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From the Dept of "Huh?" NV Caucus Follies Ed.

chicago dyke's picture

Yo, I've been pressed for time of late. Can anyone give a Sister the heads-up? CD no grok. 'Splain, please?

The legal brouhaha has highlighted unhappiness within the party over the rules. Sen. Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Clinton, have blasted the caucus process because people can’t participate if they’re in the military serving overseas or can’t get off work. And the plaintiffs have asked why the party made special provisions to allow Strip workers to caucus while others will find it more difficult to participate.

Kirsten Searer, spokeswoman for the state party, said the special allowance was made because there is a great concentration of workers on the Strip.

“Nevada was chosen for an early caucus because of ethnic, geographic and economic diversity,” she said. “These people otherwise would be unable to caucus.”

Seriously, I have no idea "what this is about." Bueller? Anyone?

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

via Talk Left:

The Nevada Teachers Union and six Nevada voters have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to ban the Democratic Party from holding the newly created caucuses.

The complaint alleges that the voting places inside the hotels violate the "one person, one vote" and equal protection of the law under the 14th Amendment by creating at-large precincts in 9 hotels based solely on employment. Those precincts were created because thousands of hotel workers cannot leave work to participate in the midday caucuses in their home precincts. Workers attending the hotel caucuses will have to provide identification and sign a declaration stating they can't attend their "home" caucus because of their work schedule.

The teacher's union is saying that because some of their employees will be working caucuses at their schools, some of which are outside their home precincts, no special accommodations have been made for them. There's also some math in there to claim that these special precincts would have a disparate impact because the plan gives the hotel workers a disproportionately large number of delegates.

Now the union has not endorsed Hillary but some of the leadership has and when the suit was filed, there were claims that the timing was suspicious: after the Culinary union had endorsed Obama. But Hillary has always been critical of the caucus system and despite the claims, there was no evidence tying her campaign to the lawsuit.

Speaking of the culinary union, there are now allegations that union members are being pressured to vote for Obama.

Taylor Marsh (for all the grief I've given her) has an
interview
with a culinary union member who says she's being pressured to vote for Obama.

The Democratic Daily has a similar report.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that the union began its "it's the union above all else” pitch right after it endorsed Obama.

There's a MyDD diary from a WGA member who says that union endorsements are more problematic in caucus than primary states since everyone can see who you're voting for. "And if you're a member of Culinary Workers Local 226, and you don't caucus for Senator Obama??? That could make for a long shift on Monday."

Does that help?

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

"caucusing." it's just fundamentally undemocratic, and no one should like it. also- it's stupid. why the fuck do i want to listen to my airhead coworkers tell me for whom to vote? i mean, sure, i don't mind chatting it up and playing lil games with them while casually speaking about politics, but this whole "in the workplace" caucusing sounds like a very bad idea to me.
i mean, people could be risking promotions or getting the time on/off they need, by caucusing against what the boss thinks.

no, i really don't like or trust "caucuses."

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

is that by their nature, caucuses aren't closed. In Iowa you could show up and register to vote at the caucus plus, if you're not a Democrat, you could re-register as one. That's a situation that was exploited by the ObamaFlorida2008 and one of Obama's precinct captains in Nevada encouraging people to be a "Democrat for a Day" so Republicans and Independents could caucus for Obama without committing to the Democratic Party.

The bottom line is that this does not make Democrats, or the Democratic party, stronger at all or even promote the values of the party. The party nominee should be selected by party members, not people who temporarily register as Democrats because they don't like Hillary Clinton.

The other problem is that unlike primaries, caucuses have a small window for participation. If you're not there, you don't get a vote and that's a situation that seems to be exploited in Nevada.

leah's picture
Submitted by leah on

Thanks, and especially for pointing out that both Clintons have been critical of the caucus system before now.

I'm interested, what grief have you given to Taylor Marsh, and thanks for the link to that interview.

I think the plaintiffs did probably wait too long, and probably they were moved to action by the Culinary Workers: endorsement of Obama. I'm not a Clinton supporter,(who will vote for her if she gets the nomination), but I do hate the way so many in the OFB continue to use the most destructive and hoary rightwing tropes against the Clintons.

There's a post and a long thread at Obsidian Wings on this topic; the post is by one of their more conservative posters; if you don't know, it's a website that tries, mostly successfully, to be a place for cross dialogue across the spectrum, although right now most posts come from liberal Democrats; Hilzoy is one of the founders.

What I found most amazing about the post and the comments thread was the continuing notion that the Clintons are indistinguishable from Republicans, and indeed, the poster compares this lawsuit to the electoral machinations of Karl Rove. If only. If only Rove had sought to file open lawsuits, instead of using the Justice Department as a partisan wedge to play electoral dirty tricks.

CD, thanks for asking the question; I've been trying to figure out what was going on out there, too.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I've given Taylor Marsh grief largely over her treatment of John Edwards' campaign. She's declared him dead in the water far too many times.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I do like that nobody mentions that Bill and Hillary...oops the Teachers union... didn't have a problem with all this until two days after the the culinary union decided to support Obama.

errr... attack the caucus system if you will, but Clinton is very actively participating in it. In fact, she approved the caucusing at the vegas strip that her surrogates just failed in having legally stopped.

- Voter suppression is what Republicans do.

- "union members are being pressured to vote..." are republican talking points.

- Race baiting is a Republican tactic. And, yes Alan Keyes is just as strong a baiter as Robert Johnson.

Oh well, I guess if hillary wins we will have to wait another 4 yrs to vote for a Democrat, but McCain is close enough.

Submitted by lambert on

... that what it boils down to is that one union will get to caucus at their workplace and other will not, but the time to raise that is long past, and since all the parties signed off on it, it's too late.

Still, this hardly reaches the level of Rovian manipulation; it's one thing to sue your opponents in court, and it's another thing to subvert the entire Justice Department by replacing professionals with Christianist operatives and loyal Bushies.

Frankly, Obama's FL flyer bothers me just as much; inviting Republicans to game a Democratic primary gives me the willies.

And see my sig. I'd vote for a Republican when hell freezes over. Apparently, Anonymous Coward, you'd vote for McCain rather than Hillary, if that's what "close enough" means. If so, that would make me a loyal Democrat, and that would you next door to being a Republican. So, when you vote for McCain, would you kindly go fuck yourself afterwards? Thanks in advance for your consideration in this matter.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

points. which is most simply: caucusing is stupid, undemocratic, and easily manipulated.

damn long later phone callz, they sap one's will to blog later in the eve.

sorry, more later or perhaps elsewhere.