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article imageWill Ferrell, Margaret Cho, Red Hot Chili Peppers #FeelTheBern

By Megan Hamilton     Sep 19, 2015 in Politics
New York City - The stars are shining for Bernie Sanders, who received a bounty of endorsements from 128 celebrities.
Among them: Will Ferrell, Susan Sarandon, Bonnie Raitt, Margaret Cho, and Sarah Silverman.
Sanders announced the endorsements, which were posted online on Friday. The list also includes screenwriter Adam McKay, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and bandmates Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Josh Klinghoffer, and Chad Smith, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers from left to right: Chad Smith (drums)  Michael Balzary aka Flea (bass)   ...
The Red Hot Chili Peppers from left to right: Chad Smith (drums), Michael Balzary aka Flea (bass), Josh Klinghoffer (guitar), Anthony Kiedis (vocals)
Flea via Facebook(shared with public)
"As artists and citizens we believe it is time for government to once again represent the people and not just big money," McKay said in a statement via Sanders campaign, The Huffington Post reports. "Bernie Sanders is the only candidate speaking against the widespread legalized corruption that has handed our government to billionaires, large corporations and banks."
Politicus notes that several other well–known musicians endorsed Sanders, including David Crosby, Marshall Crenshaw, Blues legend Charlie Musselwhite, John Densmore of The Doors, and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.
"Bernie Sanders is a public servant who places people ahead of profit," said guitarist Wayne Kramer. "He understands that, above all, leadership is necessary to move this country beyond its current retrogressive political condition."
Acclaimed comedian Margaret Cho
Acclaimed comedian Margaret Cho
Todd V Wolfson
The list of endorsements came just a few hours after Sanders appeared onstage at a New York City event, accompanied by actor Mark Ruffalo, The Guardian reports.
The Sanders campaign has often billed itself as an anti-establishment movement fueled by the support of everyday voters and referred to the celebrity backers as "artists, musicians and cultural leaders."
Earlier that day, Ruffalo, who has also donated $825 to Sanders' campaign, introduced him to a packed crowd at the Town Hall fundraiser. Eschewing white tablecloths and ornate chandeliers that are the hallmark of presidential fundraising, Sanders seems to favor crowded and raucous rallies to raise money for his campaign, The Guardian notes.
In July his campaign reported it had raised at least $15 million, mostly in small donations.
Ruffalo said he is "in service" to the senator, who is competing with Hillary Clinton in the battle for the Democratic nomination, The Guardian reports.
Comparing President Barack Obama's election seven years ago and Donald Trump's current lead in polls of Republican primary voters, Ruffalo said the country is searching for political change.
"The stage is set for a mass disruption," he said. "People are looking for something different – even in our brother Donald Trump."
In a speech that went well over 40 minutes, Sanders laid out his agenda for the hopeful transformation that he likes to call a democratic revolution. He's calling for a host of progressive issues, including universal healthcare, a $15 minimum wage, and reviving Glass – Steagall, the banking act that limited banks' ability to become involved in risky trading.
Sanders avoided mentioning Hillary Clinton, but instead lambasted the Republican party for not addressing the interests of most Americans, The Guardian reports.
"In my view, the Republican party has an agenda, which is basically a fringe agenda representing maybe 5, 10, 15 percent of American people," Sanders said.
The Republican party is good at creating divisions, and that, he said is the reason for its' success.
"For decades now, they have been dividing our people up," he said. "They have been dividing white from black, straight from gay, men from women, people born in this country from people not born in this country."
He also criticized the 16 GOP candidates for failing to discuss income equality or criminal justice reform during last Wednesday's debate, in which he live–tweeted responses as he watched it on television.
"I couldn't take it," Sanders said, adding that he had to throw his phone away and quit watching after two and a half hours of the three–hour event.
This is a crucial time because campaigns are facing a Sept. 30 deadline for the next finance reporting period, and there's plenty of pressure to show things are on the upswing when it comes to attracting donors, so all this support for Sanders may serve as a counter to Hillary Clinton's talent for drawing a huge number of Hollywood's elite, Variety notes.
Sanders' campaign also noted it is drawing support from some people who have never endorsed anyone before.
"Right now there is a shift of the generations," said rapper Lil B. "Honesty and being in touch with the common man and woman is key. This is where Bernie Sanders comes to mind with his essence and truth."
The Huffington Post notes that Sanders is well ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire poll averages by more than 10 percentage points, and several Iowa polls have put Sanders ahead of Clinton. Polls this early in the game aren't always indicative of the final outcome.
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