The Orange Juice blog has published a scathing attack on California Democratic Party (CDP) chair candidate Eric Bauman (I’m not linking to it, you can find it on your own) and its from a blogger in North California who uses the name Marta.
Now Marta, and the duo that run the OJ blog, are big supporters of Kimberly Ellis for CDP chair. Ellis has been embraced by followers of Senator Bernie Sanders as a chair to re-invent the California Democratic Party which, oddly enough, is coming off an amazingly successful November election where Hillary Clinton won the state by huge margins, the state legislature has a super majority and there’s an increase in the number of Democrats holding elective office.
From Marta’s blog, this little gem:
As for me, my name is Margarita Lacabe….. I’m currently a member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee and I have worked on several campaigns for local office. I’m an international human rights lawyer by training, an activist by vocation and a troublemaker by personality. My concerns at the local level are good governance, transparency, accountability and the protection of civil liberties.
“…I believe that if Bernie Sanders manages to win the nomination and then the presidency, he will need supporters working at all levels with the Democratic party in order to push his agenda forward. If he doesn’t win, and instead decides to lead a revolution from the Senate, then the support of Democratic grass root activists is even more important. But let me be clear: as a liberal Democrat I cannot support Hillary Clinton and her neo-liberal/neo-con agenda which imperils America and the world.”
Marta bolded that; I did not. So thanks Marta for your role in helping Trump occupy the Oval Office and keeping the party divided. How is that Trump administration working out for you?
I suspect that bad feelings from the non-binding endorsement vote taken at DPOC Monday night is the reason this poorly-crafted ad often inaccurate portrayal of Bauman and his work at the LA County Democratic Party was published as a means to bolster Ellis’s candidacy. That, or payback for Bauman chairing a meeting that called for the removal of Greg Diamond as North County Vice Chair. And perhaps it was the commotion that many thought would become a fist fight between Diamond and current North County Vice Chair Jeff LeTourneau, who is backing Bauman. Really fellas, it’s a non-binding endorsement vote….do we really almost have to come to blows?
Other than an ability to answer a direct question, I don’t have a lot of bad things to say about Ellis. She’s smart, she’s talented, and she’s a star in the party. But she totally dodged a question about big money contributions from progressive tech executives and turned it into an answer about “dark money controbutions” which was not the question at all. For this cycle, she’s not the best candidate to lead the CDP. That’s Bauman and this blog endorses his candidacy.
Bauman is the subject of many rumors and innuendos. This piece is the DailyKos gets to the meat of why Bauman is better suited to be the state party chair. From the story:
The Chair’s race is a perfect example of the conflict between what seems like the best approach for radical reformers, versus what actually is. It is tempting for activists frustrated with the status quo to want to throw out everyone in the old guard and replace them with someone new and inexperienced. But that instinct often throws out good babies with bad bathwater, and the replacement isn’t always better than what went before. Moreover, there is a constant conflict between those who advocate making change by pushing aggressively from the outside, versus those who advocate pushing hard more quietly from the inside. The latter is usually more effective, although it’s far less sexy. There’s a reason that those who know Bauman well and have worked to reform Party rules, including hardcore progressive activists many of whom backed Sanders, are lining up behind Bauman.
Consider a few examples. When party rules allowed state and federal legislators to appoint delegates anywhere in the state rather than in their local districts, there arose a sort of protection racket in which bad incumbents were protected from grassroots challenges by legislators simply appointing most of their delegates in the contested district on behalf of the incumbent. Legislators predictably resisted grassroots demands for change. It was only Eric Bauman’s leadership and negotiations, due to his longstanding connections with the legislators in question, that resulted in a far more progressive compromise several years back. That compromise, only made possible by Eric Bauman, helped enable progressive Nanette Barragan to unseat the more conservative Isadore Hall in California’s 44th district.
When a large number of oil-friendly legislators were strongly resisting a push by grassroots California Democrats to enshrine a fracking moratorium in the Party’s platform championed by Environmental Caucus Chair RL Miller and were organizing to kill it in committee, it was Eric Bauman who used his influence to ensure it survived.
This is Bauman’s modus operandi. He does the hard work quietly and without fanfare that almost no one else without his connections could do, work that would be impossible for an outsider whom legislators could more easily bypass and ignore. He also knows how to build and manage a behemoth organization like the California Democratic Party, having turned the Los Angeles County Democratic Party from a five-figure organization to a dominant seven-figure one.
And Bauman has been very helpful to young reform activists all throughout the state. When I was a young Deaniac making waves in the Ventura County Democratic Party, the establishment at the time tried desperately to crush me and my allies underfoot. Despite his longstanding relationships with those establishment figures, Bauman helped and mentored me in surviving and thriving, eventually enabling me to become Chair of the Ventura County Democratic Party in my early 30s and, with the help my progressive allies, make it a progressive, effective organization that helped flip nearly the entire county from red to blue at the state and federal level while sponsoring some of the state’s most leading edge progressive resolutions. I know at least a dozen other activists for whom Bauman has served in a similar mentoring role.
Between the two Clinton supporters running for Chair, Bauman is the only one with a real, achievable agenda for single payer healthcare, an end to the death penalty, prison reform, economic and social equality, and the rest of the Democratic Socialist agenda many of us so eagerly wish to see in California.