My appearance on KNBC 4 discussing this issue (11/3)
So the latest brouhaha coming out of Tuesday’s election is the California Republican Party (they do exist!) crying foul over a mailer the California Democratic Party sent out just before the election in the 28th State Senate District. The issue—the mailer under the guise of being from Secretary of State Debra Bowen, encourages Democrats and Decline to State’s to vote for the recently deceased Senator Jenny Oropeza.
For those not familiar with California politics—Senator Oropeza died two weeks before the election from a blood clot after battling cancer—too late to remove her name from the ballot or to replace her with another candidate from the Democratic Party.
California Republicans, in a new state of denial, take issue with a mailer sent out from the CDP and Secretary Bowen, who also a Democrat who represented that district prior to her election as Secretary of State.
And I quote:
“The Republicans are trying to take unfair advantage of Jenny’s tragedy. They suggest that voting for Jenny will only result in a costly Special Election. I am asking you to vote for Jenny Oropeza. If a Special Election is called in a few months, you’ll have the chance to thoughtfully elect your Senator for a new four-year term.”
The word in question is “thoughtfully.”
At the end of the day, Oropeza won re-election, 58% to 36%. Basically, this would have been the same outcome had she been alive. However, given Tuesday’s results, and the need to cling to something, Republicans have filed a complaint that the mailer was an attempt to “illegally influence” voters.
Don’t get it twisted. Had it been the other way around the Republicans would have done the exact same thing.
This is politics—but it’s also stupidity on display on behalf of the Republicans.
The 28th Senate District wasn’t going Republican with or without the mailer from the CA Democratic Party.
Of the 456,000 registered voters, 48% are Democrat, 25% are Republican, and 21% are Decline to State.
Oropeza came into this office after current secretary of State Debra Bowen, and before Bowen longtime Democrat Senator Ralph Dills held the seat—for 32 years.
Add to that, give the Democrats some credit. Do you really think they’re going to waste that kind of money on a mailer without having it vetted by legal before sending it off? It’s legal–legal and very clever.
At the end of the day as a political party, it’s their duty to make sure to act in the best interest of the Party—make sure to keep the seat from becoming Republican and above all else and more importantly get another Democrat elected to represent the 28th District. Allowing people to vote without warning them of the consequences would be irresponsible on their part. Don’t you think?
I wouldn’t expect anything less from a political party in a situation like this.
The fact that the mailer looked like it was officially from the Secretary of State makes no difference. There are a lot of elected officials that “look” like they are doing shit and they’re not. Looks can be deceiving on all levels. For that matter, I have a stack of mailers from this campaign season alone sitting on my desk half of which resemble the official sample ballot that’s sent out before every election from the Secretary of State. Big deal. The disclaimer is there and for some reason if it wasn’t, I am smart enough to know a campaign mailer when I see it. Does the Republican Party here in California have that little faith in the voters of the 28th District that they can’t tell the difference?
Even if I wanted to step into Make Believe Land with the Republicans on this issue, I can’t overlook the fact that there are 80 Senators, 24 are Dems, 14 are Republicans with two vacancies. Adding one more Republican in Sacramento wasn’t going to somehow change the tide for a political party that is almost extinct as far as I’m concerned.
What the Republicans need to do is pick their faces up off the ground, shake it off, and figure out what low down dirty scheme they can come up with to attempt to defeat presumed contenders Assemblymembers Warren Furutani and Ted Leiu with.