When I Said Bernie or Bust, I Meant It

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When I first started volunteering for Bernie Sanders, I was actually still excited about Hillary Clinton. This may surprise a lot of my readers, given the fact that I’ve written such scathing anti-Clinton articles as I Used To Be In Love With Hillary Clinton and Hillary Clinton Has a Gun to My Head.

I was all about having America’s first woman president. I planned to work very hard for Bernie Sanders, but vote for Hillary Clinton if she defeated Sanders in the primaries. People on social media, recognizing that I was a hardcore Sanders volunteer, repeatedly asked me to join a circulating pledge called Bernie or Bust and repeatedly I refused. In a world full of lies, spin and deception, truth becomes a valuable commodity, so I won’t pledge something that I don’t believe in 100%.

At the first “Democratic” debate, I was still planning on voting for Hillary if she won. At the second “Democratic” debate, we hosted a debate party in our home and I actually stood up and gave a speech to the 40 people in attendance about Bernie or Bust. The response was overwhelmingly negative and I told my audience that I agreed with them, but that I felt the pledge had some merit. Following the third debate I came out publicly as Bernie or Bust and begin pushing the agenda that we live and die with Bernie Sanders. As most of my friends were hardcore Democrats, many distanced themselves from me and many said that they felt like I had joined a cult.

My best friend, always seeing the bigger picture, said

“Hey. I feel like you have become kind of radical, but I am fully aware that sometimes it takes radicals to get things done.”

My personal life fell to pieces, but I didn’t care. I believed in the concept with all my heart and accepted that it was an absolute necessity if we were ever going to be taken seriously by the “Democratic” Party. The importance of the movement was to insure a fair primary election for Bernie Sanders. The idea being that we would vote for Bernie Sanders and ONLY Bernie Sanders to present the “Democratic” Party with a dilemma, nominate Bernie Sanders, because he is the ONLY one we will vote for.

I begin daily discussions with people on why I felt that it was important that they publicly declare that they are Bernie or Bust. I organized events locally and traveled to other cities spreading the word. I was interviewed by Vox, Fox News, The Washington Post and several other corporate media outlets. Each time I was offered face time, I used it to promote one thing and one thing only, the idea that millions of us were ABSOLUTELY 100% DEDICATED TO VOTING FOR BERNIE SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT AND ONLY BERNIE SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT.

When I said that I was Bernie or Bust, I meant it.

The problem is, it seems like I am one of very few who did.

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So what took me from being a Hillary supporter in 2015 to “throwing my vote away” in 2016?

Firstly, I began to actually pay attention to Hillary Clinton and started probing under the surface of what corporate media had been telling me about her for years. In 2015 all I knew about Hillary was that she was pro-choice and pro-LBGT rights. I also knew that she once fought valiantly for universal healthcare. And I’m not going to lie, the fact that she was a woman and a Democrat were important to me as well. It’s embarrassing that our country has never had a female president. I considered Hillary’s gender a bonus. In short, I was a typical head-in-the-sand Hillary Clinton supporter.

The more I learned about her, the more I realized that I could never vote for her. The more I learned about the “Democratic” Party, the more I realized that my commitment to only vote for Bernie Sanders was not only necessary, but it was the only way to use my voice in this vacuum of lies and deceit.

Watching the “Democratic” Party attack and deceive Bernie Sanders radicalized me. I literally devoted my entire life to spreading this message. Over and over again I told people

“You can’t bluff. You have to mean it. Because if we go back on our commitment, the Dems will just repeat their transgressions in future elections. You have to vote for Bernie Sanders even if he is not on the ballot. That’s the only power we have.”

I promoted the idea that we all meet in Philadelphia at the “Democratic” National Convention to show the DNC first hand that we were serious. Our message was simple. “We will ONLY vote for Bernie Sanders! We will accept NO SUBSTITUTES!”

They built a wall to keep us out.

They didn’t take us seriously.

They laughed in our faces.

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As our movement gathered momentum it was very clear that it was about more than just supporting this great man who had fought for our rights for 40+ years. It was literally a fight to reclaim Democracy itself. By promising to vote for Sanders and ONLY Sanders we were taking a stand against the sociopathic elitist class that had been causing pain and misery since the dawn of time. We were drawing a line in the sand and refusing to back down. We were here to change the world and nothing was going to stop us.

As Hillary Clinton remained in hiding, Sanders solidified our commitment by tirelessly touring the country telling everyone that the time for change was now. Sanders would fly coach into a new city (because he didn’t want to abuse our donations by wasting money on first-class) and give a speech, then go out into the parking lot and give another speech for all the people who could not get into the arena, then he would jump on a plane and repeat the process.

Sanders was always working, so we kept working. We collected ballot signatures in the snow and freezing rain. We were called communists. We had our vehicles and homes defaced. We were physically attacked. But it didn’t matter. If Bernie didn’t stop, we didn’t stop. We canvassed scary neighborhoods in states we had never been to before. We talked to thousands of voters of every background.

