JUNEAU — Several Alaska delegates who have supported Bernie Sanders for president said Monday that they will vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November, though unenthusiastically.
One of them, delegate Taz Tally, said he has long been a nonpartisan but got involved in the Democratic party because of Sanders.
Tally said he was disappointed in hacked Democratic National Committee emails that he said confirmed what many people believed — that the DNC was rooting for Clinton and in some cases working against Sanders — calling that “anti-democratic.”
“I think it’s made it more difficult for Bernie to encourage his ardent supporters to vote for Hillary,” Tally said.
But Tally said he’ll vote for Clinton this fall because he thinks Republican nominee Donald Trump is dangerous and unprepared. He doesn’t think he’ll actively campaign for her, saying he isn’t excited about her.
Nathan Sidell, a Sanders delegate, said he will cast his delegate vote for Sanders, but after that Clinton will be the nominee. “It’s not easy for me, as someone who supported Sanders from the very beginning, to also want to vote for Hillary Clinton, but unfortunately those are the options that have presented themselves,” he said.
Sidell, who considers himself a staunch Democrat, said it doesn’t make sense to him to support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or Green party candidate Jill Stein. He said Sanders’ supporters have influenced the party platform, including pushing for changes to the current system that allows for so-called superdelegates to support whomever they choose at the national convention.
WikiLeaks has posted emails suggesting that the DNC was favoring Clinton over Sanders during the primary season and bad-mouthed Sanders.
Sanders’ delegates strongly believe that Sanders is a better candidate to unite the party and beat Trump, Sanders’ delegate Jill Yordy said via a Facebook message. They also want unity, she wrote, and the DNC needs to “step up and show that they can walk the walk of being the big tent party.”
“We are here, we are stepping up to be part of the change we want,” Yordy wrote. “We expect to see a party with integrity that walks the walk.”
Emails related to Wasserman Schultz’s trip to Alaska earlier this year to speak at the state party’s convention were among those posted by WikiLeaks. They show DNC representatives trying to get details of a counter event planned for Anchorage.
One email appears to reference the executive director of the state party, Kay Brown, with someone from the DNC saying that Kay has friends within the Sanders’ organization who might be able to provide more information than what appeared on Facebook.
Alaska party spokesman Jake Hamburg said people freely shared information with the party, which wanted a successful event.
A small number of people walked out of Wasserman Schultz’s speech.
Hamburg said the state party tried to see if Sanders’ wife could participate in the Schultz event, “recognizing the perception that some folks had and wanting to ensure that people felt like they could hear different people.” That didn’t pan out, he said.
He said the party worked hard to ensure impartiality during the nominating season, including providing equal speaking time at the presidential nominating caucuses for little-known candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente. Hamburg said Brown also helped a Sanders supporter write a resolution for the state convention addressing superdelegates. It urged the DNC to either eliminate unpledged delegates or to direct them to vote in the same proportion as their states voted in caucuses and primaries.