Nevada caucus lawsuit roundup. (updated)
As Eduardo mentioned here recently, the Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) along with six Nevada residents have filed a federal lawsuit to block caucus sites on the Vegas strip on the grounds that the process unfairly favors casino workers. Last year, the Nevada Democratic Party set up caucus sites in five casinos in order to increase participation by those whose work schedules make it nearly impossible to caucus near their homes. Vegas casino workers are members of the Culinary Workers Union, which endorsed Obama last week. A couple days later, the NSEA filed the lawsuit. While officially the NSEA remains neutral, several of its leaders have publicly endorsed Clinton.
This Washington Post article provides pretty good background on the story. Note that “state Democratic officials, who had been expecting the suit, said they had worked with each presidential campaign since last spring to craft the process, including the casino precincts, to drum up the largest turnout possible.” And, get this: “Minutes from the meeting last March when the state Democratic committee approved the caucus process show that several of the parties to the suit were there and approved of the process.”
Still, Bill Clinton vigorously defends the lawsuit.
“Do you really believe that all the Democrats understood that they had agreed to give everybody who voted in a casino a vote worth five times as much as people who voted in their own precinct? Did you know that?” Mr. Clinton said in a testy exchange with a television reporter, Mark Matthews of KGO. “What happened is nobody understood what had happened. … Now, everybody’s saying, ‘Oh they don’t want us to vote.’ What they really tried to do was to set up a deal where their votes counted five times, maybe even more.”
Clinton’s claim that “nobody understood what had happened” seems dubious. These nobodies had many months to wake up to the reality of what they had approved, and yet somehow it didn’t occur to them to look into it until the Culinary Workers endorsed Obama. Right.
Here’s John Kerry’s take on the controversy. He thinks the lawsuit is bunk. I tend to agree.
Update: The lawsuit was dismissed.