Sometimes a Hillary supporter would ask…

“If Hillary wins, you will vote for Hillary, right?”

I would always say..

“In my capacity as a canvasser, it is not up to me to talk about my personal political beliefs, but personally I am pledged to vote for Bernie Sanders only. I cannot support a system that is rigged against him.”

This would anger the Hillary supporters every single time. I received so many lectures, so many fingers in my face. I remember one guy pulling his wife away, because she had gotten so worked up that I truly believe that she was going to strike me. As he guided her inside, he turned to me and mouthed

“If Bernie isn’t on the ballot in November, I’m writing him in.”

“Me too.” I mouthed back.

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“But Mike, don’t you realize that they will throw your vote away?”

Absolutely I do! In fact I’m counting on it. But let’s be clear about how the this works. They WILL hand-count my ballot and record it. All the down-ballot candidates will be credited towards their totals. So I am only “throwing away” one part of my vote, the part that is asking me which sexual predator I prefer in the White House. Throwing my vote in a trashcan certainly has more dignity than voting for either of these atrocious criminals.

Some will say that I should break my promise and vote for a third-party candidate instead. While I support others who want to do that, it will not have the same effect. A vote for Bernie Sanders is absolutely symbolic. It is a message to the “Democrats” that we don’t want the candidate that they forced down our throats. It is a message that we do not support election fraud. It is a message that you can cheat your way into the White House, but you can’t silence our movement.

If millions of people keep their word and write-in Bernie Sanders then it makes a massive statement to the DNC. In fact, it would be the largest single-day protest in our nation’s history.

But my vote for Bernie Sanders is more than just a protest. I want to honor Bernie Sanders for his lifetime of commitment to fighting for Progressive values. I want to thank Bernie Sanders for the movement that he started that will never end. I will probably only have one chance to vote for this great man in the entirety of my life and I will not pass up on this opportunity. On November 8, I hope that everyone who knows that Bernie Sanders was cheated by the “Democrats” will make a YUGE statement by writing Bernie Sanders name on their ballot.

I want the corporate media to be forced to announce that “we won’t know the real winner of the election for a few days, because tens of millions of write-in votes have to be tallied and that could take several days.” In my wildest dreams I imagine that Bernie Sanders receives more write-in votes than Trump or Clinton receives ballot votes. I’d love to see the nation recognize that Bernie Sanders is the people’s choice, even as Hillary Clinton takes the throne that she cheated to obtain. Let it be a reminder to her each time Sanders puts legislation before her that she may have the title, but Sanders has the people.

If you have somehow rationalized voting for someone else, after you promised yourself that you would vote for Bernie Sanders, I submit that as the years pass, you will regret this decision more and more. On the day Bernie Sanders takes his final breath, I want to be able to say that in my one chance I had to vote for him, I took it.

Everyone else in America can be swayed by the political winds. But when I said that I was voting for Bernie Sanders and ONLY Bernie Sanders, I meant it.

I hope that you did too.

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The Curious Case of The Vermont Bernie Sanders Write-In

(IF YOU ALREADY KNOW THE TWISTED BACK-STORY REGARDING THE FALSE QUOTE OF JANE SANDERS AND HOW JANE PUBLICLY CAME OUT AND TOLD US THAT IT WAS OKAY TO WRITE BERNIE IN, THEN YOU CAN SCROLL DOWN TO THE SCREENSHOTS OF THE CONVERSATION WITH THE PERSON WHO INFILTRATED AND DECEIVED OUR GROUP AND SKIP THE SET-UP)

Hi,

My name is Michael E Sparks and I have spent the last year of my life trying to do everything I could to promote Bernie Sanders and the ideals he champions for our country.

I was a state and county delegate for Bernie Sanders and I have spent most of the past year traveling around to primary states canvassing on behalf of Sanders.

About a month ago I wrote THIS article, which asked people to volunteer and follow my crazy family to Vermont to convince the citizens there of what I referred to as a “Hail-Mary chance for Bernie Sanders to win the Presidency” by taking Vermont’s three electoral votes away from Hillary Clinton and forcing the Presidential race to be decided by the House of Representatives.

I stated from the beginning that it was a long shot, but for those of us who are desperate to break out of this awful Trump/Clinton conundrum, a long shot seemed infinitely better than what we felt would be certain war and hardship, if either of these two took office.

As soon as the article hit, my life became pretty chaotic.

My family and I started rearranging our work and school schedules to get to Vermont, which was pretty hectic.

Also we were contacted by an amazing group called #OpDeny270, which had the goal of organizing a Sanders write-in for the other states where a write-in victory would actually be counted.

Vermont, New Jersey, Alabama, New Hampshire, California, Oregon, Wyoming, Delaware and Iowa do not require the candidate to register in order to win a write-in campaign.

