At last night’s DPOC meeting, Central Committee member Jeff Letourneau sought some sort of admonishment by the local party against former Party chair Frank Barbaro because Barbaro’s PAC had issued campaign mail on behalf of Anaheim Council member Jordan Brandman using Barbaro’s title as DPOC Chair Emeritus in the tight race for Anaheim City Council in District 3. There was some discussion on the issue but no action taken.
The party’s endorsed candidate in Anaheim’s District 3 city council race was Dr. Jose F. Moreno, who, as of last night was a 66 vote winner in a close race against fellow Democrat Brandman.
DPOC Chair Henry Vandermeir suggests a change to the Party’s bylaws is likely required in 2017 to prevent Central Committee members or those who had a past association with the DPOC from endorsing candidates other than the Party’s endorsed candidates. LeTourneau specifically mentioned the Brandman endorsements by Congressman-elect Lou Correa and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and how their endorsement of Brandman might require the Party to rescind their endorsement of any candidate backing someone else. Careful what you ask for Jeff.
As a Democrat, I’m not comfortable with Republicans endorsing our candidates for office — for example, Lynn Schott’s endorsement of Melissa Fox, Darryl Issa’s endorsement of Sanchez for Senate and Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait’s endorsement of Moreno and Arturo Ferraras are just some examples. It[s news when it happens, but do we really want to be aligned with people who don’t share our political values?
But before LeTourneau starts carrying water for Moreno on this mailer and Barbaro’s endorsement of an incumbent Democrat he’s endorsed before, he ought to be reminded that in 2014, Moreno endorsed Tait for Mayor and gave money to the Mayor’s re-election big over the DPOC’s endorsed candidate for Mayor, Lorri Galloway. Motreno defended that endorsement in our 2014 interview. So should the Party retroactively admonish Moreno for this endorsement using the same argument LeTourneau made last night? What do we call this? Situational hypocrisy?
Moreno won the election; Brandman conceded, yet there’s this “punish the opposition” mentally of fellow Democrats at a time we ought to be uniting that’s unseemly. In the DPOC meetings I’ve attended, Letourneau has gone after Brandman, Assemblyman Tom Daly and now Barbaro. If only he’d go after Republicans with the same vigor.
Congratulations to Moreno on his narrow victory. Move on please. Vandermeir talked about 2018 not being far away. It’s not. The 2016 election did pit friends against friends and if we have any shot at winning elections in 2018, we will have to move forward together.
It’s high time to tighten up the Party’s rules for endorsements; if you’re running on a ticket backed by a conservative Republican, you probably shouldn’t get the Party’s endorsement. If you back a Republican over a Democrat, you should probably get kicked off the Central Committee. And when we have a Democrat vs. Democrat race — Sanchez/Kamala Harris, Correa/Bao Nguyen, Brandman/Moreno — perhaps its best to let the voters, and not the party, decide who the best candidate is with their votes, the ones that truly matter.