1. John Perez does the right thing — he wasn’t going to win — and shows some class
Here’s the email that Perez just sent around, leading me to wonder one last time why I’m on his mailing list.
John A. Pérez
“Today I have made the decision to bring the recount process to an end, and pledge my full support to Betty Yee to be California’s next Controller.
While I strongly believe that completing this process would result in me advancing to the General Election, it is clear that there are significant deficiencies in the process itself which make continuing the recount problematic. Even in the effort so far, we have found uncounted ballots, but there is simply not enough time to see this process through to the end, given the fact that counties must begin printing ballots in the next few weeks in order to ensure that overseas and military voters can receive their ballots in a timely manner.
I began this process because every vote deserves to be counted fairly and accurately, and as the recount has made clear, California needs to rethink our approach and incorporate best practices from across the nation. This effort was not about the outcome of a particular election, but the integrity of every election, and the issues brought to the light over the last two weeks need to be addressed in a comprehensive and thoughtful manner.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve in the Assembly these last six years, and to have led the Assembly at a time when we’ve turned multi-billion dollar deficits into multi-billion dollar reserves, expanded healthcare for more than three million Californians and made college affordable again by enacting the Middle Class Scholarship Act. I am grateful for the support my campaign has received from everyday Californians who have seen the work my colleagues and I have done in the Legislature, and embraced our vision of fiscally responsible and progressive government which expands opportunity for all Californians. We built a tremendous record of accomplishment together, and I look forward to making contributions to build on that record of progress in the future.
In the immediate term, I will be continuing my service in the Assembly, and working hard to help elect Democrats up and down California.”
While I made the best case I could yesterday (playing the role of his fictional advisor) for why he had reason to continue the recount, it was an extreme longshot. It depended on Los Angeles, in particular, being highly discrepant from the rest of the state in terms of how many votes to be picked up from each increment of net margin — and that just wasn’t likely. He’s best off looking to 2016 — and he’ll surely have a great job in the meantime.
2. Paul Mitchell and Parke Skelton Debate a Little on Twitter
Yeah, @SpeakerPerez spent $30k in recount, but what should bother voters is that state spent $0 double-checking a result that was so close.
@paulmitche11 What should make voters happy is how amazingly accurate the total are — and how hard the ROVs work to get them right.
Political numbers maven Mitchell is certainly right that California’s rules regarding recounts are screaming out for reform. But on balance I side with Skelton: it’s amazing that recounting this many ballots found this few errors — enough that Perez was projected to get maybe a third of the votes he would need to overturn a race where he trailed by 1/91 of a percent. If it had just been machine recounts, this wouldn’t have been impressive. But that it was from manual recounts of machine counts suggests that our ROVs are really good.
3. Betty Yee Keeps It Plain and Simple
Betty Yee, the California Democratic Party-endorsed candidate for Controller, issued the following statement this afternoon:
“I want to thank Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez for doing the right thing in recognizing that the recount was unlikely to reverse the outcome of the June primary election. This allows us to move forward and to be united for the November general election. John A. Perez is an outstanding leader who has played an important role in helping to put California back on sound fiscal footing. He ran a strong and positive campaign and will have a long career of leadership and public service.”
That’s the way to behave. No spiking the ball, just hand it to the ref and prepare for the next kickoff.
4. The Last Recount Report of the Summer
In Day 6 of the recount in Kern, 9016 ballots from 44 precincts were counted. Statistically, Perez probably should have gotten a vote from them. Instead, he stood pat and Yee gained one.
Meanwhile, in San Bernardino, a bunch of temp workers are probably pissed off at Perez.