BERN NOTICE: A Plan to Crack Down On Trump Cronies & Wall Street Landlords

Bernie's new Housing For All plan will stop the corporatization of housing that has been enriching Donald Trump's donors

Bern Notice is a production of the Bernie 2020 campaign. Please forward this on to your friends and tell them to subscribe. The views expressed here are solely of the bylined author.

Bernie is releasing his Housing for All plan today — an initiative to guarantee every American, regardless of income, a fundamental right to a safe, decent, accessible, and affordable home. The plan addresses a housing crisis in which more than 18 million families are paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing — while Wall Street banks made a record-breaking $111 billion in profits last year.

One of the major planks in Bernie’s plan is a proposal to finally end the mass sale of mortgages to Wall Street firms and crack down on predatory practices of Wall Street landlords. That includes the firm run by Donald Trump’s billionaire adviser, Steve Schwarzman — the financier who throws himself multimillion-dollar birthday parties and bankrolls the GOP, while his firm fuels a housing crisis and traps tenants in a cycle of squalor, predatory fees and evictions.

In the wake of the financial crisis, the federal government helped private equity giants like Schwarzman’s firm Blackstone buy up foreclosed homes, and then convert them into rental properties. The Atlantic reports that between 2011 and 2017, these giants gained control of more than 200,000 homes. This has been great for Blackstone, which has been cashing in on the scheme — but it hasn’t been great for everyone else:

CORPORATE LANDLORDS USE EVICTIONS TO DESTROY COMMUNITIES: A study from the Atlanta Federal Reserve found that when corporate owners of single-family rentals (are) 8 percent more likely than small landlords to file eviction notices.” The study additionally found that “the largest firms file eviction notices on a third of their properties in a year and have an 18 percent higher housing instability rate.”

CORPORATE LANDLORDS JACK UP RENT, DECREASE HOMEOWNERSHIP: A study from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve found that the corporatization of home ownership has “depressed local homeownership rates.” It also found that corporate “buying and selling in the single-family housing market affected the local rental market, raising rental price growth rates.” In a recent letter slamming Blackstone, the United Nations noted that “institutional owners are associated with undue rent increases and in many cases, tenants in Blackstone-controlled properties “are now making rental payments that are higher than were their mortgage payments, without the benefit of accruing equity.”

• CORPORATE LANDLORDS ARE DEADBEAT LANDLORDS: While Wall Street landlords say they are good stewards, a deep-dive Reuters investigation found that in reality, “the picture that emerges isn’t as much one of exceptional service as it is one of leaky pipes, vermin, toxic mold, nonfunctioning appliances and months-long waits for repairs.”

• CORPORATE LANDLORDS BUY ELECTIONS TO STOP RENT LIMITS: In the face of California’s acute housing crisis, progressive groups in 2018 placed a measure on the state’s ballot that would have allowed local communities to enact rent control ordinances. Blackstone and other real estate investment firms quickly poured millions of dollars into the successful effort to grossly outspend the initiative’s proponents and defeat it in the election.

Trump and congressional Republicans have aided and abetted the corporatization of the housing market, and been handsomely repaid by their donors.

As Wall Street landlords like Schwarzman and Tom Barrack have funneled cash to the GOP, Trump and the GOP have given real estate moguls lucrative new tax breaks. At the same time, Trump has allowed real estate firms to profit off programs that were supposed to help low-income communities.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that “Kushner Cos., the real estate firm owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has received about $800 million in federally backed debt to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia.” Similarly, Politico reports that Blackstone was recently given a taxpayer-backed loan guarantee “allowing the company to add to the 50,000 single-family rentals it already owns, many acquired at rock-bottom prices during the housing collapse.”

Bernie’s plan will do the opposite — it will crack down on corporate landlords that are destroying too many communities throughout America.

Bern after reading,


BERN NOTICE: New Poll Shows Bernie In 1st Place In California

Emerson's new survey spotlights Bernie's unique multiracial working-class coalition

Bern Notice is a production of the Bernie 2020 campaign. Please forward this on to your friends and tell them to subscribe. The views expressed here are solely of the bylined author.

Emerson’s new poll this morning shows Bernie is now in first place in the crucial Super Tuesday state of California — and the data also illustrates how the Bernie 2020 campaign is building a unique multiracial working-class coalition. Here are a few key details:

BERNIE’S HUGE LEAD AMONG LATINX DEMOCRATS: The survey shows that Bernie is supported by 36% of Latinos who plan to vote in California’s Democratic primary — 13 points more than his next nearest competitor and by far the biggest percentage of any candidate in the race.

