The following are actual emails that were sent and recieved during the 2008 election cycle. In the interests of Progressive Democratic Party members who are trying to further Progressive causes and garner support, I offer this perspective as a history and a possible support for those who may think they’re alone in the fight for real change, because this is what we’re up against even today in 2012. The names have not been altered though the email addresses have been removed because they are no longer viable.
Good Morning Jonathan,
Hope all is well with you & family. I saw Margery @ Scotty Babb’s fundraiser last night.
She told me she sent you an e-mail and copied me and if I wanted I too could tell you
what has been going on here for quite awhile. This is going to be a long e-mail so
please bare with me, here we go!
This all started @ the Nevada caucasus in Feb. Our precinct was viable and we
were told we could elect four(4) delegates and two(2) alternates to attend the state
caucus in Tonapah. We elected our delegates wrote our names & all contact numbers
on a piece of paper and then left. Ten minutes after leaving I was called back to fill
out the proper form to attend the state caucus. I was the first to put my name on the
paper. I went back and filled out the form. While I was there Loyle Watkins and a
Obama delegate and Ashley, who travels with Obama, were aurguing about the
delegate count. Loyle was trying to take one of Obama’s delegates and give it to
Hillary he said the count was off. The people that were counting had no idea what
they were doing. The count had already be sent to Carson City. Loyle Watkins &
Ashley really got into it heavy. I lent her my cell phone so she could call the Obama
attorney’s. Loyle Watkins was told the count had to stand!!!! While all this was going
on I filled out my paperwork and was told I would be called and told where we to be
on Feb. 23rd for the state caucus. I was told @ that time it were probably be here in
Pahrump. After about one (1) week I started calling the Dem. headquarters here and
was told that people were voting for Hillary and they didn’t /wouldn’t tell me where we
were to go and also It wasn’t necessary for me to attend that my vote would still count.
I was finally called on Wednesday, Feb. 20th two days before the caucus, and was in-
formed that the caucus would be in Tonapah. My Husband & I attended the caucus and
again it was a mess. I had the good sense to bring the form I had filled out with me. The
meeting was finally called to order. They started with the Obama delegates taking roll
call of each precinct. I realized @ that time not all of our delegates were there from our
precinct. I was sitting with Jesse & Emily Bratton ( Jesse was an elected delegate &
Emily was an alternate). I asked them if they had brought their paperwork with them &
they had no idea what I was talking about. Again, remember, my name was the first one
on the paper when we voted for our delegates. I, as I found out, was the only one called
back to fill out the paperwork. After all precincts were recognized we were lined up against the wall on opposite sides of the room. Obama on one side & Hillary on the other. They
then went down the lines and counted. The count was one person off it was then that
Loyle Watkins and all his cheerleaders counted themselves for Hillary. We were lined
up in precinct order. Due to the lack of order, control and frustration several Hillary
crossed over to the Obama side. Loyle and Kathleen again took another count of
delegates on the Obama side and removed the ORIGINAL Obama delegates and re-
placed them with the Hillary crossovers. We were not allowed to caucus and when we
protested we were told we would be thrown out of the caucus. Loyle and Kathleen
then proceeded to hand pick delegates on the Obama side to attend the state con-
vention. There was ” NEVER ” a vote taken. We were picked!!!!!!!! Loyle also told
everyone to have their paperwork out so it could be verified. Since I was the only delegate called back to the Feb. 19th caucus to fill it out Jesse & Emily didn’t have any. Delegates,
mostly Obama, were then told that those without paperwork were not eligible to go to the
convention or even paticipate. I went toe to toe with Loyle about the paperwork. Sudden-
ly he produced the paper from our precinct with the delegate names on it, however the
alternates were missing along with phone numbers exccept for mine. In brackets the
three (3) remaining names were listed as alternates. Loyle asked me if I had written
down the names and I explained to him aI hadn’t. It’s clear on the paper that none of
our signatures match, however he insisted and accused me of it even with Jesse & Emily
backing me up, basically accusing us of lying which I resented and still do!
On our way home my husband & I saw two women from the convention that had
car trouble, we assisted them and during our back and forth to their car I learned that the Hillary delegates were called two (2) weeks before the caucus to make sure they would be there and yet some of the Obama were either NOT called or called two (2) days prior WHY?
