On Saturday April 2nd, 2016 attendees of the Clark County Democratic Convention in Las Vegas experienced history. This came in the form of a landslide delegate alignment for Bernie Sanders in the 2nd of Nevada’s 3 step delegate process (local, county, state). History was also made with accusations of widespread voter suppression, delegate fraud, intentional paper work loss, and involuntary credential committee and chair event changes. These are but a few of the concerns hurled by both Sanders and Clinton supporters in Southern Nevada.
Earlier this year, on February 20th, the widely covered local area caucus results declared Hilary Clinton the winner of Clark County with a small percentage of sites reporting. This writer was in the process of caucusing with their local precinct when it was announced that Clinton had won Nevada. It was loudly said by some event goers at April’s county convention that the disparity between City and County results warrant further investigation into the original numbers declared by the Nevada Democratic Party in February.
In the weeks leading up to the April 2nd County Convention, NV Dems encouraged delegates to register online. As the event came closer, fraudulent information was sent to preregistered attendees, advising them to finish registration at SEIU (Clinton’s Las Vegas Stronghold) in Las Vegas on Friday, April 1, so they didn’t have to attend Saturday’s convention. The email, sent out by Christine Kramar, stated that if delegates went to SEIU on Friday night to declare for the caucus, that they need not attend the actual event on Saturday. This email was incorrect, and many delegates and volunteers scrambled to disseminate accurate information. The fraudulent email was not corrected by party officials. It is unclear if Ms. Kramar left her position, or was removed. It is of interesting note that although Christine Kramar was involved until the day of the convention but her name was missing from the official convention agenda printed days earlier. The Secretary position was listed as OPEN. This segues into accusations and theories of delegate election fraud, altering delegate forms, and choosing state level delegates behind closed doors, rather than per open election on the floor as outlined by convention protocol. Credentials committee members claim they were removed from their jobs when they interceded to stop other involved members from changing pledged delegate votes on official record.
As part of the agenda, people running for office are offered a chance to address the crowd for two minutes (after they’ve paid a fee of course). Although a routine course of events, this time many caucus goers were surprised by Convention Chair Chris Miller choosing to pull power from the mic as Dan Rolle’s address began and mentioned support of Bernie Sanders. Mr. Rolle’s platform is transparency and political revolution for the people, causes that have become near and dear to the hearts of disenfranchised and unrepresented members of the democratic, independent, and republican Parties. The crowd of both Sanders and Clinton supporters reacted with chants of “let him speak” until a long delay and crowd pressure forced the Chair to behave in a reasonable manner. Rolle was eventually allowed his 2 minutes, and his words of independence, Revolution, and making our voices heard were made more poignant by the NV Democratic Parties actions just prior. Nicolas Lash, another intended speaker at the event, was also challenged in his ability to address the crowd. Mr. Lash has since taken his fight with NV Dems to Twitter and Facebook to expand the conversation about corruption in southern Nevada politics.
After all was said and done the final delegate count was 2,964 for Sanders and 2,386 for Clinton.
The bad news? The Democratic Party of Nevada does not appear to support its members voices if they don’t like what they hear.
The good news? Sanders picked up extra delegates in Clark, Washoe, and Lyon Counties which project Sanders will win Nevada at the state caucus on May 14th. Something Senator Sanders likely achieved in February.