BERNIES BIG LEAD AMONG DEMOCRATS UNDER 50: The survey shows that Bernie is supported by 37% of California Democratic primary voters between the age of 18 and 29. The survey also shows Bernie is supported by 31% of California Democrats between the age of 30 and 49.

BERNIE’S LEAD AMONG DEMOCRATS MAKING LESS THAN $50,000: The survey shows that Bernie is supported by 32% of California Democrats who make less than $50,000 — the highest percentage of any candidate.

BERNIE’S LEAD AMONG DEMS WHOSE #1 ISSUE IS THE ECONOMY: The survey shows Bernie is supported by 40% of California Democratic primary voters who say the economy is the single most important issue in deciding who they will support.

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BERN NOTICE: Ahead of Iowa Tour, Polls Show Bernie's Multiracial Coalition

Defying Trump's attempt to divide America along racial lines, Bernie now leads among both Latinos and working-class white Democrats

Bern Notice is a production of the Bernie 2020 campaign. Please forward this on to your friends and tell them to subscribe. The views expressed here are solely of the bylined author.

Donald Trump is a racist who has spent his presidency promoting anti-immigrant rhetoric designed to demonize Latinos and divide the country along racial lines. But new polls show that his efforts have failed to divide up Democrats. On the contrary, as Bernie heads to Iowa to tour counties that flipped from Obama to Trump, surveys show Bernie is building a multiracial coalition bringing together white working-class voters and voters of color.

NEW POLL — BERNIE LEADS AMONG WORKING-CLASS WHITE DEMS: The new Democracy Corps poll shows Bernie ahead by a wide margin among working-class white Democrats. The survey shows Bernie with 32% support from that demographic — a full 10 points ahead of his next nearest competitor.

• BERNIE LEADS AMONG LATINX VOTERS: The new CNN poll finds Bernie leading among Latinx voters with 24% of the vote, followed by Biden at 18%. Rasmussen/HarrisX polls have found Bernie consistently leading with Latinx voters. And the most recent monthly Harvard-Harris poll finds Bernie leads the Democratic primary field among Latinx Democrats with 31% of the vote. Bernie is also the most popular Democratic presidential candidate among Latinx voters, according to Univision and The Economist/YouGov polls. 

• BERNIE IS IN A STRONG SECOND WITH AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTERS: Politico recently reported that Bernie is in a solid second place among African Americans — and is especially strong with younger African American voters. The recent Economist/YouGov poll showed Bernie with a 61% approval rating among African American voters — the only candidate other than Biden above 60%.

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BERN NOTICE: Listen To What Biden Keeps Telling His Big Donors

Last night, Biden drew another contrast with Bernie -- by reassuring his big donors that he won't take them on

Bern Notice is a production of the Bernie 2020 campaign. Please forward this on to your friends and tell them to subscribe. The views expressed here are solely of the bylined author.

When politicians make promises to their huge donors, we should listen — and if you listen to Joe Biden at four separate fundraisers, he is illustrating the fundamental differences between his campaign and Bernie’s grassroots movement.

1. Biden praises the pharmaceutical industry — as Bernie takes on the pharmaceutical industry

Bloomberg reports that Biden last night praised “great drug companies out there” during an elite fundraiser. Biden’s praise comes only weeks after CBS reports that drug companies have been jacking up prices at “5 times the rate of inflation” in 2019 — which is part of the larger trend of drug companies charging Americans the world’s highest prices for medicine.

Biden has refused to take Bernie’s pledge to reject campaign cash from health care industry executives — instead, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that “no Democratic candidate has pulled in more from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries than Biden.”

By contrast, Bernie has spent his entire career leading the fight against the pharmaceutical industry’s profiteering. That includes his most recent proposal that would slash U.S. medicine prices in half and make sure that no one in America pays more than $200 a year for prescription drugs.

In response to Biden’s praise of the pharmaceutical industry that is fleecing Americans, Bernie today said: “I disagree with Joe Biden. The pharmaceutical companies are greedy, corrupt and engaged in price fixing. At a time when their behavior is literally killing people every day, America needs a president who isn’t going to appease and compliment drug companies — we need a president who will take on the pharmaceutical industry – whether they like it or not. When we defeat Donald Trump, that’s exactly what we are going to do.”

2. Biden promises that nothing will change for billionaires — Bernie promises the opposite

On June 14th, new Federal Reserve data came out showing that in the last 20 years, the top 1 percent increased its net worth by $21 trillion, while the bottom 50 percent saw its net worth decrease by $900 billion. Four days after that news hit, Biden attended an elite New York fundraiser and promised an audience of Wall Street titans that if he is elected “nothing would fundamentally change” for them.

