Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate in Charleston, S.C. (Mic Smith / AP)

Every major union or progressive group that let its members decide the organization’s endorsement in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary campaign has selected Bernie Sanders, while all of Hillary Clinton’s major endorsements have come from groups in which the leadership decides.

“It’s perhaps the clearest example yet of Clinton’s powerful appeal to the Democratic Party’s elite, even as support for Sanders explodes among the rank and file,” reports Zaid Jilani at The Intercept:

For example, Clinton got an endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign this week. That decision was made not by a vote of HRC’s membership list but instead by a 32-member executive board that includes Mike Berman, the president of a lobbying firm that works for Pfizer, Comcast, and the health insurance lobby. Northrup Grumman is among its list of major corporate sponsors.

The Sanders campaign blasted the group as “establishment” and said that Sanders has a much stronger record on LGBT equality than Clinton. Outspoken gay activist Michaelangelo Signorile wrote that HRC had clearly traded its early endorsement for “access to the White House” for its leaders. […]

The one major labor union that did allow for a vote was the Communications Workers of America. CWA followed a three-month process that included meetings with members, telephone town halls, and an online polling voting process.

“We conducted an online membership poll from mid-September to early December,” said CWA spokesperson Candice Johnson in a statement to The Intercept. “Tens of thousands of members voted in the poll, with Sanders getting a decisive majority.” Johnson noted that CWA did not endorse in 2008 because they followed the same process and the three leading Democratic candidates all received around the same proportion of votes. […]

While all four major organizations that held membership votes endorsed Sanders, two that did not hold open membership votes also endorsed him: the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and National Nurses United.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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