I expressed to our group that I wanted to keep our campaign separate from #OpDeny270, because time was limited and flipping a single state was already a monumental undertaking and also because most of the members of our group were Jill Stein supporters and we did not want to do anything to hurt Jill’s chances of attaining 5% of the national vote, which would qualify The Green Party for federal funding in the 2020 Presidential election and would go a long way towards our Progressive goal of busting up the corporate duopoly.

From the beginning we were very careful to be respectful of Jill Stein’s campaign.

Part of the reason why we were focusing on Vermont is that our numbers indicated that there was a very small Green Party presence there and most people were reluctantly voting for Hillary and had overwhelmingly voted for Sanders in the primary.

We crunched all the numbers beforehand, so we knew exactly what we needed to do in order to flip the state and we were absolutely positive that doing so would, in no way, hurt Jill’s chances at federal funding.

We checked the Vermont write-in laws extensively and found out that we could actually achieve our goal.

Terje Oseberg wrote a fantastic phone-banking program and imported every phone-number in Vermont into it.

People started phone-banking and Vermont residents were responding positively.

We needed to convert 25% of the state’s voters in order to achieve our goal and we were initially flipping 40%.

Terje was constantly telling us how many bankers we needed from day-to-day and really motivating people.

While waiting for my vacation time, I continued to work in my off hours canvassing for Jill Stein locally, so you can imagine my confusion when we started receiving angry responses from people claiming that they were Jill Stein supporters and that they knew that our movement was actually a plot to help Hillary Clinton.

There was no logic to the argument.

For one, I am a very public figure and everyone knows that I am a radical Sanders devotee.

I literally met thousands of Sanders and Stein supporters at the DNC protest in Philadelphia and have been interviewed by everyone from Fox News to Vox to The Washington Post regarding my passion for Bernie Sanders and the values he stands for.

The argument against our movement being for Hillary Clinton made zero sense, because getting Clinton voters to write-in Bernie Sanders was clearly intended to take Vermont away from Clinton, where she currently has a huge lead.

The entire genesis of our movement was an attempt to deprive Clinton of the Presidency and give it to Bernie Sanders, where it rightfully belonged after a rigged “Democratic” Primary.

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As we began assigning volunteers and getting organized, we were hyper-conscious of being infiltrated by people who may want to sabotage our operation to insure that Clinton won Vermont.

We were not expecting to be infiltrated by anyone representing Jill Stein, because our group is full of Stein supporters and prior to the event that I am about to explain, we thought of these people as allies.

In fact, I still do feel that Stein supporters and Sanders supporters are allies.

At least I hope we are.

The events I am about to explain leave me saddened and wondering about the intentions of some of those who I thought were on our side.

It was going to be two weeks before our family could arrive in Vermont, so we needed a canvassing coordinator on the ground in Burlington.

Let me be clear, we were absolutely DESPERATE for an experienced canvasser who was already on the ground in Vermont, who could house and train our traveling canvassers.

Enter Nicole Guerin…

In the following conversation Nicole is the gray bubbles and I am the blue bubbles.

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Nicole was the key to the entire operation.

She was exactly what we were looking for.

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Nicole was an experienced canvasser who supported Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders.

It was a perfect match!!

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As it was my job to interview the canvassing coordinator, I was extremely happy that we had found someone who was actually in Burlington, Vermont.

I immediately liked Nicole and went to the group with my recommendation that we train Nicole remotely and give her canvassing literature and allow her to train our traveling volunteers.

Then she informed us that she actually was friends with Bernie and Jane Sanders.

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Nicole and I seemed to be on the same page. I was incredibly excited to recommend her to the group.

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Nicole expressed concerns that the people of Vermont did not want any part of a campaign that could possibly result in a Trump Presidency.

I informed Nicole that we had changed our group mission statement, in light of Clinton taking a huge lead in the electoral college polls, after the Trump misogyny tape was released.

I told Nicole that we had reframed our mission and that we had accepted that Vermont’s three electoral votes were not going to be enough to stop Clinton, but that we really just wanted to honor Bernie Sanders for a lifetime of commitment to the people of Vermont.

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Nicole agreed that this approach would work much better and I had received permission from our group to offer her the position as our canvassing coordinator (not before the higher-ups in our group asked me if I was sure that she was the “real deal” about ten times and every time I assured them that she was.)

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Nicole was ecstatic.

Nicole accepted our offer and even said that she could lodge some of our traveling canvassers.

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Our group celebrated.

We now had our foot in the door.

The following day, Nicole sent me this message.

 

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It was a video from Claudia Stauber, someone who I have been a big fan of for a while now.

It was Claudia telling people that our movement was actually working for Hillary Clinton.

As you can imagine, we were all hurt and disappointed to hear that Claudia had been misinformed and was unknowingly spreading false information regarding our movement.

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I told Nicole that our movement was not related to #OpDeny270 and that I didn’t think such a huge initiative could work and that I felt like it could interfere with Jill’s 5%.

(To my friends at #OpDeny270, I have since changed my opinion in light of the amazing work you guys are doing. I now feel that it is absolutely feasible for you guys to flip Wyoming. But I have to present the truth and the truth is that I did say that it wouldn’t work when I first head about your movement.)

