The politically influential Culinary Union in Nevada released a statement on Wednesday claiming that its members have been “viciously attacked” by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. after the union publicly warned its members against backing a candidate in the state’s Democratic caucus who supports “Medicare-for-All.”
“It’s disappointing that Senator Sanders’ supporters have viciously attacked the Culinary Union and working families in Nevada simply because our union has provided facts on what certain healthcare proposals might do to take away the system of care we have built over 8 decades,” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union Local 226, said in her statement.
The flier, obtained by The Nevada Independent, conveys approval for the health care plans of four candidates — former Vice President Joe Biden, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and the billionaire businessman Tom Steyer — who it says would “protect Culinary Healthcare.”
But Sanders, it says, would “end Culinary Healthcare” and “require Medicare for All” if elected president.
Sanders seeks to smooth Nevada union tensions as rivals pounce
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday sought to ease tensions between his supporters and an influential Nevada union that exploded this week after the union publicly criticized his campaign’s push for “Medicare for All.”
Sanders, in an apparent effort to defuse the tensions, tweeted Thursday that he supported the union — formally known as Culinary Workers Union Local 226.
“I stand with @Culinary226 fighting for health care, a pension and fair wages,” Sanders wrote.
He then criticized the parent company of a Las Vegas hospital, which, according to the culinary union, hasn’t agreed to a “fair contract” with the workers who staff its cafeteria and clean the hospital rooms.
The union has yet to endorse a specific candidate but said that a candidate who supports a “Medicare for all” plan “will give us four more years of Trump.”
In booing other candidates, swarming on critics online and threatening to stay home if Sanders does not win, so-called Bernie Bros have been making enemies throughout the primary process.
Their attitude only reinforces critics’ fear that Sanders will burn down the party if he does not get the nomination.
Between Sanders’s own conduct — including breaking his promise to release all medical records despite his heart attack last fall — and that of his supporters, there is understandable resentment building in the rest of the party that he and his overly aggressive supporters are putting a gun to the party’s head: Choose him or suffer our wrath. (And it’s not simply hangers-on, but also paid staff, who lash out at critics.)
The debate provides the perfect time to tell Sanders to his face: His supporters are out of line.
He needs to fire staff members who encourage abusive conduct and/or engage in online harassment.
He needs to fulfill his promise to release all medical records.
And most important, the rule in the Democratic Party has always been that a majority is required for nomination.
Should no one get a majority going into the convention, all candidates must pledge to support whoever finally wins a majority of the delegates.
Sanders must say now that he would enthusiastically support another winner even if he had a plurality before the convention.
If not, voters should know he is ready to blow up the party.