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Trouble at Texas Caucus Refuted

By Matthew Mosk
As crowds swelled and tempers flared during the caucus-portion of the Texas primary earlier this week, aides to Hillary Clinton's campaign sent out an alert to reporters: "Emergency Press Call to Discuss Caucus Intimidation and Irregularities in TX."

The reports of intimidation were coming from eye witnesses, including a phone call that Clinton's lawyers received from Carolyn Arambula, an advocate for injured workers in San Antonio. Arambula said she had spotted an Obama operative collecting signatures on a caucus sign-in sheet early in the day on March 4. If true, this would be a serious violation. The sheets were only supposed to distributed and signed that night, at the caucus event. The sign-up sheets would be proof that the voter physically attended the caucus to support a candidate.

Now, one of those accused of "an irregularity" has stepped forward. Will Smith, a Washington, D.C. resident, says he was the man in Texas who faced Arambula's accusations and wants to tell his side of the story.

Here's how Arambula described the incident: "He had a clipboard in his hand. I recognized the form as the one you would fill out for the caucus meeting," Arambula said. "I thought, 'My God, have you had people fill this out?'" After leveling the accusation, she said the two exchanged tense words outside Rudder Middle School, where voting was occurring.

Smith's response: "I want to state that this claim is without merit. The apparent reason for this allegation was that the fact that I held a clipboard. It was not used to sign up caucus participants but rather to secure literature describing the caucus process. The rules permitted distribution of this kind of literature."

Smith said he traveled to San Antonio in part because he supports what he described as "Senator Obama's call for a new type of politics based on civility and compromise rather than constant bickering."

"Unfortunately perpetuating misimpressions about days like Tuesday, makes political cooperation based upon civility and mutual respect very hard to realize," Smith said.

By Washington Post editors  |  March 7, 2008; 3:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

Anyone remember Travelgate? Here's a review, taken from info on Wikipedia:

In 1995, First Lady Hillary Clinton gave a deposition under oath denying that she had a role in the Travelgate firings. Six months later, newly-discovered White House memos showed that she was, in fact, the motivating force behind the Travelgate firings. In 2000, Independent Counsel Robert Ray issued his report on the Travelgate scandal, stating that Hillary Clinton had made 'factually false statements.'

After all that, why would Senator Clinton expect us to believe the vague attacks she levels against her political opponents? If she thinks people will buy into her unsubstantiated rumors of vote-rigging, she must think the American people have awfully short memories.

Posted by: fjfjdvdv | March 8, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I would make an educated guess that your "experience" does not actually include ATTENDING a caucus. The primary system usually allows everyone to vote and people can cross over to vote for a candidate that they don't really support. The caucus system does a better job of letting the party choose THEIR candidate. It's not about the will of the "people" at primary time, it is about the will of the people in the party. Rush Limbaugh had a hand in Clinton's win in Ohio when he had Republicans cross over to vote for her. That is not as likely to happen in a caucus.
I have caucused in Iowa for years and we always have an orderly, friendly "experience."

mindaluz wrote:
The caucus in my experience does not represent the will of the people. Popular vote does, the main electorate process. The poll being open in a convenient time for all. The 2 step for Texas is a waste of money and time, and prone to disorganization and cheating an outcome Once in the caucus site to make the....

Posted by: lynettema | March 8, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

(Paraphrasing Hillary and Bill Clinton):
"We Democrats feel the same about the issues"
"Barack Obama's claim to be against the Iraq war is a fairy tale"
"Obama's campaign is very much like Jesse Jackson's."
"I am sooo proud to be on the same stage with Barack Obama."
"Shame on you, Barack Obama. Shame on you and your Karl Rove ways."
"McCain and I are ready on day one to protect our nation. Barack Obama gave a speech in '02."
"Maybe Barack Obama will be my running mate!"
WILL THE REAL HILLARY PLEASE STAND UP?!


Posted by: lynettema | March 8, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

In the Texas primary, how many Republicans voted for Hillary in order to keep the Dem nomination fight going and aid her survival to await the GOP kill in November?

