Harbinger of Events Yet to Come?

LogoMonday, May 16, 2016

Mr. Jim Roosevelt and Ms. Lorraine Miller
Co-Chairs, Rules and Bylaws Committee
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street Southeast
Washington, DC 20003

To the Co-Chairs and Members of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee:

By this letter, the Nevada State Democratic Party (“NSDP”) hereby lodges a formal complaint regarding the conduct of supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders at the recent State Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, May 14, 2016, as well as the conduct of representatives of Senator Sanders’ presidential campaign (the “Sanders Campaign”).

We believe, unfortunately, that the tactics and behavior on display here in Nevada are harbingers of things to come as Democrats gather in Philadelphia in July for our National Convention. We write to alert you to what we perceive as the Sander Campaign’s penchant for extra-parliamentary behavior—indeed, actual violence—in place of democratic conduct in a convention setting, and furthermore what we can only describe as their encouragement of, and complicity in, a very dangerous atmosphere that ended in chaos and physical threats to fellow Democrats. Indeed, the threats to the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party are ongoing at time of this writing, as Sanders activists have posted her cell phone and home address online, and have bombarded her with threats to her life and the safety of her family. We have attached some examples of this conduct, which is not merely offensive but obviously criminal in nature. We can provide audio of threatening phone calls made directly to the Chair, which now number in the hundreds.

The explosive situation arose in large part because a portion of the community of Sanders delegates arrived at the Nevada Democratic State Convention believing itself to be a vanguard intent upon sparking a street-fight rather than attending an orderly political party process. Surprised and outraged at the idea of being out-organized and thus outnumbered in the convention hall by Clinton delegates, a portion of the Sanders delegation rushed the dais immediately upon the opening of the convention and halted the progress of any convention business for much of the day. Indeed, every point during which Sanders delegates did not agree with any aspect of the proceedings saw them press up against the dais and scream obscenities and threats at the Chair, First Vice Chair, and any other speaker. In fact, event security provided by the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino took it upon themselves to increase the security perimeter around the dais so the convention could simply move forward with its routine business in relative safety. In other words, the hour-to-hour business of Nevada Democrats was necessarily conducted in an atmosphere of impending eruption of physical threats and intimidation for more than 12 hours. Scuffles, screams from bullhorns, and profane insults marked nearly the entirety of the event. Numerous medical emergencies among delegates pressed up against the dais had to be attended to throughout the day.

To the great embarrassment and revulsion of the vast majority of attendees, Sanders delegates crowded the dais and shouted down universally-respected U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California, who had arrived as a guest of the party to deliver a keynote address in support of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Sanders Campaign spent its time either ignoring or profiting from the chaos it did much to create and nothing to diminish or mitigate. It was clear to the NSDP that part of the approach by the Sanders Campaign was to employ these easily-incensed delegates as shock troops to sway the convention proceedings. At the very least, these delegates became a way for the Sanders Campaign to seek the advantage of disruption at any particular moment while trying to disavow any responsibility for their actions even as it was ongoing. At no time did any Sanders representative make anything more than token gestures towards peace in the hall, and at the times of most intense crisis offered little more than shrugs and smirks.

The most egregious instance of the Sanders Campaign inciting disruption—and yes, violence—came as the State Convention’s Credentials Committee completed its work.  Adam Gillette, part of National Delegate Operations Team for the official Sanders Campaign, drafted and arranged for a member of that committee to attempt to deliver an incendiary, inaccurate, and wholly unauthorized “minority report” charging that the Credentials Committee had fraudulently denied 64 Sanders delegates their eligibility. The final delegate count had provided the Clinton Campaign with a 33 delegate advantage in the hall; one can imagine the rage occasioned by this inflammatory charge, tossed into the tinderbox of a tense convention hall. Not only did this discredit the work of the Credentials Committee—which featured five Sanders delegates and five Clinton delegates and a Sanders co-chair, and who worked all day under extremely trying conditions to be fair and diligent in their duties—it called into question the entirety of the proceedings because it indicated to an irrational minority that the proceedings had been rigged against them. Forcing their way onto the dais to deliver this paranoid fantasy of fraud and delegate theft was clearly intended to throw the proceedings into disarray. It succeeded. From that moment on, there was little hope for any peace or mutual understanding and respect between Sanders delegates and the NSDP; the mantra became simply that the convention had been stolen from the Sanders Campaign.

