July 28, 2016, 06:44 pm

'Bernie or bust' backers vow to hold Clinton accountable

Die-hard supporters of Bernie Sanders face an uncertain future as they leave Philadelphia, but they're signaling they largely agree in one area: They won't quietly cave to Hillary Clinton.

Delegates for Sanders at the Democratic National Convention have shown a growing willingness to defy the man who has been their standard-bearer for the past year, arguing the Sanders "revolution" is bigger than just the Vermont senator.

They repeatedly heckled and booed speakers throughout this week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia despite a direct request from Sanders to refrain from doing so on the convention floor. Now as supporters start to disperse across the country, they are pledging to keep the heat on the party's nominee, who they believe is fundamentally out of line with their values.

Norman Solomon, a California delegate and national coordinator for the Bernie Delegates Network, said Sanders delegates would hold Clinton accountable through and potentially after November.

"Hillary Clinton does not deserve a nanosecond of a political honeymoon, and I think that's been part of the subtext ... of so many Bernie delegates here," he said

Chuck Pennacchio, a delegate from Pennsylvania, predicted Clinton would struggle to win enthusiastic support from delegates who protested her nomination until the bitter end.

"She's going to be challenged," he said. "We're not going to stop. It's going to be a perpetual campaign to hold her feet to the pledges she's made to Bernie — and beyond."

Aside from continuing skepticism about Clinton's nomination, delegates signaled they are hopeful they will be able to keep the disparate groups who united behind Sanders together now that the political elastic provided by the campaign is gone.

Donna Smith, the executive director of Progressive Democrats of America, said Sanders supporters were starting to realize they could accomplish policy goals by working together.

"We’re going to come away from that with all of these incredible Bernie delegates," she said. "We are going to work as best we can to convene regional working groups so they can really begin taking action."

Sanders is starting a political organization to help spread the progressive policies that drove his campaign down to state and local campaigns. Delegates were given forms to volunteer during Monday's meeting with Sanders.

Solomon said that while Sanders's organization would be "some of the strands ... you can't construct a rope that way, you need the base."

Jessa Lewis, Jessica Justice and Joshua Trupin, delegates for Sanders, released a joint statement Thursday pledging to keep moving forward at a grassroots level.

"We are committed to expanding voter rights, calling for true accountability and transparency at the DNC [Democratic National Convention], electing progressive candidates at every level across the country and continuing in the spirit of the political revolution sparked by Bernie Sanders," they said.

But delegates also aren't shying away from saying they believe their future is ultimately bigger than Sanders.

"Imagine a huge parade, and basically he in front of it, but it's the parade that is huge," said Karen Bernal, a California delegate. "He never was in control of it."