Saturday, Feb. 23, 2008 | 12:54 p.m.
At 12:15 p.m., a line still stretches from the Bally's entrance through the lobby and casino and into the convention hall. Outside the hall, Clinton and Obama supporters are united in their anger over being turned away from the convention.
Take Marguerita Flowers, for one. An Obama precinct captain at Precinct 2480, Flowers was elected as an Obama delegate on caucus day. She received a postcard from the party confirming her status and telling her that her "declaration of support for a candidate must be noted by 10 a.m." She showed up just before 9 a.m. today, only to encounter a massive line. What happened? She was turned away and demoted to "alternate" status.
"What's the point of coming out," she asked, noting that she has been volunteering for the party for 30 years. "I resent coming up here, standing in line for hours to find out that my credentials are gone and the doors are locked."
Flowers added: "It's worse than the caucuses."
Marisa Calderon, a Clinton precinct captain at Precinct 1163, tells a similar story.
She and her husband, Christopher, both of whom were elected delegates on caucus day, pre-registered with the party. But when they showed up today only Christopher's name was on the party's list. So Marisa was demoted to an alternate. Party volunteers, she said, are not making anything clearer. Asked what was next, she said, "It depends on who you talk to. It feels like it's all for naught."
Others are even more upset.
"I think I'm going to vote Republican I'm so mad," said David Collins, a Clinton delegate who was also demoted to alternate.
State Sen. Dina Titus is doing her best to put a good face on the mess in her convention speech.
"Isn't it great to have the confusion of too many Democrats, than too few," she said.