Never mind that six of the 64 potential Sanders delegates referenced had been seated after investigation, or that most of the remaining 58 potential delegates had been disqualified—appropriately, and by a panel evenly split between the campaigns—for not being registered Democratic voters in Nevada. Never mind that the same Credentials Committee had disqualified Clinton delegates for various reasons as well. Never mind, further, that just eight of those 64 potential Sanders delegates even attempted to register for the State Convention. All that mattered was the creation of a narrative of fraud and dispossession, which the Sanders Campaign fomented intentionally for its own political gain. This was an unconscionable act by an official Sanders Campaign representative, with full knowledge of its likely impact on the convention.

Alerted by event security at approximately 10 p.m. that the situation had reached a point where public safety could no longer be assured and that the proceedings had to be concluded in very short order, the NSDP worked diligently to conclude the business of the day and adjourn the State Convention as quickly as possible.

On Sunday, May 15, 2016, a group of Sanders activists attended “protests” at the NSDP’s headquarters office in Las Vegas to criminally deface the building with graffiti. Las Vegas police were notified and called to the scene.

The people who fostered, encouraged, and gained from the unsettling scenes at the Nevada State Democratic Convention bring dishonor and discredit to our state and national parties. Having seen up close the lack of conscience or concern for the ramifications of their actions—indeed, the glee with which they engaged in such destructive behavior—we expect similar tactics at the National Convention in July. We therefore formally complain to the DNC regarding these unfortunate events, and warn the body that the goal of many of these individuals, sanctioned or encouraged by the Sanders Campaign, is not party-building but something more sinister and unproductive. Their tactics speak for themselves, and have no place in our political process as Democrats.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.

Yours sincerely,

/s/ Bradley S. Schrager

Bradley S. Schrager, Esq.
General Counsel Nevada State Democratic Party

Attachments

Examples of some of the thousands of crude, threatening text messages and voicemails from Sanders Campaign supporters against the Nevada State Democratic Party Chair can be found here: https://goo.gl/QpHNc5

Example text messages:

RobertaTextMsg01RobertaTextMsg02
RobertaTextMsg03RobertaTextMsg04
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So You Say You Want A Revolution?

— by Mike Burns

NotResponsibleI have seen a glimpse of the Bernie Sanders Political Revolution and it is pretty ugly. Evidently, Bernie’s revolution will consist of misogynistic insults, vandalism, conspiracy theories, the dissing of party officials and death threats against those same party officials as well as their relatives. The Miracle of the Bird has been replaced by the politics of personal destruction, an anti-establishment crusade against anyone not 100% behind Bernie and a nihilistic, counterproductive blueprint for electing Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.

I went to the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday to participate in the Nevada State Democratic convention and fulfill my role as a delegate to that convention. I did not go there to get caught up in a Bernie Sandersprotest yet that is exactly what I was subjected to. His supporters attempted to highjack our event and turn it into one of their own. We were there as Democrats, they were not. We were there to conduct party business, no matter who had the majority of the delegates, they were not. We followed the rules of decorum agreed upon by an equal number of Bernie and Hillary supporters on the rules committee, they did not.

Here is a list of the decorum rules as passed by the convention. TheBernie Sanders delegates broke each and every one of them with the specific intention of slowing down the wheels of progress, shouting down anyone who disagreed with their point of view and shutting down the event.

V. Decorum

  1. All delegates, alternates, and guests are entitled to attend and participate in the convention free of harassment or intimidation. Anyone harassing or attempting to intimidate any delegate, alternate, or guest to the convention shall be ejected from the convention immediately and shall forfeit any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.
  2. Any intentional disruption of any convention activities may result in immediate ejection from the convention, including the forfeiture of any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.
  3. Guests invited to speak to the convention shall not have their remarks or presentations interrupted or interfered with in any manner, including auditory or visual distractions from the floor. Violation of this rule may result in immediate ejection from the convention, including the forfeiture of any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.
  4. Noisemakers of any kind are prohibited at the convention.
  5. Conversation on the floor should be kept to a minimum out of respect for guests, delegates and speakers. Those delegates, alternates, and guests wishing to converse should exit the floor.