I thought It was important that someone supporting Obama volunteer @ the Dem. office
just in case and I was right. People would go into the office asking for Obama posters,
button, etc. and were told they only carry Hillary stuff!!!!!! On one occasion CJ overheard
a conversation that had taken place the day before. An African-American Obama
supporter asked for Obama stuff and she was told that they don’t have that ” NIGGER “
stuff there. Sorry for even using that awful word, I was offended, I can’t even imagine
how that poor woman felt. I was so enraged and upset I called Alison Schwartz and
told her everything, she too, was upset by what had taken place. She assured me that it
would be taken care of. She sent a letter to Sam Liebermann and it was decided that
a revote or should I say a proper vote be taken. She sent me a copy of the letter and I
still have it should you need it. Loyle was notified by the ethics committee and he was
“LIVID “. He tried to argue that everything had been followed in accordance with the
rules. Then he was asked for the ballots from our vote and he could not/would not produce
them. How could he we NEVER VOTED!!!!!!! The ethics committee arranged a conference call which fifteen (15) of us participated in. We all said the same thing. Loyle was
supposed to take part in that call. We later found out that he and Kathleen were listening
in unaware to any of us.
I encouraged Margery to run for his seat to bring unbiased, unopionated and fairness
back as it should be. I can’t tell you how outraged he his @ the thought that someone is
opposing him and his way of running things with his groupies. Jonathan we have lost many
good people who were thinking of running for various offices, volunteering but now will not ever get involved because of Loyle Watkins. That should tell you something. He reminds me of George Bush, his way or no way and thats wrong! This e-mail is not meant to attack him
but to point out that that things here need to change so we are able to unite and go forward.
However with Loyle @ the helm that will not happen! People that were once excited, in-
volved, filled with enthusiasm, have new ideas and just want to be a part of something
historic have given up on our party. Several of us in Pahrump came back from the con-
vention, rolled up our sleeves and have been working very hard to do our part in any way
we can. It is an uphill battle with Loyle Watkins as County Chair. It is of my opion that
Loyle Watkins, Loyle Scarlet , Kathleen Bienenstein all be removed immediately.
I’m sorry this e-mail was so long, but I needed to start @ the beginning. Below please
find e-mails and phone numbers. Jonathan, I do hope that this whole matter can and will
be resolved ASAP. You’re extremely knowledgeable and good @ what you do! I trust
this will be given your immediate attention.
I am working to support Nye County Democrats at the State level. We’ll see what I can get done on your behalf.
Let me know what you need.
All the best,
Rabbi Jonathan Freirich
At Large Member of the Executive Board
Nevada State Democratic Party
You are going to have to bring this directly to the State Party. I tried to do so and was not received warmly. Get the leadership and staff e-mails from the nvdems.com website.
Honestly – I pretty much got shouted down for interfering in another county.
Talk to you soon – keep your chin up!
Loyle Watkins took a new ad out in the Pahrump Valley Times stating the same thing as he did in the Mirror. I can’t wait to hear what he paid for that ad. Something has to be done. I sent all the information I have to the Pahrump Valley Times editor concerning Loyle Watkins, Loyle Scarlet and Kathleen Bienstein. I can’t be silent and let this go by because not only is it dividing the party it’s also not getting the message of Democracy across. There’s something else that crossed my mind. How can our Democratic Headquarters just give $18,000.00 to the Washoe county Democratic Head quarters when first they don’t need the money and we do in order to get the word out. These were apparently donations to our county party.
Do you have any other suggestions?
Obviously, Loyal and Harley have issues, to say the least.
Forward this along to our NSDP leadership.
I am glad that the Attorney General was there – hopefully that will provide you with some support.
Talk to you soon,
I wanted to keep you posted. At the Central Committee meeting people who were not registered democrats were asked to leave the building because Loyle Watkins said we were going to strategerize (is that a word?). Anyway…Watkins proceeded to read Mariaelena’s email and an email from Jesse Bratton. He didn’t read our correspondence to the attendees of the meeting. He read the rules for the Central Committee and the removal from office for a Central Committee member to Harley Kulkin about why the democratic party of Nye county wasn’t endorsing him. The problem is those rules only apply to committee members not candidates. That the excuse he gave Harley for not being endorsed. The State Attorney General was there too. I sent her our correspondence and she said she would look at it as soon as she got home.
