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Weigel writes: "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is raising questions about the surprise cancellation of a town hall meeting in West Virginia, which was scheduled for Monday morning and was to be filmed for an MSNBC special."

Sanders at a November rally on Capitol Hill for economic and social justice. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Sanders at a November rally on Capitol Hill for economic and social justice. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders Cries Foul Over Canceled Town Hall Meeting in West Virginia

By David Weigel, The Washington Post

13 February 17


en. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is raising questions about the surprise cancellation of a town hall meeting in West Virginia, which was scheduled for Monday morning and was to be filmed for an MSNBC special. In a statement, Sanders said that a National Guard armory that had been booked for the town hall had canceled without explanation, and that the network was unable to find a new venue on short notice.

“If anyone in West Virginia government thinks that I will be intimidated from going to McDowell County, West Virginia, to hold a town meeting, they are dead wrong,” Sanders said in a statement. “If they don’t allow us to use the local armory, we’ll find another building. If we can’t find another building, we’ll hold the meeting out in the streets. That town meeting will be held. Poverty in America will be discussed. Solutions will be found.”

The town hall meeting was set to be held in McDowell County, the poorest part of West Virginia, with the highest rate of drug overdose in the state and the lowest life expectancy of any county in the United States — 64 years. In November, Donald Trump won 74.1 percent of the vote in the county, but in the Democratic primary six months earlier, Sanders won 55.2 percent of the vote.

On Friday night, as first reported by the Charleston Gazette-Mail, MSNBC and Sanders learned that the armory would not be available for the town hall, which was to be moderated by host Chris Hayes. While the state National Guard and new Gov. Jim Justice (D-W.Va.) have not talked about the cancellation, people with knowledge of the event say it had been planned for weeks, and they were told belatedly that the venue could not host a political event.

Sanders said that “hundreds” of locals had signed up to attend the town hall.

“I want people to see, firsthand, how poverty leads to terrible despair and that, in reality, how it is a death sentence for many,” he said. “In McDowell County, one of the poorest areas in one of our poorest states, people are now living shorter lives than their parents. Unemployment is sky high, drug addiction is at an epidemic rate, and the schools lack adequate funding. It is high time that we, as a nation, heard from the people who are impacted by this crisis and determined the best ways forward.”

Sanders was to be in the state Sunday and Monday, and MSNBC said it would look for another time to film an event with Sanders. It scored a ratings hit in January with a Sanders town hall in Kenosha, Wis., a county that had voted Democratic for decades but flipped to Donald Trump last year.

“I’m disappointed, but I hope we can make it work in the future,” said Hayes. your social media marketing partner


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+48 # grandlakeguy 2017-02-13 16:32
The Republicans want to silence Bernie Sanders as he has the answers we need for a better nation.
His message must be suppressed as thoroughly as possible.
After all, that is for the good of corporate America!

Too bad that the DNC derailed Bernie Sanders tsunami of popularity and voter excitement to instead inflict their war mongering corporate shill on their party's members.
But after all that was for the good of corporate America!
+8 # lfeuille 2017-02-14 19:32
Unfortunately, a lot a Democrats want to silence him as well.
+50 # grandlakeguy 2017-02-13 16:45
Dear Bernie Sanders, MSNBC and Chris Hayes:
If you need another venue please be advised that I would be honored to host you in the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, Ca.
any time at no charge!
There would be no problem finding an adequate number of low income citizens to discuss problems similar to those in McDowell County!
+42 # Greg Scott 2017-02-14 01:18
Bernie...I really do thank you for keeping your eye squarely on the ball.

All the Trump generated fear and outrage is just to distract people from the real republican cuts for the wealthy and deregulation.

You go Bernie...and I'll keep giving $27 whenever I can.
+34 # PeacefulGarden 2017-02-14 06:27
So amazingly weird. Did a Democratic Governor cancel the meeting? Is he embarrassed by the cultural and economic poverty?

And, I must say, I love Bernie Sanders. This is the event, stopped or not, is the most human thing I have seen a statesman do.
+7 # James Klimaski 2017-02-14 06:48
The West Virginia National Guard is utterly corrupt.
+10 # nancyw 2017-02-14 11:36
And the National Guard in North Dakota. Working for the in humane DAPL. Bernie the only trustworthy politician?
+3 # Constitutionalistic 2017-02-14 12:38
Quoting James Klimaski:
The West Virginia National Guard is utterly corrupt.

I can't say that I agree with this statement because the men and women of the National Guard have people above them, way above them, who actually call the shots. The National Guard in this case is simply obeying the orders of their handlers. The people above the guard are corrupt.
+16 # Sisko24 2017-02-14 13:11
Bernie Sanders has more energy and intelligence than Trump, the GOP Congress, the corporate Dems, Hillary, Bill and Barack put together. He sees what real problems are and he's out there speaking to those who are affected as well as those of us who are not affected but identify with what he's doing. I hope he and MSNBC can find a suitable substitute venue.

ALSO: CDMR's second paragraph (..."Trump seduced these people in 2016, but it is likely he will do nothing for them. They will be up for grabs in 2018 and 2020.") is spot on correct.
+3 # librarian1984 2017-02-15 01:18
My philosophy discussion group is a mixed bag politically, mostly older, mostly liberal, a mix of careers. Recently we talked about the state of progressivism. 90% of the people there admire Sanders, even the Hillary supporters. He is the only one who's emerged from this debacle with any integrity.

If he wants to run in 2020 and the DP gives it to anyone else or puts even the wink of a shadow of its thumb on the scale, they will not be around to run a candidate in 2024. I'll make it my mission.

I heard Franken is thinking of running. Ha! The superdelegate from Minnesota who voted for Hillary even though Senator Sanders won the state? Suck my Cheney.

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