By contrast, that same week, Bernie gave a major speech outlining his 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights — and he explicitly said of billionaires “I welcome their hatred.”

3. Biden promises Republicans will stand down — Bernie knows that’s not true

The New York Times reported that in 2018, Biden did a paid speech to help a politically endangered Republican congressman win reelection. A few months later during Biden’s presidential campaign, the Huffington Post reported that Biden “told a room of donors and lobbyists on Monday that Republicans ‘know better’ and suggested that the GOP would be open to cooperation at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency.”

By contrast, Bernie understands that well before Trump ever began running for president, Republicans in Washington were blocking every popular progressive proposal — including major initiatives from President Barack Obama. That’s why Bernie spent 2018 campaigning across the country against Republicans and in support of Democrats — and why even during his own presidential campaign, he has gone to Kentucky to help the effort to defeat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

4. Biden raises cash from the fossil fuel industry that is creating the climate crisis — Bernie refuses to do that

Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Biden’s was having his climate policy shaped by a former natural gas industry official, and also reported that Biden’s campaign said it would only seek “middle ground” climate policies. Amid a backlash, Biden caved to pressure to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge. But this month, Biden made clear that despite belatedly taking that pledge, he has no intention of honoring the thrust of it.

Instead, a day after he appeared at CNN’s climate change forum, Biden held a fundraiser with the founder of a fossil fuel corporation. And yet while taking the money, he nonetheless pretended he wasn’t raking in money from the fossil fuel industry. Indeed, he claimed to donors at the event: "I just want to be very clear to everyone here: I am committed to not raising money from fossil fuel executives and I am not doing that tonight.”

By contrast, Bernie signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, introduced the most comprehensive climate change proposal of any candidate, and this week became the first candidate to sign a pledge to only appoint government officials who will work to end fossil fuel development and aggressively combat climate change.

Bern after reading,


BERN NOTICE: 5 Examples of Biden Literally Reciting Health Care Industry Talking Points

Biden has deep ties to the health care industry -- and he is now attacking Bernie with talking points written by the industry

Bern Notice is a production of the Bernie 2020 campaign. Please forward this on to your friends and tell them to subscribe. The views expressed here are solely of the bylined author.

If Joe Biden’s frantic attacks on Medicare for All seem familiar, that’s because a new analysis shows Biden is literally parroting the talking points being promoted by the insurance/pharma front group that is now spending millions to attack Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan.

During a Rolling Stone podcast yesterday, Bernie noted that Biden “is echoing what the health industry wants him to is really disturbing that we have Democratic candidates who are echoing the talking points of the health care industry.”

That’s 100% correct, according to a comparison of Biden’s statements and the website of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future. That group — which is airing anti-Medicare-for-All attack ads — is comprised of insurers, pharmaceutical companies and other health care industry players, and it has hired former Capitol Hill staffers to lobby lawmakers in Washington.

Biden’s full embrace of industry talking points follows a recent report in Vox noting that “the health care industry is betting on Joe Biden in its war against Medicare-for-all.” That’s not surprising, considering Biden’s deep ties to the industry.

The American Prospect reports that one top Biden aide “referred to as Biden’s campaign chairman in a published report last month, was a longtime lobbyist for health care and other corporate clients.” Biden has also refused to join Bernie in pledging to reject campaign cash from health industry executives -- instead, he launched his campaign with a fundraiser with a top health insurance CEO and he has raked in big money from the industry

Here are five specific examples of the industry’s dishonest talking points -- and Biden parroting them almost word-for-word.

EXAMPLE 1: Biden reciting industry talking points about taxes

PFAHCF WEBSITE: “Medicare for All means ‘Big Middle Class Tax Increases’…The high costs of Medicare for all-style proposals would impact working families’ budgets through a higher tax bill.”

BIDEN: “Sanders’ Medicare for all plan would require raising taxes on the middle class.”

FACT: In 2017, the United States spent roughly $3.5 trillion on health care, averaging approximately $11,000 per person. This year, “the total costs for a typical family of four insured by the most common health plan offered by employers will top $28,000,” according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Under Medicare for All, those costs are eliminated for households — and experts note that will result in overall expenditures decreasing for middle class households:

  • University of Massachusetts economist Robert Pollin recently published a Wall Street Journal oped showing how the “typical middle class family would spend 14% less on healthcare under our Medicare for All plan.”

