PHILADELPHIA — A group of Bernie Sanders delegates, angered by the selection of Tim Kaine as the Democratic vice presidential nominee, is launching an attempt to block the nomination and put forth an alternative pick.
“There is serious interest right now in a formal challenge, with another candidate, to Tim Kaine,” said Norman Solomon, a Sanders delegate from California and national coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network of the planned so-called “Kaine mutiny.”
Solomon said internal polling of the network’s membership, which represents roughly two-thirds of all Sanders’ delegates, found that 88 percent view Kaine’s selection as “unacceptable” based on the Virginia U.S. senator’s support for abortion restrictions and right-to-work laws and his refusal to condemn the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
But finding an alternative candidate has not been an easy task. Solomon said several potential progressive candidates approached by the group have declined.
“Those who want to eat lunch at the White House next year, they run the other way,” Solomon said.
Sanders also threw his support behind Kaine yesterday at an afternoon address to delegates.
Still, members of the delegate network, organized by a partnership of progressive groups RootsAction.org and Progressive Democrats of America, plan to voice their anger on the convention floor over Kaine’s nomination and leaked emails showing favoritism for Hillary Clinton by party officials.
Karen Bernal, co-chairwomanof California’s Sanders delegation, said she understood the call for unity but stressed: “That is not my job. My job is to make sure the wishes of my delegation are heard.”
The disaffected Sanders delegates said the protests are an effort to broaden the party to include progressive ideals, and warned that a failure to do so would send many delegates to embrace third-party candidates instead of Clinton.
Solomon said he hoped to have an alternative vice presidential candidate in place and more information about the effort to oppose Kaine by today.
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