Convention Disruption Emerges as a Campaign Tactic

by Emelie Rose Barg

 

There remains much confusion and distortion beneath the story of this Nevada debacle in Clark County. There is also a lot of misinformation about the impact. I will try to sort it out with the understanding that even the basic facts remain murky so things could change as the story evolves. First some background.

Nevada held its Presidential preference caucus on February 20 2016 with 35 pledged delegates at stake. Hillary won the raw vote by a little more than five % points and most delegate trackers duly recorded the count as 20-15 in favor of Hillary. Nevada, however, has a three step process to selecting its delegates to the National Convention. The 23 pledged delegates selected by the vote in Congressional districts remain pledged to the candidates per the original vote. However, there are other classes of delegates and here is where things went haywire. There are 7 pledged at large delegates and 5 pledged PLEOs (Political Leaders and Elected Officials) where the vote was essentially a straw poll, a non binding preference. These 12 delegates would only become pledged at the second tier of the caucus-the county conventions.

This is where the shady politics entered. In 2014, Christine Lynn Kramar sought to unseat a Republican in the 13th District of the State Assembly (House of Representatives). She ran on a platform essentially parroting Sanders polemics against corporations and ripped Democrats on educational issues. She was destroyed in the general election. She became the credentials chair for the Democratic caucus responsible for ensuring delegates, alternates and participants were properly admitted to the April 2 convention caucus to determine the allocation of the remaining 12 delegates. Except that didn’t happen and the story is bizarre at best. After the February 20 caucus there were about 9000 convention delegates elected. Of these, 4889 were for Hillary and 4026 Sanders.

The second tier should have been routine and the delegates allocated appropriately. But apparently Kramar sent a letter and/or email to Hillary supporters informing them if they had registered by April 1 (April Fool’s Day) they did not need to appear for the April 2 convention. This was not true. As an apparent result, only some 3825 delegates showed up along with 915 elected alternates and 604 participants. Alternates and those who participated are permitted to become delegates in situations where delegates do not show up as happened here.

This is when packing the house with your alternates and participants can completely change the result. That is what apparently happened as in the chaos and confusion that followed Sanders had 2964 delegates to Hillary’s 2386. These delegates go on to the State convention which selects the 35 national pledged delegates. These county convention delegates ARE pledged to a candidate. They are, I believe, added to the total from the Congressional delegates which still leaves Hillary winning Nevada but by a much smaller margin. It will be 18-17 instead of 20-15 because of Sander’s apparent underhanded dealings. The delegate count would be Hillary 6187 to 5639 for Sanders.

What you are hearing that Sanders “.won” Nevada is not true. At best his stolen delegates will be challenged at the Convention and they may be denied credentials. Of course that may have been the point of all this. Sanders may be looking to foment chaos and division in Philadelphia by creating phony floor fights over delegate credentials and over Superdelegates. He is almost certain to bring a protracted floor fight over Superdelegates who have committed to Hillary in States where he won by large margins.

It is ridiculous because that would make them pledged delegates and there already are pledged PLEOs. But Sanders will do anything to keep Hillary from reaching 2383 in pledged delegates precisely so he can rail against how Hillary won by “undemocratic” Superdelegates choosing her to give her the nomination because she is “establishment” and so on ad nauseum. You get the picture.

Meanwhile, Kramar was removed as credentials chair after a truly bizarre meltdown where she sat down in the middle of an executive session of the CCDP meeting to decide her fate. She threatened to sing protest songs, she was asked repeatedly to leave, arrest was contemplated and finally everyone left because the building was closed.

There will be a lot more to this as the days unfold but as I see it Hillary still leads in pledged delegates 13-10 with the remaining delegates to be allocated at the State convention if this new delegate total is upheld. Sanders is a very corrupt, unethical and dirty politician running a Nixon like campaign.

 

 

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