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At this point, things began to get interesting.

Nicole was having a crisis of conscience or at least this is what I was lead to believe.

She said that she felt bad about running a secret operation in Bernie and Jane’s backyard and wanted to talk to them about it before she went any further.

She also complimented our canvassing materials.

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Nicole reminded me again, how important the Sanders’ approval was regarding our initiative.

I didn’t say anything to her, because I believed at the time that she was laboring under an intense dilemma, but I really feared that talking to Bernie would kill our initiative, because I know that he is bound by his agreement to support Hillary Clinton.

I wanted to ask her not to talk to them, but how could I?

Asking her not to talk to her “friends” would be overstepping a serious boundary.

 

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Then things became strange.

As Nicole had offered her home for canvassers, I told her the days that we would be arriving and told her that we would accept her offer to use her guest room.

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At this point Nicole informed me that the room was full and reiterated that she was uncomfortable running a campaign that may be against Bernie’s wishes.

I knew that Bernie would be forced by his position with the DNC to denounce the campaign, but I also knew that we were packed and on our way to Vermont in two days and we needed Nicole to feel strongly about what we were doing, so I suggested…

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Nicole agreed to speak to Jane, but not to Bernie.

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I supported Nicole’s choice and went to bed that night feeling scared, afraid that all of our work would be ended by a single conversation with Jane Sanders.

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Nicole messaged me Sunday morning and told me that the Sanders family was not at home.

Then later that day, Nicole messaged me again and told me that she had spoken with Jane.

I nearly vomited when I saw the message.

I was so scared that we might offend Bernie and Jane in some way, when we had all worked so hard to honor them.

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I sat on pins and needles for several hours until the infamous messages came in regarding Jane’s message for us to cease our movement and support the candidates who are “on the ballot”.

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I was deeply saddened.

I wrote THIS article (since amended) telling everyone that our movement was over, because Jane Sanders did not approve of it.

Our volunteer group had a range of emotions.

Many were angry with me.

Many were crying and inconsolable.

I have been through some tough events in my life, including the recent death of my mother and the death of one of my children, but I was not at all prepared for the intense grief that overtook me that day.

I told my family..

“Everything aches from my stomach all the way up to my throat. I’ve never felt anything like this.”

Carrie and my daughter were also deeply saddened.

We had worked very hard to juggle our schedules to go to Vermont and thought we were doing something compassionate and decent.

Now, after receiving Nicole’s message and hearing what we believed was Jane’s request to stop the movement, I felt foolish and embarrassed.

So many had worked so hard so hard and for what?

I asked Nicole if I could “use her words” to explain to everyone why we needed to stop the movement and she said that it was okay.

Dave Weigel, at the Washington Post, had been speaking to me on the phone every couple of days and had flown into Vermont to interview me regarding our movement.

I told Nicole to go ahead and do the interview on my behalf.

Nicole told Dave Weigel that there was “no story” and that the movement was over.

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This is the part where Nicole said that it was okay to use her words to let people know that our movement was over.

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I thanked Nicole for speaking with Jane Sanders and told our group that the movement was over.

Our group unanimously said that they would continue on the movement with or without me.

I told them that I admired their spirit, but that I had already canceled my trip to Vermont and that we had all contacted work and school and told them that we would be in as originally planned.

It was an incredibly chaotic turn of events for our family and for our volunteers.

Nicole informed me that she was grieving too.

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I thanked Nicole again for her efforts.

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Nicole read my article and told me that she was not comfortable with me going public with her words.

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She then told me that she went back to talk to Jane Sanders and that Jane had told her that I shouldn’t use her words.

At the time, I thought this was kind of odd, but as I was grieving, I told myself that I was just reading too much into it.

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I reminded Nicole that she had given me permission to use her words.

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I told Nicole that I did not feel that it was right to summarize, especially when she had given me permission to “use her words”.

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Nicole told me that she visited Jane a third time.

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I told Nicole that I was upset about all the misinformation coming from Stein supporters on our efforts and she agreed that it had been ugly.

I told her that the whole thing had soured me on The Green Party, but I still planned to vote for Jill.

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And those  was the last words that Nicole and I spoke to each other.

Jane Sanders tweeted and said that the conversations were fabricated.

The people in our movement were incredibly angry.

Nicole immediately left our volunteer group.

I told the group members that we had to give Nicole 24 hours to tell her side of the story and we would not make any public statement until that time.

We asked Nicole publicly to make a statement and she did not respond.

Then someone sent us this.

Notice the date, October 13, around the time that Nicole said that she needed to talk to the Sanders family about our movement.

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And then of course, Jane Sanders graciously came out and let the world know that Nicole had been lying to our group all along.

Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jane for letting us know that our movement was accepted and for giving us permission to follow our hearts and write in Bernie Sanders on our ballots.

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Sadly it appears as if Nicole infiltrated our efforts and fed us lies.

