links for 2008-04-07

2008 Clark County Democratic Convention, pt. 3 — The Aftertaste

Here is the Sunday article from the Las Vegas Sun concerning our non-convention convention.

Convention ends in chaos, so Dems need a do-over [LV Sun]

The Clark County Democratic Convention turned into a fiasco Saturday, with a host of problems that were entirely predictable but blithely ignored by county party leadership.

The convention was supposed to elect delegates to this spring’s state convention in Reno, where delegates will be selected for the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Instead, county party leaders, with the annoyed assent of the campaigns of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, suspended voting and moved to reconvene at some future date to vote on state delegates, who will ultimately determine whether Obama or Clinton wins a majority of Nevada’s 25 pledged delegates at the national convention.

Although more than 7,000 delegates to the county convention had been elected at the Jan. 19 caucuses, the county party booked a room at Bally’s with a capacity of 5,000.

Few people expected the 7,000 elected delegates to show, but it was entirely unsurprising that the Clinton and Obama campaigns, locked in a tight delegate battle that could go all the way to the national convention, would call their supporters and tell them to show up at Bally’s so they could be alternates to replace the no-shows.

Sure enough, that’s what happened. There were 6,000 people in the hall when the fire marshal intervened, and Bally’s management estimated 4,000 people in the hallway outside. <…>

Erin Bilbray-Kohn, a spokeswoman for the county party, tried to put a good face on the event, marveling at the massive turnout. She said the was organized by volunteers who’d worked their hearts out and didn’t deserve to be castigated with mean-spirited attacks.

Still, state party officials fumed, having tried to persuade Clark County Democratic Chairman John Hunt to postpone the county convention to ensure it was well organized. He refused.

The Democratic National Committee, monitoring Saturday’s convention, called state party officials and told them to get county leadership to clean up the process or risk losing delegates to the national convention.

The campaigns and influential Democrats not affiliated with the county party were furious.

“This is a disgrace,” said D. Taylor, head of the Culinary Union, which endorsed Obama and had a few hundred delegates at the convention. Taylor said many Culinary shift workers had to leave and so didn’t get their votes counted.

“There should not be a disconnect between the Democratic Party and competency,” Taylor said.

State Sen. Dina Titus, a co-chairwoman of Clinton’s Nevada campaign, fielded complaints outside the convention ballroom, which she said reinforced the need for legislation she has introduced to switch the state to a primary nominating contest. That would preclude the need for using conventions to select delegates because delegates would be chosen simply and automatically based on a proportion of votes won in the election.

Delegates were irate. [</understatement> Heh! –ed.]

And we have a do-over “not be less than 30 days prior to the State Convention and at least two weeks from February 23, 2008.

The website for the Clark County Democratic Convention is back to its base template as I’m sure they plan how they’re going to address this.

Our local Las Vegas Gleaner weighs in as well.

County Democrats give up, put convention out of its misery.

Outside of casino operations and a very few elected and civic folk, local, county and state officials seem to want to run things as though it were still 1952 and there are only about 20,000 people in Las Vegas and maybe 50,000 statewide. Meanwhile, we’ve got > 2.3 Million people in the Las Vegas Metro area alone. No wonder things have been and will remain broken until the Clue Stick gets used some more..

HuffPo on Clinton’s Win Here in Nevada

Organizing Matters: The Lesson from Hillary’s NV Win. [Huffington Post] From my point of view, Zack Exley has it exactly right. Clinton’s organization, at least here in southern Nevada, was a juggernaut. The guerrilla marketing of Ron Paul’s supporters had slightly more visibility in terms of signs on fences and at intersections, but Clinton’s phone bank calls, mailers and sheer ‘knocking on door’ presence was overwhelming.

For sometime she has been called the ‘Borg Queen,’ and for good reason. This is the Gleaner’s latest.

Key demographic carried Clinton to victory [Las Vegas Gleaner]

Clinton YouthBill Clinton is not just the spouse of a presidential candidate. He has a record of working for change that goes back 35 years.

Still, history is likely to remember Clinton not for his own record, but for telling Las Vegas casino workers he saw their union trying to coerce other casino workers, and then, when asked to put up or shut up, ambling along as if nothing had happened (Sun, ABC). Some former presidents win the Nobel Peace Prize. Some win the Nevada caucus. It’s all good.

Meantime, about those union workers…

Voters from union households ended up accounting for 29 percent of Nevada’s Democratic caucus goers, or so say the entrance polls. Clinton bested Obama among them by 45 to 44, with Edwards getting 7 percent.

Of course, Clinton clobbered Obama among that group of people who have been moving to the state in hordes, draining our social services, failing to pay any taxes, clogging up our roads with their dangerous driving habits and otherwise placing a burden on the community. That’s right, Clinton pummeled Obama among those aged 60 and older by 61 percent to 30 percent.

And the geezers made up a whopping 36 percent of caucus-goers.

Obama won the young’ns handily, 59 to 33. Alas, in Nevada, the youthquake will not be televised. Those aged 18 to 29 made up only 13 percent of the vote (More than two-thirds of all caucus goers were 45 or older).

Nevada’s men, obviously an apathetic and clueless lot, should hang their heads in shame. Fifty-nine percent percent of the Democratic caucus goers were women, and only 41 percent were men. Hill-Rod got 51 percent of the women, and Obama only got 38 percent, Edwards got 8.

Latinos made up 15 percent of the vote, and one of the more celebrated storylines coming out of Nevada is that Latinos put the Borg over the top, ’cause Clinton whooped Obama amongst them, 64 to 26. Meantime, African Americans, though much less discussed by the political chattering noggins vis-a-vis the Nevada experience, also made up 15 percent of the vote — exactly the same as Latinos. Obama overwhelmingly won their support with 83 percent to Clinton’s 13.

White people. Nevada’s still lousy with them. They were 65 percent of the vote, and the former first lady got 52 percent of them. Obama got 34 percent and Edwards got 10.

White women aged middle- & up are of course only one of Clinton’s core constituencies.

Though not appearing in the official entrance polling results, unconfirmed reports indicate that Clinton won overwhelmingly among those caucus-goers who felt that a key trait in a presidential candidate should be that the candidate is married to a former president.

And not surprisingly Clinton also scored a large advantage among those voters who sympathized with the gruff yet loving relationship between the headstrong Dorothy and her feisty mother, Sophia. But again, those polling results could not be confirmed.