Bernie Sanders
185px-Bernie Sanders
Official Senate Photo
Born: September 8, 1941 (1941-09-08) (age 67)
Current Position: Junior Senator from Vermont
Political Beliefs Democratic Socialism, Social democracy
Religion Judaism

Bernie Sanders is the Junior Senator from Vermont and a self-described democratic socialist. Despite this, his policy platform does not seek to replace capitalism and private ownership of the economy with a socialist economic system, and he is not formally a part of any of the small Socialist parties in America and appears on the ballot as an independent. He caucus with the Democrats and they have made no move to attempt to defeat him. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history.

He praises Scandinavian social democracy and believes there are lessons to be learned that can be applied to the United States, noting how poverty rates and income inequality in those countries are far less then they are in America.

Bernie has a close relationship with the Vermont Progressive Party. He is the founder of the Congress Progressive Caucus.

Early Life

Sanders, the son of Jewish-Polish immigrants to the United States was born in Brooklyn. He graduated from James Madison High School in Brooklyn and later attended the University of Chicago, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1964. Sanders moved to Vermont in 1964. He worked as a carpenter and journalist.

Political Offices Held

  • Mayor of Burlington(1981-1987)
  • Representative from Vermont(1991-2007)
  • Senator from Vermont (2007-inc)

Committees and Affiliations

  • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

o Subcommittee on Energy o Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests o Subcommittee on National Parks

  • Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

o Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection o Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety

  • Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

o Subcommittee on Children and Families o Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging

  • Senate Committee on the Budget
  • Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

  • House Committee on Financial Services

o Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit - Ranking Minority Member

o Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity

o Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy Trade and Technology

  • House Committee on Government Reform

o Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Drug Policy and Human Resources

o Subcommittee on National Security Emerging Threats and International Relations

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Co-Chair, Congressional Child Care Caucus,108th Congress
  • Officer, Congressional Progressive Caucus, 108th Congress
  • National Guard and Reserve Components Organization
  • Co-Chair, Prescription Drug Task Force

Boards and other Affiliations

  • Member, Coalition on Population and Development
  • Member, Friends of Ireland
  • Member, Northeast/Midwest Coalition
  • International Advisory Council, International Labor Rights Fund

Political Career

As mayor of Burlington he sued cable companies and got lower rates for consumers. He beat both Democratic and Republican challengers until 1987 when both major parties ganged up on him. He ran for governor of Vermont but failed. He failed in his first attempt to get a seat in the House but won the second time. At first no one knew what to do with him as he was the only independent in the House.

Sanders was reelected six times and was the longest-serving independent member of the House. Despite his independent status, he only faced one difficult contest. That came in 1994, in the midst of the Republican Revolution that swept Republicans into control of the Congress. In a year when many marginal seats fell to Republicans, Sanders managed a narrow three-point victory. In every other election, he has won at least 55 percent of the vote. In his last House campaign in 2004, Sanders took 69 percent to Republican Greg Parke's 24 percent and Democrat Larry Drown's 7 percent.

Obama sanders

Bernie Sanders with President Obama

Sanders ran for the senate in 2006. Many thought that only the Republican governor could stop him, and when the governor decided to not enter the race many thought that Sanders was practically handed the seat. He won with a 2-1 ratio.

Bernie Sanders has been very critical of the US health care system as well as the US medias portrayal of socialism. He has said that the current system was created to make money and not to provide health care to the people. He also has stated that the US media has equated Democratic Socialism to Stalinism. [1]

Bernie Sanders also often writes articles at the Huffington Post[2]

The top 5 contributors to Sanders 2006 Senate Campaign where as follows.[3]

eScription Inc $25,200

Baron & Budd $18,000

Operating Engineers Union $12,600

Laborers Union $12,500

Bristol Bay Area Health Corp $12,400

In spring 2015, Sanders announced his intention to seek the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States, his main opponent being former First Lady, United States Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Initially panned as an unlikely contender due to his socialist standpoints on many issues, Sanders has emerged as a "dark horse" candidate, leading in New Hampshire polls by over 20 points, and in Iowa by 10, as of September 2015.

Sources/More Reading

Sanders Videos

Huffington Post Article Page

Bernie Sanders Profile on Open Secrets

New York Times Article

BBC Article

Senate Site