I take full responsibility for this, as I am the one who trusted her and told others to trust her.

I find it deeply troubling that people who we felt were on our same team, went to such great efforts to undermine weeks of work from people who wanted nothing more than to honor Bernie Sanders and his lifetime of fighting for our collective rights.

Has the left become so fractured that Jill Stein supporters are going to great efforts to undermine Bernie Sanders supporters?

And if so, who wins?

The establishment wins! That’s who!!

We all know what it has been like dealing with Hillary Clinton’s deceptive Super-PAC, Correct the Record and now it seems that the victims of these tactics have began using them on others who are on the same team.

And for what?

We made no effort to change the minds of Stein voters in Vermont.

We only tried to flip the Hillary voters to write-in Bernie.

Why would anyone attack such a pure and honest movement?

Apparently we are not alone.

Our friends at #OpDeny270 sent us this (you will have to click it, as every time I enlarged it, the script became too blurry to read).

They say that this is a phone-banking script that some Stein supporters were using to undermine our efforts in Vermont.

I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this script and I am not interested in pursuing some sick war with other people who share the same Progressive values as we do.

I do not think that a war between Stein supporters and Sanders supporters is advantageous to our collective cause, so I would like to take this opportunity to ask that we all take a breath and rejoin forces against the establishment.

When elephants fight, the grass suffers.

I am quick to forgive, but in light of this new information, I will be focusing exclusively on Bernie Sanders Write-in and down-ballot candidates.

I know that Jill Stein did not put anyone up to this.

I know that all candidates attract all kinds of people.

But this event has left lots of people deeply injured.

I would expect something like this from those who support Hillary Clinton.

I never expected anything like this from those who support Jill Stein.

Addendum: After our story was released last night, Nicole released a statement admitting guilt and apologizing.

I have empathy for Nicole and it was very difficult for me to go forward with this story, but our group was implicated in something that we were innocent in and the people deserved to know the truth.

We all wish Nicole all the best going forward and we are grateful for her for being an adult and owning up to her actions.

We encourage ALL people who are not happy with their ballot choices to write-in Bernie Sanders as a protest to a rigged election.

Regardless of who you vote for in the Presidential race, please vote in Progressives in all down-ballot races.

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Jane Sanders DID NOT SAY To Not Write-In Bernie Sanders

JANE SANDERS NEVER SAID NOT TO WRITE IN BERNIE SANDERS.

WE WERE FED MISINFORMATION FROM SOMEONE WHO HAD INFILTRATED OUR RANKS AND GAINED OUR TRUST.

THE STORY OF HOW THAT HAPPENED CAN BE FOUND HERE.

THE VERMONT BERNIE SANDERS WRITE-IN IS STILL ON AND WE ENCOURAGE ALL PEOPLE WHO ARE UNHAPPY WITH THEIR BALLOT CHOICES TO WRITE-IN BERNIE SANDERS NAME AS A MEANS OF PROTESTING THIS RIGGED ELECTION.

