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Sanders Files For 2024 Senate Run As Independent — Not Democrat

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

For nearly all of his political career Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has officially run as an independent. In 2015 he entered the presidential race as a Democrat, losing the nomination in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. After the election, Sanders rejected his affiliation with the Democratic Party, and once again registered as an independent.

Several weeks ago, Sanders announced he is again running for president, and – despite new DNC rules – he will be running as a Democrat.

To avoid candidates using the party’s resources while not actually supporting it, the Democratic National Committee established a rule mandating that candidates who run as Democrats must be declared Democrats for at least 30 days prior to that announcement.

But as The Daily Beast reports, Sanders just filed for his 2024 Senate campaign re-election bid, and again registered as an independent.

It’s unclear whether this move is a flagrant violation of the new DNC rules. The Sanders campaign has said it would sign a form promising that he would run and, should he win the White House, serve as a Democrat.

IMAGE: Bernie Sanders speaks at his presidential campaign headquarters in Washington June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque 


Trump Threatens Independent Presidential Run If GOP ‘Not Fair’

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Presidential candidate Donald Trump threatened to run as a political independent if he does not get “fair” treatment from the Republican Party, he said in an interview published on Thursday.

Trump said any third-party bid would depend on the Republican National Committee’s actions during the party’s primary selection process, according to the Hill.

“I’ll have to see how I’m being treated by the Republicans,” Trump was quoted as saying. “Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that would be a factor.”

The comments by the real estate mogul and TV personality followed rebukes by the party establishment over his criticism of Mexican immigrants and Senator John McCain’s war record and for personal attacks against fellow Republican White House contenders.

With Trump hovering near the top of the field of 16 candidates seeking the party’s presidential nomination, an independent run would split Republican voters and could give leading Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton an edge in the November 2016 election.

Trump said the RNC was “always supportive” when he donated to the conservative party, the newspaper reported.

But now, “the RNC has not been supportive,” he said in the interview on Wednesday. “The RNC has been, I think, very foolish.”

The RNC had issued a statement saying remarks by Trump, who on Saturday disputed the heroism of McCain, who was held prisoner for five years during the Vietnam War, had “no place in our party or our country.”

After Trump earlier this month said most immigrants coming across the U.S.-Mexico border were criminals, the committee’s chairman asked him to tone down his rhetoric, media reported.

Trump was scheduled later on Thursday to tour the border area in Texas, but the local border patrol agents’ union hosting the event said in a statement that it was pulling out. Representatives for Trump were not immediately available.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has been a butt of Trump’s jokes for his studious-looking glasses. Trump also revealed Republican candidate Lindsey Graham’s personal cellphone number on television after the South Carolina senator called him a “jackass” for his comments on McCain.

Perry hit back, on Wednesday, likening Trump’s candidacy to cancer, while Graham took to Twitter to joke about getting a new phone.

“He’s sort of a political car wreck,” Graham told MSNBC on Thursday.

Asked if he would change his tone as president, Trump told CNN late Wednesday: “I think so. I would deal very differently.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Von Ahn)

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young

Kansas Republican Voices An Incumbent’s Lament

By Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington Bureau

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — On the eve of an election that could end his 33-year career in Congress, GOP Sen. Pat Roberts stood Monday in a tight Republican Party office, the head shots of GOP heroes staring at him, and offered up what could only be called an incumbent’s lament.

On the campaign trail, senators are punching bags. Voters have lost faith in their government. His opponent doesn’t even understand the institution he wants to join. In short: It’s rough out here.

“It’s been a tough year for any incumbent,” Roberts said, looking up at walls filled with portraits of George H.W. Bush, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bob Dole.

That the Kansas conservative was the one delivering the monologue was a bit of a twist. This year, it’s largely Democratic incumbents bracing for a bruising election day on Tuesday — thanks to a tough lineup of red state races, President Barack Obama’s deflated approval rating and months of unsettling news from home and abroad.

But perhaps because of his anomaly status Roberts feels the pressure all the more. Deep in a ruby red state, with conservative credentials and decades of service, even Roberts is on the ropes. Even he was having to explain his role in a divided government. Even he has had to distance himself from Obama’s agenda, he said.

“I think the president, quite frankly, has moved so far left and has made people so frustrated and upset that if you’ve even been within the city limits of Washington — the federal limits of Washington — you’ve got a real challenge on your hands to explain to people that you’ve been opposed to the Obama agenda all along,” Roberts said. “People are so frustrated and angry that they’ve lost faith in their government.”

Roberts’ trouble comes from more than just proximity to the city limits of Washington. It has also been a result of how infrequently he’s been in the city limits of his hometown of Dodge City. The senator has taken heat for allegedly taking up residence in northern Virginia and spending too little time in his home state. He didn’t help his cause when, to defend himself, he explained: “Every time I get an opponent — I mean, a chance — I come home to Kansas.”

Roberts has had other trouble — including a tea party-aligned primary challenge and a Democrat who withdrew at last minute, leaving him in a one-on-one faceoff with wealthy businessman and independent Greg Orman.

Orman has played coy about his partisan sympathies and has not said whom he would support for Senate majority leader. He suggested his allegiances may change from issue to issue, a notion that really riled Roberts, a dedicated party loyalist, on Monday.

It’s “Jim Jeffords on steroids,” he said, referencing the Vermont Republican-turned-independent whose party switching gave Democrats control of the Senate.

“This whole thing that he would be an independent and he would just go look for good ideas, or people who had good ideas. And maybe he’d get with them and they could fix things,” Roberts said. “That just is not how the Senate works. It may well be how a lot of people think it should work but that’s not the case.”

Roberts took umbrage at other notions coming from his opponent’s campaign. Orman had dismissed a group of touring Republicans stumping for Roberts this weekend as “a Washington establishment clown car.” Former Sen. Bob Dole was among them. “You don’t call Bob Dole a clown,” Roberts declared. The Orman campaign says the candidate wrote an email to Dole explaining he did not intend to call Dole a clown.

Orman once invested in a shrimp farm in the Nevada desert, Orman noted, adding that such an enterprise was not a “mainstream” Kansas business.

In the end, the senator says he believes Kansas voters were coming around to his view of the race. They were becoming more skeptical of Orman, he suggested, and coming home to the familiar.

As he looked out at volunteers crowded into the small office, he whittled his pitch down to just a few words.

“You know me,” he said. “You know Pat Roberts.”

Photo via Wikimedia

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