Bernie Sanders released a lengthy statement on the recent Nevada convention disaster, speaking for the millions of outraged Americans.
Nevada’s convention last week was a mess. It started with Nevada State Democratic Party chair Roberta Lange passing new rules via voice vote before all the delegates even had a chance to arrive. When many called for a revote she refused, leading to the exclusion of 64 of Sanders’ delegates from the convention proceedings. This led to giving a majority of the delegates to Hillary Clinton.
Later, when the convention was set to end, Lange called in state troopers to lock the bathroom doors and confiscate pizzas that Sanders delegates had ordered. She then ignored the protestors of Sanders delegates, illegally ended the convention, and then fled with state troopers escorting her out.
Sanders responded in his statement:
“It is imperative that the Democratic leadership, both nationally and in the states, understand that the political world is changing and that millions of Americans are outraged at establishment politics and establishment economics. The people of this country want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1 percent, super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.
“The Democratic Party has a choice. It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change – people who are willing to take on Wall Street, corporate greed and a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet. Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.”
What’s more, the Nevada Democratic Party has since accused Sanders supporters of having a “penchant for violence” after Lange’s personal cell phone number was leaked after the scuffle at the convention and threats were made to Lange and her family.
Bernie Sanders responded to this as well:
“Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals. But, when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.
“If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned. I am happy to say that has been the case at state conventions in Maine, Alaska, Colorado and Hawaii where good discussions were held and democratic decisions were reached. Unfortunately, that was not the case at the Nevada convention. At that convention the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place.”
The rest of the statement included bullet points of the undemocratic processes at the Nevada convention:
“The chair of the convention announced that the convention rules passed on voice vote, when the vote was a clear no-vote. At the very least, the Chair should have allowed for a headcount.
The chair allowed its Credentials Committee to en mass rule that 64 delegates were ineligible without offering an opportunity for 58 of them to be heard. That decision enabled the Clinton campaign to end up with a 30-vote majority.
The chair refused to acknowledge any motions made from the floor or allow votes on them.
The chair refused to accept any petitions for amendments to the rules that were properly submitted.”