Nevada “At Large” Caucuses Held Up In Court

Here’s the backstory:

Back in March of last year, both the National and Nevada Democratic party, along with the go ahead of the Democratic Candidates, made a decision; during the Nevada caucuses, there would be nine “at large” caucusing sites set up in Las Vegas in casinos.  The purpose for this was because Nevada wanted to have the caucus on a Saturday to ensure the most amount of people would have the opportunity to participate.

This caused a problem with casino workers, however, for whom Saturday was not a day off, but instead the busiest day of the week for them.  So they asked for the special sites so as to allow for their participation without significantly affecting their employment.

All parties agreed, and stayed in agreement until just recently when the Culinary Workers Union officially endorsed Barack Obama.  Almost immediately after, the NEA, a union of Nevada educators, filed suit to have the “at large” caucusing places taken down because, they claimed, it unfairly gave the casino an unfair advantage during the Nevada caucuses while other people will be forced to miss the process due to work (keep in mind, these are teachers–they typically get weekends off).

In the final days before the Nevada caucus on Saturday, this dispute set the political world on fire.  While the NEA has not officially endorsed Hillary Clinton, it is worth noting that several of the NEA’s high powered members and leaders are in fact Hillary supporters.  Also, while the Clinton campaign’s official stance towards the lawsuit was relatively non-existent, Hillary Clinton’s top surrogate, Bill Clinton, became increasingly supportive of the suit, resulting in a heated defence of it when a reporter confronted him about it during a campaign stop in Oakland.

Now, we have come to the conclusion of yet another saga in the battle for the Democratic nomination, though I don’t think it’s quite done and over with.  The Nevada courts have essentially thrown the case out, resulting in the “at large” sites remaining valid for this Saturday’s event.

While this settles it, I don’t think this is the last we will hear about this entire episode, especially if Obama manages to win in Nevada.  While I doubt the Clinton campaign will say anything officially, I’d be willing to bet money that a whole army of surrogates will be ready to claim the state was rigged as loud and as often as they have to.  Mark my words, if Obama wins, this will come up again.

While we’re talking about Nevada, there was a point that I missed that I think deserves some attention.  Here, Mark Matthews does a little fact checking of the former President Clinton, but it is the point the first commentor makes that really stuck with me, and I have to admit being a little shamed at not having picked up on it earlier.

Part of Clinton’s defence of the lawsuit was based on the belief in a “one man, one vote country”, but as Andy Woerner points out, Bill is among the Super Delegates that comprise 40% of the Democratic party’s total delegate count.  Super Delegates are so called because while the other 60% are determined by voting, Super Delegates (congressmen, past presidents, etc.) are free to vote for whomever they choose, and given that each normal delegate typically represents the vote of thousands of people, Clinton’s one vote in this contest is also worth thousands of people.

And guess who he’s going to vote for.

One person one vote… right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook