cultural Center, a Black church in Brooklyn, Bloomberg showed remorse for his handling of the controversial stop-and-frisk policy. During his 12-year tenure as mayor and well after he left office, Bloomberg defended the policing strategy which allowed city officers to stop and search anyone they suspected of committing a crime.

“I was determined to improve police-community relations while at the same time reducing crime even further,” Bloomberg said at the church. “Our focus was on saving lives. But the fact is: Far too many innocent people were being stopped.”

Statistics show that the policy didn’t work as it should have and instead targeted people of color in the community, most notably Black and Latino residents.  

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The stop-and-frisk policy was in place long before Bloomberg took office in 2002 and has long been viewed as a policy that directly targeted Black and Latino communities. The strategy allowed city police to detain an individual and subject them to unnecessary searches sometimes to look for possible weapons, drugs or other paraphernalia. An officer would have to have a reasonable belief that the person is, has been, or is about to be involved in a crime. The purpose of the policy was to deter violent crime in the city but, in return, it destroyed police-community relations for years in New York. 

“The temperature in the city at the time was that the police were at war with Black and brown people on the streets,” Jenn Rolnick-Borchetta, the director of impact litigation at the Bronx Defenders, told the New York Times. “And that is how people experienced it.”

Statistics show that Black and Latino people were nine times as likely as white people to be stopped by police officers when it came to the policy. They were no more likely to be arrested, the New York Times reported back in May 2010.

During Bloomberg’s tenure as New York City mayor, there was a huge spike in the overall use of the stop-and-frisk policy. According to the New York Times, the number of stops reached a peak of 685,724 in 2011 and then fell to 191,851 in 2013. In Bloomberg’s 12 year tenure as mayor, there were 5,081,689 stops by police recorded. 

Political pundits and criminal justice reform advocates are fiercely criticizing Bloomberg’s sudden backtracking on the controversial policy.

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There has been a growing wave of criticism for Bloomberg’s sudden policy walk back that is coming just as he is set to announce his 20202 campaign run. Many are criticizing Bloomberg as changing his tune in an attempt to appeal to the voters once terrorized by a policy he spent over a decade defending. One of the most high profile critics has been current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who dropped out of the 2020 presidential race earlier this year. 

“This is LONG overdue and the timing is transparent and cynical,” Mayor de Blasio tweeted.“With all due respect to my predecessor, we’ve spent six years undoing the damage he created with this bankrupt policy. We ended stop and frisk AND drove down crime. Actions speak louder than words.”

Another critic was social justice advocate Shawn King who decried Bloomberg’s apology. He voiced what some see as a political walk back in midst of a potential run at president. 

“BULLSHIT. After years of running the Apartheid-like policy of stopping and frisking millions of people of color throughout New York City, and then defending it every day in office, then every day he was out of office up until this week, @MikeBloomberg,” King tweeted

Many view his apology as a way to try to gain Black and Latino voters. More importantly, it is seen as an attempt to regain years of lost trust between him and the community. 

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“The fact is, far too many innocent people were being stopped while we tried to do that. The overwhelming majority of them were black and Latino,” Bloomberg told church attendees on Sunday. “That may have included, I’m sorry to say, some of you here today. Perhaps yourself or your children, or your grandchildren, or your neighbors, or your relatives.”

There is one notable person that has voiced his approval in Bloomberg’s apology, Rev. Al Sharpton, who said the former mayor reached out to him. He says that history will be the judge of the policy-making that Bloomberg had in New York City. 

“Whatever his motive is, I’m glad that he’s taking this stand,” Sharpton told the Daily News. “We will have to wait and see whether it was politically motivated but Mr. Bloomberg should be judged by the same standards we judged Joe Biden, the author of the 1994 Crime Bill that led to disproportionate numbers of Black and brown men going to jail for years, as well as Senator Bernie Sanders, who voted for it.”

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Bernie Sanders Leads Democratic Candidates In Latino Supporters And Donations

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Bernie Sanders Leads Democratic Candidates In Latino Supporters And Donations

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The Democratic primary is heating up with the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary now behind us. During the campaign, some candidates have shown their support for the Latino community and it shows in the number of donations the candidates are receiving. The winner of the Latino donations, so far, is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Latinos have donated more than $23 million to Democratic presidential candidates in 2019.

Credit: Plus Three

The study, done by Plus Three, analyzed Act Blue donation data to determine the Latino donations in the 2020 Democratic primary. The data showed that Bernie Sanders outraised the rest of the candidates in the field with Latino supporters every month in 2019. There were four months where Sanders raised more than $1 million from Latino supporters.

Sen. Sanders earned a majority of the Latino donations.

Of the $23.7 million donated by Latinos to the Democratic presidential candidates, $8.3 million went to the Bernie Sanders campaign. The contributions came from 1,713,678, according to Plus Three.

However, the study also shows that the Democratic Party is lost significant Latino support after two candidates dropped out.

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One of the key factors in the drop in Latino support is a response to Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro leaving the race. The two candidates received $6.3 million from 315,000 Latino supporters, according to the study. O’Rourke raised $2.6 million dollars from 113,281 contributors while Castro raised $1.8 million dollars from 94,137 contributors.

The loss of Latino supporters signals a lack of Latino voters moving to other candidates as the field narrows. Since the two candidates left the field, Latino donations and contributions dropped 24 percent.

Latinos have become an important and elusive voting bloc.

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The Latino voting power is fast-growing. Thirty-two million Latinos will be available to vote in the 2020 general election in November. This will be the first time in history that the Latino voting power will exceed the Black voting power. The trend in voting power is making the Latino community more and more important in elections.

However, Latinos are diverse and complicated as a voting bloc. The Latino community includes all races and religions. Ideology among the Latino community changes based on the voter and their experiences. In California, for example, 39 percent of Latinos identify as liberal, 30 percent consider themselves to moderate, and 31 percent of Latino voters identify as conservative.

Voting habits are also different between generations. In Florida, more and more younger Cubans and Cuban-Americans are registering with the Democrat Party signaling a departure from their conservative parents and grandparents. A study by Florida International University, shows a trend of the Cuban and Cuban-American population in southern Florida trending more liberal.

The FIU study, conducted after the 2018 midterms, Cubans who came to the U.S. before 1980 are 72 percent Republican, 11 percent Democratic, and 17 percent no party affiliation. Meanwhile, Cubans 18 to 39 are 35 percent Republican, 23 percent Democratic, and 40 percent no party affiliation.

Sanders has a commanding lead with Latino voters, and that is the vote that everyone is after.

Super Tuesday is around the corner and the future of the Democratic nomination will really start to take shape.

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