Bernie Sanders and his surrogates are on the warpath against Hillary, hurling baseless accusations in hopes of derailing her campaign. Bernie’s false claim that Hillary takes money from fossil fuel companies has sparked a debate that has led the media to begin vetting him. 

Here are excerpts from an illuminating story about Bernie from Ken Thomas at the Associated Press:

Advocates within the scientific community cite his voting record in the early 2000s in the House when he repeatedly supported a ban on all forms of human cloning, including one called therapeutic cloning intended to create customized cells to treat disease.

Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs did not respond to requests to comment on the subject.

While serving in the House, Sanders voted to ban therapeutic cloning in 2001, 2003 and 2005 as Congress grappled with the ethics of biotechnology and scientific advances. Patient advocacy groups note that Sanders co-sponsored bans in 2003 and 2005 that included criminal penalties for conducting the research and opposed alternatives that would have allowed the cloning of embryos solely for medical research.

Clinton, meanwhile, co-sponsored legislation in 2001 and 2002 in the Senate that would have expanded stem cell research and co-sponsored a bill in 2005 that would have banned human cloning while protecting the right of scientists to conduct stem cell research.

Sanders and (then Republican House Majority Leader Tom) DeLay — some unlikely group — were just unyielding and they were part of the religious right’s attempt to shut down this whole critical new frontier of therapy for chronic disease,” said Robert Klein, chairman of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

“It’s fine to say you’re for stem cell research but you vote against it and you vote against all therapeutic application, it doesn’t mean anything to say you’re for it,” Klein said. “Fine, he votes for it years later when it’s more popular and the pressure is off. We needed leadership then.”

At BNR, we have never attacked Bernie Sanders in gratuitous personal terms and never will. We are aligned with his progressive values and we consider his supporters our ideological brothers and sisters.

However, we categorically reject the all-out assault on Hillary’s character aided and abetted by his campaign. There is absolutely no excuse for impugning Hillary’s integrity, certainly not in an election season where she may be facing Donald Trump in a general election.

With each new character attack from Bernie and his supporters against Hillary, we have reported on Bernie’s own voting record, from the bill he co-sponsored to dump nuclear waste on low-income Latinos in Sierra Blanca, to his support for the F-35 boondoggle, to his troubling coziness with the NRA. And now, the stunning report that he supported criminal penalties for people conducting potentially life-saving research.

Our objective is to debunk the myth that Bernie is pure and Hillary is corrupt, which is unfair, unjust and completely untrue. The fact is that they are both human beings with flaws, politicians who have made mistakes, and ultimately, well-intentioned individuals who have tried to do good in the world.

We simply ask Bernie, his aides, surrogates and supporters to acknowledge that fact and act accordingly.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)