Editorials

Give it up, Kimberly Ellis. You won’t be leading California Democrats.

Surrounded by supporters, Kimberly Ellis waves after addressing delegates during the California Democratic Party convention in May.
Surrounded by supporters, Kimberly Ellis waves after addressing delegates during the California Democratic Party convention in May. The Associated Press

Dear Kimberly Ellis,

We know this isn’t what you want to hear right now. Defeat, we understand, is a terribly tough pill to swallow. But it’s long past time for a reality check, so listen up.

You lost the election to become chair of the California Democratic Party.

It’s over.

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.

It must be hard to give up when the tally is so close – a margin of just 62 votes. And, so, it’s understandable why you wanted a review.

For more than two weeks now, you and your supporters have been checking everything from ballots to forms signed by delegates designating a proxy to vote in their place. There has been a count, a recount and a review and a ruling from a committee, following a series of policies put together by previous party Chairman John Burton.

But you say the party cut your campaign’s investigation short, and now you want an independent audit.

You want to investigate whether the people who had delegate badges were actually the delegates they claimed to be. You want to make sure there were no duplicate votes and that everyone who voted was eligible to vote. You also want to check the ballot count sheets, discarded ballots and payment receipts.

The Berniecrats are right behind you. Without an audit, they say, they’ll boycott the Democratic Party again.

That threat hasn’t changed any minds within the party, though, and why should it? How many times does it take to count a few thousand paper ballots?

Besides, party’s spokesman, Mike Roth, says most of what you’ve presented so far amounts to unsubstantiated allegations, innuendo and no facts. Why change the rules for handling a disputed election and authorize an independent audit for that?

You can try to 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.

Concede.

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