An update: Ellis issued a press release yesterday offering to settle this “disputed” election via arbitration. Here’s the press release from her social media feed:
OAKLAND, Calif. (August 8, 2017): The Kimberly Ellis campaign has submitted its appeal to the Compliance Review Commission’s (CRC) July 26th ruling and offers binding arbitration as a mechanism to resolve the contested California Democratic Party (CDP) Chair’s election.While the Ellis campaign’s previous requests for an independent forensic audit or review commission comprised of an equal balance of Bauman and Ellis voters were both rejected, the campaign remains hopeful that an alternative method to resolving the matter can be found without the need for legal action.
“Between the public statements and back channel messages, we’re told the Party doesn’t want a lengthy and expensive legal battle. We agree – so here’s another approach,” said Ellis.
In its appeal, the Ellis campaign notes that binding arbitration is typically agreed to in contracts before a dispute occurs, as the prescribed process to resolve contested matters; however, the Ellis campaign believes its application to this circumstance would provide a concrete and final conclusion to the challenge, while affording fairness and due process – values the Ellis campaign believes have not been present thus far.
“If what they’re really saying is ‘give it up’ and ‘go away’ – then we are truly at an impasse. In the past, we’ve offered to pay for an independent forensic audit and were rebuffed. We asked for an impartial or balanced review commission and were told no. If their goal is to avoid a legal battle, here it is. The ball is in their court.”
The election is over. Votes have been reviewed exhaustively. This is beyond divisive.
The Kimberly Ellis last ditch appeal to somehow snatch victory in her narrow loss for California Democratic Party Chair is expected to be filed today.
TheLiberalOC was forwarded a social media post from Brian Hitchcock, an Assembly Delegate in AD-66, to Michael Wagaman, the chair of the Credentials Committee and a CDP official on August 4. Not every sentence was able to be read, but the note goes like this (typed exactly I hope):
“Firstly, I apologize for my loose, non-lawyerly usage of the word “pending”. I meant the appeal is pending filing, not filed and pending a response. I did not mean to imply that it had been filed. And I meant to imply that committee appointments should be considered “pending” until the appeal process is completed.
Secondly, I appreciate that you are very busy, and have been investigating and/or adjudicating many important matters, for which you are to be commended.
And of course if we have to wait for the appeal, we certainly will (we have waited nearly two and a half months of the interregnum for the CRC review, which by many indications was NOT enough time for a thorough or accurate review). However, my understanding in that there are stipulations in the Bylaws as to how promptly an appeal has to be responded to..
You can certainly expect to see the appeal on Monday. As you well know, multitudionous and multifarious discrepancies and anomalies have been surfacing continually (before, during and after the Challenge Review)– oddities and gaps not only in the conduct of the election itself, but perhaps more importantly, in the conduct of the Election Challenge Review as well;—matters of fact, of method, and of ethics, which IMO merit a serious outside review. But in the meantime a critical look from inside might at least help to expose the mounting evidence of misfeasance–if not dereliction.
However, the appeal should not take up too much of your time, as (I certainly hope) you and the vice chairs of the Credentials Committee will recuse yoursellves (sic) from hearing the appeal, as you were also members of the Challenge Review Commission, and thus if you do not recuse yourselves you would find yourselves in the extremely awkward position of judging yourselves. (I don’t think the Bylaws mandate such a recusal, but a good conscience, a respect for the magnitude of this case, and a regard for the appearance of fairness—which is essential to faith in the process—would, I think, compel you to do so.)
Meanwhile, I sincerely hope that as chair of the Credentials committee, you will continue to received forwarded comments addressed to the CRC in reference to the Chair Election Challenge Review about errors and omissions that that I continue to find in the CRC review (such as two lengthy comments I sent this morning and the one this evening as well as the two from Sunday and the one I intend to send tomorrow about “stealth” delegates.) I am disappointed these comments are no longer posted publicly, as other “late”comments were. I feel that all delegates deserve to know the errors being pointed out in the CRC process, whether they are discovered before or after capricious unreasonable deadline or even after the supposedly “final” review. So I hope you will continue to read them—or at least post them, in the interest of transparency.”
The post closes with well wishes and thanks and then lists the names of Garry Shay, Greg Diamond and Kimberly Ellis, leaving some to believe Diamond is offering legal counsel. If this is the case, good luck Kimberly. Diamond has referenced he’s working on something related to the appeal on the OJ blog but didn’t release details.
So it appears the Ellis strategy is to paint the recently completed CRC review as contaminated from the start because those conducting the review were Eric Bauman supporters. Never mind that all sides were lawyered up for the CRC review to begin with and both major candidates lost nearly an even number of votes and the outcome changed nothing.
There are concerns that the Ellis challenge is starting to impact the Party’s finances; while many Party officials are volunteers, lawyers involved in the review are not.
It’s unclear what a forensic audit will reveal. The voting process for CDP chair is as open as an election can be. Each delegate’s vote is an open record. You establish eligibility. You check for dues payments. You review the ballot. You count the votes that meet the standards for being completed correctly. You discard ones that do not. There’s a winner and there’s a loser. Bauman won. Ellis lost. It was close. As a coach of a number of kid’s sports over the years, losing a close one is worse than getting blown out. I understand Ellis felt she had the votes going in. Sometimes the scoreboard shows a different truth.
Statewide committee appointments were assigned last week; there were about four times the number of applicants as there were seats. The Ellis people are upset that more of Kimberly’s people were not appointed. I’d say that’s what happens when you invite someone to the table and they never show up.
TheLiberalOC encourages Kimberly Ellis to drop the appeal, ask for a seat at the table that Mr. Bauman has offered and work together to move this state party forward. The CDP is already the nation’s top state party organization. It’s time to build on that success, not tear it down.