Sen. Sanders voted for the crime bill for one reason. In 1993 Joe Biden authored the S.11, the Violence Against Women Act of 1993.
Then representative Bernie Sanders was a co-sponser of the House version H.R.1133. He spoke forcefully against the implications of the Crime Bill, but because the VAWA was rolled into the final bill, he, [AS A REALIST], voted for it while calling it an imperfect bill. He did so in order to protect women’s lives.
From the Congressional Record:
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN AMERICA (House of Representatives - June 28, 1994)
(Mr. SANDERS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, it is disturbing that the death of Nicole Simpson, a tragedy affecting the rich and the famous, should be necessary to force us to take notice of the horror of domestic violence.
Mr. Speaker, 80 percent of homicides in Vermont involved domestic partners or family members. All of the six women slain in Vermont during 1993, died at the hands of an intimate partner or family member.
Nationally, 3 out of every 10 women who are victims of homicide were murdered by a spouse or an intimate partner, and every 15 seconds a woman is battered by her husband or a boyfriend.
Mr. Speaker, we have 17 programs in Vermont that work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and 92 percent of the people who provide those services are volunteers. These volunteers, most of whom are women, are doing an extraordinary job in counseling and supporting the victims of domestic violence. But they need help.
Mr. Speaker, I have a number of serious problems with the crime bill, but one part of it that I vigorously support is the Violence Against Women Act. We urgently need the $1.8 billion in this bill to combat the epidemic of violence against women on the streets and in the homes of America.
WAIVING POINTS OF ORDER AGAINST CONFERENCE REPORT ON HOUSE AMENDMENTS TO SENATE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 3355, VIOLENT CRIME CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 1993 (House of Representatives - August 11, 1994)
Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, last year all six women who were murdered in the State of Vermont were killed by their spouses and partners and hundreds more were battered. Domestic violence exists in epidemic proportions throughout this country. This legislation provides $8 million for my small State of Vermont to combat violence against women and $1.8 billion nationally. This is money that is long overdue.
Mr. Speaker, let us stand up for battered women, stand up for social justice, and while this is a far from perfect bill, it is a major step forward. Let us support the rule.
And Against the overall Crime bill.
Mr. Speaker, a society which neglects, which oppresses and which disdains a very significant part of its population--which leaves them hungry, impoverished, unemployed, uneducated, and utterly without hope, will, through cause and effect, create a population which is bitter, which is angry, which is violent, and a society which is crime-ridden. This is the case in America, and it is the case in countries throughout the world.
Mr. Speaker, how do we talk about the very serious crime problem in America without mentioning that we have the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world, by far, with 22 percent of our children in poverty and 5 million who are hungry today? Do the Members think maybe that might have some relationship to crime? How do we talk about crime when this Congress is prepared, this year, to spend 11 times more for the military than for education; when 21 percent of our kids drop out of high school; when a recent study told us that twice as many young workers now earn poverty wages as 10 years ago; when the gap between the rich and the poor is wider, and when the rate of poverty continues to grow? Do the members think that might have some relationship to crime?
Mr. Speaker, it is my firm belief that clearly, there are some people in our society who are horribly violent, who are deeply sick and sociopathic, and clearly these people must be put behind bars in order to protect society from them. But it is also my view that through the neglect of our Government and through a grossly irrational set of priorities, we are dooming tens of millions of young people to a future of bitterness, misery, hopelessness, drugs, crime, and violence.
Tying the VAWA to the Crime Bill is an example of triangulation. My mother, who is a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders, says, “Clinton had made women's safety a hostage to his punitive crime bill.” I argue back with her attaching it to the crime bill was probably the only way the VAWA would have passed.
I feel that both candidates would do a good job if elected. Both good, different but good. I like Clinton for some reasons and Sanders for other reasons. If Sanders is still in the race by the time it gets to PA, I’ll probably vote for him because of his record on K-12 education, but Hillary’s fine there, too.
But I cannot abide distortion of the record on either side, of people mindlessly repeating sound bites and talking points. It’s like a huge game of telephone. This kind of nonsense makes us all sound like we actually have no clue how our government actually works.
When I was a kid, my parents subscribed to the Congressional Record. Today, you can search CSPAN or congress.gov or the Library of Congress. It is hard to link to those search because the links actually time out. But you can cut and paste it here or anywhere because it’s the ultimate public record and anyone can do it. You can read what people voted for, what they voted against, what bills they introduced, who co-sponsered them, what they co-sponsored, and read what they actually said. It took me about ten minutes to look the Crime Bill and the VAWA then go to the congressional record and read what the Rep. Sanders actually said and did.
I am continually impressed with most of the articles posted by the Daily Kos community, with the thoughtfulness, with the insight, and with the passion. But it seems that lately the passion is an excuse to distort the record of both these fine candidates. I try to always and only tip and rec stories that focus on the positive or that raise legitimate questions that I’d like to see answered. Please stop repeating talking points and sound bites. When people say that Bernie Sanders only started talking about civil rights 40 days ago, that’s just not true. The crap about Sec. Clinton’s emails is just crap, pure and simple. Look at the record and the whole record in context, especially those supporting Sec. Clinton because of the perception, according to exit polls, that she’s not trustworthy. If she’s the nominee, it’s vital that she comes across as trustworthy.
I encourage everyone to follow Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Mr. Coates said. “What I want folks to do more than anything in this world is not vote for who I’m voting for. Don’t follow me dude. Don’t follow me. I want you to scrutinize your candidate. I want you to scrutinize your history. I want people to think for themselves. This is what I’m doing.” --www.nytimes.com/...