Sanders Condemns Threats Against Nevada Democratic Chair, But Continues Angry Rhetoric

Bernie Sanders condemned the threats that are being made against Nevada Democratic Convention Chair Roberta Lange, but his campaign continued the rhetoric that encourages his supporters’ rage.

Roberta Lange discussed the threats she has received in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “Well, I think, look, we have — what you heard is a — a few of the thousands of emails and texts and Facebook messages and Twitter messages and that I’ve got, threats to my family, to my grandson, to my husband. They’ve attacked the place where I have a daytime job. This is my volunteer job, being the chair of the party. They have attacked my workplace and they have said very awful things. Look, as a state party, it’s my responsibility to let the DNC know what happened in Nevada, to let them know that those threats have been threatened to carry into the DNC convention. Our attorney has written a link — lengthy letter to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee to let them know what happened and how we feel they should prepare for the DNC convention.”

Lange also claimed that the Sanders campaign did not turn out all of their delegates and was 500 delegates short at the state convention.

In a statement, Sen. Sanders said:

Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals. But, when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.

If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned. I am happy to say that has been the case at state conventions in Maine, Alaska, Colorado and Hawaii where good discussions were held, and democratic decisions were reached. Unfortunately, that was not the case at the Nevada convention. At that convention the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place. Among other things:

The chair of the convention announced that the convention rules passed on voice vote, when the vote was a clear no-vote. At the very least, the Chair should have allowed for a headcount.

The chair allowed its Credentials Committee to en mass rule that 64 delegates were ineligible without offering an opportunity for 58 of them to be heard. That decision enabled the Clinton campaign to end up with a 30-vote majority.

The chair refused to acknowledge any motions made from the floor or allow votes on them.
The chair refused to accept any petitions for amendments to the rules that were properly submitted.

The reality is that Sen. Sanders is not going to be the Democratic nominee. The Sanders campaign should have apologized for the threats to the Democratic Party chair, and told their supporters to get it together.

By condemning the threats, but also fanning the anger, Sen. Sanders is trying to have it both ways. The campaign should have issued a statement condemning the threats without trying to justify the behavior of their supporters at the convention.

If Sanders supporters want superdelegates to flip to their candidate, a good first step would be to stop threatening them.

A good way to get fairness at a state convention is to win the state. Candidates who lose don’t get as much say about the rules.

Sen. Sanders needs to do better than this because going half-way is not good enough.