Disagreements within the California Democratic Party are highlighting party divisions, as they battle over progressiveness and party leadership.
Liberal California aims to model progressive ideals, as the Democratic party controls every statewide office. Democrats in the state can boast a party governor, Jerry Brown, and supermajorities in the state legislature. In Washington, Californian Democratic House members, like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters, command national attention.
As the members of the party continue to defy President Trump on a range of issues, especially immigration and sanctuary cities, longtime California party leader Eric Bauman is facing resistance from within the party.
As The Washington Free Beacon reports, activist Kimberly Ellis refuses to concede defeat in the party chairmanship election. Ellis, a leader among Bay Area progressives, claims Bauman won through voter fraud.
In return, Bauman accuses Ellis of harming the unity of the party.
“The truth of the matter is, Kimberly Ellis cannot accept that she lost the election,” Bauman reportedly said. “She’s willing to allow the party to be torn asunder in an effort to prove that she really did win.”
While the party expects a final decision on the matter on August 20, Ellis has threatened legal action. “If their goal is to avoid a legal battle, here it is,” Ellis said. “The ball is in their court.”
Echoing liberal demonstrations against President Trump, Ellis’ supporters chant “not my chairman” at Bauman, a move presumably used when a Democrat disagrees with the results of an election.
State Democrats are calling for unity. Betty Yee, the party’s state controller, reportedly compared what is happening in California to the divide between Democrats and the GOP on the national level.
“If we don’t do our work to really heal our divide, we are going to miss our chance to motivate Democrats,” Yee stated.
Ellis, who has spent years trying to get women to run for public office, boasts the support of progressive presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who failed to win the Democratic nomination for president in the 2016 election cycle.
Bauman a three-decade party insider, is mocked by Ellis, who touts herself as a political outsider. She ran on a platform much like President Trump’s, of “Giving the Democratic Party Back to the People.”
“There are a lot of things that have gone on here that have really caused folks to feel that leadership doesn’t care about them or their voices,” Ellis reportedly said, aiming a jab at Bauman. “The Democratic Party is not only changing but has changed. There are folks who haven’t gotten that memo.”
Ellis believes the Democratic party is in a rebuilding moment. California certainly is. While activists in the state are crying for a break from the union, the state’s voting system is in question. According to a recent report, public records show that 11 California counties have more registered voters than voting-age citizens. According to an official release from Judicial Watch:
“Data Show LA, San Diego, San Francisco Have More Registered Voters than Eligible Adult Citizens – LA Voting Rolls Have 144% of the Total Number of Eligible Residents.”
California is facing a lawsuit if the state does not rectify the fraud.
Adding to the turmoil in the state is the fight between Ellis and Bauman, ironically with voter fraud at its roots. According to the Free Beacon:
This squabble has worried many within the party. As they are fighting, some are calling for unity in the face of deep-seated conflict lines.
“It’s basically up to those who supported Kimberly: Do they want to help elect Democrats, move the state forward, or do they want to sit at home and suck their thumbs?” said John L. Burton, departing state party chairman.
Ellis dismisses that position.
“One of the false narratives that has been promoted is that if we don’t unify that we are going to break the party,” Ellis said.
Leaving one to question whether the California Democratic party is split irreparably.
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