Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, January 21, 2008

Clinton Dirty Tricks At Nevada Caucuses

Daily Kos is not my first source for valid, carefully vetted news, but today's post on the Clinton campaign's tactics at the Nevada caucuses is just soooo juicy.

In it, we read of strong arming, rule bending and other acts against the will of the people, all carried out by Clintonians "obviously coming from the top down." In typical leftyblog style, there's no proof of that the commands came from the top down, but who am I to say, given the highly organized state of the Clinton campaign, that they did not.

The allegations in the article provided by third parties are both frightening and funny -- except that if Clinton wins, they'll be used against the GOP come November -- but I won't quote them here because they aren't verified. I will, however, quote what the author of the Kos post, thereisnospoon [Matrix fans will get the refrence], experienced first-hand as he worked in a precinct caucus as Obama supporters.

But first, some background. In the Nevada caucuses, the doors open at 11 for registration and close at 12. Then they divide into groups by candidates and any group that falls short of 15 percent must choose another candidate to support. Once everyone's shuffled, they count heads. Now, thereisnospoon's allegations:
  • The Hillary operative tried to force the doors to close at 11:30am. KK was outside greeting people, and she overheard the Hillary campaign mention that the doors would be closing at 11:30am, and she went to talk to the precinct chair. So we intervened and said that that was absolutely not legal by the rules. [The Clinton operative] then started screaming at the chair to close the doors. When he read the rules that they were open until 12noon, she said that "that's not what I was told, other campaigns were spreading misinformation." We stood our ground, and the doors remained open.

  • A man in a wheelchair came in with his daughter, and said he was an Edwards supporter. When his daughter began to wheel him to the middle of the room, the Hillary operative tapped her on the shoulder, took the wheelchair and took him to the Clinton corner. I rushed over from talking to an undecided voter and objected loudly, but his daughter was a Hillary person. The Clinton operative said, "I don't control what he does; she does." At that point I said to the man, "Nobody controls you. If you want to vote for Edwards, you have every right to go to the center of the room. Do you need help?" He looked at me plaintively, but said nothing as his daughter dragged him farther back into the corner and just shook his head.

  • The Clinton operative herself had a Brooklyn accent and I overheard her mention having been from New York. When she stood to be counted in the middle of the room, I objected and asked her if she was actually from Nevada. She said yes. I talked to the chair and asked him to ask her name and find her on the list. He asked her her name and checked the list, and she was not on it. At this point the chair said, "well, I can't ask for ID." I said, "She can't participate if no one will vouch for her." At this point a Hispanic man wearing a Hillary shirt said she was his wife. While that's not impossible, it was also improbable--but I had no way to verify or object further.

  • One voter who hadn't even finished registering said that she was undecided, and the Hillary operative physically escorted her to the Hillary side. I went to talk to the woman, but she was immediately surrounded by 3 Hillary supporters who would not let me in, and I had to attend to others registering at that point (our operatives were outnumbered by hers 2-1).

  • Hillary supporters were doing check-in, and a Hillary sign was behind them. I forced the sign off the table, and I went to the front desk to verify that everything went according to the rules at checkin--but if nothing else, the necessity of doing so prevented me from doing other needed work.
As a result, the poster and his girlfriend KK say they will never support Clinton, even if she is the party's candidate. In fact, Hillary my be turning people off from politics for life:
After being a part of this campaign, doing this work, and seeing this level of viciousness from a supposedly Democratic candidate, it will be a cold day in hell before I do any work for anyone in any way associated with Hillary Clinton. At this point, even my general election vote is in question. I am furious almost to the point of nausea. There are so many young, idealistic activists here who are absolutely crushed -- not because we lost here, but because of the way we "lost." Disillusionment is running extremely high -- and I doubt very much of many of them will be back in 2008, or ever again. Illegal and immoral campaign tactics like this aren't just reprehensible: they also come at a cost to the party in the long run.
Well, yup. But no one ever accused campaigning Clintons of taking the long-term view of anything.

Hat-tip: memeorandum, Photo: NYT

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