Longtime Democratic leader Eric Bauman won a razor’s-edge victory Saturday to be elected chairman of the California Democratic Party, beating rival Kimberly Ellis by just more than 60 votes, according to the state party.
But Ellis did not concede, saying late Saturday night that she had been in touch with attorneys.
“This race is not done,” she told hundreds of chanting supporters who were calling for a recount in the hallway of the convention center where the state party convention was being held. “We will see you all in the morning.”
Rep. Adam B. Schiff has been one of President Trump’s most able tormenters in Washington as the ranking Democrat on the House committee looking into the involvement of Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
In the process, the congressman from Burbank has also vaulted himself into the top ranks of California Democrats. On Saturday night he delivered to party members at their state convention a speech that spoke of ambitions for them — and, none too subtly, himself.
Schiff was blistering in his condemnation of Trump, asserting that he’d violated American norms and a sense of decency that had previously defined even the most unsuccessful politicians.
A few dozen protesters, many of them state Democratic Party delegates, marched to Gov. Jerry Brown's downtown Sacramento mansion Saturday to demand that politicians stop taking campaign money from oil companies.
The protest, called the Delegates Against Dirty Money march, came on the second day of the California Democratic Party convention. Many of the progressives who have led protests, chants and demonstrations at the event are newcomers to the internal politics of the party.
This weekend some state party delegates are trying to pass a resolution that would "publicly condemn corporations and lobbyists that finance political campaigns" and pressure candidates and officials to sign a pledge that they won't take contributions of more than $200 from oil companies.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was the final scheduled speaker Saturday at the California Democratic Party convention after more than two dozen others addressed a marathon session. The crowd awaiting Garcetti, mayor of the nation’s second largest city, was thin — shortly before he took the stage, delegates rushed the exits as voting opened in the hotly contested chairperson’s race.
Still, he was good-natured as he stepped up and surveyed the largely empty convention center hall, saying that he was reminded of a quote by Winston Churchill.
“Everything that needs to be said has been said, but it hasn’t been said by everybody,” Garcetti said. “So here I am.”
Former state schools chief Delaine Eastin said Saturday that her gubernatorial bid is founded on righting California’s priorities so that the economy serves all the state’s residents, regardless of class.
“California needs a governor with a brass backbone, and that is why I am running, because I know a budget is a statement of values, and I want ours to reflect the priorities of the people I see here today,” Eastin told delegates at the California Democratic Party’s annual convention.
Eastin, who also served in the state Legislature but has not held elected office for 14 years, outlined her agenda, which includes making college tuition free, enacting universal healthcare, banning fracking and increasing housing affordability.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told California Democrats at their convention Saturday that too many people in the state have been left behind in the economic recovery, saying the party needs to “look in the mirror” and bring a renewed effort to creating jobs and improving public schools.
Villaraigosa, a 2018 candidate for governor, called on California to lead the resistance against President Trump and the Republican Congress, saying the nation was looking to the state to lead the way to protect immigrants, religious freedoms and civil rights.
“We’re here today to fight for the soul of our party and our most cherished values,” Villaraigosa told party delegates gathered inside the cavernous Sacramento Convention Center. “Standing up to Trump takes more than talk and tweets. It takes action.”
Voting will soon be underway in the contentious race to decide who will be the next chair of the California Democratic Party.
The race, between progressive-backed Kimberly Ellis and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman, who is seen as the establishment-backed candidate, is being framed as an old-school-versus-new-school battle.
Voting is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Saturday.
May. 20, 2017, 2:31 p.m.
I want the party unified, but we're not going to unify around the status quo. ... Consensus for consensus' sake is over.
RoseAnn DeMoro, leader of the left-leaning California Nurses Assn., which is pushing for single-payer healthcare
Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom mused about his duties as lieutenant governor as he courted Democratic delegates by scooping ice cream for them on a blazing hot Saturday.
“People ask what does a lieutenant governor do. What do they do? This is it,” he said in an exchange with a man in the crowd surrounding his ice cream tent outside the California Democratic Party convention. “See, know your job. Usually I’m scooping Jerry Brown’s ice cream.”
After delivering a lengthy speech painting California as the resistance to Trump, Newsom wooed delegates, took selfies and donned a plastic red nose to raise awareness about childhood poverty.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) introduced himself to convention-goers as a "slacker turned professor" now representing a southeast Los Angeles district in need of "environmental justice... social justice... economic justice" from progressive Democrats.