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Delegate petitioning for his man

The Newton Falls man who was a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention this summer has started an online petition to bring back the candidate.

Werner Lange on Sept. 12 launched a “Make Bernie The Nominee” drive on moveon.org, a website that allows people to open Internet petition drives.

“Everyone, except those still fooled by damage-control propaganda, now knows, or at least suspects, that Hillary Clinton has very serious health problems – ones which make her clearly unelectable,” Lange wrote at the beginning of the petition that will be forwarded to acting Democratic National Party Chairman Donna Brazile.

“She needs to withdraw and be replaced by Bernie Sanders, the only nominee who can and will prevail in November to prevent the unmitigated disaster of a (Donald) Trump presidency.”

As of 8 p.m. Saturday, 62 signatures appeared on the online petition, with the stated goal of 100 signatures.

Meanwhile, a county Democratic Party official doesn’t think Clinton will be removed from the race.

Parliamentarian Gil Blair said this petition drive is premature and “came out of nowhere.”

“There is no indication that Clinton will not recover from her illness,” Blair said. “I took a look at DNC bylaws and there is no provision to create a vacancy on the national ticket. Clinton would have to create the vacancy and right now, there is no indication she is stepping down from the ticket.”

Lange said Sanders didn’t release his 1,900 pledged convention delegates or concede to Clinton.

“He merely requested at the DNC that the rules be suspended – a statement that gains greater importance now that the established rules for naming a replacement are critical – and that Hillary be declared the nominee,” Lange said.

Concerns about Clinton’s health came to a head Sept. 11 when the former first lady and secretary of state had to leave a ceremony in New York City honoring the victims of the terrorist attack in 2001. Cameras caught Clinton stumbling into a limousine, having to be helped to her feet by Secret Service agents. Reports later said Clinton was suffering from pneumonia and feeling better after spending the day at the home of her daughter, Chelsea.

The fact that Clinton is perceived as having health problems is critical in voters’ eyes, Lange said.

“In politics, perception is everything and her slim chances of winning in November collapsed along with her body on 9/11,” Lange said. “Polls taken after her collapse will clearly show a major loss of public support for Hillary.”

Lange said he has sent the petition supporting Sanders to the Democratic National Committee, the super-delegates at the convention who voted for Clinton as well as to all the Democratic Party state headquarters.

“There are at least two other such petitions circulating nationwide with thousands of signatures,” Lange said. “The call to Bring Bernie Back grows louder every day, as the need to do so grows clearer daily.”

As for speculation that Vice President Joe Biden would be the one to replace Clinton as the Democratic presidential candidate, Lange said this scenario would be “grossly unfair, anti-democratic and downright immoral.”

“Biden received no votes in the primaries; Bernie received over 13 million votes,” Lange said. “Biden had no delegates at the DNC; Bernie had over 1,900, including me.”

On the other side of the race, county Republican Party chairman Randy Law doesn’t have an opinion either way about Lange’s petition drive.

“I respect his right to do what he wants to do but I’m not sure what he intends to accomplish within the Democratic Party at this time,” Law said.

gvogrin@tribtoday.com

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