  • A Citizens for Tax Justice study found that Bernie’s Medicare for All plan would result in a $3,240 net income boost for middle class families.

  • A RAND study found that moving to a Medicare-for-all system in New York would save a family with an income of $185,000 or less about $3,000 a year, on average.

  • Even the projections from the conservative Mercatus Center suggest that the average American could save about $6,000 under Medicare for all over a 10-year period. 

EXAMPLE 2: Biden recites industry talking points about costs

PFAHCF WEBSITE: “Sanders’s Medicare For All Plan Would Costs Americans Trillions”

BIDEN: "I think we should be in a position of taking a look at what costs are. My plan for health care costs a lot of money. It costs $740 billion. It doesn't cost $30 trillion, $3.4 trillion a year, it turns out, is twice what the entire federal budget is."

FACT: Medicare for All will cost trillions -- but far less than what America currently spends on its current corporate-run health care system. That’s why the Week’s Ryan Cooper said this talking point is an outright “falsehood.” He writes: “If one counts mandatory insurance premiums as akin to taxes, then it turns out that U.S. workers are the second-most heavily taxed out of all the countries in the OECD. That's partly why even a study from the libertarian Mercatus Center found that Medicare-for-all would reduce total health-care spending over the next 10 years by $2 trillion.” Additionally, Pollin’s University of Massachusetts-Amherst study found that Bernie’s Medicare for All plan would save America more than $5 trillion over the next decade.

EXAMPLE 3: Biden recites industry talking points about unions

PFAHCF WEBSITE: “Union Opposition To Medicare For All” 

BIDEN: “My friend from Vermont thinks that the employer's going to give you back if you negotiated as a union all these years, got a cut in wages because you got insurance. They're going to give back that money to the employee?”

FACT: Many major unions are strongly supportive of Medicare for All. In fact, top union leaders have recently rebuked politicians like Biden for pretending the program would be bad for union members. And yes -- when Bernie is president, employers are going to “give back that money to the employee” because Bernie’s Workplace Democracy Plan requires that.

Indeed, Bernie’s plan isn’t relying on corporations voluntarily giving workers raises — instead, the plan explicitly requires “that resulting healthcare savings from union-negotiated plans result in wage increases and additional benefits for workers during the transition to Medicare for All...Under this plan, all company savings that result from reduced health care contributions from Medicare for All will accrue equitably to workers in the form of increased wages or other benefits.”

EXAMPLE 4: Biden recites industry talking points about “starting over”

PFAHCF WEBSITE: “Our leaders should be building upon (the ACA)…not scrapping the foundations of American health care (and) starting over from scratch.”

BIDEN: “I understand the appeal of Medicare-for-all, but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of Obamacare, and I’m not for that…Starting over makes no sense to me at all.”

FACT: Medicare is a 64-year-old program, that is among the most popular programs in American history. Expanding Medicare to cover all people is not “starting over” -- and polls show expanding Medicare is a more popular idea than tweaking the current corporate-run system. 

Indeed, strong majority of voters support Medicare for All, according to recent polls from HarrisX, RealClear Opinion Research, Morning Consult, YouGov and ABC News/Washington Post. Polls from RealClear Opinion Research, Morning Consult, YouGov, Business Insider and Tulchin Research show that majorities of all voters specifically want Medicare for All to replace private insurance. And the new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows 65% of Democratic voters would be more likely to support a candidate who backs Medicare for All over efforts to tweak the current corporate-run health system.

Meanwhile: “A survey released this week by Public Private Strategies (PPS) found that, faced with soaring costs under the for-profit status quo, 58 percent of U.S. small business owners support replacing America's dysfunctional healthcare system with Medicare for All.”

EXAMPLE 5: Biden recites industry talking points about rural hospitals

PFAHCF WEBSITE: “If a substantial percentage of the commercial population were to shift to reimburse at Medicare rates, a large proportion of high-risk hospitals would see a grave threat to their viability.”

BIDEN: “(Medicare for All) threatens rural hospitals because Medicare reimbursement rates are just too low for these hospitals to keep the doors open.”

FACT: This lie has been thoroughly debunked. The fact is, hospitals are closing right now. More than 100 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, 75 of them under Vice President Biden’s watch. We will provide funding to rebuild and expand rural health care infrastructure, including hospitals, maternity wards, mental health clinics, dental clinics, dialysis centers, home care services, ambulance services, and emergency departments in rural areas. Under Medicare for All, the government sets the reimbursement rates for hospitals and physicians. In a Bernie Sanders administration, hospitals that provide necessary care to their communities will stay open, period.

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