Trailing Bernie: Sanders files to appear on NH ballot

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Bernie Sanders filed his official paperwork in Concord, N.H., Thursday with New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner to appear as a Democratic candidate for president on the Granite State’s primary ballot.

After filing his paperwork the Vermont senator addressed a rally of more than 700 supporters who gathered at the office. He told his supporters that the “political revolution” he is leading “is about is creating a government which works for all of us, not just the 1 percent.”

“What this campaign is about is saying no to a campaign finance system which is corrupt,” he said. “What this campaign is about is saying no to an economy which is rigged.”

Sanders signed the guest book as he departed Thursday.

“We need a political revolution,” Sanders wrote. “Our government belongs to all of us, not just the 1 percent.”

The question of whether Sanders, an independent who is running in the Democratic Party’s primary, would be allowed on the ballot has received lots of attention. Sanders has for years declined to join the Democratic Party. But on Wednesday, the self-described democratic socialist told the Wall Street Journal something new.

“I am now a Democrat,” he told the paper.

New Hampshire requires presidential candidates running in a party’s primary to be a registered member of that party. But in Vermont, there is no party registration, making it impossible for Sanders to make anything official.

Sanders has always caucused with the Democrats in Congress. And he was named chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee by the Democrats when they controlled the Senate.

Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs said Gardner gave no indication Thursday if he would certify Sanders paperwork.

Sanders was joined Thursday at Gardner’s office by New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley. The state party has embraced Sanders’ position as a Democrat, as has the national party which is allowing Sanders to appear at its sanctioned debates.

Buckley wrote a letter to Gardner last month saying the state party “considers Senator Bernie Sanders to be a member of the Democratic Party and supports the placement of his name into nomination as a Democratic candidate for president in the 2016 New Hampshire primary.”

Buckley’s letter also noted that Sanders has been nominated by the Vermont Democratic Party in the past when he ran for the U.S. House and the Senate, and will appear on Vermont’s Democratic primary ballot next year.

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Remember Sanders’ emphatic statement at the first Democratic presidential debate that the American people are sick of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s “damn email?” It turns out he didn’t mean investigators should drop it.

Sanders told The Wall Street Journal that concerns about Clinton, the former secretary of state, New York senator and first lady, are valid if her use of a private email account and server obstructed public records requests or compromised classified information.

“There’s an investigation going on right now. I did not say, ‘End the investigation.’ That’s silly,” Sanders said.

The Clinton campaign said Sanders’s comments show he is engaging “in the type of personal attacks that they previously said he wouldn’t do,” according to NBC News.

“This has and will remain a campaign about issues for Hillary Clinton, and that’s what she’ll continue to talk about on the trail,” Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin said in a statement to NBC News. “It’s disappointing Senator Sanders and his campaign strategists have chosen to change direction and engage in the type of personal attacks that they previously said he wouldn’t do.”

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