::: END OF RECORDED EMAILS:::
At this point I decided to take Mariaelena’s suggestion seriously, and I submitted my papers to run for the Chair position of the Nye County Democratic Central Committee. When the time came to hold a vote, I was given to understand that it would be held in Pahrump. I emailed my co-delegates to the State Convention and on the day that we were to hold the vote, close to 40 people showed up to vote for me. First, we were told that the Central Committee had moved the date and location of the vote to Tonopah. A good 150 miles from Pahrump. Second, I was told I was ineligible to run because I had not attended 11 out of 12 meetings of the Central Committee. Robert Hanson suggested there be a teleconference so everyone could vote and he was told by the chair, it wasn’t allowed even if 2 of the chairs were present at the teleconference sight to count votes elsewhere. At that time, teleconferencing was the norm for all other Central Committees and still, C.J. Ross, who was a volunteer in the Democratic Headquarters was voted in as one of the chairs, even though she’d only attended some 2 meetings. Apparently that she’d volunteered counted as some kind of attendance. I had canvassed every day over the 2008 cycle for Obama and I got no credit what so ever and I’d attended 11 out of the 12 meetings of the Central Committee. I was told by the Central Committee there was no record of my attendance at 3 of the 12 meetings where I was present and I had witnesses that were elected state officials in attendance too. One other person and I overheard the Chair ask another chair to destroy the hard-drive of the Democratic HQ office computer, to eliminate any evidence or records. He was told to take a hammer to it and just replace it.
At the first and second meetings of the yearly meeting cycle, that any of us attended, I can only say the reception our attendance brought was unwelcoming (and I’m being generous when I say that). At one point I was told to fuck off and get out. Membership and attendance dropped back to the 3 to 5 people who were regulars, from before the 2008 cycle.
Several of us decided we ought to start our own grassroots meetings in order to keep the momentum going from having helped to get President Obama elected. We started working on our By-Laws, and following Robert’s Rules of Order, when we were done, a copy of them was stolen from us and instituted into the Nye County Democratic Central Committee. I actually thought this was rather flattering and hopefully a good sign of things to come, though I never went back to any meetings after that until the next Central Committee election.
Things seemed to be going well with the new Central Committee chairs until we had a luncheon for the original activist who came to Pahrump to get us started with the Campaign for Change. Even that went well until a well dollared supporter brought a Republican into a Democratic event and then, tricked the wife of the treasurer into allowing this Republican to announce her candidacy for a local office and also announce her support for Ron Paul of all people. Then to add insult to injury, the treasurer was berated and insulted for using his emergency stipend, to purchase a desperately needed printer for the Dem HQ. Immediately thereafter, this well dollared and supposed Democratic supporter, wrote a personal check to the Chair at which point the Chair bought another printer at three times the price of the cost of the printer the treasurer bought for the Dem HQ.
The treasurer resigned his position immediately. When I read his resignation letter, I got dressed and within the hour I was at his front door to let him know that he and his wife, had both my support and my husband’s support.
During caucasing at the precinct level, I had volunteered to help direct traffic and when I went in for training, I took my husband with me and we both asked the chair to do something about the resignation of the treasurer and she refused. In protest, I did not show up for the precinct caucus. I was fairly certain I wasn’t wanted there anyway, even though I organized people to bring in 1000 voter registration forms for the purposes of registering voters at large and for the precinct caucus.
My husband and I attended our last meeting together following the precinct caucus. Our retiring secretary was presented with a plaque as a going away present and memento ( I believe as a last minute gift) that included every name of the Central Committee members for that cycle, except the treasurer’s name (which I believe was deliberate insult even to this day). Both my husband and I stood up for the treasurer even though he was not in attendance. His wife was there and so were many other registered Democratic Party members. Both my husband and I let them know exactly how disappointed in them we were, even though we were both interrupted many times during our time speaking on the floor.
I was disappointed so much so, and so was everyone else that we created the parent group now known as Progressive Democrats of America – Nevada Chapter. I removed myself from all things having to do with the do nothing, hypocritical and dishonest Nye County Democratic Central Committee since then. My husband has attended one meeting since then because there was a special election held due to the fact that the chair also resigned, citing family emergency. The treasurer has since returned to some degree to support the Central Committee and I find no fault in that. He has a much more forgiving nature than I do, especially since I’ve gotten nothing but grief and disappointment from then in all the time I tried to be supportive. Three times bitten and I’m a little more than shy, I’m bitter about it, even jaded you might say.
I still don’t see them doing anything to support our local community in the way of efforts to register new voters or support local needs. Outside of my activism for the Progressive Democratic Platform, I won’t be returning to that particular fold any time soon and they definitely won’t be getting any of my money.
This is the end of my History of Experience with the Nye County Democratic Central Commitee.