August 11, 2008

Colorado Democratic Delegate Thrown Under The Bus For Anti-Obama Remarks, Delegate Status Threatened

Change we can't believe in--and not just in Wisconsin. If you are or have ever been a supporter of Hillary Clinton, and just happen to be a Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Convention, you better keep your opinions to yourself:
An e-mail sent from the Political Director of the Colorado Democratic Party threatened the status of a national delegate, alleging she made "disparaging public remarks" about Sen. Barack Obama.

Sacha Millstone of Boulder told CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia that her comments were critical, but they were not public.

Millstone acknowledged she was frustrated over how the Obama campaign was treating delegates who supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and told a fellow delegate, in what she believed was a private e-mail exchange, that she was not sure she could vote for Obama at the Democratic National Convention later this month.

The other delegate apparently filed a complaint with the state Democratic Party suggesting Millstone lose her status as a delegate.
Not a supporter of "The One?" That's a big no-no.

Perhaps Democratic Party officials should force delegate to sign a loyalty oath?
Apparently the Political Director of Colorado's Democratic Party, William Compton, took the suggestion very seriously and told Millstone via e-mail, "You are directed to come in to the Party Headquarters and explain your comments and why you should remain a national delegate..."

Millstone, who worked on the campaign for Hillary Clinton, considered the e-mail a threat.

"I think that one of the reasons I got this letter was to intimidate me," said Millstone. "It sounded very totalitarian. I thought it sounded undemocratic and I was completely shocked."
But that's benevolent totalitarianism. And the Democratic Party behaving undemocratically.

I know, I know. Shocking.
Millstone continued, "Having conversations on the pros and cons of those candidates, I don't think this is an unusual thing at all in the Democratic Party."

"Anytime we receive a complaint, we are required by our rules to hear that complaint and decide whether or not it should be taken to the rules committee," said Pat Waak, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party.

Ferrugia asked Waak, "If someone brings you private correspondence, you'll use that in investigating a complaint?"

Waak responded, "We have used documents, memos, other things in the past where complaints have been filed. We have used whatever comes to us. That does not mean it goes to the rules committee."
Ve have vays of making them talk!
Waak said the investigation and e-mail from Compton was not made public by the Colorado Democratic Party and regrets that it is in the public domain.

She also said, "I do think there are some delegates, on both sides, with some wounded feelings because this has been a very difficult, hard fought campaign."
Of course she "regrets" this story being in the public domain. The Democrats have staked this campaign on "hope" and "change" and a new political discourse. Millstone's opinions, and the revelation of this "investigation" end up discrediting the aura of party openness by restricting the ability of national delegates to have their own opinions on the party's candidate.

With Hillary Clinton's supporters scheduled to potentially throw a monkeywrench into Obama's coronation plans (Party Unity My Ass indeed!), this new story couldn't have come at a worse time:
About Millstone, Waak told 7NEWS, "From our point, it's over with. She's chosen not to come in and talk with us and so, we're two weeks away from the convention and we'll continue to work with the delegates who want to be worked with."

Millstone firmly believed the e-mail from Compton was a clear message to Clinton delegates nationwide to refrain from critical comments of Obama if they wish to attend the convention.

"I think that it was calculated to have an impact on other delegates and I think this kind of communication does have a very chilling impact on other delegates because people become afraid to speak up. They become afraid to say what they think."

Millstone added, "You can't get unity by telling people to shut up."
A sign of things to come under an Obama administration?

Unlike the situation in Wisconsin, where the delegate supported the GOP candidate, Millstone's concerns called into question her ability to vote for Obama, in what was a moment of doubt expressed in a private email. She didn't hold a press conference and trash the presumptive Democratic nominee. Millstone didn't switch parties. Reservations about the party's candidate, something expressed quite frequently among GOP voters, should hardly constitute grounds for dismissal as a delegate.

That the matter has been dropped (see video at link above) due to alleged time constraints with the impending DNC seems a little too convenient. Colorado Democrats just want to avoid a national headline, and it appears that had this happened earlier, a full rules committee investigation would have occurred.

**Update--earlier version said she hadn't made a declarative statement in favor of Sen. Clinton. She was, in fact, a Clinton delegate. Apologies.

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