Sunday, January 13, 2008

Are Clinton Supporters Disenfranchising Minority Voters?

Sphere: Related Content

It's now come to this. Hillary Clinton took the support of African-Americans and unions for granted coming into this campaign, now that she's lost a good-sized chunk of both, she's panicking and it isn't pretty to watch. Her supporters are going for the jugular regardless of the fact that it keeps blue collar minorities from having their voices heard on caucus day:

The teachers union has drawn knives on the Culinary Workers, deepening the potential political rifts over Nevada’s Jan. 19 Democratic caucus.

A lawsuit filed late Friday in federal court seeks to stop the Democratic Party from holding caucus meetings at nine Strip hotels, which would diminish the influence of casino workers and hamper Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign.

The complaint, with the state teachers union and some party activists as plaintiffs, came as Obama accepted the endorsement of the Culinary Union. The timing seemed designed to cloud the good buzz from his campaign, which could only help Sen. Hillary Clinton’s efforts in the state.

The lawsuit claims that those voting in at-large precincts being held on the Strip would have too much weight compared with those voting at their polling places, violating the equal protection law of the U.S. Constitution. It also claims the at-large precincts violate state statute in the way they were drawn.

State Democratic Party officials disputed the lawsuit’s contentions.
I agree that caucuses are a really stupid way to decide delegates but it's what Nevada has chosen as their system. Losing the strong culinary union was devastating to Clinton's chances and her strategist's--using the teachers union as a surrogate; have gone the rout of disenfranchising these voters, a large number of whom I assume are minorities.

This is liberal hypocrisy writ large: a leading Democrat/liberal candidate is in cahoots with a supporting union in an attempt to suppress the right to vote by a sector of the populace that is largely Black and Hispanic. I would venture that if we looked at the demographics of the teachers union and the culinary union, the teachers union would not exactly look like a model of diversity. I couldn't find demographic stats, but based on pictures at the culinary workers website, they look pretty diverse.

By the Clinton camp's teacher unions reasoning, any site that is convenient would "have too much weight", including schools. The entire idea of a caucus is that it can take place in a fire house, a township building or even in someones living room so the idea that it would be too convenient and would actually get the most people involved in the voting process has Clinton crying and whining.

What an amazing thing it is to see the Clinton machine reeled and back on its heels. They've always fought from a position of strength with the Democratic party backing them. Now they are against an equal enemy and the petty tricks they used to get away with are magnified ten-fold.

If this lawsuit were filed on the GOP side, the candidate who filed it (in this case through a surrogate) would be pilloried as disenfranchising minority voters. The media are giving Hillary a rough time but would never go that far against a democrat.

Jeralyn at Talk Left doesn't believe that Hillary is behind it but I beg to differ.

Update: The teachers union is quite a litigious group and seems to be on a mission to wring every tax dollar they can from the casino industry.

No comments: