Colorado Democrats Threaten Clinton Delegate's Status

CALL7 Investigators Obtain Internal E-mail

An e-mail sent from the political director of the Colorado Democratic Party threatened the status of a national delegate, alleging she made "disparaging public remarks" about Sen. Barack Obama.

Sacha Millstone of Boulder said that her comments were critical, but they were not public.

Millstone acknowledged she was frustrated over how the Obama campaign was treating delegates who supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and told a fellow delegate, in what she believed was a private e-mail exchange, that she was not sure she could vote for Obama at the Democratic National Convention later this month.

The other delegate apparently filed a complaint with the state Democratic Party suggesting Millstone lose her status as a delegate.

Apparently, the political director of Colorado's Democratic Party, William Compton, took the suggestion very seriously and told Millstone via e-mail, "Dear Ms. Millstone: A complaint has been filed with the Colorado Democratic Party, by a fellow Democratic National Convention delegate, regarding your position as a Delegate to the National Convention in light of the disparaging public remarks you have made and continue to make regarding our Party's presumptive nominee for President, Sen. Obama. Therefore, you are hereby directed to come in to the Party Headquarters and explain your comments and why you should remain a national delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in light of these comments. I can be reached at 303-XXX-XXXX. Your immediate attention to this urgent matter is requested."

That is the full text of Compton's e-mail to Millstone, who worked on the campaign for Hillary Clinton, and considered the e-mail a threat to her credentials.

"I think that one of the reasons I got this letter was to intimidate me," said Millstone. "It sounded very totalitarian. I thought it sounded undemocratic and I was completely shocked."

Millstone continued, "Having conversations on the pros and cons of those candidates, I don't think this is an unusual thing at all in the Democratic Party."

"Anytime we receive a complaint, we are required by our rules to hear that complaint and decide whether or not it should be taken to the rules committee," said Pat Waak, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party.

Ferrugia asked Waak, "If someone brings you private correspondence, you'll use that in investigating a complaint?"

Waak responded, "We have used documents, memos, other things in the past where complaints have been filed. We have used whatever comes to us. That does not mean it goes to the rules committee."

Waak said the investigation and e-mail from Compton was not made public by the Colorado Democratic Party and regrets that it is in the public domain.

She also said, "I do think there are some delegates, on both sides, with some wounded feelings because this has been a very difficult, hard fought campaign."

About Millstone, Waak told 7NEWS, "From our point, it's over with. She's chosen not to come in and talk with us and so, we're two weeks away from the convention and we'll continue to work with the delegates who want to be worked with."

Millstone firmly believed the e-mail from Compton was a clear message to Clinton delegates nationwide to refrain from critical comments of Obama if they wish to attend the convention.

"I think that it was calculated to have an impact on other delegates and I think this kind of communication does have a very chilling impact on other delegates because people become afraid to speak up. They become afraid to say what they think."

Millstone added, "You can't get unity by telling people to shut up."

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