REVISED/EXTENDED: The CDP Election Fraud I Witnessed in 2017

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This weekend, the California Democratic Party will be picking its new Chair, who will take over from Acting Chair Alex Gallardo-Rooker and fill the remaining term of former Chair Eric Bauman.  Bauman resigned in a sexual harassment and assault scandal and is now (along with the CDP) defending several lawsuits.  The leading candidates appear to be:

• Kimberly Ellis, former Executive Director of Emerge, which trains female candidates for office, who was narrowly defeated by Bauman in 2017

• Rusty Hicks, Chair of the Los Angeles County Labor Federation, who has picked up most of Bauman’s most fervent support, and

• Daraka Larimore-Hall, the party’s Male Vice Chair, who (some say belatedly) blew the whistle on Bauman and then decided on his own run for Chair.

Four “also-rans” are also running: Rita Ramirez, Bill Saifie, Mike Katz-Lacabe, and of course Lenore Albert — the most active of the trailing quartet, at least on the Intertubes; most of her energy has gone to throwing reckless attacks at Ellis, in apparent hope of being rewarded by Hicks if he wins.   (Bauman rewarded her after she helped him double-team and beat Ellis in 2017.)

It’s hard to overstate how much CDP has been a creature of Bauman for the past decade and more, both when he served under former Chair John Burton and then finally on his own.  He was a gatekeeper and enforcer; he led Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign in the state and reveled in physical, psychological, and emotional intimidation.  Because the Chair appoints everyone on the committees, his stamp is still firmly on CDP Staff and policy-making delegates, who are visibly afraid of losing power starting by the end of this weekend.

Bauman cheated to win the 2017 election.   I was the major witness of it to go on record and to argue the case, mostly in private sites admitting only delegates, but also online in the piece being republished here.  His having cheated is different from saying that the cheating was decisive — but that’s hard to assess because CDP Staff and officers went to great lengths to make discovery of the truth impossible.  The story that appears below, in blue font, is the original one that I published in 2017, which I still stand by.  We’ve learned more in the two years since then, though, and where I have updates they will appear — with the rest of my narration — in black.  My story from 2017 was a reprint of my complaint to the Compliance Review Commission, detailing what I saw on election afternoon.  For comments tied to the text, I’m going to provide footnotes in bold orange brackets — [#] — and then general discussion will follow.  It’s probably best to read this story once without the footnotes, and then once again with them, so you can get the updates.  The story reprinted a 2017 complaint that I filed with the Party’s Bauman-appointed Compliance Review Commission.

4:59 p.m., June 23, 2017

To the California Democratic Party’s (“CDP”) Compliance Review Committee (“CRC”):

[1] Introduction

I write to you as a Democratic State Central Committee delegate who attended this year’s convention in Sacramento and voted in the CDP election.  I am prepared to offer you evidence regarding what I suspect to be part of a fraudulent activity that took place during the May 20 CDP election.  It is worrisome because it has the hallmarks of a particular kind of election fraud: one in which certain ineligible votes go to a particular processing station, one among many, where the verification of their eligibility to vote has been arranged in advance to be deficient.  This then allows ineligible voters to take part in an election.  It can only be uncovered by referring to signature matches (signatures being the form of identification used by the CDP in its voting) for every ballot.  Even if there were documents that were supposed to show who was processed by which table at which time, there would be no way of knowing that the information in such documents were accurate.  [1] Nothing less than a review of every ballot for signature matches would suffice to thwart such a scheme if it exists, and I witnessed unusual activity suggesting that it did.

I am prepared to offer you eyewitness testimony regarding the identity of one person who engaged in behavior that I believe could readily have facilitated improper action in that election.   Specifically, that person appeared to be steering voters who may have been ineligible to vote towards a specific “registration processing and ballot distribution” table. [2]   (If there is a proper technical name for what appeared to be the 30 or so tables where CDP and volunteer staff processed delegates and their proxies based on the last name of the delegate, I don’t know what it is.)  My identification of that person is not definitive, but it is sufficiently probative that this person should be asked to account for their actions in this place during this time period.

