San Jose, Calif. (Diya TV) — Democrats from all over California ascended upon San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center last weekend for the party’s state convention. Though all members of the same group, this year’s edition pitted vocal supporters of Hillary Clinton against those of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The split of support between the two candidates was showcased during the three-day convention, which this year played host to north of 3,000 attendees. Division within the party became apparent after an overwhelming majority of Sanders’ supporters said they had no interest in voting for Clinton, and would not participate in this year’s general election should he not receive the Democratic nomination.
“I would have a very hard time voting for corruption,” Nadia Nouri, a Sanders supporter from San Jose, said about the prospect of voting for Clinton in November.
Even more extreme, Ruth Hull, a delegate from Orange County, said she is thinking about writing in her own candidate for president in the event Clinton wins the party’s nomination: Edward Snowden. Yes, the NSA whistleblower who released classified information and whom is currently residing in exile in Russia, Edward Snowden.
“You can’t have the insiders ordering the rest of the Democrats how to vote,” Hull said.
The Sanders contingency was represented in full force at the convention, and some of them checked their manners at the door, according to Smith, the Clinton supporter. Carrying two pro-Clinton signs, one of which read, “I’ve been waiting since 1789” for a female president. That one particularly struck a chord with the Sanders crowd, which led them to be “rude and insulting,” Smith said. “It makes me wonder what kind of Democrats these people are,” she added.
In the lead up to the keynote speech by Vice President Joe Biden Saturday afternoon, candidates in contention for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Barbara Boxer —Rep. Loretta Sanchez and California Attorney General Kamala Harris— delivered their appeals to delegates back-to-back. Harris, who ultimately won the delegate’s nomination, ended her speech with a standing ovation.
During his speech, Biden spoke emotionally about the passing of his late son, Beau. His words were interrupted when a heckler claimed the tumor which killed Beau was caused by a cellphone — “Thank you, but that’s alright. It’s okay…my son Beau would have loved that part…Let’s not act like Republicans,” Biden responded in turn.
Those who support Rep. Mike Honda were in full force as well, distributing literature which portrayed his Democratic opponent, 39-year-old Ro Khanna, as a puppet for corporate interests. The two are facing off for the second time in as many elections for the seat in the Bay Area’s 17th congressional district. Honda’s camp claimed they had no role in the distribution, and he ultimately won the delegates endorsement for re-election, despite the ongoing ethics investigation against him.
Ravi Kapur, Deepti Dawar and Jeff Knapp contributed to this report.