Bernie Sanders supporter helps Bloomberg volunteers clean graffiti off election office

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An unexpected volunteer helped clean up the Bloomberg election office Saturday morning, after it was vandalized.

Paul Berney has lived in Knoxville his entire life. When he saw the vandalism on the Bloomberg election office just blocks away from his home, he felt he had to take action.

Saturday morning, while the Bloomberg volunteers were cleaning the building, he volunteered to help.

Paul is an outspoken Bernie Sanders supporter. The Bloomberg campaign saying in a statement Friday, they speculate the vandalism may be the work of Bernie Sanders supporters.

“We call on Bernie Sanders to immediately condemn these attacks and for his campaign to end the Trump-like rhetoric that is clearly encouraging his supporters to engage in behavior that has no place in our politics.”

Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg Campaign Manager

But Paul says it wasn’t the criticism of Bernie supporters from the Bloomberg camp that motivated him to do this. He tells us, he didn’t want to see buildings in his community defaced.

“This is my community, this is my neighborhood, and I feel like this is my city. I’ve lived here all my life. The vandalism was on national news. I think it made Knoxville look bad, it definitely made the democratic party look bad. It was just the right thing to do,” Paul said.

Paul says even though he supports Bernie, he was not told, advised or paid to do this, and he did not act on behalf of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

He tells WATE he did this on his own, as a concerned citizen.

The Bloomberg campaign releasing this statement in response to Paul’s help:

“Knoxville is a beautiful community and we’ve had an outpouring of support and new volunteers coming into our office to help over the last few days. We certainly appreciate any members of the community who want to pitch in and help, and we hope that Senator Sanders will condemn these acts of vandalism, which echo language and attacks used by his campaign and supporters.”

Holly McCall, Bloomberg Communications Director – Tennessee

WATE reached out to the Bernie Sanders campaign in Knoxville. We are still waiting on a response.

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