Posted by Karen Tumulty |
I won't insert any what-happens-in-Vegas jokes here, but the Barack Obama campaign is not letting go of its accusations that Hillary Clinton's campaign engaged in voter suppression last Saturday in Nevada.
Obama lawyer Bob Bauer has now put forward the contentions in a formal complaint to the Nevada Democratic Party, in which he says the Clinton campaign closed voter registration and shut the doors to some of the caucuses at 11:30 a.m. and earlier, which was a half-hour or more before they were supposed to under caucus rules.
While stipulating that the Obama campaign does not intend to challenge the outcome on a precinct level, Bauer asks for an investigation and writes:
These reports suggest the possibility of activity conducted in violation of Party rules and the rights of voters-activity that, as the volume and distribution of those complaints indicate, may have been planned and coordinated with the willful intention to distort the process in the favor of one candidate, Senator Clinton. A sheet of instructions provided by the Clinton campaign to its precinct works captures its program for the Caucus: "It's not illegal unless they [the temporary precinct chairs] tell you so." (See attachment). This certainly suggests that, for the Clinton campaign, the operative standard of conduct was, simply and only, what it could get away with. On the day of the Caucus, we received by phone reports of misconduct, violations of the rules and irregularities, in the hundreds. Since that time, well over a thousand more accounts have been sent to us.
Clinton spokesman Phil Singer responds:
"The Obama campaign is clearly frustrated by its loss in Nevada and is grasping at straws.
"The reality is that the Senator Obama's allies engaged in intimidation_and strong arm tactics against our supporters at their workplaces and at_caucus sites. And they ran outrageous, false and offensive ads against_Senator Clinton.
"Senator Obama and his campaign fully expected to win this caucus. As we_all know, their national field director said that whoever won the_endorsement of the culinary workers would more than likely win.
"That didn't happen. Senator Obama lost and now his campaign is acting_out."
Things aren't getting any prettier out there...
UPDATE: Clinton lawyer Lyn Utrecht responds.