Statement from California Democratic Party Chair Eric C. Bauman on the CDP Election

I wholeheartedly agree with State Controller Betty Yee's comments over the weekend that rushing to the media in order to hash out the aftermath of the CDP Chair’s race has been hurtful to our Party.  Such actions have brought the conversation to a heightened level of acrimony and the longer this continues, the further away we fall from fighting the real battles in front of us, like passing Medi-Care style healthcare for all, remaining a leader on global climate change, and gearing-up for the 2018 elections which are just a year away.
 
That is why I have done everything in my power to bring down the level of tension in the situation.  My only public statement on the process was to ask all members of the Democratic Party to treat each other with respect and dignity, and to allow Kimberly Ellis and her supporters the opportunity they deserve to do a thorough review of the ballots.  I myself stayed away from the CDP headquarters during that review to make certain that none of her activists were uncomfortable or felt like I was imposing on them.
 
The only other statements that the California Democratic Party has issued on the matter were in response to direct attacks and accusations levied by blast communications from Kimberly Ellis.  CDP’s by-laws and procedures outline an open and transparent process – one administered and adjudicated by the staff and committee leaders chosen by former CDP Chairman John Burton.  So while my administration continues to step through that process in a calm and welcoming manner – Ms. Ellis has chosen to ratchet up the rancor at every turn, propagating inaccurate innuendoes and disingenuous half-truths designed to turn our members against each other.
 
Just hours after Controller Yee sagely called for an end to the destructive and divisive pattern that Kimberly Ellis initiated, Ms. Ellis announced that she had secured time on MSNBC to discuss the race.  Then when her time slot was lost due to coverage of the tragedies in London, she sent out another blast missive containing the wave of misinformation and manipulation she was obviously planning to spread on national television.
 
I appreciate much of what Controller Yee said in her message – about the urgency of unity, our Party’s need to uphold our values, and the danger of the furious pace at which the Trump administration is moving to reverse all of the progress we hold dear – but I do not agree with her insinuation that my actions have been equal and in line with the tone and tenor from the other side.
 
I also reject the notion that it is necessary to take the ballot review and election challenge process away from the system that is in accordance with CDP by-laws and procedures, and was set-up under former Chairman John Burton.  It is disingenuous for Ms. Ellis to praise the administration and legacy of John Burton in one breath, and in the next to cast negative aspersions about the staff, elections process, committee leaders and volunteers he put in place to run and oversee the election.
 
Burton was the one who hired the staff that ran the Convention and the election of officers, and who selected the members and leaders of the Rules Committee and the Compliance Review Commission – and I will not be a part of the drive to besmirch his good name and stoke doubts about the integrity of those he put in place.
 
I am well aware that 49% of the delegates to the Convention voted for Kimberly Ellis and that if we are to keep California the big blue beacon of hope and the beating heart of the resistance, those who have felt shut out of the process must have a true seat at the table.  But I also know that doing so does not require burning down every institution and trashing those activists and volunteers who have given their blood, sweat and tears over the years to make the California Democratic Party the most successful Democratic Party anywhere in America.
 
I am not speaking-out today to urge Ms. Ellis to take any particular course of action.  I simply ask her to keep in mind that our grassroots activists came to the Convention with good intentions and open hearts.  As the actual count of the vote is not in dispute, the continuing specter of inquisition of the voters is very concerning.  I will not tolerate any disrespect or maligning of any member of our Democratic family.  It is their volunteerism, dedication and enthusiasm which drives our Party and makes us proud each and every day to call ourselves Democrats.

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