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Here is the original story, with the false quote removed.
Sanders
It’s a chilly overcast day here in Indiana and I just received some news that was kind of devastating.
And just to be clear, it was politically devastating, not REAL LIFE devastating.
Everyone in our home is happy and healthy, as we all grope along slowly, trying to deal with the craziness that life throws at us from day-to-day.
My family is giving me a lot of space.
Occasionally Carrie comes up to me and squeezes my shoulder and then drifts away.
They know how I am.
They know how personally I take all of this.
I drove to the coffee shop with my laptop and sat down to break the news, tears resting just behind my eyes.
My lap-top is covered in “Ask me about Bernie Sanders” stickers.
As I opened it up, a little black boy came up to me, maybe 10 years old and said..
“I’m mad about Bernie!!”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I’m mad that he’s not in the election anymore. I love Bernie Sanders. I’m mad about it!!”
As I fought back tears, I was able to choke out an ironic smile, swallow hard and find the words..
“I’m mad too.” I said.
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I was hesitant to tell you about the little kid, because it sounds made up, but that really happened to me, just now, sitting here in Indiana and I know it’s politically incorrect to point out that the kid was black, but that’s relevant to me for a million tiny reasons.
Because wasn’t that one of the lies they told about Bernie?
They said that black people didn’t like him.
They said it was just a bunch of young white kids and that our movement wasn’t real.
So when a little black boy in Indiana comes up to me and says that he is “Mad about Bernie.” it means something to me.
It’s why I scrapped the entire opening to this article and just wrote down what happened instead.
Because “I’m mad about Bernie.” too.
I’m really incredibly angry about it.
And it sucks to see our voices taken from us.
And it sucks to see our movement divided and watered down.
And it sucks to be told a million times a day that I should vote for Hillary Clinton because that’s what Bernie asked me to do or that I should “grow a spine” and vote for Jill Stein because she has a “similar platform”, never mind that one candidate cheated millions of people who I care about out of a fair election and the other is running a campaign that is simply not very organized and not nearly as effective as it could have been.
But all of that will shake out on November 8 and I still have not even begun to explain why my heart is spinning at 33 1/3 rpm today…
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Today we were headed to Vermont to canvass for Bernie Sanders.
A few weeks ago I wrote a quirky little article about how Bernie Sanders could win Vermont and theoretically throw the election into the House of Representatives, force a second round of voting and then have the new House vote him in to become the President of the United States.
I didn’t discover the idea, Dawn Papple did.
My article just called people to action and the idea spread more rapidly than I ever thought possible.
I did a lot of research before I wrote the article and if you understand the intricacies of how the House would have most-likely voted, you would have seen that Sanders had a way better chance of winning this way, than I initially stated.
I’m incredibly honored that so many people read the article.
My goal is to be an activist writer.
I want to develop a large enough group that we can direct our legions correcting the injustices we see in our country.
I want the establishment to fear our collective voice.
I want to carry on Sanders’ movement through collective activism and apparently it’s working, because in between the thousands of people telling us we could never do it, other people started to actually volunteer.
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We worked hard behind the scenes in hidden Internet groups, screening out potential saboteurs and checking people’s past volunteering to see if they were legitimate.
We were actually concerned about the Clinton campaign finding out about our movement and trying to block it. In fact there were a few people who contacted us asking questions, pretending to be volunteers, that actually worked for the Democratic Party.
It was pretty exciting, being in a secret underground movement, but also it produced a lot of anxiety.
On top of dealing with fears of Clinton sabotaging our efforts, we were getting tons of anger from Jill Stein supporters, which was really frustrating seems how we ARE(!!) Jill Stein supporters and our movement’s official position was to encourage people to vote Stein in every state but Vermont, a state with only a few hundred thousand voters, specifically targeted as to NOT interfere with our goal to get Jill to 5% nationally, so the Green Party would get federal funding in the next election cycle!!!
We were getting attacked from all sides, which of course meant that we were actually onto something, but it was also very stressful.
But we ventured forth, thanks to our incredible team of volunteers.
We actually developed a cool little system where we would coordinate traveling canvassers with Vermont residents for shelter, someone wrote a phone-banking program that was just as good as the one we used on Bernie’s site and imported every phone-number in Vermont into it…
And PEOPLE WERE ACTUALLY PHONE-BANKING!!!
We had an amazing canvassing coordinator on the ground in Burlington and others en route from around the country to help knock on doors.
We even had The Washington Post flying into Burlington to write a story about our initiative.
We had well-written, simple to understand, literature to pass out to people and most importantly we had an incredibly high success rate of voter conversion.
40% of the people we spoke to in Vermont preferred writing-in Bernie Sanders over voting for any other candidate!!
Our movement was peaking at just the right time.
Our goal was to get the population converted in the last week before the election, so that the Clinton campaign wouldn’t have time to react.
Everything was perfect!!
Except for one thing..
Bernie didn’t want it.
He told us so.
And although I am rebelling against Bernie in my refusal to vote for Hillary Clinton, I really don’t feel comfortable showing up in his back yard and pissing him off.
If Bernie Sanders yelled at me, I’m pretty sure I would burst into tears.
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To be honest, Bernie didn’t tell us.
It was Jane who told us that Bernie doesn’t want this.
Our canvassing trainer has been close friends with Bernie and Jane for her entire life.
So even though she was out canvassing with her team and getting positive responses, in her heart, a feeling of dread was growing.
“What if Bernie didn’t appreciate what we were doing? What if her lifetime friend became upset with her over our ‘gift’?”
Last week, she shared these fears with me and said that she wanted to talk to Bernie about this before we went any further.
I told her that Bernie would be forced to stand against our movement, due to his position with the DNC and I asked her if she would be willing to speak with Jane Sanders instead.
She agreed and headed over to visit Jane on Sunday afternoon, as I sat here in Indianapolis, with my traveling canvassing crew (my poor kids and my incredibly patient girlfriend) waiting to hear if we were hitting the road or not.
Here is what she said…
(THIS SECTION HAS BEEN REMOVED. PREVIOUSLY THIS WAS A SUMMATION OF A MESSAGE THAT OUR CANVASSING COORDINATOR, NICOLE GUERIN IN VERMONT HAD SENT ME THAT BASICALLY SAID THAT JANE SANDERS WAS ASKING US TO STOP OUR WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN FOR BERNIE SANDERS.
JANE SANDERS HAS SINCE TWEETED AND DENIED THAT THIS CONVERSATION EVER HAPPENED!!
I APOLOGIZE TO JANE FOR OUR SOURCE BEING INCORRECT.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON AT THIS TIME.
AS EVENT COME TO LIGHT OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS AND WE FIND OUT MORE, ALL WILL BE REVEALED.
AT THIS TIME IT SEEMS THAT OUR ORGANIZATION WAS INFILTRATED BY THE MEMBER OF A RIVAL CANDIDATE IN AN ATTEMPT TO SABOTAGE OUR WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN.
WE WILL KNOW MORE IN THE COMING DAYS.)
So that’s that.
We offered a gift that is not wanted.
We are trying to force something that is not there.
We are misguided in our efforts.
I’ve had so much anxiety about traveling to Vermont.
All these canvassing trips we made in the past year scared the hell out of me and I thought we were done with it.
I was hoping to move into the acceptance phase of my grief and here I was heading out to canvass for Bernie one last time, reopening the wound.
But he doesn’t want it.
At a certain point I have to accept that I am just a crazy person when the very person I’m fighting for tells me that my methods are not a good idea.
Activism without proper guidance is destructive.
The road to hell being paved with good intentions and all..
Congressional Democrats Hold News Conference Opposing Fast-Tracking The Trans-Pacific Partnership
So we unloaded the car.
We aren’t going to Vermont.
Everyone is relieved and sad.
Because this is more than just the end of our crazy little movement.
This is the end of the denial phase of my grief.
Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be President and “I’m mad about it.”
But I’m also incredibly sad about it and I know that you are too.
Or maybe you are of the mindset that Jill Stein will save us.
I’m envious of you if you believe that.
I once believed it too.
But those feelings will have to be addressed in another article.
For now, I will just say that I really think you should vote for Jill Stein if you believe in her platform.
And if you really want to write Bernie in, then it’s your vote.
But he would prefer that you didn’t.
And whomever you vote for, I beg you to stop fighting with others who see things differently from you.
I know you are “mad about Bernie.”
We all are.
Let’s all take our collective rage out on the down-ballot Republicans and vote them out of office on November 8, so Bernie Sanders can be head of the House Budget Committee.
There is still a way that we can win.
But it won’t be from writing him in.
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What Are Jill Stein’s ACTUAL Poll Numbers?

