The entire Nevada Democratic Party staff resigned Saturday after candidates backed by the state chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America swept the election for party leadership.
The party’s executive director, Alana Mounce, sent an email to Judith Whitmer soon after she was elected chair of the of the Nevada Democratic Party informing her that the she was resigning, along with the operations director, research director, finance director, and communications director, according to The Intercept.
A coalition of progressive candidates won all five leadership positions in a contested March 6 election.
And the party apparently saw it coming, because they reportedly emptied the coffers.
“The establishment had prepared for the loss, having recently moved $450,000 out of the party’s coffers and into the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s account. The DSCC will put the money toward the 2022 reelection bid of Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a vulnerable first-term Democrat,” the left-leaning online news outlet reported.
BREAKING: After reviewing the @nvdems Treasurer race, it has been determined that some votes were cast by non-members. These votes have been nullified and Howard Beckerman has been certified as the winner. This means it’s a clean sweep for the LVDSA-endorsed Progressive Slate 🎉 pic.twitter.com/JLzE4CnhB6
— Las Vegas DSA (@LasVegasDSA) March 7, 2021
“We weren’t really surprised, in that we were prepared for it,” Whitmer told the Intercept. “But what hit us by surprise and was sort of shocking is that for a slate that claimed that they were all about unity, and kept this false narrative of division going on throughout the entire campaign — in fact they kept intensifying that — that’s what was surprising about it, was the willingness to just walk away, instead of working with us.”
There were apparently concerns about the damage Whitmer may do to the party.
“I knew I couldn’t work with her and watch her destroy the years of hard work so many operatives put into making our state party the best state party in the country,” an anonymous former staffer told the news outlet.
While some may attribute former Democratic kingpin Harry Reid for the state party’s demise — the “Reid machine” was still in control up until Saturday — turns out it was self-avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at the root of the matter.
The Intercept’s Akela Lacy and Ryan Grim explained that it began five years ago, when Sanders was running in the 2016 Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton, who had Reid’s support.
“Over the next four years, outside organizations like DSA exploded in size and strength,” Lacy and Grim wrote. “The Sanders campaign focused on organizing tens of thousands of young Latino voters in the state, with the goal of activating people whom the party hadn’t bothered with before. And it worked: In the 2020 cycle, after investing heavily in Nevada, Sanders won a commanding victory in the Nevada caucuses. When the Sanders campaign ended, the organizers behind it were ready to take their project to the next level.”
Whitmer worked to organize Sanders’ supporters and other young progressives into the very state central committee that elected her, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“The central committee, and the party itself, has grown younger and more progressive in the years since Sen. Bernie Sanders’ close 2016 defeat and clear 2020 victory in the state’s First in the West presidential caucuses,” the paper reported. “Whitmer and others worked to organize those Sanders’ volunteers and delegates into central committee members.”
Sanders released a statement following Saturday’s win.
“I congratulate Judith Whitmer on becoming chair of the Nevada Democratic Party. She knows that we must invest in year-round grassroots organizing focused on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice,” Sanders said.
“If we build a political movement that speaks to working people, we will continue to build on our political success in Nevada,” he added.
Just got a statement from @BernieSanders:
“I congratulate Judith Whitmer on becoming chair of the Nevada Democratic Party. She knows that we must invest in year-round grassroots organizing focused on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.” 1/2 https://t.co/eCPlfNyB1J
— Rory Appleton (@RoryDoesPhonics) March 7, 2021
The Democrats who walked were ripped online by progressives for not being willing to align with the socialists.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses from Twitter:
The Nevada Democratic Party reacted to DSA winning elections by sabotaging the party, like Labour sabotaged Corbyn. They want their own party to fail so they can purge the left. The 2-party system is the problem. The solution is ranked choice voting & independent politics. https://t.co/0d4XmX0SXQ
— Dave Schwab 🌻 (@FreeDaveSchwab) March 9, 2021
That Nevada Democrats behave like this after Bernie's resounding victory in the state's caucus shows you how little they care about the will of the Nevada electorate and ultimately committed they are to the notion of a centralized party machine wielding power like a club https://t.co/Yr9A2zZGis
— jordan (@JordanUhl) March 9, 2021
The dem establishment ran on unity and then immediately quit when their team didn't win. Kinda telling huh https://t.co/8mYoYWEPvH
— Krystal Ball (@krystalball) March 9, 2021
— Jen Perelman (@JENFL23) March 9, 2021
we believe in a rich vibrant responsive democracy unless you beat us in which case we will loot the machine and fuck you over for beating us https://t.co/F4kX0rPaWd
— Edward Ongweso Jr (@bigblackjacobin) March 9, 2021
Every party staffer quit in response to the takeover. The consultants left as well. The outgoing establishment drained the party account of $450,000 and put it into the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
And if you're thinking that's really petty, you're right.
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) March 9, 2021
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