Philadelphia -- On the day Bernie Sanders addresses the Democratic National Convention, his Minnesota delegates are feeling burned by the party’s fresh problems with leadership and leaked emails.
Those delegates, who make up a majority of Minnesota’s contingent, are sounding resigned to the pending nomination of Hillary Clinton. But they’re also pledging to keep Sanders political “revolution” moving forward.
Minnesota Sanders delegates met privately on Monday at their suburban hotel to discuss strategy. They later headed to another meeting downtown with Sanders and delegates from all 50 states where some booed when Sanders called on them to back Hillary Clinton.
Rod Halvorson of St. Paul said he and other Minnesota Sanders delegates voted to form a new statewide organization aimed at electing DFL candidates that share their politically progressive views. He said the 46 pledged Sanders delegates will lead the effort.
“We are the only official organization of Bernie Sanders in Minnesota,” he said. “So, we’re going to start to continue that revolution that he wants by having an organization for him ready to go in Minnesota.”
Sanders backers remain angry at the disclosures from leaked Democratic National Committee emails showing party leaders favoring Clinton over Sanders. The revelations led to the subsequent resignation of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The emails prove what Sanders long contended about a “rigged” political system, said Keith McLain, a Sanders delegate from Byron, Minn. He said he’s pleased with the party leadership change but that it came too late. Still, he added that he’s excited about the convention and is eager to hear Sanders speak about the future.
“Political revolutionaries tend to sometimes go to the wayside,” McLain said. “It’s up to the people of the revolution and the leader itself to continue doing all this fantastic work that he’s shown us that we can do.”
Michael Gibino, a Sanders delegate who got some attention by running from St. Paul to Philadelphia, believes Sanders and his supporters will continue to have an impact.
“This revolution is still going on. It’s starting. We’re still building the foundation,” he said. “No matter what happens with the nomination process, no matter what happens in the general election, we’re all in this to fight beyond the general election and this election cycle and in local politics as well.”
Party leaders are stressing unity this week in advance of Clinton officially becoming the Democratic nominee for president. It’s a message they expect to hear from Sanders too.
Weekend negotiations to resolve party platform issues and consider changes to the super delegate system show that Clinton and Sanders are working closely to bring Democrats together this week, said Minnesota DFL Chair Ken Martin.
Martin, a super delegate supporting Clinton, said he expects Sanders to emphasize the point by using a Clinton slogan.
“We are stronger together as a party than divided,” he said. “We have 106 days left. We have to come out of this convention ready to take the fight to Donald Trump.”