Nevada Democratic Chairwoman Describes Death Threats From Sanders Supporters

May 17, 2016

The chairwoman of the Nevada Democratic Party said on Tuesday that she has been receiving death threats every few seconds from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

Chairwoman Roberta Lange described the harassment and threats she had received from Sanders' supporters and how the Sanders campaign has not condemned the actions of its supporters and staff. At the Nevada Democratic Convention, chaos broke out among supporters of Sanders who said they were not treated properly.

CNN host Brooke Baldwin first went through a series of text messages Lange has received from an unknown Sanders supporter that included threats toward her and her grandchildren.

"I am so sorry you're having to go through this. I mean, hung at a public execution? And these are just a few examples," Baldwin said. "How often are you getting these threats? What else are they saying?"

"Yeah, I get threats every one to two seconds on my phone, on my email, on Twitter, on Facebook. It is endless," Lange said. "In fact, it has gotten worse as time goes on and it, you know, it's awful. They've attacked my work, my job here as a state party chair is volunteer."

"They've attacked the place where I'm employed, it's a restaurant and gaming bar, they've posted on their Yelp bad things about the restaurant. They've attacked my husband," Lange said. "They've made a clone Facebook of my name and said awful things about my husband that looks like it's coming from me. There's no end to the threats and the vile comments that have been made."

"I mean, we just played that audio recording, I don't know if you had heard that before, Manu (Raju) had, where you had this scene, a senior Sanders aide essentially saying you should not leave, I don't care who the chair is, the chair being you," Baldwin said. "How should Sen. Sanders handle this, you know, quell his supporters so this doesn't happen again?

"Look, when staff people in the Sanders campaign is feeding into this, people feel empowered to behave this way," Lange said. "Not only were people talking when we were trying to run the convention and yelling and rushing the stage and throwing chairs and yelling for my death in the crowd, those are the kinds of things that have to be stopped."

"What should he say? How can he stop that?" Baldwin asked.

"I have not received an apology. I have not received anything from the Sanders campaign," Lange said. "I haven't seen anything that said that this should stop and it's going to continue unless people are made to feel like this isn't okay, this isn't behavior that we should have."

This wouldn't be the first time that Sanders' supporters have caused violence at an event. In March, Sanders supporters disrupted a rally for Donald Trump in Chicago and started fights in the crowd with Trump supporters.

Sanders' campaign released a statement about Nevada. However, any mention of the violence, threats and harassment were buried in the statement.

"Within the last few days, there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense," the statement said. "Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign, of course, believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals."