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

NSDP Chair’s Newsletter

NSDP STATE CONVENTION
JUNE 20-21, 2014
RENO, NEVADA

Dates3RememberThe NSDP Convention will be held at the Circus Circus in downtown Reno, Nevada.  The Awards Cocktail Reception at 7pm Friday night and the Convention will be all day Saturday followed by our first SCC meeting.  Attendees can register through EventBrite online or via mail after the County Conventions to avoid confusion.

The room block is now open to reserve rooms at $89/night.

Link to Circus Circus Room Block  http:// https://resweb.passkey.com/go/PNVDEMS

Marla Turner is Chair of the Convention Committee.  Her committee will be working on the Reception and various details of convention day.

Luke McCarthy is Chair of the Platform Committee.  Shortly you will receive information on Platform Hearings.

Chris Wicker is Chair of the Credentials Committee.


ERIN BILBRAY FOR CONGRESS KICKOFF

 Friday, April 25, 5:30 – 7:30p

for more details click here https://www.facebook.com/events/1481668505385483/


DNC DEMOCRATIC WOMEN’S ALLIANCE

The Democratic Women’s Alliance’s (DWA) primary focus is to grow and engage the number of women involved in the party at all levels from those who want to make educated decisions at the ballot box to women who decide to run for office.

For more information please visit:  http://www.democrats.org/people/democratic_womens_alliance.  Make sure you click on the “Get Updates” tab to register and get updates.

DWA also hosts webinars.  Following is an example:  http://bit.ly/womensoutreach

To sign up for the DWA list serve click here http://bit.ly/dwaoptin


DNC VOTER EXPANSION PROJECT

http://www.democrats.org/voterexpansion

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights in our democracy. That’s why we’re launching the Voter Expansion Project. We’re leading the charge to expand the vote, because it’s not enough anymore for us to simply protect against voting restrictions.

Join President Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party in our fight to protect and expand the right to vote.   


DNC VOTING RIGHTS INSTITUTE

The Voting Rights Institute of the Democratic National Committee is a permanent organization created to monitor developments in election law, advocate to make voting more accessible, and provide guidance on voting rights and election administration issues. This work is integrally tied to our Party’s platform, which commits to fully protecting and enforcing the fundamental right to vote.

The Democratic National Committee is dedicated to ensuring that the process of voting remains open and fair for all eligible Americans. We continue to work to defeat any legislative or political effort that erodes the most fundamental of American rights—the right to vote.

Under the leadership of its chair Donna Brazile, the Voting Rights Institute focuses on the protection and expansion of voting rights in a variety of ways, including:

  • Voting Rights Policy Development
  • Research and Publication
  • Voter Protection Organizing
  • Redistricting Support
  • Voting Rights Litigation Support

If you want to join the fight to beat back Republican attempts to limit the right to vote, and support leaders across the country who are working to expand and modernize access to the ballot, sign up here: www.votingrightsmatter.com


WEEKLY DNC NEWSLETTER

This week, as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker kicked off his reelection campaign and Texas Governor Rick Perry underwent a renewed ethics investigation, we examined the corruption and illegal behavior of Republican governors across the country. The DNC has released a new video, “Law and Disorder: Republican Governors Unit,” which emphasizes that the scandals in these administrations rival any reality TV drama. For more information about the many investigations into corruption, unethical behavior and other illegal activity engulfing GOP governors across the country, please see the Weekly Communications Update, which is attached.

Also included in the Update is this week’s news from the Congressional Budget Office, which released new estimates that show premiums for health care plans purchased through Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges will be lower than previously anticipated. The revised estimates come as recent poll numbers indicate that more Americans are supportive of the ACA. You can watch the President announcing that 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the ACA by clicking here. For recent headlines about the ACA collected by our factivists, please click here. Also on social media this week, Vice President Joe Biden returned to Twitter in advance of the 2014 election. You can get his tweets by following @JoeBiden on Twitter, or take a look at the pictures (including a selfie with the President!) on his brand new Instagram.
To read about President Obama and Vice President Biden’s joint speech on skills based job training, updates on the Ryan Budget, and news from the states, please review the Weekly Communications Update, and share with your networks.

DNC WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
http://action.nvdems.com/page/-/DNC%20Weekly%20Update/Weekly%20Update%203-21-14.pdf


UPCOMING COUNTY JJ DINNERS

Clark County JJ Dinner
Special Guest Speaker Governor Martin O’Malley
Friday, May 2
Tropicana Hotel
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/clark-county-democratic-partys-jefferson-jackson-dinner-2014-tickets-10682937955?aff=eac2

Lyon County JJ Dinner
Sunday, June 22


APRIL/MAY 2014 COUNTY MEETINGS

Thursday, April 24
Douglas County Central Committee Meeting

Saturday, May 3
Clark County Central Committee Meeting
(following the County Convention)

Tuesday, May 6
White Pine County Central Committee Meeting
Elko Central Committee Meeting

Tuesday, May 13
Humboldt County Central Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 15
Nye County Central Committee Meeting

Saturday, May 17
Lyon County Central Committee Meeting

Monday, May 19
Douglas County Central Committee Meeting

Wednesday, May 21
Churchill County Central Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 22
Douglas County Central Committee Meeting