Because that identity is something that the committee may want to keep away from public knowledge for now — for reasons that I explain below — I provide it in a separate message that I ask be considered as “sealed” pending whatever use you may make of it.  It contains photos of someone who looks like — but may not themselves be — the person in question, based on a photo of them a decade ago.  It occurs in the context of several other persons attending the same fundraising event and having their photos taken with the same host.  The photo collection could thus be used as a “lineup” to allow persons who were in the line to get to the registration table at about the same time that I was, and who witnessed this person’s unusual behavior and the unusual concentration of votes into a specific line, to see if they could identify the same person I did as looking like the person who was involved.  I expand on this at length in the appropriate section below.[3]

After this introduction, in section [2] I offer some statements on the justiciability of this matter as relevant to my complaint, which is an argument for you to consider this evidence — which you might otherwise reject — rather than being evidence itself.  In section [3] I offer evidence provided to me verbatim by another eyewitness (who can presumably confirm this) and gave me permission to make it public, regarding the presence of a group of people in Sacramento who seem likely to have been the persons that I saw standing in line waiting for one specific table out of 30-odd ones spanning the alphabet.  Section [4] gives my own eyewitness account of what I saw while waiting to vote.  Section [5] will be a conclusion.  Section [6] will be the material that will not be published here until and unless I hear from the CRC that they will not be considering it as evidence or are otherwise dismissing the claim — at which point it might as well become public.

[2] The CRC Should Be Willing to Hear a Facial Challenge to the Process Rather than Merely Challenges Applied to Particular Ballots

CRC Member Garry Shay has written ably and often on the CADEM 2017 Delegates Facebook page that the CRC has to have the names of individual voters so that it can take whatever steps are necessary to assess their eligibility and the legitimacy of their ballots.  I write not to address why as of this time of writing Kimberly Ellis’s campaign has not been willing to divulge the names of more than a handful of delegates whose ballots she considers suspicious: and, in fact, none of those disclosures have given the names of the delegates themselves, but only their proxies (or in one case, employer.)  From time that I have spent on the CADEM page, it seems likely to me that their concern is over the privacy of the people that they may publicly accuse given what they maintain was a truncated opportunity to continue their investigation, given the likelihood that their names would either be disclosed as a matter of course or leaked outside of standard practices.

I mention the above to distinguish it from the sort of claim I’m making here.  I have no conceivably way at present — and do not know whether the data collected about “who processed which voter when and at what table” exists in sufficient detail to allow me ever to do so even in theory — to be able to identify which ballots would be suspect.  But I do believe that such ballots would expected not to have a signature match along the entire logical chain of custody for using signatures as a means of identification: working backwards from (1) the signed ballot to (2) the signed ballot receipt (which CDP does not possess) to (3) the signed entry in the “registration book” at each table to (4) the signed credential on our lanyards to (5) the sign-in book at credentialing, if I correctly recall that one exists, to (6) to the signature on any payment documents, especially for those paying on-site, to (7) the signature(s) on file at the delegate or proxy’s own Registrar of Voters office, as all voters must be registered Democrats, to (8) any other extrinsic signed information available, such as proxy forms or prior communications with CDP.

In other words, I believe that I know what to look for, but I don’t know how to pare down the number of ballots and other documents upon which it might be sound.  This is a facial challenge to the voting process: one where narrowing the scope of ballots to review would be untenable.  Luckily, in our case, the universe of possible ballots to check is apparently under 3,000 — so it is something that can be accomplished reasonably quickly, even if not nearly immediately.

I have read Garry Shay’s statements to suggest that CRC does not, for whatever reason, entertain facial challenges.  (If I am in error there, all the better.)  My reply to that is: I don’t see why not!  Sometimes, one must.  Some challenges, such as the one I pose, can only be addressed as facial.  If CRC cannot address facial challenges, then it is not a proper forum for certain types of disputes, and there would be no reason why appeal to it would even theoretically need to be exhausted prior to resorting to an outside court.  CRC seems to have been taking the position that it is a mandatory — and, at its discretion, the final — stop on the election review train route.  CRC may not be best positioned to conduct a review of almost 3,000 ballots for handwriting matches — for one, I don’t know that it has an expert witness who would be accepted by courts as both competent and impartial — but it is in a position to seek out what persons to use in such an effort, in what then becomes (like it or not) an independent forensic audit, although not necessarily an impartial one.

