Nevada Dems Warn of Convention Violence

     LAS VEGAS (CN) — The Nevada Democratic Party warned the Democratic National Committee of likely violence by “shock troops” during the national convention in Philadelphia this July, after closing Monday amid threats of violence.
     The state party cautiously reopened Tuesday after closing Monday due to the possibility of violence stemming from Saturday’s raucous state convention and outrage from supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
     Angry state party members besieged Nevada Democratic Party headquarters with threats of violence and outrage after up to 64 Sanders supporters had their state convention credentials revoked Saturday due to not registering as Democrats before a filing deadline expired. They also were upset over the passage of temporary convention rules on Saturday.
     An attorney representing the Nevada Democratic Party, Bradley Schrager, wrote the letter addressed to Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee co-chairs Jim Roosevelt and Lorraine Miller.
     In it Schrager said only eight of the 64 excluded Sanders delegates attempted to register for the state convention, and many Clinton delegates were excluded for similar reasons.
     He accused Sanders supporters of engaging in fraud and said their “paranoid fantasy of fraud and delegate theft was clearly intended to throw the proceedings into disarray.”
     In the letter, Schrager said: “The Sanders campaign spent its time either ignoring or profiting from the chaos it did much to create and nothing to diminish or mitigate.”
     “It was clear to the [Nevada Democratic Party] that part of the approach by the Sanders campaign was to employ these easily incensed delegates as shock troops to sway the convention proceedings,” Schrager said.
     “All that mattered was the creation of a narrative of fraud and dispossession, which the Sanders campaign fomented intentionally for its own political gain,” Schrager said. “This was an unconscionable act by an official Sanders campaign representative, with full knowledge of its likely impact on the convention.”
     Schrager said angry Sanders supporters protested outside the state party headquarters on Sunday, “criminally” defaced the building with graffiti and forcing a response by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, published the phone number and home address of state party chair Roberta Lange, and made criminal threats against her.
     “We believe, unfortunately, that the tactics and behavior on display here in Nevada are harbingers of things to come as Democrats gather in Philadelphia in July for our national convention,” Schrager said.
     Sanders is an independent from Vermont but caucuses with Senate Democrats. Many of his supporters were not registered Democrats prior to the Nevada Democratic Caucuses in February, which Clinton won with about 53 percent of the vote to Sanders’ 47 percent.
     Schrager said Sanders supporters have “sinister” motives and gleefully engage in violence.
     “We write to alert you to what we perceive as the Sanders campaign’s penchant for extra-parliamentary behavior — indeed actual violence — in place of democratic conduct in a convention setting,” Schrager wrote.
     “The people who fostered, encouraged, and gained from the unsettling scenes at the Nevada State Democratic Convention bring dishonor to our state and national parties,” Schrager wrote.
     “Having seen up close the lack of conscience or concern for the ramifications of their actions — indeed, the glee with which they engaged in such destructive behavior — we expect similar tactics at the national convention in July,” Schrager cautioned.
     “We therefore formally complain to the DNC regarding these unfortunate events, and warn the body that the goal of the many of these individuals, sanctioned or encouraged by the Sanders campaign, is not party-building but something more sinister and unproductive.”
     A sample of messages left for Lange provided to and published by Nevada journalist Jon Ralston often focuses on threats of violence and misogyny, particularly toward Lange:
     “Bitch answer me! How much did the Hillary campaign pay you for that shit?” (())
     “Biggest cunt in politics next to Clinton”
     “You stupid ass bitch. We’re coming for your ass.”
     “Your number is going viral and your actions are being watched everywhere. You are an asshole.”
     “SHAME ON YOU Roberta Gustave Lange. You are an abomination to the humans [sic] race to suppress the HUMAN RIGHT to VOTE. May retribution come fully and harshly upon you. I CURSE YOU.”
     A representative for the Nevada Democratic Party on Tuesday morning confirmed its headquarters was closed on Monday and reopened Tuesday. The party is still working on its response.
     Meanwhile, the door to its Las Vegas headquarters is locked and guarded, and even a media inquiry was met with extreme but understandable caution. No graffiti was visible on the building, although the headquarters’ closing on Monday provided ample time to remove it.
     The Sanders campaign did not respond to an email request for comment sent Tuesday morning.

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