Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bernie Sanders Just Unleashed on Nevada Convention Disaster

Bernie Sanders has issued a blistering response to last weekend’s chaotic Nevada State Democratic Party convention, denouncing the entire process as illegitimate.
“It is imperative that the Democratic leadership, both nationally and in the states, understand that the political world is changing and that millions of Americans are outraged at establishment politics and establishment economics,” Sanders said in a public statement. “The people of this country want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1 percent, super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.”
Nevada’s convention was fraught with controversy from the start. Thirty minutes before the convention officially began this past Saturday, Nevada State Democratic Party chair Roberta Lange passed draconian new rules via voice vote as delegates were still trickling in, before all delegates had an opportunity to weigh in on the process.
Lange then refused to allow a recount on the vote to adopt the new convention rules, and proceeded to exclude 64 of Sanders’ delegates from the convention proceedings without allowing 58 of them to plead their case, effectively giving the majority of the remaining delegates up for grabs to Hillary Clinton.
“Contrary to procedures and precedents set by the committee, nearly none of the 64 people were presented with the opportunity to be heard by the committee or to demonstrate that they are registered Democrats,” said credentials committee co-chair Leslie Sexton.
After 10 PM, when the convention was scheduled to end, Lange ordered state troopers present at the Paris Las Vegas hotel to lock the bathrooms and confiscate pizzas that Sanders delegates had ordered. When Sanders delegates tried to protest the results, Lange illegally ended the convention, then fled the building with  a phalanx of state troopers escorting her out. In his statement, Sen. Sanders called on the Democratic Party to accommodate the younger voters that make up a majority of his base, or else risk a mass exodus of the new blood needed to sustain the party into the next generation.
“The Democratic Party has a choice. It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change – people who are willing to take on Wall Street, corporate greed and a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet. Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.”
After a scuffle broke out on the convention floor, and several Sanders supporters leaked Lange’s personal cell number, and allegedly made threats against the Democratic Party leader and her family, the Nevada Democratic Party accused Sanders supporters of having a “penchant for violence.” Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz called on both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns to denounce the behavior of Sanders’ delegates. In his public statement, Sanders said it “goes without saying” that he condemns violent behavior, but also denounced the allegations that his supporters were violent as “nonsense.”
“Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change,” Sanders said. “When we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and [the] apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.”
Sanders also listed the litany of undemocratic processes at the Nevada convention, implying the convention vote that gave Clinton a majority of pledged delegates was fraudulent:
  • The chair of the convention announced that the convention rules passed on voice vote, when the vote was a clear no-vote. At the very least, the Chair should have allowed for a headcount.
  • The chair allowed its Credentials Committee to en mass rule that 64 delegates were ineligible without offering an opportunity for 58 of them to be heard. That decision enabled the Clinton campaign to end up with a 30-vote majority.
  • The chair refused to acknowledge any motions made from the floor or allow votes on them.The chair refused to accept any petitions for amendments to the rules that were properly submitted.
Sanders and Clinton are both battling for pledged delegates today in the Kentucky and Oregon primaries.

Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact Tom via email at


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