Nevada Democratic Convention Sparks Controversy

Photo Credit: AP

The Nevada Democratic Convention erupted into chaos Sunday, due to the problems during, and the result of, the convention. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), had more delegates into the state convention through various county conventions, but ended up losing the Nevada Convention 1,695-1,662 to Hillary Clinton.

The Convention was rife with errors, heated tensions, and allegations of undemocratic processes. The Nevada Convention adopted a temporary new set of rules set by the Credentials Committee, rules which are claimed to have benefited Hillary Clinton during the convention.
In delegates, Senator Sanders had 64 delegates and alternates (58 actual delegates), denied from being able to vote. According to The Hill, “the Nevada Democratic Party said 58 Sanders supporters were denied because they either were not registered Democrats by May 1 or their information — such as address, date of birth and name — could not be found or identified in time, and they did not respond to requests to provide that information.”

At the official delegate count, there were 33 less Sanders delegates than Clinton delegates in attendance, sparking complaints that the temporary rules set by the Credentials Committee were unfairly benefitting Clinton. This led to a shouting match between the supporters of both candidates, chanting at the speakers of the Convention, and police action to remove people from the convention.

The allegations of an unfair benefit toward Clinton would not be unusual in a primary election where a previous primary in Iowa had a party leader, Andrea McGuire, who was the co-chairwoman of Clinton’s 2008 campaign in Iowa, held a fundraiser for Clinton at her own home in 2008, and drives a Buick Enclave with the license place “HRC 2016”. Where the current head of the party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was the 2008 co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and is accused of scheduling the debates at low-viewership times to benefit Clinton’s campaign. These scandals are only a few of which the Clinton campaign has been plagued with this year, promoting the Salon piece: “This is one weak nominee: Hillary Clinton’s problem isn’t Bernie Sanders. It’s Hillary Clinton”.

At a time where tensions are at their highest, where Sanders and Clinton are nearing the end of the primaries to win the Democratic Primaries, the actions that occurred in Nevada only serve to fracture the party even more. At a time where many people are choosing to opt-out of voting in the national election, where, according to 538, the supposed frontrunners of both major parties have the highest unfavorable ratings of any candidate within the last 10 presidential cycles, there is a need for unity in both parties now more than ever.

This election, some feel, is similar to the period between 1890 to 1936, where the Democratic and Republican Parties had major shifts in their platform; some have likened the fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as a fight between the ideals which will lead the Democratic Party in the future. The philosophical fight is the fight between the centrist neoliberalism of Clinton to the classical “New Deal”-style liberalism of Sanders.

Regardless of the philosophical fight for the “future of the Democratic Party”, the end result of Nevada, according to CNN, was 20 delegates for Clinton, 15 delegates for Sanders, and 8 delegates from the controversial superdelegate system believed to be supporting Clinton.

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