More on the Clark County Dem Convention

February 24th, 2008

I’ve got a whole slew of stuff from the day captured on audio, but others have done better and provided some actual video. This makes me happy, now all I’ve gotta do is write up a few words and toss out links versus spending the evening cleaning up sound files. Hurray internet!

Update: Eh whatever, it was easy, added a few audio files to the post.

So, in roughly chronological order…

From PolitickerNV, here’s Bill Stanley attempting to recess the convention due to the chaos of the day. At this time, the crowd didn’t exactly care for the idea.

I’ve uploaded audio of the whole exchange:

Somewhere in the middle of things, Al Franken gave his speech.

I missed the first few seconds where he quipped about how none of the day’s events were his fault, but the rest is there. It was a good speech, and I wish him the best of luck in Minnesota.

Next came the motion to caucus, which went slightly better:

Franky sent over his video of Billy Vassiliadis addressing the Obama campaign gathering (where I was located) after the two camps decided to split up and figure out a way to resolve the day’s mess:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUBccoroqFo]

As you can see, this time around the same proposal to recess had an ultimately favorable reaction. The two campaigns regrouped in the main hall, the motion passed, and everyone went home, shaking their heads.

More from PolitickerNV:
Pandemonium! The 2008 Clark County Democratic Convention

And here’s the RJ take on things:
COUNTY CONVENTION: Chaos delays Democratic vote


3 Responses to “More on the Clark County Dem Convention”

  1. Donna West on February 25, 2008 2:13 pm

    Let me begin by saying that I have been so excited to get involved in this process. I was chosen to be a temporary precinct chair for the caucus and our site handled that well. I was thrilled to be chosen to be a county convention delegate and get even more involved. Saturday started off as I expected and ended up as a nightmare that I could have never imagined.

    But problems with the Clark County Democratic convention began long before that day. As you reported, the local Democratic party, while projecting 7,000 delegates, did not provide a venue for a group this size or larger.

    The county party did not include anyone from the campaigns in the convention planning. That was an arrogant mistake. Otherwise they would have know that the campaigns were encouraging everyone who attended the caucuses to attend the convention.

    Obviously the county party chair John Hunt and convention organizer Bill Stanley don’t listen to themselves speak. How else do you explain their ignorance of an unprecedented turnout? And that is the least of their offenses.

    If lack of space was the only problem maybe those of us in attendance would not be so angry. There were so many other blatant problems.

    Like other delegates selected at the caucus, I got a card notifying me of the convention date and site. It also advised that I could go to the Clark County website to register for the convention. Once there, I found that I couldn’t register online. I had to print the form and mail it in!

    And it seems that mailing this form in 2 weeks before the convention, along with the requested $50 donation, did little good. I got nothing back in the mail acknowledging its receipt, no further instructions, and no credentials. Thank goodness for the campaigns calling and emailing me with more information!

    I arrived around 7 am that morning and there were more than 1,000 people already in a long line. And there was just 1 line. In that line were delegates, hopeful alternates and guests. Again, what good did it do me to register via mail in advance? I got to stand in line with everyone. If the convention is for the delegates, wouldn’t you want to focus on getting them registered and into the room?

    And there was that strong request for a $50 donation to offset the cost of the convention, but there was no water or anything available for the delegates. Just what was that $50 for anyway?

    But at least I got registered. I talked to more than 10 people who ended up as alternates because the record of their election as a delegate was not in the credentialing room. I heard that about 1,000 of the 7,000 delegate records were missing. The caucuses were more than a month ago and no one noticed that this information was missing and tracked it down?

    The convention started well enough until the room became overcrowded. It went downhill from there. Finally the alternates and guests were asked to leave the main ballroom so that all the delegates could be seated. That should have been a given from the start. It would have been nice to been able to see the stage and who was speaking instead of having people stand in front of me blocking my view.

    And then out of the blue, we hear a motion to suspend the convention without a clear explanation of what was going on. Hunt, Stanley and company thought that we were just a bunch of newbies and would follow them like sheep. They forgot – we are Nevada Democrats, we want to know what is going on and why. How can you live here and not know that voters are skeptical of those in government and politics? Of course, we got angry, upset and confused and rejected there motion to suspend the convention — we had just voted! The Democratic party is the party of inclusion so to not acknowledge that there were a lot of first time convention delegates who would need and expect information and explanation was just ignorant.

    Finally after we heard from the leaders of the campaigns (who, by the way are not responsible for the convention mess) about what was going on, how lots of delegates left due to the disorganized registration process, other were not registered as actual delegates but as alternates because their paperwork had been lost, more were told that an alternate had been seated in their place and they were now the alternate and still others just never got registered in time to participate today. We also heard about the possiblity of irregularities with the ballot boxes. The campaigns apologized for the mess, which is more than Hunt and company did. They said that if we went forward the results would be challenged and we would be back where we started anyway.

    It is sad that it took the campaign staff to help shepherd us through this mess.

    Going forward we need:

    – Hunt and Stanley to step down and stay out of the way of the new convention. I don’t even want to see or hear from them there.
    – Have the campaigns involved. We seem to trust them more than our county party and they seem to know what they are doing.
    -Do the credentialing through the mail or even better, via the internet. Let me have my credentials in hand when I arrive at the new convention site.
    -By doing credentialing in advance, you can identify what precincts need representative delegates and sit the right person representing the candidate chosen by the caucus.
    -Have a streamlined check in process, give delegates the first priority, alternates the next priority and limit the number of guests.
    -Have enough space for all of us. And how about having bottled water, maybe coffee and a donut?
    -Oh, and send me back that $50 I sent you. I wasted a day and all I got was an awesome Shelley Berkley t-shirt.

    It was shameful day for a state party who has has been looked to by a nation as a leader in this presidential race. Hunt and company had it partially right when they said it was ‘an embarassment of riches’ – it was and is an embarassment. One for which these two men never apologized.

  2. Michael Mink on February 25, 2008 5:19 pm

    Great post. Hopefully they’ll get they’re act together the next time around.

  3. Chris on February 25, 2008 6:28 pm

    Donna, thanks for the account of your experience as a delegate, it pretty much goes along with what everyone else I’ve talked to saw on Saturday.

    Our precinct was one of those where the delegate records were missing, causing a scramble at the last moment to ensure there were enough alternates to fill the spots. I still wonder how the party plans to resolve that… are they hoping the records will suddenly turn up?

Trackbacks

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

Speak your mind