SOCAL: Sanders slams Disneyland, seeks change in Democratic party

The June 7 California primary election is rapidly approaching, and democratic hopeful presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, continues his fourth day of consecutive campaigning across southern California.

On May 25, Sanders will hold a midday rally in Cathedral City in Riverside County, then return to Los Angeles County for a late-afternoon event at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster.

On Sanders’ radar at his rally yesterday at the Anaheim Convention Center, was the parent company of the Disneyland theme park, the Walt Disney Company.

“Anybody here work for Disney?” he asked the crowd. “Anybody here making a living wage who works for Disney?”

California’s minimum wage is $10 an hour but will increase to $15 an hour by 2022 under legislation approved earlier this year.

“Let us be clear,” Sanders said, “the $7.25 federal minimum wage is not a living wage, it is a starvation wage.

“I believe we should raise that starvation wage in every state in this country to $15 an hour. Life would be a little bit different for some of the employees here working for Disney if the minimum wage here was $15.”

Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown offered the following rebuttal on Sanders’ criticism, saying:

“Mr. Sanders clearly doesn’t have his facts right. The Disneyland Resort generates more than $5.7 billion annually for the local economy, and as the area’s largest employer has added more than 11,000 jobs over the last decade, a 65 percent increase.

“These numbers don’t take into account our $1 billion expansion to add a ‘Star Wars’-themed land, which will create thousands of additional jobs across multiple sectors.”

Sanders’s radar also included companies who use foreign labor to manufacture products.

“If they want us to buy their products … it is time for them to build those products right here in America, not in China,” he said.

The Sanders campaign released a new television commercial Tuesday that will run in California ahead of its June 7 primary election.

“What choice do Californians have in this election?” Sanders speaks in his advertisement. “The biggest one of all. You have the power to choose a new direction for the Democratic Party. To break the back of a corrupt system of campaign finance that keeps a rigged economy in place. To stand up to Wall Street and make the wealthy pay their fair share. To fight for tuition-free public colleges and universities.”

“California, it’s a long way to Washington, but you can send them a message they can’t ignore,” Sanders says as the commercial concludes.

Also on Tuesday, Sanders sent an email to his national fundraising list in support of eight candidates running for seats in state legislatures around the nation.

“Bernie believes that the path toward bold change requires leaders to take back control of state capitols around the country and ensure fair redistricting in 2020,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

“The leaders we’re raising money for today are the members of Congress, senators and presidential candidates of tomorrow.”

The lone California legislative candidate singled out by Sanders for support was San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, who is running for the state Senate.


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