In the past, I have been patient with Bernie and his supporters. They have abused the front running Democratic candidate. The have accused her and the Democratic Party of corruption. They have essentially spent 1 full year beating the Democratic Party like a rented mule, one they do not have ownership of, affection for or a responsibility to. As I said, I have been patient. Most of the Hillary supporters have been patient. The Democratic Party has been patient. The hope has been that Bernie would be able to bring his newly energized supporters into the Democratic fold and help to push this party forward with new ideas and new vitality. Every party needs this new blood and new energy from time to time, otherwise we atrophy and die. So we were patient. We waited and we hoped. Unfortunately, our patience has not paid off. I now realize that what Bernie has built is not a vehicle to re-invigorate the Democratic Party. Instead he has created a cult of personality populated with Bernie-bots ready to destroy any organization or individual that is not part of the so called ‘political revolution’.

I no longer have patience. I no longer have hope. I saw too many Bernie supporters this weekend attempting to drown out loyal and faithful servants of the Democratic Party with shouts of ‘Bernie or Bust’. I saw too many Bernie supporters take the microphone and call the Democratic Party corrupt and liken them to the Mafia. I saw them disavow publically any pretext of party unity in favor of Bernie Sanders unilateralism. I didn’t see Democrats on the Bernie side of the room on Saturday. I saw a mob that could no longer be controlled by Bernie or his national campaign. I saw a gang of sore losers who now have no more use for a party that won’t overturn the will of the people and appoint their ‘Saint Bernie’ as the uncontested nominee.

I know that there are long term Democrats that are Bernie supporters. I know that there are reasonable new Bernie voters who are interested in building a Democratic Party that will serve their interests in the future. As Senator Nina Turner said on Saturday – “Be civil, but stay committed”. I will always be willing to embrace these Bernie supporters as fellow Democrats. I still firmly believe that there are more things that we agree on than disagree and I know that there are many of the Bernie people that believe the same thing. But there are obviously many who don’t believe that and never did. They’re wrong, but like all zealots, they are committed to being wrong. Well, go be wrong someplace else. You want your way or the highway? Let me point the way to the on-ramp. You say ‘Bernie or Bust’? Good luck with ‘bust’ as you flee to the Libertarian Party, organize a write in campaign or even sell your soul to Donald Trump. Don’t tear down my Party. It doesn’t belong to you and is not yours to destroy. If you think that Hillary is evil, or the Democratic Party is evil or the process is beyond redemption and needs to be blown up, we don’t need you and we don’t want you. We don’t need your passion if it is only focused on destruction. We don’t need your energy if it is only going to be used to back one specific candidate at the expense of all other Party business and we don’t want your numbers if it is going to be accompanied by your chaos.

The Democratic Party is bigger than you and bigger than Bernie Sanders. It has been pushing a progressive agenda for decades and can survive just fine without you or your ‘all or nothing’ path to political insignificance. In the immortal words of John Lennon: “You say you want a revolution? … You can count me out.” Goodbye, good riddance and don’t let the mule kick you on the ass on your way out.


About Mike Burns —

For years I was a self described independent. I liked the idea that America was built on the powerful idea of compromise. Politics at its best was an exercise in give and take that at least tried to be respectful of both sides of an issue. However, since the rise of right wing talk radio and Fox News, this no longer seems possible. For me, it is time to fight back in my small way. The conservatives have had their way with the truth for too long without enough of us standing up and saying no more lies. Maybe this blog will make a small difference, maybe not. The main thing is that it will satisfy my need to speak out against conservative hate and hypocrisy. Mike Burns

NSDP Convention

Yesterday was the LAST DAY to register for the Nevada State Democratic Party 2012 Convention at early-bird prices. The convention takes place June 9-10. Prices go up today.  Hope you registered in time.

Although NSDP has negotiated a reasonable rate with Bally’s, the convention is very expensive to put on. NSDP depends on each participant’s donation to help pay for convention. The registration donation, now $47 instead of $37, helps defray the costs.

So: What Now?

If the increased donation amount is a financial hardship, please come down to Bally’s Friday night or early Saturday morning and you will be able to register at that time at no charge.

Don’t miss this year’s convention! We’ll be hearing from our electeds, many of our candidates and holding elections of our own for executive board, National Committee Man/Woman and National Delegates. We’ll also be electing a new central committee and adopting our party platform.

This is Nevada’s largest gathering of Democrats, where we come together for business and fellowship. Be a part of convention, where history is made.

