Sanders skips over Grijalva with platform cmte appointments
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was given a third of the seats at the table as the party prepares to draft a platform. Announcing his picks Monday, the Vermont senator gave the nod to, among others, firebrand Cornel West and leftwing U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, but not his Progressive Caucus co-chair, U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva.
Grijalva, who along with Minnesota's Ellison heads up the progressive contingent in Congress, was the first representative to endorse Sanders. The Southern Arizona Democrat declared his support for Sanders last October.
Sanders, still fighting an uphill battle for the nomination and seeking to influence the party's stance on issues, was allotted five seats on the 15-member Platform Drafting Committee.
Other than Ellison, those he tapped were: Cornel West, an academic and activist on race issues; environmentalist Bill McKibben, Native American activist Deborah Parker; and James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute and advocate for Palestinian causes.
Maybe Grijalva's angling for a larger role yet in the campaign. Last month, he sent out an email promoting an online poll that asked for a choice among potential running mates for Sanders. Included in the options were the Tucson Democrat, Ellison, and Hawaii's U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
A result was never released for the poll, which was posted by the Progressive Democrats of America as a way to gather email addresses.