Oklahoma's delegates for Bernie Sanders are dismayed by Democratic Party email revelation
PHILADELPHIA — Oklahoma supporters of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders were dismayed but not surprised that Democratic Party officials worked behind the scenes to help Hillary Clinton win the presidential nomination.
“Everybody thought we were conspiracy theorists,” said Alera Henson, of Tulsa. “Now there's proof.”
The proof was thousands of national party emails exposed by hackers and released on Sunday by WikiLeaks.
Some of the emails
contained comments that were critical of Sanders and even suggestions about how his presidential campaign could be
Tiffany Phillips, of Tulsa, who was political director of Sanders' successful Oklahoma campaign, said Monday, “The emails are exactly what a lot of people knew on both sides. It's just the evidence is out now.
“The party early on was signed on to the idea of the Clinton campaign. And they weren't willing to let that go.”
Many of Sanders' supporters got involved in politics for the first time to work for the Vermont senator's campaign and came to Philadelphia less than enthusiastic about supporting Clinton.
The email release complicated the situation, Phillips said, in that it made Sanders supporters more likely to seek a way to register their displeasure during proceedings here at the Democratic National Convention.
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Sanders, who spoke Monday night, has urged his supporters to unite behind Clinton to defeat GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Asked whether he would support Clinton, Jacques Albert, a Sanders delegate from Tulsa, said Monday, “That's an interesting question.”
Henson said, “So much has happened this weekend. There's still a lot to process.
Phillips, Henson and Albert organized an Oklahoma network of Sanders supporters that, at its peak, included 6,000 people. This week, they are Sanders delegates at the convention.
Henson and Albert were working on their first campaign and weren't ready Monday to announce a switch to Clinton.
Phillips has been working in Democratic politics for years and is expecting to support Clinton.
Other Sanders delegates with previous political experience are also more ready to support Clinton than the ones new to the process.
Angela Wilson, of Owasso, who has been active in Oklahoma politics, said, “I'm behind (Clinton) 100 percent. I don't personally blame her
“I truly feel that the DNC had their candidate picked. I don't feel any words coming from the committee were words coming from her.”
Phillips and Wilson said some of the Sanders delegates have gone to work for other candidates running for office in Oklahoma.
“It's been a wonderful thing for the party and I hope it continues to build,” Wilson said.