My husband David Sloane, and I decided to fully participate in the effort to elect Bernie Sanders as our next president by running to be Sanders delegates at the Democratic National Convention this summer from our state of Florida. Sadly, my characterization of this place as Floriduh was spot on, as our experience showed how incompetent and undemocratic the Florida Democratic Party really is.
Although the early voting locations for 5/5 and the “caucus” locations for 5/7, and the contact and point people for each location were clearly disseminated by the Florida Democratic Party in this document posted on the FDP website, the party changed the times the early voting locations would be open the day before, and only notified candidates via an email.
On Saturday morning, David and I went to one of the two voting locations for our congressional district, Florida’s 21st, at the Northwest Regional Library here in Coral Springs where we live. The “point of contact” was listed as Grace Carrington, who we observed bringing two clear giant garbage bags filled with Hillary Clinton t-shirts into the room where people were voting. When I challenged her on why campaign material was being brought into the polling place, she became rude and belligerent.
I had assumed that the rules governing every other election I’ve ever participated in that prohibit campaign materials in a polling place applied. Silly me, as there is apparently no such rule when it comes to electing delegates to our national convention.
However, what I later learned was actually the real problem in this district.
Grace Carrington, the “point of contact” at one of two “caucus” sites for our district and for one of the early voting polling places as well – the person who ran the voting at those two polling places – was herself on the ballot as a Clinton delegate! (Shocker – she won!)
In what democracy is a candidate for office allowed to supervise a polling place where her name appears on the ballot? Apparently similar situations popped up at a number of the voting locations throughout the state during both Thursday’s early voting and Saturday’s “caucus.”
I have no idea why they referred to Saturday’s voting as a “caucus” either. The FloriDUH version of caucusing means the candidates stand outside of the polling place and accost people as they walk up. In our case, the polling place was at a library. When 10 out of 10 people we asked said they were not there to vote, we decided it was time to leave.
Saturday night, I began seeing candidates from other districts posting on Facebook that they had won, though I heard nothing. (I’m writing this at 2PM on Monday afternoon, and I’ve still officially heard nothing regarding the election results!)
Late Saturday night, I emailed Ken Evans, designated as the Vice-Chair for District 21 on the official Caucus Locations and Contacts guide posted on the FDP site asking about the winners.
On May 8, 2016, at 3:27 AM, nicole wrote:
Is there any way to find out who won in District 21?
He responded the next morning with this:
On May 8, 2016 at 9:25 AM Ken <email@example.com> wrote:
Michael Moskowitz, Jack Shifrel, Mohammad, Terri Rizzo, Grace Carington.
I am sorry you didn’t win.. So many people that are great for only a few spots. Please try to run for an alternate or at large delegate.
Have a nice weekend.
Broward Democratic State Committeeman
Hmmm. We only had one male and one female Bernie Sanders delegate from our district. Did he just do what I thought he did? Why yes, he did!
On May 8, 2016, at 9:33 AM, nicole wrote:
Really? You sent me the names of the winning Hillary Clinton delegates, and not the Bernie Sanders delegates?
to which he responded
On May 8, 2016 at 2:09 PM Ken <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Nicole, I don’t know the answer to this question. Please contact John Ramos, he’s the lead for District 21 not me. I thought I was helping with the question the best I could. I didn’t realize you were a supporter of Bernie Sanders. Otherwise I would of told you I didn’t know. It wasn’t meant to insult you only to be kind to help answer your question. Sorry.
Now, there is NO John Ramos listed anywhere on that District 21 Locations and Contacts guide, but Mr. Evans is listed as the vice-Chair, and the most senior person from Broward County, which is why I contacted him. But he was “being kind” by responding to my email?
This is my response to him and to the Broward County Dems and Florida Democratic Party as a whole. I will make sure every Florida Bernie Sanders delegate sees it too, so they know what they’re up against with this group.
Ken,I am truly stunned by your response!On the official list of contacts and locations from the Florida Democratic Party, you are listed as the Vice-Chair for District 21, with the only other designation being that you are from Broward County. The chair is Deidre Newton, from West Palm Beach. Since I’m in Broward, I thought you were the appropriate person to ask.I have no idea who John Ramos is. He is not listed as a contact anywhere in District 21 on the list of contacts and locations from the FDP.The fact that you assumed I was a Clinton supporter despite the fact that I was on the Bernie Sanders delegate ballot was bad enough, but for you not to even know or care about who the Sanders delegates are is dismissive and insulting.Obviously the party has no regard for us, or respect for the process. I hope the Sanders delegates from Florida stops Hillary Clinton from pushing her corporate agenda on this country. If the Democratic party wants to embrace her triangulation, her cozy relationship with Wall Street (yes, I want to see the transcripts of those speeches), her support of fracking and the myriad of other things she does and says that offend me and millions of others, I’m done with it.Your refusal to even consider that there are still two candidates in this race is really sickening. Once I vote in the August 30 primary, I’ll be changing my registration to No Party Affiliation.I have a feeling there will be many others doing the same. Good luck.