Hillary Clinton's Dirty Campaign Tactics - Some history many here are looking for
News & Politics
In Iowa, New Hampshire and now Nevada, the Clinton campaign has sought to suppress the vote of her rivals' supporters.
By Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet
January 14, 2008
The headlines say the latest schism among the top Democratic presidential candidates is over gender and race. But on the ground in the presidential season's opening states, there is a darker narrative: that Hillary Clinton will not just fight hard, but fight dirty, to win. And her tactic of choice is attempting to suppress the votes of her rival's supporters.
The latest example is from Nevada, where the Nevada State Education Association is widely seen as filing a suit on Clinton's behalf to stop Las Vegas' most powerful union, Culinary Workers Local 226, from caucusing inside downtown casinos after the union endorsed Barack Obama. The tactic foments a split along racial and class lines in arguably the strongest union city in America.
"It's horrible," said one longtime Nevada activist, who didn't want his name used. "It will cause fights and damage that will last for years."
But the Clinton campaign has made similar moves in New Hampshire and Iowa.
In the first primary state, her supporters -- backed by New Hampshire Democratic Party officials -- pressured poll workers to remove observers stationed by the Obama campaign. These volunteers had intended to track voters as part of their get-out-the-vote effort. That tactic came after the Clinton campaign sent a mailing targeting women that said Obama would not "stand up and protect" a women's right to choose because he had voted "present" -- but not yes -- on a few abortion-related bills in the Illinois legislature.
"I've kept most mailers I got from every presidential candidate this year, and that mailer was the absolute worst," wrote New Hampshire blogger Peter Glenshaw. "Never mind that Obama has a 100 percent approval rating from Planned Parenthood in Illinois. Never mind that Planned Parenthood asked him to vote 'present' on those bills."
And in Iowa, the Clinton campaign -- with the help of the state's largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, which endorsed her -- was discouraging students from returning from winter break to vote, even though their right to do so was legal, said Rick Hasen, who writes a respected election law blog. "Indeed such voting could help to compensate for the otherwise anti-democratic nature of Iowa's role in the presidential election process," he said.
As the nomination process has unfolded and Clinton has encountered resistance in every state so far -- including Obama's Friday endorsement by the 60,000-member Las Vegas Culinary Workers Union -- her campaign's increasingly critical rhetoric has been accompanied by voter suppression tactics aimed at her rival's core voters.
While Clinton campaign surrogates have verbally accused Obama of many things, from "fairy tale" answers on Iraq to being a drug user while they served the country more nobly, intentionally suppressing voters -- especially under-represented, low-income minority union members -- stands out in 2008's Democratic presidential campaign.
After all, the Democratic National Committee moved Nevada's caucuses to the top of the primary lineup so minority voices could be heard -- and no organization is more aligned with those voters in Nevada than the Culinary Union, whose training materials for its members are printed in four languages. In contrast, the state teachers, whose suit seeks to stop those workers from caucusing in nine "at-large" precincts in big downtown casinos, have a statewide base because its members work throughout Nevada.
The NSEA suit claims the at-large casino caucuses are not fair to the state's other voters because they will likely be overrun with voters, thereby skewing the proportional representation of Clark County delegates to the state party convention.
Neither NSEA officials nor their Las Vegas lawyers returned calls on Monday. However their suit states that "by packing as much as 10 percent or more delegates into the county convention, the at-large precinct caucus system (created for the casinos) substantially diminishes the voting power of delegates from other county precinct caucuses."
In other words, a strong turnout from the tens of thousands of Culinary Workers Union members in Las Vegas, where 70 percent of Nevada voters live, could swing the state's early foray into presidential politics. In 2000, fewer than 1,000 people participated in Nevada's caucuses. In 2004, that number was about 9,000. This year, estimates are in the tens of thousands.
Nevada political insiders say the NSEA lawsuit is designed to suppress Obama's voters.
"That's the common narrative at this point," said Pilar Weiss, the Culinary Workers Union's political director, when asked if there was any other way to interpret the suit. "A caucus system is all proportional representation. It's not unfair in any way. They (the state Democratic Party) made an accommodation for Clark County."
Another Nevada activist who has worked for years in the state was even blunter.
"This (caucus) plan was created by some of the same people who are plaintiffs in the suit against it," he said. "It's not that they didn't like the plan when Clinton was ahead."
Steven Rosenfeld is a senior fellow at Alternet.org and co-author of What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election, with Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman (The New Press, 2006).
And to see her touting her support for him now as if the two of them are best buds. I just remember all the shit from the Clinton camp during that campaign and thinking there was no way I'd ever respect them again.
If I remember 2008 Hillary, I will not like this hillary any better.
...I remember getting a negative vibe when I came across some of her supporters on christmas day in Boston in 2007. They were stern faced and had a look like they were ready to start a fight. I was a Dennis Kucinich fan at the time even though I knew he wouldn't go anywhere, but I knew I definitely wasn't for the Hillary campaign and I wasn't even sure about Obama's campaign. I wasn't into the whole celebrity thing. Barack won me over in short order and Hillary helped me like him even more with the nasty divisive campaign she and her team ran. I mean, it left such a bad taste in my mouth that I was completely disappointed that he picked her for a cabinet position after all that baloney. Now here we are and she's the same politician she always was and I still don't like her or her supporters.
It's about condoning shenanigans within our party, over and over, and not playing fair.
That creates war. Hillary can ignore it all she wants. It makes it worse.
The anything-to-win mentality is a strong force, and the force is with Hillary.
As is the farce that comes with this force.
Senator Clinton, by all accounts, except caucuses, won the Primary Election and, therefore, should be the 2008 Democratic Nominee. That didn't happen, due largely to illegitimate and illegal acts. We have interviews of many accounts from caucus states recounting threats, intimidation, lies, stolen documents, falsified documents, busing in voters in exchange for paying for "dinners," etc. There are at least 2000 complaints, in Texas alone, of irregularities directed towards the Obama Campaign, that have lead to a very fractured and broken Democratic Party.
I don't blame Obama for actions of his supporters, I voted for Obama 3 tmes and would vote for him again...
The Clinton's have become a thirsty world machine....not human. When you look at NAFTA, CAFTA, end of Glass Steagall we are all living in, and her love and defense of Wall Street, it's UNBELIEVABLE to witness, and the support from DWS and the propaganda media.
It IS what is is....
Those are strictly Republican tactics or so I thought until I realized Democrats are guilty of the same crooked stunts.
WOW! Quite an eyeopener.
An we should trust DWS, DNC and Hillary Clinton??? :rotf:
But the party tries to keep us in line. There will NEVER be another candidate with a clean / progressive record for 50 years, running for president in our lifetime.
Bernie knew, he had to do this for our country. We are so lucky.
It's the party, that's feeling the BURN, because of the integrity of the Bern.
Some of her supporters still use illegitimate results from Michigan and Florida to claim "she won more votes" in the 2008 primary.