If the CRC wishes to state that it can accept only challenges that include certain flagged ballots but not ones that require an analysis of all ballots, then it should probably cede all authority to the public courts where a facial challenge is presented.  My hope and suggestion is that an independent forensic audit would have better expertise — and would ultimately be cheaper

[3] The Report of a Plot

While this event before the events described in the next section, I only heard about it after leaving the voting hall.  I present it first in part because it may help give you a sense of what I believe may have been happening.

In the evening of Friday, May 19, a Bay Area attorney and DSCC delegate named Rafael Trujillo had an encounter that prompted him to send a letter to other delegates, which eventually reached me.  This version is mildly redacted, at his request, to protect uninvolved persons:

On Friday 5/19 I and my friend “X” heard about an event at the Firestone Public House sponsored by healthcare for all.  Screens at the bar showed the hosts as Sen. Ricardo Lara & Toni Atkins.

We arrived around 900-930 pm. We signed in and got two drink tickets each. We were at the Firestone for about 20 minutes when I recognized a male from the San Francisco United Democrats club (formerly the RFK Democratic Club) [4] who had participated in the vote counting at the AD17 ADEM on January 8th. I did not know his name but I wanted to reach out. I now know his name to be Derek Remski.  I told X that I recognized Remski from the ADEM and a SFDCCC meeting and that I was gonna try to talk with him. He was on my left and X was on my right; we were all of standing at the bar.

So, I got his attention and said hello. I said that I recognized him from the City. He acknowledged recognizing me too. I asked if he was a delegate. He said no. I asked if he was here for the convention. He responded that he was and that I should know the he has a very large club of over 500 members (the UDC) and that he was in Sacramento with 300 of his fellow club members. I asked what are you folks up to? He began by saying “some lobbying” but stopped mid-sentence. His next words were that he had been drinking a bit and that he was not going to get “baited” into a conversation about anything with me. I said that I’m not baiting him on nothing and I just asked a question. I reminded him that this is a social event.

He turned away from me and began speaking with another person. I then turned to X and told him what had happened. I told X that I felt that this was extremely weird and I thought very odd. We both wanted to go from that place as we were not comfortable. So, we finished our beer and left the Firestone and went to the Convention Center hospitality suite sponsored by the CA nurses association, The Nurse’s station. At the Nurses Station we ran into some fellow AD 17 folks and I shared with them this encounter with Remski at the Firestone. [5]

So, we have a man who, after blurting out some information while tipsy, is hesitant to describe what he and 300 of his friends, none of whom are apparently delegates, are doing at the State Democratic Party Convention.  That’s not necessarily itself suspicious without something more.

The “something more” is that the Ellis campaign has announced the results of what seems to have been a pretty sophisticated (and somewhat conservative) polling method to project its vote.  It says that it had projected the number of Ellis votes very well.  However, its projection of the Bauman votes — using methods including exit polls — had underestimated Bauman’s total by about 300.[6]

In a closed Facebook group  for CADEM delegates, from which I will not quote verbatim or name sources, I at one point recounted the story of how my daughter had been seeking a proxy to vote for Ellis because she would not be able to attend the convention.  (My brother’s mother-in-law from Huntington Beach had died; she would represent the family at the Saturday funeral.)  We lined up three people to serve as her proxy; all three fell through for various reasons.  There are fairly strict requirements for becoming a proxy — less so for “ex officio” delegates such as elected officials and unsuccessful candidates for partisan office, but I understand that even those were strengthened for this year — and finding one is not as simple as might be thought.

A person purporting to be familiar with the Bauman campaign piped up to say that Ellis should have had a proxy operation.  I said that she did, but that at some point it just becomes too late to find one.  That point, about 30 minutes before the end of which is when we gave up, is the end of “credentialing.”  By the end of credentialing, we are supposed to know completely which delegates have signed up either to vote for the convention themselves or to have a proxy vote for them — and the identity of that proxy is supposed to be fixed.  No favors.  WE followed that rule — but did others?