Posted by: FirstMouse | March 8, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION
It was Mindaluz (March 8, 2008 11:11 AM) who wrote: "THIS IS NOT DEMOCRAZY IN A CIVILIZED COUNTRY"

Posted by: Roy3 | March 8, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

ABOUT CAUCUSES
Suppose that voters/volunteers/candidates on one hand are young, energetic and purhaps students. Older voters/volunteers/candidates must be disadvantaged in terms of result. If one of the candidates also benefits by having more money even that seems to be very undemocratic. In my opinion (I am a European who should mind my own business) I can understand Jennifer(March 8, 2008 10:18 AM) when she writes: "THIS IS NOT DEMOCRAZY IN A CIVILIZED COUTRY"

Posted by: Roy3 | March 8, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I refuse to vote for a candidate as corrupt and divisive as Hillary. If she wins the primary, I will vote for McCain or Nader on principle. Here's why.

As far as I am concerned, she has already attempted to steal the primaries by suggesting that the Michigan and Florida delegates should be seated. There was no way Obama could protest this without losing votes, though it is clearly a case of attemtping to change the rules in the middle of the game. Then there was the comment about no one winning the general election without winning the Ohio primary (ignoring Wilson and Kennedy and the fact that few races have lasted so long as to make it to Ohio in recent years anyways), the racially inflammatory comments which split the black and Hispanic votes in Hillaries favor for some time after South Carolina, and the general negativity which always hurts ones cause while helping win the race.

Hillary may share my views and positions, but she is so corrupt as to harm the causes if she were to get in the White House.

Posted by: ReframeAmerica | March 8, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Whining, crying foul and no fair, then get hit over the head with a Baseball Bat! And Hillary is taking advantage of Obama's "call for a new type of politics based on civility and compromise rather than constant bickering." Some of us have become over-zealous. We begin to see things that we don't actually see, hear things that don't exactly jive with the current situation, connect things that are anatomically opposite. I thought it was a Republican thing; some of us Obama folk can fall under that category, but MOST of Hillary's Camp can't melt the wax that's covering their eyes. They see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, and connect things that are opposed to each other. Hillary stated that by the time she gets through Obama's speeches will be an afterthought. No Way! By the time she gets through the Democratic Party will implode on itself, and the Rpublicans will get four more years in the White House. And that connection is NOT a fairy-tale.

Posted by: jrev7620042000 | March 8, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The caucus in my experience does not represent the will of the people. Popular vote does, the main electorate process. The poll being open in a convenient time for all. The 2 step for Texas is a waste of money and time, and prone to disorganization and cheating an outcome Once in the caucus site to make the choice depending upon who can outmuscle who in money and volunteers, the winner is for sure. The Hilary camp does not have the political machinery that the Obama camp has. This is the reason he is winning in most caucasus. I know, I was in one in Hawaii. It was a disaster, running out of ballots, and using cut up pieces of paper as one. Time extended for the late comers like mothers who have to cook dinner.All rules of fair play and honesty broken, the movement and surge cult wins. This is not democracy in a civilized country. It is third world country with less technology. Let us abolish it, please.

Posted by: mindaluz | March 8, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

This is just another example of GW Clinton grasping for straws. She's desperate and clinching on to any little thing that could deter voters for a second from the fact that she's LOSING!

Posted by: jencm | March 8, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

roy3, the precincts were to mail their results to Austin by Friday night. No one in TX expected a significant total before next Monday night or Tuesday.

For the first time ever, precincts could "call in" their results, and some have done so. You can follow prelim results at

http://precinctconventionresults.txdemocrats.org/election08district

[TX D Party site]

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 8, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

What is happening in Texas? The DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSES are still processing results. Has there been some kind of electoral rigging or bungling?

European

Posted by: Roy3 | March 8, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Pretty silly stuff, Clinton is a racist, Obama is a muslim, Obama is a racist. Experience makes a better CIC, I think not. McCain and Clinton has shown a propensity for disregarding the advice of military command. Shinseki, Powell and centcom Adm. Fallon all have advised against Iraq intervention and in Fallon's case wants to draw down troops in Iraq and thinks Iran is no threat and when it becomes one can be swatted like an ant was his euphemism.

Posted by: jameschirico | March 8, 2008 4:22 AM | Report abuse

Well it's happened the black racists are out in full throttle according to the posts I have just read. God help this country!!! This country deserves a REASONED election not one where either side--white or black-- pressures people on how they should vote--(John Lewis of Ga. AND Cong. Tubbs of Ohio.) There is also the talk of the African American community will stay home is Sen. Clinton wins FAIR AND SQUARE--how sad is that. Wake up America there are racists in the black community as well as the white community--STOP THIS BLOCK VOTING--get a life and vote on the issues.

