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What Bernie Sanders said

Jeremy Sprinkle
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"Union yes"

Independent U.S. Senator from the state of Vermont, Bernie Sanders, paid us a visit at NC State AFL-CIO headquarters on Wednesday. Sen. Sanders was in Raleigh where he delivered a progressive economic message at a public town hall held at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.

Sanders highlighted the nation’s dramatic rightward policy shift over recent decades by reading at length from the 1980 national Libertarian Party platform under which David Koch was a candidate for Vice President.  The senator then explained how many of the once-radical right policies that Koch had advanced at that time (e.g. the demise of the social safety net, the end of campaign finance regulations) were now considered mainstream conservative values.  [source]

Read full coverage of Sen. Sanders town hall by NC Policy Watch.

Before his town hall, Sen. Sanders met with about 25 community and union leaders from the Triangle at our office, and he made clear that our challenge isn't to win over extremists like those who control our state legislature.

.@SenSanders: Our goal must be to activate ordinary people who've given up on the political process.

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) August 27, 2014

Despite what the corporate media would have viewers believe based on what they cover and what they don't - Sen. Sanders said the American people are, sometimes by wide poll margins, on the progressive side of many issues like raising the minimum wage, protecting and expanding Social Security, and holding Wall Street accountable. In that regard, voters in North Carolina aren't so different from his constituents back home.

.@SenSanders: The issues that impact Vermont voters are the same in North Carolina - jobs, healthcare, opportunity. #ncpol — NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) August 27, 2014

When it comes to the war on organized workers and our unions, Sen. Sanders said corporations and their bought politicians want to do more than cripple unions.

War on unions isn't just employers being against workers' ability to bargain collectively. It's wanting an uneducated workforce to cntrl.

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) August 27, 2014

An interview with Bernie Sanders by NC Policy Watch for the radio program News & Views will air this Sunday on WRAL 101.5 FM. In that interview, Sen. Sanders said it's time to focus on jobs that pay a livable wage. You can watch a preview of that interview here.