Another delegate had previously said something like that Bauman he had kept scrambling for votes until the very last moment when voting closed.  That is admirable — but also sort of worrying, is that a lot of the things that one could do at “the very last minute” — i.e., four to six hours after credentialing closed — are likely to involve cutting corners, either negligently, due to the rush, or deliberately, because there would have been no other way to win.[7]

That is a lot of what would be addressed in an independent and impartial forensic audit.

One can piece together from accounts of different delegates in that closed group how Bauman would have lawfully been able to funnel so many delegates through at the last minute.

One could have elected officials appoint as many people as possible from districts outside of their own district.  (Again, this used to be encouraged — two of my three 2012 and 2014 appointees as an ex officio, based on my 2012 Senate campaign, had to be from outside of my own district; I’ve heard that that has changed, but I’m frankly not sure how much it has changed for everyone who makes appointments.)  So, if someone couldn’t show up, then they could be “unappointed” and someone else could be appointed.  Or that appointed person could select a proxy — from Sacramento, perhaps, or from one of 300 people from San Francisco sitting around drinking and waiting for the call.

Bauman reportedly had a “Proxy Room” that was devoted to ensuring that he could squeeze every bit of juice out of the voting slots that he had at his disposal.  Again, that’s fine.  It may fuel the perception that the party will do anything possible to squelch reform efforts opposed by electeds, which may undercut the ability of the party to get volunteers and donations from other than major special interests hungry for influence — but if it’s legal, then it’s legal, regardless of whether it should be legal.

Beyond that, there should be a clear record of when each delegate and proxy was appointed — and with whose authorization.[8]  Can an ex officio (a losing candidate who may not even know what the convention is) or delegate (like my daughter) just say “you have carte blanche to appoint anyone you can for any position you want” and not have anything more to do with it?  How exactly do we confirm that an ex officio or delegate has MADE those appointments, if their direct involvement isn’t necessarily required?  Who checks to see if the person who claimed authority to make those appointments truly got meaningful consent?  Is there a check on this process?  The CRC may or may not provide one; an independent forensic audit surely could.

So we’re left with a report of 300 people, who I’m told were largely elderly, milling around waiting for something to do.  That is odd but not necessarily sinister.  For it to be sinister, we’d expect a few other things to be true as well.  I believe that I witnessed them.

[4] What I Saw in the Line to Vote and in the Voting Hall Itself

My formal connection to the Kimberly Ellis for CDP Chair campaign was my serving as its “whip” in Assembly District 55, confirming and getting out the votes for her.  Informally, and without contact with or guidance from the campaign, I was writing about the race in the Orange County based “Orange Juice Blog,” a political blog which I’ve helped manage since 2011.

On the day of May 20, at about 3:35 p.m., I completed my long-delayed work on my final pre-election blog entry, what I called my “Closing Argument” for Kimberly Ellis, in the race.  I published it, generated a “tinyURL” for the post, and wrote that URL onto a sign that I could show to voters waiting in what I presumed would be a very long line to enter the hall to vote beginning at 4:00.  I got to that line five or ten minutes before 4:00 and started drumming up interest in reading my story, with the hope of reaching a few probably bored undecided voters.  From what I could tell with a quick check of the site stats after almost an hour’s work, I think that I reached about three dozen readers by 4:45.

As a result, I got to observe the content of the line pretty closely.  It had already formed and stretched a long distance by 3:30. For most of its length, it was dominated by Kimberly Ellis supporters: many in her hot pink t-shirts, others wearing her badges, and others identifying themselves as such to me when I asked them if they were undecided (and thus my target audience.)  There were smaller groups of Eric Bauman voters, in blue shirts and many wearing his buttons, as well, and some people whose positions were not identifiable.

That was when I ran into my friend Dean Inada — who among members of our Orange County party is famously quiet, brainy, and dedicated — hovering in or near the line and asked him to step aside and talk.  Earlier in the week, Dean had been the only person other than the hapless third candidate for Chair, Lenore Albert herself, to vote for in our DPOC endorsement election, which I had written about here.  Like everyone else, I was wondering how someone as brilliant as Dean could have voted for her.  My question was barely out of my mouth when he gave me a perfect answer: it was the only way that he could be sure to register a “Do Not Endorse” vote — an option that had been literally excised from the ballot shortly before the meeting began — which he wanted to cast because he wasn’t yet sold on Ellis.  (His concern that writing in “Do Not Endorse” would be disqualified, which I hadn’t even imagined possible, turned out to be prescient: that’s what happened to the only person that tried it.)

