January 23rd, 2008
02:37 PM ET
15 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. Cheryl, RI

    This has nothing to do about whining about the outcome of any primary.

    It is about preserving the integrity of the election process. When irregularities of the type that have been suspected in NH and documented in NV occur, the public need to know this. The world watches our elections. How can we expect to support fledgling democracies when our own system operates with irregularities, voter intimidation, and out right lies. This should not be tolerated by the American People, regardless of who you support.

    Saying that Sen. Obama is a sore loser because he is simply insisting on the integrity of the process, is in fact an intimidation process by the Clinton campaign. Regardless of who you support, we all should be united on ensuring that each vote is counted, and each person who wanted to vote is given that opportunity.

    January 25, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  2. Joe, Wilmington DE

    The Clintons continue thier decades-long despicable rampage over anything that is right, decent and honest.

    Americans can no longer afford to have this slash and burn, whatever it takes to win political mentality that essentially defines the Clinton way.

    We must move on to a more practical, honest, team-building approach to democratic government. This is not something that either Clinton is capable of. Obama clearly is.

    Have the courage to vote for Obama and help take us away from what has become a destructive political norm.


    January 25, 2008 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  3. acadia

    I agree with Debbie, if Hiliary gets in I'll vote Republican! To bad she couldn't stay on high ground, she has lost a lot of support with dirty tactics.

    January 25, 2008 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  4. GB

    I read through all of the previous posts..yes all of them. I think the most important thing to do is cast aside your previous bias and read the posts coming from the people that were actually present at the NV caucus. They were there, they saw what was going on. The rest of us are all just outsiders looking in trying to cast our opinion based on who we are supporting in this election. This story is not so much about the election as it is about voter rights.

    January 25, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  5. Kathy, Columbus Ohio

    Since the Clinton's are counting on the Latino vote I hope they come out and vote for them because Blacks will stay home. I suggest that Blacks go out and vote for their state and local races if they have any important issues on the ballot and do not vote for president. Now if you really want the Clinton's to lose then vote republican the party that freed the slaves but didn't do much for the Blacks after that. I really feel that Blacks need to register as independents and let each party come a corting. If we survived bush for 8 years we can survive the next republican for 4 more years. Do you really want a dem to walk into the BIG mess that bush is leaving for the next president, think about.

    If Bill thinks he can sweet talk Blacks into supporting Hillary after this dirty campaign he really needs to think again. He might be able to fool a few into voting for hillary but he will soon be dealing with the boomers he grew up with, who will tell him straight to his face to kiss where the sun don't shine!!!!

    Bill and Hillary are playing the Blacks against the Latino's and this will cost them the election. If the Blacks overwhelmingly vote republican to keep hillary out and don't forget the white man who will not vote for her, she loses!!!!!

    I'm looking forward the seeing the disappointment on hillarys face after she loses the election.

    January 25, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  6. Nate

    I think Bilary supporters are completely off base. Obama's camp received over 1600 complaints of voter interference by Clinton supporters and now Clinton supporters are saying Obama is being a crybaby. Good grief. He is fighting for justice and democracy. The Clinton's used unfair tactics and now Clinton's supporters don't want to here about how the Bilary will do whatever in takes to be President again.

    I can't vote since I live in Canada but go Obama!!! Edwards would also be good but he won't win. If Hilary wins the nomination I hope the Republicans win the election.

    January 25, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  7. Festus

    why is the question always about how the black votes could be divided and not how the white votes could be divided between Hillary and Obama and for what reasons?

    January 25, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. schlotzsky

    If Hillary (probably) gets the nomination, please don't automatically vote for the Republican! He most likely won't be any better. Consider all of the corruption and treachery that we've suffered through and use your vote for a third party. This is not 'wasting' your vote; on the contrary, unless your state is extremely tight like Florida in 2000, your vote for one of the major parties is worthless. It only serves to show them how many sheep they have in their flocks. A protest vote for a different party sends a message of dissatisfaction. If enough of us voted this way, it would make them take notice that the people have had enough!

    January 26, 2008 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  9. jim

    To JR and bd:
    plz tell me what is an african american job????
    i am a physicist, and i am african american!

    and to the rest, i don;t know much about the NV voting and i will not comment on things i don't have info on. i wish the rest of u would do the same. some of the people on this blog and others are so blind that they will not see any thing wrong.
    what's wrong is this... the do any thing to win!!! if u are better, then prove it without slander, rascism, and distorting statements. i have always admired the clintons, but this win at any cost is to much. someone said integrity and character.
    it all is lacking at this point, and for people that are from the same party at each other's necks is upsetting.
    if that is the only thing u have, then u have a major problem. get it together people...because we are leaving the door open to the republicans, again.

    January 26, 2008 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  10. Ardnuas

    Hilliary Clinton is a "female version
    George Bush", if she is elected she will DIVIDE this nation! She will insist that HER way is the ONLY way.... Listen to her speak, she only speaks of about what SHE will do in office, Barack speaks about working with the American people, the Republicans, the Independents to set our sights HIGHER and be the TRUE leader of the world...... Please don't be fooled by the Clintons..... Let's go forward.

    January 26, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Clyde-- Ky

    Robyn Great post: .Obama is now showing what a thin skin he has and if he is whineing about Clinton getting tough with him(which she should he doesn't deserve a free ride) wait (if God forbid he is nominated) the republican's will eat his lunch then quarter and field dress him.We need a strong leader now more than ever not some fly by night lite weight who would need training wheels-we've spent 7 plus years with that. Hillary has taken everything the republican's and clinton hater's have thrown at her for the past 30 year's so she is ready to take them on again Go Hillary

    January 26, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Aidyl

    Billary will do anything to win. People seem to forget that Bill was impeached and had his law license taken because of lies. Also people who had information on them reqarding white-water and other things wound up dead. Let's turn the page and not go back to that mess. If 35yrs of experience gets you that, I'll take less experience and more integrity and good judgement. ROCK OBAMA 08

    January 26, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. Clyde-- Ky

    democrat in NY: so you are proud of a liteweight all mouth no substance Obama? Most of you Clinton hater's can't stand a person smarter than you especially a Woman that's why you badmouth Hillary .What we need now more than ever is a brilliant person for president(which Hillary is) not someone who has nothing in his backgroung to qualify him to be president.Obama shout's change but never tell you what or how he would change anything.Obama is just a thin skined snakeoil salesman the republican's would chew him up and spit him out. Nominating Obama is a sure way to put another republican in the White House which this country or the world can't stand. GO Hillary

    January 26, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Clyde-- Ky

    Benjamin: You are forgetting that black's are only about 16% of the population which will have little effect on a national scale only in a state or two like maybe S. Carolina will black's make much of a difference and all blacks aren't for Obama they still remember that Bill Clinton a democrat did more for them than any republican. Hillary will drown Obama in the big states. Go Hillary

    January 26, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Ardnuas

    oops..... try this ... " W E ........... R O C K "

    January 27, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Ardnuas

    I agree with Barack............. YES ................WE..............CAN
    Let's do it America !!!!

    January 28, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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