 Friday, June 8; 5-9PM
5:00 – 9:00 PM:  On Site Registration
6:30 – 8:00 PM:  Welcome Reception
8:00 – 9:00 PM:  Platform Hearing

Saturday, June 10; 8AM-7PM
  • 8AM – Noon: On Site Registration
  • 8:00-9:00 AM: Platform Hearing
  • 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM: Business of Convention
 Sunday, June 10; 9AM-1PM
  • 9AM-Noon: Business of Convention
  • 12:05-12:15 PM: Central Committee Meeting
  • 12:15-12:30 PM: National Delegate Meeting

Special Events:

Saturday, June 9, 2012, 3:00-4:30 PM:  Join Steven Horsford and Congresswoman Barbara Lee at a reception.

Skyview 4 Ballroom | 26th Floor | Bally’s Hotel
3645 Las Vegas Blvd. | Las Vegas, NV 89109
Co-Host: $500 | Leader: $250 | Friend: $100 | Supporter: $50
RSVP to: Marian Williams at (702) 813-6923

2012 NSDP Convention Sponsorships & Convention Pricing

Sponsorships and Convention Pricing for
County Parties, Clubs, Caucuses, & Candidates for National Delegate & E-Brd

Platinum Sponsor – $1500
Platinum Sponsors receive a table for 10 to the Welcome and Awards Reception, banner placement in convention hall, half page ad in program book, table in convention hall, full page ad, recognition on all campaign materials, and recognition from the podium during the convention.

Gold Sponsor – $1000
Gold Sponsors receive a table for 10 to the Welcome and Awards Reception, banner placement in convention hall, quarter page ad in program book, table in convention hall, recognition on campaign materials and recognition from the podium during the convention.

Silver Sponsor – $750
Silver Sponsors receive two tickets to the Welcome and Awards Reception, banner placement in convention hall, quarter page in program book, a table in the convention hall and recognition on convention materials

Convention Tables and Banners
Table………………………………………………………………… $150
Banner……………………………………………………………… $150

Program Book
Business Card…………………………………………………… $40
Quarter Page……………………………………………………. $100
Half Page……………………………………………………….…. $195
Full Page…………………………………………………………… $390

Welcome and Awards Reception
Individual Tickets……………………………………………… $55
Table………………………………………………………….…….. $500

Packages:
Table and banner……………………………………………… $275
Table, banner, and ¼ page………………………… ……$295
Other package pricing available on request

Questions may be directed to Zach Zaragoza, Executive Director, at zzaragoza@nvdems.com or 702-737-8683.

Report to NSDP Central Cmtee Members

Welcome to May and just 2 days until early voting and 166 days until the General Election.

Since our Central Meeting in Carson City we have been very busy planning for the NSDP State Convention in Las Vegas June 9-10. We are expecting a lot of excitement at the convention and are excited to have Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as our keynote speaker.

In April I traveled to Charlotte, NC the site of the DNC Convention in September. We toured the convention center and areas around Charlotte. The city is preparing for a great convention. While there I also visited our assigned hotel, which is the Hilton Garden Inn just across the street from the convention center. At our DNC Executive Committee meeting the board voted to approve the Credentials Committee and Rules Committee appointments of our Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Nevada won again as Assemblywoman Lucy Flores was appointed co-vice chair of Credentials and Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz was appointed to the Rules Committee.

I will visit Charlotte again in July for the State Chairs meeting. I will be insuring arrangements for the Nevada Delegation are in order for our visit in September.

During the past few months I have been given the honor to speak at OFA Office openings in Southern Nevada. It is great to see the excitement! I have also attended many candidate events and walked in the Helldorado parade for Shelley Berkley.

I have started having monthly conference calls with our elected Leadership Team, Vice Chair James Brown, 1st Vice Chair Theresa Navarro, Secretary Marla Turner, Treasurer Jan Churchill, Parliamentarian JoEtta Brown and Executive Director Zach Zaragoza. The Rules and Bylaws Committee worked tirelessly to write Election and Convention Rules.

The Executive Committee had a conference call to approve the Election Rules.
Thank you for all that you do to move our party forward! As always I am available to answer any questions you might have. My cell is 702.767.5332 or you can reach me via e-mail at chair@nvdems.com

Sincerely,
Roberta Lange