DEM 2016 Philadelphia

I wanted to take a moment to address some rumors that have been circulating involving the corporate media lying about Jill Stein’s poll numbers.

There is actually a way that you can check polling numbers against donations, that are declared by the candidate, in order to see how accurate the poll numbers are.

It is no wonder that so many distrust corporate media, after the way they manipulated information in favor of Hillary Clinton in her race against Bernie Sanders.

By and large corporate media are not to be trusted, but when it comes to polling, they are historically quite accurate and in the case of Jill Stein, because she doesn’t accept money from corporations, you can actually gauge her popularity by looking at her donations, much in the same way you could with Bernie Sanders.

First, we need to establish that the magic number is 5%.

5% of the vote is what is needed for the Green Party to receive federal funding in the 2020 Presidential election cycle.

This would mean that the Green Party would receive somewhere between $10-$20 million, in the next cycle, which would give them a huge advantage in their attempts to compete with the two corporate parties.

Now that we recognize how incredibly important it is to vote for Jill Stein in this election, let’s see where she actually stands currently.

jillsmoney

In 2012 Jill Stein ran for President and received just shy of 1% of the vote and raised just shy of $1 million dollars.

We see in the above Open Secrets chart that Jill has raised nearly twice that in her current Presidential run.

As Jill’s donations tend to run fairly commiserate with her poll numbers we can extrapolate that for every million dollars that Stein’s campaign raises her poll numbers will go up one point.

So if Jill Stein raised $1,000,000 in 2012 and was at 1%, then Jill Stein would be at 2% currently, because she has raised approximately $2,000,000 in this cycle.

But don’t despair, a recent upsurge in Stein donations shows her to be at nearly $3,000,000 at present day (this article was written on October 9) so Jill Stein should be polling at around 3%.

Corporate media polling shows her at 4%.

So the formula holds up.

Let’s remember, the ALL IMPORTANT number is 5%.

Without that, she will not get federal funding in the next election.

jill-stein-bullhorn

Although I submit that corporate media is not to be trusted, in this case, it is the people who tell you that Stein is really polling competitively, who are actually causing the most damage to her campaign.

If people believe that Stein is polling at higher rankings then she actually is, then they will be less likely to phone-bank and canvass for her.

If people are expecting Stein to actually win the Presidential election and then on November 8 they see that she only pulls a small percentage of the vote, they are likely to think that the voting was rigged and that there is no point to continuing on with politics.

They will walk away with a bad taste in their mouth and that would be extremely unfortunate to lose Progressives to apathy.

It is much better to know where we actually stand and be able to take massive action.

Right now is a very important time for the Green Party going forward.

There is only one month left before election day and if all Stein supporters can get out and knock on some doors, then the Green Party will hit the 5% and qualify for federal funding during the next cycle.

The next time someone tells you that corporate media is lying about Jill’s polling numbers, simply go and look at the financial data that HER CAMPAIGN has supplied and you will have a pretty good gauge of where she is at.

steinhood

If you are anything like me, your radical leftist politics have left you in a social media echo-chamber.

This happens to people who are outspoken about their political views.

Those who disagree often are afraid to speak up, so they stop following you or just remain silent.

