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Sanders, Delegates to Meet Amid Angst  07/25 06:40

   Amid lingering angst over the primary process, Bernie Sanders has a chance 
to encourage his supporters to embrace party unity.

   PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Amid lingering angst over the primary process, Bernie 
Sanders has a chance to encourage his supporters to embrace party unity.

   Sanders is set to meet privately with supporters Monday before the start of 
the Democratic National Convention. Sanders backers have expressed frustration 
over the nominating procedures, the party platform and party leadership, with 
some suggesting they may protest or take action on the floor. But the Vermont 
Senator has struck a positive message in recent interviews, expressing his 
support for Hillary Clinton.

   "I'm proud that, in the Democratic platform that was passed a few weeks ago, 
we are making some real progress," Sanders said on CNN Sunday. He added: "My 
focus right now is defeating (Donald) Trump, electing Clinton, electing 
progressive candidates around this country and focusing on the issues that 
matter the most to working families."

   Sanders will address the full convention Monday night.

   Efforts to promote party togetherness were not helped by the publication 
last week of thousands of hacked emails, some of which suggested the DNC was 
favoring Clinton during the primary season. For many Sanders fans, the messages 
proved that their concerns about party officials preferring Clinton were 
correct. While party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is stepping down soon, 
she will still have a convention role, which could draw jeers from Sanders 
delegates.

   At a meeting of the DNC credentials committee Sunday, comments praising 
Schultz were met with laughter by some Sanders supporters. At a committee 
meeting the previous day, Sanders backers shouted "shame, shame, shame" as 
amendments to abolish or limit superdelegates in future nominating competitions 
were voted down.

   Some Sanders delegates feel the Clinton campaign is not taking their policy 
concerns seriously. At a news conference Sunday, Sanders delegate Norman 
Solomon, 65, of Point Reyes Station, California, said many of Sanders' liberal 
supporters were disappointed in Clinton's vice presidential pick of Virginia 
Sen. Tim Kaine. He said most viewed Kaine as not progressive enough and that 
there had been discussion about a variety of protest actions at the convention, 
including walking out.

   "We've got to challenge the corporate power in the Democratic Party 
represented by Hillary Clinton today," Solomon said.

   Still, Sanders delegate Courtney Rowe, 34, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said "we 
are not here to disrupt for the purpose of disruption." She said she was not 
currently planning on any action and wanted to hear from Sanders.

   Sanders, who endorsed Clinton two weeks ago after a long-fought primary, has 
sought to find common ground around the party platform and rules. He 
successfully won major platform concessions, including a $15 federal minimum 
wage, abolishing the death penalty and breaking up large Wall Street banks. And 
at the DNC rules committee the two sides agreed on a "unity commission" that 
will review changes to the nominating process, including limiting the role of 
superdelegates.

   After the unity commission agreement, Sanders supporters seeking to pass 
amendments to abolish or curtail superdelegates opted against pursuing 
convention floor fights on the issue.

   Sanders has made clear that he would like to see a full roll call vote at 
the convention, so that his delegates can show their support.


(KA)

 
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