We spoke for a while, and then I noticed that the end of the line had almost caught up to us, outside of the Hall where were to enter, so we walked to the end of the now-short line.  While doing so (and still hawking my “Closing Argument”), I passed a large number of people — more than I had seen in the entire previous portion of the line — who were not wearing any indicator of whom they supported.  Most appeared to me to be relatively elderly.  They were far less interested in engaging with me than even Bauman delegates had been.  After a while, we reached the end of the line, where we encountered a new group of pink-clad Ellis supporters.  Dean and I entered the Hall at a little after 5:00 and within about ten minutes had moved through it to the entrance to the adjoining Hall where voting was to take place.

Here is a simplistic and somewhat schematic (not-to-scale) diagram of that second Hall:

EXHIBIT A:  Between about 5:10 and 5:30, at least: Delegates (turquoise) enter a long line, then are directed by an odd guy waving his arms around (orange star) to go mostly to his left and occasionally to his right (where most of the 30-odd tables were), so that about half of them ended up in the long line for one single table.

I have prepared and attached to this submission the above graphic, which we’ll call Exhibit A, that should clarify the location of those tables as well as the other processes and locations in play at that time and place.  Voters, in turquoise, entered Hall C from the convention corridor and from there went to Hall D.  Upon entering Hall D, they waited in a line that proceeded along one wall of the room (to their right), then switched back and continued perhaps 80% of the way back to the entry point, where there was a gap in the restraining barrier, just beneath the orange star on Exhibit A.  From there, they were to proceed to the table that designated their own last name or the last name of the delegate for whom they carried a proxy.  A man was standing roughly at the location of the orange star; it is his identity that is of interest.

By far most of the tables, containing by far most of the alphabet, were to the right of the man at the orange star.   A few were to his left, as you faced him — including one table with a line that stretched back all of the way to where we were standing and then curved around so as not to interfere with the main line for voters.  About half of the people waiting to be processed were waiting for this one line.  Its sign said was for last names “CA-C(L)”; I remember the first part clearly because of “CA for California.” (The last letter may instead have been through “CH or “CI”; I don’t think that it was “CO” because it was two tables over from my line, which started with “DA” and included at least “DI” — thus including my name — and which adjoined the entrance to the voting area itself.)  The staff there processed the glut of people, while most tables had no people coming to them at all, and waved them through. (The voting itself and depositing of ballots did not seem suspicious.)  At first I thought that it may have been people voting through some sort of “California ____”-named organization — but not only would that be stupidly inefficient, but the last names were to be of individual human delegates.  Even if 30 people were appointed by one or another official (none of whom I believe had last names beginning with “C” anyway), the delegates should still be looking for their own names, and their proxies should have been looking for their appointing delegates’ names, not for the title of whoever appointed those delegates such as “California Assembly Speaker.”

I estimate that I waited in line between 5:10 and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 to go to my own registration table. During the time I estimate that roughly half of the delegates being processed at any given moment were waiting in line at that one table.  The people in that line appeared to be overwhelming elderly and unadorned by indications of whom they supported — in other words, seemingly part of the long file of voters that I had witnessed in line ahead of me as Dean and I made our way to its end.

At the time, I thought that the situation looked comical due both to its ostentatious inefficiency and to the look and deportment of the man waving his arms.  He was emitting the same statement about what to do in a monotone.  He was dressed somewhat formally, but also somewhat slovenly and unfashionably for a CDP volunteer or staffer, in an ill-fitting light-brown suit with a tie.  Most oddly, he was not looking up, but was looking slightly downward as if trying to avoid eye contact with anyone.  And, unlike other staffers, he showed absolutely no response to questions or suggestions called out to him by me and others.  He appeared to be acting as if he was some sort of CDP “election official role,” although I couldn’t tell whether he was or whether he even had permission to be there.  That it was so incongruous led me to form a very sharp mental image of the man.  (Dean has told me that he remembers the long line with about half of the people being processed in it, but didn’t form a good mental image of the man.)

