“We are not living in a democracy, my friends,” says California DNC Sanders delegate Ava Kennedy. “And this is why we are in the midst of a political revolution.”
Ava did not come to this conclusion lightly. Her experiences with the Democratic Party while helping the Bernie Sanders campaign in Nevada demonstrated this fact all too well. Her story: “I went to Reno, Nevada, in February to canvass for Bernie. As suggested by the Bernie campaign, I went to a training session by the (Democratic) Party to learn the Party rules and was present at a precinct caucus as an observer. There, on the precinct level, I saw the same behavior that we saw at the state convention.”
Ava witnessed a miscounted caucus result. When the Bernie precinct captains realized the caucus count was wrong, they went to ask for a recount from the precinct chair. However, the precinct chair (a Clinton supporter) quickly adjourned the meeting and told everyone to leave. “The Hillary delegates left as a group,” Ava noticed. “Most Bernie folks were like a deer in the headlights. What just happened?”
Since Ava attended the caucus only an observer, she wasn’t allowed to speak, but after the meeting was adjourned, the Berners talked to the precinct site leader, also a Clinton supporter. Then they sat down and made a recount. Ava recalls: “Turned out they had stuffed the vote with people that were not present saying they had ‘health emergencies’, but (they) kept getting the story confused about the nature of the health issues. In the end, since all the people were gone, we couldn’t prove that what should have been a 6-6 count was 7-5 in favor of Hillary.”
After her “alarming experience” at the Reno caucus, Ava was inspired to run as a delegate from California to the DNC. “To me, it was shocking that Hillary delegates were behaving this way. I would never do that for Bernie–nor would Bernie or his campaign ever ask me to. There is a major difference in integrity here,” Ava notes.
A Nevada judge ruled later that the Democratic Party as a “private organization” can do whatever it wants to in regard to running the Democratic Nevada caucus. The judge is setting a precedent that says that although Democratic candidates and the DNC itself accept matching federal dollars (taxpayer money), they are still legally allowed to bend the rules to achieve their desired result and may change the rules anytime without a majority vote. Essentially, there is no need for the Democratic Party to act democratically. The party cannot be held accountable for its actions to the unsuspecting public who vote in a Democratic caucus or primary–or even to its own members.
“This ‘private organization’ is deciding our next president,” Ava points out. “Is this what we teach our children? This is why so many have conceded that they have no influence in government, so they have stepped away from political involvement? Glassy-eyed, we have accepted the dominance of the powers that be, calling it a democracy.”
Ava Kennedy and other witnesses to the corruption of the Democratic Party in its running of the 2016 caucuses and primaries are speaking out and becoming active in the political revolution inspired by Senator Bernie Sanders. Americans of all political persuasions are fortunate to have such brave activists working hard to expose the lies and criminal activities of the entrenched establishment parties. Perhaps one day these revolutionaries’ actions will restore the voters’ faith in our political institutions.
Bio: Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of Our Revolution Continues–The Bernie Blog. http://bernie2016.blogspot.com