Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008 | 5:45 p.m.
Andres Ramirez, hired to do Hispanic outreach for the Nevada Democratic Party, found himself putting out fires during today's caucus. Manning the
party hotline for all problems caucus, it was soon apparent his duties would go beyond queries like, "What do we do if voters for the non-viable candidate don't want to switch to another candidate?"
While handling such a call, he looked up to see a local TV news reporter speaking of chaos erupting at Rancho High School. As he pressed on in the
call, staffers kept passing him notes reading, "Rancho."
He hung up and jumped in his car and raced to precinct 4452, where he found that a Sen. Hillary Clinton supporter was also wearing the hat of caucus
chairwoman -- and wasn't letting Obama supporters enter the caucus. People were shouting.
"I had to jump on a table and tell everyone, 'I'm a state Democratic Party representative and we have to bring this to order,'" Ramirez said.
Then, back at the office, he got a breathless call from precinct 6505. A caucus participant had found the party hotline on a piece of paper.
His problem: the caucus chairman had been struck with a heart attack.
There were no party staffers at that precinct. "What do we do now?" the voter asked.
Ramirez walked him through the whole caucus, votes and all.
No word on the chairman yet.
This is democracy, warts and all.