Posted by: vergens2 | March 8, 2008 3:30 AM | Report abuse

seedofchange, where have you been? The details of Obama's purchase of the small portion of additional land is already a matter of public record. However, all the candidates have released their tax returns - why does Clinton have such a problem with it? I'll tell you why - for the same reason they have not released other tax returns...there is something in them they do NOT want the public to see!

Posted by: ndolan622 | March 8, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Neither Hillary nor Obama is qualified to be our president at this time, but Obama is a man of conviction and character. We have seen enough how Hillary operates politics.

Posted by: dummy4peace | March 8, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's biggest problem is her negativity.
She empowers herself by dividing others.
That's a hopeless disease.

Posted by: dummy4peace | March 8, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

For all of you who really think Clinton did alot for blacks let me say two words "Welfare Reform". He put more blacks off welfare and into a more poor situationt than even Regan did with the welfare cadallic statements.

I was not against moving blacks off welfare, but I was against how it was done. Now welfare rolls are low, but guess what? Food stamps are at a high in my state. Clinton was a money fraud. HRC is worst. She's just about politics as usual.

The only group that's going to vett her will be the Repub's if she's the nominee. All of the plane trips, questionable stocks and shady deals with shady figures will come out. No Clinton library be able to hide these facts.

Posted by: jaco302 | March 8, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

How dumb are the black people? All the talk about Clinton being racist is nothing but an excuse to vote for a black man-Obama. Clinton made blacks feel like human beings during two terms in Office and now the blacks want to throw all that for this ghetto drug addict like Obama? I know you want a black man to be President so bad but you must understand one thing, we are voting for the President of the United States not the President of a confused group of people who use color instead of what is good for America. Remember Hillary Clinton will be the nominee and will be the next President of the United States not Obama, I don't care how emotional you people are. Nobody owes anybody anything in America and you people need to stop ramming Obama down our throats because he is not qualified to be President. He belongs with the Rezkos of the World not in the White House. I am a Nilo Hamite and I am dark blue in color and don't thow that race crap on me..

Posted by: Tutu7 | March 8, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

How dumb are the black people? All the talk about Clinton being racist is nothing but an excuse to vote for a black man-Obama. Clinton made blacks feel like human beings during two terms in Office and now the blacks want to throw all that for this ghetto drug addict like Obama? I know you want a black man to be President so bad but you must understand one thing, we are voting for the President of the United States not the President of a confused group of people who use color instead of what is good for America. Remember Hillary Clinton will be the nominee and will be the next President of the United States not Obama, I don't care how emotional you people are. Nobody owes anybody anything in America and you people need to stop ramming Obama down our throats because he is not qualified to be President. He belongs with the Rezkos of the World not in the White House. I am a Nilo Hamite and I am dark blue in color and don't thow that race crap on me..

Posted by: Tutu7 | March 8, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

I am a Presiding Election Judge in my precinct as well as the Precinct Chair.

We shared a building with the Democrats for the election and everything was quite civil as it always is. I have shared the building with my counter part on numerous occasions and we see eye to eye on the biggest issue. Neither one of us cares who you vote for as long as the process is fair and by the rules.

What struck me was that there were so many that showed up to be a part of the caucus process and not a single individual in that room knew what to do.

The two parties were in separate rooms for the conventions.

My wife was helping to run the Republican Precinct Convention (not a caucus) until I could return from taking the ballots to the courthouse. This group of people were asking my wife for direction in holding there caucus.

I think the media hype over possible shannagans to hijack the caucus process was overblown, at least in this precinct. No one seemed to know enough to get started much less hijack the process.

One big plus for Republicans from all the caucus hype is that we had many more people interested in getting involved in our convention process.

Posted by: moto | March 7, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Whine, cry, & lie -- Hillary Clinton's MO.

Posted by: morelandn | March 7, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The black vote?
Obama won: Vermont, Iowa, Idaho, Wisconsin, Washington, etc...!
We can slice and dice lots of different ways.
In my opinion the simplest answer is that people who have more exposure and access to information are for Obama those who have less are for Clinton.
1) People less proficient in English : Latinos, Asians.
2) People with out college educations.
3) Those over 65 (you could argue here... so maybe this one is just more of identification based on age.

