The Sacramento Bee has published this “open letter” styled editorial calling for Kimberly Ellis to step aside and concede the race for California Democratic Party chair, which she lost to Eric Bauman by 62 votes.
From the editorial:
Sure, it was impressive the way you took on the political establishment last month, nearly delivering an upset to Eric Bauman, the longtime chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and vice chairman of the state party. Indeed, at 1,493-1,431, the vote was incredibly close.
But you didn’t win and you refuse to concede.
For the sake of “the resistance” that you, the California Nurses Association and the rest of your Bernie Sanders-loving supporters swear to represent, things can’t continue this way.
On Monday, you released a memo defiantly and without evidence casting doubt on the outcome of last month’s election at the state party convention in Sacramento. “Based on the information contained here,” you wrote, “the actual vote count is in question. It is believed that the wrong individual is serving as chair.”
That supposedly “wrong individual” is Bauman, a liberal but who is, in your lexicon, about as establishment as they come. He is far from the Bernie Sanders-styled newcomers who came out in droves to elect slates of progressive delegates who nearly propelled you to victory.
You can try drag this fight out for months. Or you can act like a true leader.
The nation needs California to lead. Having Democrats and Berniecrats at each others’ throats is no way to mount a serious electoral challenge to President Donald Trump or congressional Republicans. It’s time to consider the bigger picture.
The Democratic Party has long fought Voter ID laws that disenfranchise voters and limit Democracy. Yet the vote review, internal audit and call for a new audit fly in the face of the party’s long standing principles. Some in the party are actually calling for photo IDs for statewide party votes (which were not required for regional delegate votes). More on that in a second.
From the ACLU’s page on Voter ID laws, this:
Millions of Americans Lack ID. 11% of U.S. citizens – or more than 21 million Americans – do not have government-issued photo identification.1
- Obtaining ID Costs Money. Even if ID is offered for free, voters must incur numerous costs (such as paying for birth certificates) to apply for a government-issued ID.
- Underlying documents required to obtain ID cost money, a significant expense for lower-income Americans. The combined cost of document fees, travel expenses and waiting time are estimated to range from $75 to $175.2
- The travel required is often a major burden on people with disabilities, the elderly, or those in rural areas without access to a car or public transportation. In Texas, some people in rural areas must travel approximately 170 miles to reach the nearest ID office.3
- Voter ID Laws Reduce Voter Turnout. A 2014 GAO study found that strict photo ID laws reduce turnout by 2-3 percentage points,4 which can translate into tens of thousands of votes lost in a single state.5
In-person fraud is vanishingly rare. A recent study found that, since 2000, there were only 31 credible allegations of voter impersonation – the only type of fraud that photo IDs could prevent – during a period of time in which over 1 billion ballots were cast.9
- Identified instances of “fraud” are honest mistakes. So-called cases of in-person impersonation voter “fraud” are almost always the product of an elections worker or a voter making an honest mistake, and that even these mistakes are extremely infrequent.10
- Voter ID laws are a waste of taxpayer dollars. States incur sizeable costs when implementing voter ID laws, including the cost of educating the public, training poll workers, and providing IDs to voters.
So who’s calling for strict identification on future CDP elections? OC’;s own Greg Diamond, per these screen grabs on social media sent to me (I’ve long blocked Greg on social media accounts; might need to click the image to make it easier to read).
Ellis campaigned on a theme of “Redefining what it means to be a Democrat,” ignoring the party’s huge success in holding Constitutional office, majorities in the Assembly and State Senate, an uptick in voter registration, and the increase in the number of Democratic candidates elected to city councils, school boards and other offices. What do we have to redefine? Bauman is as liberal as they come, but somehow “establishment” has become a bad word. “Establishment” means he’s been fighting longer and harder to help Democrats lead and win than Ellis has and he’s done so from the far left.
In Ellis’ refusal to concede creates sharp divisions in what really should be a more united party. The division will lead to losses in mid-term elections and gives Republicans everything they need for mailers calling out “corruption” and “Democrats.” And I’m still waiting for actual evidence of fraud in the CDP race.
Last time I checked, Bauman is holding a seat at the table for Ellis. I also believe Bauman is sincere in wanting to work with Ellis to unite the party. Will she do the same?
There is much speculation Ellis will run for an assembly seat in Northern California and I’m sure she’ll have lots of support from her fans. I see her as someone who wouldn’t answer a direct question (twice) at the DPOC meeting where she spoke, someone who offered no facts of voter fraud from the CDP election, and someone who’s done more to divide the party than unite it.