The Skeletons in Bernie Sanders’ Closet – Sierra Blanca Edition
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders likes to portray himself as an outsider fighting the establishment powers on behalf of little guys and gals everywhere.
Sanders’ reality is more complex. He’s a long-serving politician, a very successful politician. Ad he has a decades-long record of votes, stances, press releases, and so on that are grist for the opposition mill.
One of the more interesting floating in the public eye of late: Sierra Blanca.
Tim Miller gives us the details:
First, the basics.
(1) In 1998, then-Rep. Sanders co-sponsored a bill that would allow Vermont and Maine to dump their nuclear waste in a poor and largely Latino town in Texas called Sierra Blanca.
(2) A Texas Observer article in 1998 covered protestors from Sierra Blanca confronting Rep. Sanders and being given the stiff arm. The story’s headline was “Sanders to Sierra Blanca: Drop Dead.” Sanders even rebuffed an offer to visit Sierra Blanca, telling its residents, “Absolutely not. I’m gonna be running for re-election in the state of Vermont.”
(3) Liberal hero Paul Wellstone—an actual progressive Democrat—gave a speech on the Senate floor calling this dump “environmental racism.” Former Texas Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes called Sanders actions “insanely callous.”
(4) After Congress approved the proposal, environmental regulators rejected the Sierra Blanca site. But a different site in Andrews County, Texas gained approval a few years later and Vermont/Texas maintains an interstate waste agreement.
(5) In 2016, Sanders’ tax returns revealed that as of 2014 Jane Sanders was still drawing a small salary as an alternate commissioner for the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission as part of the agreement with Vermont that her husband pushed.
There’s a lot more at the link. Check it out.
Image Credit: By AFGE (AFGE Participates in #StopFastTrack Rallies) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons