Tampa Bay For Bernie 2016, The Sanders Campaign And The Primary Elections
Mark Skogman Senior Reporter Spectrum 360 Media
’16 Jun. 10 Fri. E. D. T. 23:44 St. Petersburg, Florida
On the evening of Tue. 07 June, ’16, Tampa Bay For Bernie 2016 conducted a primary election watch party at the Amsterdam bar on Central Avenue in the Edge District of St. Petersburg, Florida. About 55 enthusiastic people attended the evening event as primary elections wrapped up in 6 states: New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Montana and California.
Lead organizers Michael Fox and Amos Miers held forth advocating and organizing for the U. S. Presidential candidate they have supported since early in this process in 2015, U. S. Senator Bernie Sanders. Yes, yes….. still Sanders! Of course! Persevere to the end of the primary elections! #stillsanders Organizing and discussing and debating the current state of the primary elections and the issues of importance this election year continued throughout the nite interspersed with noting election return results via C. N. N. on the Amsterdam’s flat screen television. The ethos of the evening and the event had the air of the last week of school before graduation. It was a wind up and a look forward to the big event….. the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from July 25 to July 28, 2016.
In terms of election returns, the results were predictable overall and typical of the last several weeks of the primary election phase of this election year in the Democrat Party. When there have been multiple states voting on any given day, the election results and wins have been split between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton with Clinton incrementally increasing her delegate count lead. That pattern was consistent on this last day of multiple primary elections. Clinton won the states of California, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. Sanders won the states of North Dakota and Montana. NBC News called the California election for Hillary Clinton at 5:55AM on Wensday morning,as I watched the final, final, final call for the previous day’s elections.
This was preceeded by the declaration of Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democrat nominee for U. S. President by the Associated Press on the day before (yes, the day before) these elections. Information circulated that this determination was arrived at by a “secret survey” of Democrat “super” delegates. A mite early, ain’t ya? This was perceived as rediculously premature by most, if not all Sanders supporters and as a statement of the obvious by most, if not all Clinton supporters. It had certain similarities and parallels to election year 2008 with people citing various aspects of that consequential election year as either justification or criticism. Certainly, the candidate speeches by Sanders and Clinton on election nite just reinforced the positions of their supporters and did not resolve this current situation with the primary elections. A controversy remains: the “super” delegates, their votes and the “super” delegate concept itself. Aaaand….. if you count the “super” delegates in the current delegate counts for each candidate. But that will inevitably be resolved over time with the major party conventions and the general elections cycle. One argument for the concept of “super” delegates in a major political party in the U. S. has only two words: Donald Trump! Regardless of the “super” delegate controversy, Senator Sanders and President Obama met on Thursday, 09 June, 2016 at the White House. Then, the situation changed again and Hillary Clinton was endorsed by President Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Is this the organic shift to general election mode?
Two Bernie Sanders volunteers received special recognition for their outstanding volunteer work for the Sanders campaign, Sharon Janis and Denise Lombardi. These two women made multiple thousands of telephone calls for their candidate with Denise Lombardi also recognized for traveling to Iowa and South Carolina working for the Sanders campaign. Denise Lombardi was indeed in Iowa with the Sanders campaign and I saw her hard work in person as I covered the Sanders campaign up close and personal on the ground as Iowa went first in the primary elections. “Great work, volunteers” was the consensus. Many other volunteers who worked for the campaign were noted with appreciation. The Sanders campaign was noted in the media for being extraordinary and accomplishing a lot during this historic primary election process.
Two other highlights for the evening were two progressive political candidates appearing at the watch party via Skype with organizer Fox acting as liason and Skype “wrangler”. The first candidate to Skype in was Tim Canova, candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives in FL Congressional District 23 running as a Democrat in a primary election against Debbie Wasserman- Shultz. The second Skyper (is that a word?) was Alan Grayson, current U. S. Representative in FL Congressional District 09 and candidate for U. S. Senate in Florida, running against Patrick Murphy in the Democrat primary for Senator. Both candidates received a very positive response with people present pledging campaign support on the spot with campaign contributions and volunteer sign- ups.
This all happened with the caveat that this candidate support work starts when the primary elections for U. S. President end. Mm, hm. In practical terms, this means wait until the primary election in Washington D. C. is conducted on Tuesday, 14 June. That, dear politicos, is just 4 days away. Primary elections, your end is nigh. Then game on for Canova and Grayson.
And so the end of the Amsterdam is nigh as well. The Amsterdam was a venue for multiple Sanders campaign events in 2015 and 2016 and that endeared this room to the attendees. With it’s strange and interesting art and also functioning as an art gallery as well, it was visually and well as politically interesting. The excellent selection of craft beers and ciders was of course the raison d’etre for the business along with da music that was featured. But the Amsterdam is closing this coming Saturday, June 11, 2016. Go have one last drink before the doors close and the recently sold building turns into something else in it’s next incarnation….. or not?
Copyright © 2016 Mark Skogman All rights reserved. http://www.spectrum360media.com
For information on the Associated Press controversy: