There’s a lot of weird coverage of this at the moment but from what I can sus out its an extention of what happened at the county level conventions a few weeks ago. So Hillary won the Nevada caucus, and based on the proportional allocation of delegates should have come out with a handful more pledge delegates for the nation convention in July. But caucuses (and Nevada in particular) are complicated and don’t neccisarily work that way. At the initial caucus itself you aren’t actually selecting the candidate. But allocating delegates to go and caucus at the county convention, where delegates are selected to caucus at the state convention, where the final pledged delegates are selected/allocated to candidate for the national convention.
So basically Hillary wins the caucus. But at the county convention several weeks later to too few of her delegates showed up while Sander’s campaign managed to turn out the vast bulk of theirs. So in that round of voting, Sanders came out ahead. He was able to have more delegates selected for the state convention than Hillary. Creating the opportunity for him to reverse the results of the caucus as actually voted by the people of Nevada, or at least salvage a few pledged delegates for the national convention.
So that’s when we come to the state convention the other day. From what I understand Bernie ran into a similar problem to what Hillary had at the county conventions. Fewer of his delegates showed up, while most of Hillary’s did. Making it more difficult for the campaign to make delegate gains over what would have been allocated based on the caucus. The numbers of delegates were nearly even, with Bernie having slightly more. And that’s when things get weird. When they went to certify the eligibility of the delegates involved, some of them were not eligible. Of those found not eligible all were found ineligible based on rules set back in 2014, rules all those involved had accepted and not protested during the county conventions and the caucus. Some of these people were not registered democrats, including some that had changed their party affiliation after the caucus or county conventions. Some were not in attendance; or could not be contacted/were unwilling to confirm their name, address or residency in the state. Some were not (or no longer) Nevada residents. Eligibility was apparently determined by a panel including equal involvement from both Sanders and Clinton supporters. Once this had been done Hillary had lost something like 8 delegates, and Sanders something like 64. Putting the delegate advantage back to Hillary (who remember actually won the caucus when public voting/caucusing took place).
This is what the dispute apparently focused on. Sander’s coalition of delegates disputed early procedural reports, not even counts or certifications. Basically status updates, on where the voting was sitting early in the vote process because they indicated a shift toward Hillary. There was booing of speakers, interruptions to proceedings etc. And the Sanders camp attempted to have their ineligible delegates re-admitted, and failed. Its also important to remember that ineligible delegates were allowed to contest the ruling in person, but few if any did (because again it seems like a lot of them weren’t actually there). There were calls for revotes, either on the rules/determinations or the actual results of the convention (hard to sus out), which also failed. That, and Hillary coming out ahead as voting continued, seems to have spured the violent reaction.
Now some reports, especially earlier ones, have over sold the level of violence. Chair throwing doesn’t seem to have happened, and the medical emergency that involved EMTs coming in was apparently unrelated. But from what I’ve read and the video I’ve seen there certainly was violent and threatening behavior on the part of the Sanders camp. Including rushing the stage, threats, and personal invective. It escalated as the night went on, and the convention continued several hours past its scheduled end. The casino (not the DNC or Hillary or anyone else), made the determination that the event had gotten too out of hand for them to provide adequate security. And kicked the entire convention out. Not just Sanders’ group. Not just delegates. Everyone. Sander’s delegates refused to leave the room until something? I’m not precisely sure but it may have been a total revote, or a rule change in their favor, or the re-admittance of the purged delegates. From what I’ve seen I’m not sure anything would have made them happy. Apparently casino security tried a number of tactics to get them to leave peacfully. Including cutting power and AC to the room. Before eventually having to physically remove them.
And in the days since Sander’s supporters have been posting personal info on people. Including The head of the Nevada DNC, harassing them personally. With death threats and personal attacks, and the ever popular vague references to families and kids.
So lets ignore all of that mess. And imagine that Sander’s group was totally successful. They won all their challenges, or had enough eligible delegates from minute one to avoid the whole situation. What was the base goal? What would the end result have been. Sander’s campaign would have reversed the publicly voted results of the Nevada Caucus. For a maximum gain of 4 delegates. FOUR.
From my perspective it looks pretty bad. It looks like the attempt from the Sanders camp was to gain more delegates than the actual people and voters of Nevada determined he should have. To take a win where the people had actually selected Hillary. His campaign and delegates were fine with these same rules and procedures when they allowed them to countermand the will of the people at the county conventions (and in other states where they’re working on the same thing). But when they didn’t allow him to maintain that advantage at the state convention the rules and procedures needed to be changed or end rounded. When that wasn’t possible suddenly those rules and procedures were unfair, undemocratic, and the people administering them were bad. Basically the complaint boils down to “we weren’t able to change things to give outselves an advantage, so we’ve been subjected to unfair treatment”. And how the fuck would it be more fair to reverse the results of the caucus through procedural non-sense? How is that more ethical? How is the Nevada DNC corrupt for not allowing that? For following the rules set a year ago? However brusquely, or however un-amenable they were to demands and arguments from Sanders’ delegates?
The end result here is that Hillary gets, pretty much, the number of pledged delegates she should have been allocated based on actually winning the Nevada Caucus. Rather than Bernie getting more delegates than he should have been allocated based on losing the Nevada Caucus.