The latest draft of the Democratic Party platform, which is set to be released as early as this afternoon, will show that Bernie Sanders won far more victories on his signature issues than has been previously thought, according to details provided by a senior Sanders adviser.
The latest version of the platform, which was signed off on recently by a committee made up of representatives for the Sanders and Clinton campaigns and the DNC, has been generally summarized by the DNC and characterized in news reports. Sanders has hailed some of the compromises reached in it, but he has vowed to continue to fight for more of what he wants when the current draft goes to a larger Democratic convention platform committee in Orlando coming weeks, and when it goes to the floor of the convention in Philadelphia in late July.
But the actual language of the latest draft has not yet been released, and it will be released as early as today. It will show a number of new provisions on Wall Street reform, infrastructure spending, and job creation that go beyond the victories that Sanders has already talked about. They suggest Sanders did far better out of this process thus far than has been previously thought. Many of these new provisions are things that Sanders has been fighting for for years.
We already know from the DNC’s public description of the latest draft of the platform that it includes things such as a general commitment to the idea of a $15-per-hour minimum wage; to expanding Social Security; to making universal health care available as a right through expanding Medicare or a public option; and to breaking up too-big-to-fail institutions.
Warren Gunnels, the chief policy adviser to the Sanders campaign, shared with me some additional details and principles the platform draft commits to:
1) Eliminating conflict of interest at the Federal Reserve by making sure that executives at financial institutions cannot serve on the board of regional Federal Reserve banks or handpick their members.
2) Banning golden parachutes for taking government jobs and cracking down on the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington.
3) Prohibiting Wall Street from picking and choosing which credit agency will rate their product.
4) Empowering the Postal Service to offer basic banking services, which makes such services available to more people throughout the country, including low-income people who lack access to checking accounts.
5) Ending the loophole that allows large profitable corporations to defer taxes on income stashed in offshore tax havens to avoid paying more taxes.
6) Using the revenue from ending that deferral loophole to rebuild infrastructure and create jobs.
Gunnels told me the Sanders campaign has mostly been satisfied with the process and the outcome so far.
“There are some very good initiatives in this platform that will create millions of jobs and rebuild the middle class,” Gunnels said. “This document is not perfect. We hope to improve it. But we’re off to an excellent start, and we look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Clinton’s campaign to make this the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. The process itself has been very good.”
To be sure, Sanders will continue to fight for more in coming weeks, such as a commitment to oppose any Congressional vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal during this session. And we can’t be certain whether Sanders will endorse Clinton before the convention or if he is unsatisfied with the final platform product.
But it looks as if this process is going better for progressives and Bernie supporters than previously suggested. And this perhaps makes it more likely that, in the end, Sanders could end up backing the nominee and helping to unify the party with less discord than expected.