January 23rd, 2008
02:37 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama campaign registers formal complaint over Nevada

(CNN) – Barack Obama's campaign has filed a formal complaint with the Nevada Democratic Party Wednesday over allegations of irregularities in Saturday’s caucuses in that state – “violations” they blame on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“I am writing to request that the Nevada State Democratic Party conduct an inquiry into an apparent and disturbing pattern of incidents reported at precinct locations throughout the state during the January 19 Caucus," the Obama campaign’s general counsel, Bob Bauer, said in a letter to State Party Chairwoman Jill Derby.

The complaint includes material Bauer claims was sent out by the Clinton campaign that includes the line: "It's not illegal unless they tell you so."

"This certainly suggests that, for the Clinton campaign, the operative standard was, simply and only, what it could get away with," Bauer wrote.

In his letter, Bauer says the campaign has received reports of more than 1,600 complaints, including reports of voter obstruction and early door closings, many of which came in through a special hotline set up by the campaign.

He said the Obama camp is not challenging the Nevada outcome, but is requesting an official inquiry into campaign tactics by Clinton supporters in the state.

The Clinton campaign has also complained of alleged voter intimidation by Obama allies during Saturday’s Nevada vote.

“The reality is that the Sen. 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 Sen. Clinton,” Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer said in response to Bauer’s complaint.

“Sen. Obama lost and now his campaign is acting out.”

Hillary Clinton won the Nevada caucuses, though Barack Obama captured more delegates.

Obama complaint (pdf)

UPDATE: Clinton campaign counsel Lyn Utrecht sent Derby a letter late Wednesday detailing a long list of allegations against Obama supporters in Nevada, including "systematic corruption" of the state's caucus procedures and "voter suppression and intimidation."

"This letter is not intended as a response to the Obama campaign's letter," wrote Utrecht. "However, in the interest of a complete record" the Clinton campaign "wishes to bring to your attention information we have received evidencing a premeditated and systematic corruption of the party's caucus procedures."

It also states that the Clinton campaign supports an inquiry into events surrounding Saturday's vote.

Clinton letter (pdf)

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
soundoff (491 Responses)
  1. Concerned Citizen

    Ask the Real Mormon Questions?
    1.) What do Mormons do in their "Highly Secret Temple" Ceremonies such as Weddings.

    2.) Why are the "Ceremonies" so Secret that even blood Relatives not deemed "Worthy" by their local Bishops, (Lay Clergy Males) are not allowed to witness the event?

    3.) What remotely mainstream Church does not Welcome Visitors of all faiths or no faith, to their celebrations?

    4.) Do you want a President of the United States who subscribes to a creed whose dictates he can not share?
    Are any of the other Candidates so Burdened?

    January 23, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. D-MT

    Something fishy is afoot when staunch Republicans such as Rush Linbaugh start praising a Democratic candidate such as Obama, or like what I read today in Houston, Texas that a long time spiritual advisor to George W. Bush is backing Obama. Rush Linbaugh is who surprised me–that was just a flat out shocker to hear him speaking of Obama as if the man could walk on water–of course Obama speaks of himself that way, always laying blame and coming up with excuses for this decision and that action, etc., weird that's a trait of Republicans usually. Could he be a Republican hiding in a Democrat closet? Not sure, but one thing is obvious to me, he is not experienced enough to deliver the change he speaks of, and if he is a closet case then that is not much of a change from what we have.

    I realize some run to Obama's defense saying he is trying to unite people. A uniter, where have I heard that? Oh yeah, President Bush, he said he was a uniter didn't he? Scary stuff people, wake up. How quickly we forget.

    We cannot afford to have an inexperienced president who is incapable of delivering healthcare to cover everyone, who is incapable of fixing the economy, and incapable of standing up to other candidates let alone other countries should we encounter a threat. We need true leadership, experienced leadership. Forget the personality behind it, forget your personal preference of personality, you don't have to share a house or a meal with this person, but you do have to worry about your economy, healthcare and security, so pick the right person for the job....not who you like the most. We aren't in gradeschool, it isn't a popularity contest.