Simple and if fits the facts. Obama got a majority of Latinos while running against a Latino candidate in Illinois.

An informed voter chooses Obama an uniformed one goes for the familiar name of a beloved former president.

Posted by: grahampoor | March 7, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

LOL! :-o

Obasama People coming forward and admitting Innocence!

How Brave and Noble! ;~)

Now, who have Thunk That?

Posted by: rat-the | March 7, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton will have to take responsibility for manipulating the racial, socio-economic, and gender divide to achieve her own political ends. Though her rhetoric is progressive she is now building a campaign that is fueled by our worse impulses; and at the same time she plays the victim. Now her spokesmen, old Bill Clinton operatives, are saying she is the best candidate to attract White democrats in the Rust belt. The comments above clearly amplify that poisonous proposition. I have been fairly detached from the Primary campaign but now I know that we won't get a better democracy if we stand idly by while others exploit our weakness to their advantage. Isn't that what we just went through for the last seven years? It is time to stand up for ourselves. I agree that Obama's potential is a question mark. Maybe he is the real deal. Maybe not. Our doubt is unavoidable. But if Obama has become a 'Hope-monger' then Clinton has become a 'Doubt-monger'. And she has released venom that she can not contain. Just so she can win. To substitute 'Yes, we can' with 'Yes, she can' is sad, tragic and not uplifting in anyway the will heal this county or this world. Let her actions serve as insight into how she will govern us. She is no different than John McCain when it comes to creating a new America. So my choice is clear.

Posted by: richard.d.young | March 7, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Short Memories

I am an Independent who HOPE that real CHANGE will occur because the American people know that united ... YES WE CAN regain a leadership position within the human race.

I am puzzled by the number of people who fall for Hillary's "Negative" campaign tactics. Have American forgotten who Hillary Clinton really is?? If Senator Obama won't point it out, someone should. Visit the following links for a refresher.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq8aopATYyw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMfUajhL24I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sBL-sqe6zk

Posted by: fjai | March 7, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I was at the same caucus holding signs for Obama, as that accused in the article and I can tell you for a fact we in no way cheated or used intimidation. I can not say this was the case for the Clinton group nor her supporters. On the other hand I can also tell you that the voting judge (which contained 4 precincts) did give the envelope early (around 3:00PM) to the Clinton group when the rules clearly stated the envelope was not to be handed over until 7:00PM, unless their name was on the envelope which it was not. The same judge also refused to hand out the envelope to Obama supporters after 7PM and in one case actually pretended she had handed it out already and had to be asked repeatedly to hand out the envelope. This was my first time every campaigning for a candidate and I must say it left me completely disgusted with what I saw.

Posted by: bells3 | March 7, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm finding it very hard to believe that anyone would be so dumb to try passing around a caucus sheet at a primary, when you have to figure 50% are your opponent's supporters.

Posted by: BABucher | March 7, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

The black vote has been loyal to the democatic party, of course we want their votes. Obamas campaign has the problem of the white vote backlash for insinuating Bill Clinton is racist. Remember, Pres. Clinton forced the renewal of the Civil Rights Act through the Republican Congress when it was set to expire in 1995. He did nothing but good for blacks in his two terms as President. Its fine to be proud of Obama and his historic campain but don't demonize the Clintons to show it.

Posted by: thelambfam | March 7, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

More Clinton slash-n-burn. Given the Clinton's history, I don't believe a single word that comes from them (or their supporters). Who could want four more years of this kind of Bush-lite nonsense originating from the Oval Office?!? (I don't.)

Posted by: miraclestudies | March 7, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ermias.kifle: "She doesn't need the Black vote to win.
The Black Vote is OVERRATED."

Democrats haven't won the presidency, even with the black vote, except for Bill. But he lost them, as has she. The bridge is burned.

Posted by: edwcorey | March 7, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

55% to 60% white vote
65% to 70% Asian vote
60% to 65% Latino Vote

She doesn't need the Black vote to win.
The Black Vote is OVERRATED.

Posted by: ermias.kifle | March 7, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately perpetuating misimpressions about days like Tuesday, makes political cooperation based upon civility and mutual respect very hard to realize," Smith said.

I think America is tired of this kind of Politics and is ready for someone who can really bring people together instead of driving them apart.

End the Drama. Go Obama!

Posted by: thebobbob | March 7, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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