Echo-chambers can be extremely dangerous impediments to rational, logical thinking.

For example, if you see hundreds, or even thousands of Stein supporters every day in your Facebook feed, you may get the idea that Jill Stein is actually winning the election.

Yet, if you walked out your front door, you could probably walk for hundreds of miles in any direction and never see a Jill Stein sign or bumper-sticker.

It’s hard to know what reality is, when we are so able to create any reality we want in our smartphones and laptops, simply by finding thousands of others who agree with us.

Six months ago Bernie Sanders dominated my Facebook feed and when I walked out my front door and drove to work, I would see Sanders signs and stickers everywhere I went.

It was clear to me that my reality extended past my echo-chamber.

In fact, Sanders raised $238 million dollars from individual, non-corporate donors and had an incredibly active team of volunteers.

It is safe to say that Sanders volunteers literally called every phone in America and knocked on every single door.

When you compare $238,000,000 to $3,000,000, you see the incredible uphill battle that the Green Party has ahead of it, so don’t be fooled by people telling you that the work is already done and that Jill is actually polling higher.

She is not.

Take a drive.

Look around.

Jill Stein is a virtual unknown outside of leftist political circles.

If you want to change that, you will need to get out and go share Jill’s awesome platform with others.

Simply yelling into your own echo-chamber will not help her.

steinkremlin

Before we wrap this up, let’s talk about writing in Bernie Sanders and how this affects Jill Stein.

In full-disclosure, I am part of a movement to write-in Bernie Sanders in Vermont.

I am NOT part of any other write-in Sanders movements, but I do not actively oppose them either.

There were many reasons why we targeted Vermont with our movement, but chief among them, is that we wanted to be careful not to pull any Jill Stein supporters away from her, because it is important to all of us that Jill Stein achieve the 5% funding goal.

Vermont is a state of traditional Democrats and there is almost no Green Party movement there in their tiny state.

We felt that we could set a historical precedent and honor Bernie Sanders without hurting Jill’s campaign if we targeted Vermont exclusively.

In fact, I have continued to canvass for Stein here in Indiana, while organizing the Vermont Write-In project remotely and our canvassers in Vermont are nearly all Jill Stein volunteers.

You can imagine how shocked we were to hear the unsubstantiated rumor that our movement was actually working for Hillary Clinton in a covert capacity.

The rumor, which I am actually embarrassed to even be addressing, due to its ludicrous nature, stated that we were attempting to get Jill Stein supporters to write-in Bernie Sanders, in an attempt to “steal votes” from Jill Stein.

There are so many logical holes in this rumor, that it makes me sad that anyone would fall for it.

First and foremost, you cannot sway a Jill Stein supporter.

It’s impossible.

They are absolute diehards for their candidate, so the idea that you can trick them into voting for ANYONE but Jill Stein is absurd.

Secondly, the rumor really underestimates the intelligence of Stein supporters.

You actually think that there is some sort of strategy that would make her supporters “throw their vote away”?

I find it very insulting that the people who spread this rumor, think that Stein supporters are so intellectually bankrupt that some slick speech by an “undercover Clinton operative” could trick them into changing their vote.

While it is true that Clinton did use Correct the Record hired trolls to attempt to sway Sanders supporters during the primaries, she has no such motivation to do so against Jill Stein, for the simple fact that Stein is not a threat to her candidacy.

Use your logic.

Don’t turn into the leftist Tea Party.

Don’t fall victim to paranoid propaganda.

Think about it.

If you were Clinton, your ultimate outcome would be to get people to vote for you.

Your secondary goal would be to get people to NOT vote for Donald Trump, who actually stands a chance of defeating you.

Every vote for Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders or Gary Johnson is a push, meaning it neither helps nor hurts Clinton’s chances.

The one thing that Clinton was really afraid of was that a bunch of angry leftist were going to vote for Donald Trump, just to keep her out of the White House.

That didn’t happen and now she is going to win and whether you cast your vote for Stein, Sanders, Johnson or Mickey Mouse, it will have zero effect on that outcome.

So you are free to vote your conscience.

If you like Jill Stein, you should definitely vote for her.

She really needs your support to get federal funding.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, feel free to “throw your vote away” and write-in Sanders.

Your Presidential vote will be hand counted and then thrown out (unless you are in Vermont, New Jersey, Alabama, New Hampshire, Oregon, Wyoming, Delaware or Iowa. In those states it will be counted.) and your down-ballot will be recorded and counted.

There is some misinformation going around that they would throw your entire ballot out if you wrote in a Presidential candidate.

That is simply not true.

They count everything except the write-in vote.

Be skeptical of all claims.

It is very easy to tell people what they want to hear and hope that they never figure out the truth.

It is very easy to play on people’s fears and mislead them.

I hope you will take everything with great skepticism and do your own research on ALL matters.

We have a unique opportunity to take America back from the establishment by sticking together and fighting for truth.

Don’t let anyone mislead you.

We are all on the same team here.

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