    January 23, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. charlotte

    GOOD, LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THE MAY. HAHAHAAAAA It would be nice if we could get the truth out. We the people deserve to know what went on, what if both sides are guilty, then what?

    January 23, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. adams

    You lost take it like a man.

    To bad Obama is such an amature, and has no experence to talk about.

    This is the reason he continues these absurd alligations and smear tactics.

    We all know it will take hillary to beat back the Neo cons.

    January 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. Tant

    BD or whatever you call yourself, your comment is the most dumbest and stupid comment I have ever read in this bog. Nobody is taken your job-just wake up from slumber, turn off TV and go to school, then you will have American dreams. By the way am black..

    January 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. Tant

    BD or whatever you call yourself, your comment is the most dumbest and stupid comment I have ever read in this bog. Nobody is taken your job-just wake up from slumber, turn off TV and go to school, then you will have American dreams. By the way am black..

    January 23, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Tant

    BD or whatever you call yourself, your comment is the most dumbest and stupid comment I have ever read in this bog. Nobody is taken your job-just wake up from slumber, turn off TV and go to school, then you will have American dreams. By the way am black..

    January 23, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. Patrick of Albany NY

    The more of this that goes on, the more solidified I am in my vote for Hillary on super tuesday. I have to agree with the other Clinton supporters: Obama's become nothing but rhetoric and has been playing just as dirty as any other politician he claims to not be like.

    January 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. Carol

    To JR, if you came here legally, congratulations on your hard work to get your medical education. I wish you and your family every success.

    On the other hand....If you came here illegally, you are nothing more than a scab taking a position in our overcrowded medical schools that a citizen or person here legally is absolutely more deserving of than you. I don't want to support you or your children. If you are in school, my guess is you are not paying enough to support the education of the family you brought with you. I would say go home, but that would be rude. If you are here illegally you already know where to go.

    I'm a 20 yr democrat, so I'm probably being overpolite about the issue.

    January 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  10. Tracy

    Good for the Obama camp.

    January 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Whatever Daisy...

    ohhh, whatever Obama camp...anything to spin controversy in a losing game!

    HILLARY_08; no one else...

    January 23, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. Gene

    BD or whatever you call yourself, your comment is the most dumbest and stupid comment I have ever read in this bog. Nobody is taken your job-just wake up from slumber, turn off TV and go to school, then you will have American dreams. By the way am black.

    January 23, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. Gene

    BD or whatever you call yourself, your comment is the most dumbest and stupid comment I have ever read in this bog. Nobody is taken your job-just wake up from slumber, turn off TV and go to school, then you will have American dreams. By the way am black.

    January 23, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. tant

    BD or whatever you call yourself, your comment is the most dumbest and stupid comment I have ever read in this bog. Nobody is taken your job-just wake up from slumber, turn off TV and go to school, then you will have American dreams. By the way am black.

    January 23, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Andrew

    What Obama is doing is very important for our democratic process. It is very wrong for any sort of voter intimidation or tampering to go on. Let me make my points clear:

    1) Obama won more delegates and thus has no real motive to go after an investigation other than to make sure that voter intimidation and cheating does not go on in other states and get to the bottom of the accusations.

    2) If Obama's campaign knew that they were a part of the problem they would never have registered the complaint. They are not asking for an investigation just into Clinton but the whole caucus.

    3) For those of you who say he is just whining: Wouldn't you like to have someone go to bat for your democratic process? Most of you would complain up and down if some person that didn't hold the same opinion of yours tried to keep you down.

    January 23, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. Jeanie

    I don't know which is worse.....the fact that every candidate keeps blaming the other candidate with allegations of illicit behaviour, or the fact that so many idiots get on these boards and immediately believe either one of the camps and cry foul or start screaming "if she/he wins I'm voting Republican." The truth is probably with the way things are reported...there was a time (in the getting way too far past) when reports did more than say "he says she did that, and she claims he is spinning the truth" – the reports jobs were more than telling us what someone said – they actually investigated the allegations and helped us to know what was true. The way it is now, don't believe most of what you read!! And, if the candidates don't stop it, we will lose the election – and then we are all in trouble...you though Bush was bad – try living in a country "lead" by any of the 3 leading Republicans...very scary. And, if you "have always been a democrat" but truely will not vote if he or she wins, then you are not voting the issues....you are voting based on some bias or some prejudice or misbeliefe in the garbage the press puts out. Because, all three have very similar responses and plans for ALL MAJOR ISSUES this country NEEDS to face. If you hate HIllary or Obama so much that you would rather have Huckabee or Romney in office, then you need to see a specialist and YOU will be responsible for the continuing decay of our country....vote with your brain, not your bias.......

    January 23, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. Ashes

    I just do not understand how someone can switch from a democrat to a republican. To me, the platform of a party is very important and I can not abide by the republican platform. Anyone who runs as a republican is condoning that plateform. So, no matter who runs, if they support the republican platform I won't vote for them.
    How can you support Obama and then turn around and vote for a republican? I can understand not voting in protest, but putting a republican in office? It's almost everything Obama is fighting against. If you'd vote republican at all then why would you even think about voting for Obama? Seriously, I really don't understand that point of view.
    The Democratic Party and the the Republican Party have very different views on business, religion, health, education, gay rights, and Iraq. I don't see how people can just switch back and forth.

    January 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. abbindallas

    I LOVE IT!!!! Their ridiculous feuding is paving a way for the Republican nominee right into the White House... I can't wait to see which one has to eat crow and endorse the other for the "good of the Democratic Party."

    January 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. Applea

    I feel like the complaint is legit because the Clinton's had some polling station doors closed early. However OBAMA WON MORE DELEGATES. I'm getting sick of the Clinton's.

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. neetabug

    Benjamin, speak for yourself, I am African American. I will not vote for Obama. I just don't trust the man. One thing i can say about Hillary she promised the people of New York she would serve her time as Senator of the state of New York. She did this. What has he done for the State of Illinois. Getting a big head and running around the country for president.

    I know plenty of African Americans here in the state of Ohio, i can tell you they are not for Obama.

    January 23, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. dee

    Mark Cary, NC

    Your reasoning is why we had bush for the last eight year.

    Botched election

    I think Hillary was the one who Cried.

    January 23, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. Nita

    I will going to the primary in my state. I will actually be voting early. Something I have never done in my life. I plan to take my daughter in law (19 years) my daughter (26) along with both of my siblings. We plan to vote for Clinton.Obama should be everyone last choice.

    January 23, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. Luigi

    First, everybody who drops a post here and says that they are black or white, Democrat or Republican may be lying. There are a lot of imposters on this board and on boards all over the internet.

    Here are a few facts:

    In Nevada, Obama won 13 delegates, Clinton won12; Obama won 11 of Nevada's 17 counties. Clinton won 6. Nevada is a majority white state with a large number of hispanics, and fewer blacks.

    Harry Reed, the US Senate Majority Leader, did not endorse anyone , but his son, State Senator Rory Reed, endorsed Clinton (Go figure). The Clark County Commissioner, whose job is probably the most powerful in Nevada, next to the Governor, also endorsed Clinton, Casinos (even where the caucus was held) took out ads for Clinton, including Harrah's, the owner of Ceasar's palace.

    Senator Obama Obama made a tough decision, he had reservations about the effect of gambling, especially on the poor - and he said so, right in Clark County where 70% of the state's voters are and where the "Strip" is. THAT TOOK GUTS!!
    AND HE STILL WON THE MOST DELEGATES IN THE STATE. SENATOR OBAMA HAS MY VOTE.!!
    GO OBAMA!!!!

    January 23, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. sean77

    Yeah I was watching the news during the Nevada caucuses and saw certain sites closing the doors on people when there was defintiely room inside. This is just another tactic from Hillary "Wall-Mart" Clinton!

    January 23, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Ginny CA

    Boy, Obama is really puttin' it out there, isn't he? Hillary Clinton is strong and respected by voters and doesn't need to stoop to illegal campaign tactics. All the voter intimidation came from the Obama people. The union that endorsed him did a lot of his dirty work when it came to threatening and intimidating their members. Obama might want to think twice about going down this road. There are enough voters who are still angry about the way they were pushed around and told to vote for Obama or else. This "investigation" could come back to bite him on the rump.

    January 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
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