It was only later, when the discrepancy in the forecast of the Ellis vote came about, that it occurred to me to find this disturbing rather than amusing.  Among the questions I then asked myself were: Why was there one suspiciously (and even inexplicably) long line of voters waiting to receive their ballots at one specific table, out of the dozens being used for that purpose — one that was yards almost directly behind where an apparent CDP staffer was waving people to go to the appropriate table for their last name — when each of the 30-or-so tables was clearly intended to serve a roughly equal portion of the alphabet?  And why did CDP need a man stationed there, well to one end of the room, to guide people to his left or his right and telling them to look for their sign beginning their last name, when they had all presumably gone through this same process when going through credentialing either Friday or Saturday up until 1:00?  And why, when that table got all bolloxed up, didn’t they move the books for some portion of the people in that line to one of the empty adjoining tables and have someone else process the overflow?

I do think that the statistical anomaly of so many people at one time in one line has to be explained.  (Remember, they were in that one line because all of their credentials were waiting there for them!)  Maybe it has a benign explanation — or maybe these people — whether the alleged 300 people from San Francisco or not, were receiving some sort of special treatment by the two election officials there such that they were being waved through without appropriate credentials.  It would have taken as few as three officials — the man waving his arms (for whom people could have been told to look) and the two people working that table — to make some nefarious plan work.  That plan could have taken many shapes — but the most obvious ones involve these not having been the actual credentialed delegates (or proxies), but just people who could sign their name in real time.  In that case, they would be voting without credentials, and their signatures would not match the signature obtained at credentialing.  Worse cases could be imagined such as that they signed the ballot receipt but never even cast their own ballots, the ballots having been given to someone else to mark or even having been already placed into the ballot box beforehand.  There is no shortage of ways to run such a scam — but virtually all of them could be defeated by meticulously tracing back every signature on a ballot or voter registry back through the chain of custody.

[5] The Identity of the Hand-Waving Man

On a hunch, prompted by the “Shabbes Goy” affair, I decided to check out some photos of people in some way associated with the California Democratic Party and ended up doing a “deep dive” into some.  I believe now that I know the identity — at least down to the level of a having a close family resemblance, like a brother or nephew — of the person who was waving people to the various tables while I stood in line.  I came across the photo of this person — who is involved in a significant role with the CDP — that very closely matches my eyewitness recollection of the person who was shepherding people into a long line intended only for delegates.  That person was acting publicly in what would seem to be a “CDP election official” role, and well may have been doing so with CDP permission.  I therefore don’t know whether his identity is even in doubt — they may know exactly who it is and it may be someone else and it may be benign — but I have to proceed as if it is.  Even if he was involved in doing something wrong, it does not necessarily implicate the larger CDP.

The twist is that the picture I saw of the CDP-affiliated man in question is about a decade old.  I don’t know whether the person I saw would have been the person himself or a close relative such as a younger nephew — if someone of that description exists.  But the family resemblance was strong, as a much more narrow level that at the level of race, ethnicity, or even state or province.  I believe that the picture could be used in asking eyewitnesses if they can confirm his identity, which is why I have decided not to publish it after originally having intended to do so.  I’ve thought better of it, pending a response from Party officials about how to proceed.  I include that picture — and enough others from the same event to make up a serviceable “line-up” for witnesses who were in the line at the same time as I was, if his identity really is in doubt — in a separate mailing that I hope will be sealed.

[6] Conclusion

With the exception of receiving two forwarded emails, described below, at the time that the sudden twist in election results was occurring, this is entirely based on my own observation, analysis, and research. I have not contacted anyone in the Kimberly Ellis campaign to seek information about them; I have not informed them that this post was coming; I have not sought their permission to publish it; I will not seek to contact them about it; I have not used and will not use anyone else as a “cut-out” to convey information back and forth from them to me; nor will respond to any inquiry, comment, or demand from them about it privately without noting that communication here. (If you think that some promise of fair and transparent dealing is being artfully omitted here, please let me know what it is and I expect to be able to add it.)

If there’s a convincing benign explanation to all of this, that is wonderful.  Either way, in light of this anomaly, applying to ballots of voters whose names I do not know — and whom I can only identify as “mostly elderly and possibly from that one club in San Francisco, if Rafael Trujillo’s suspicions are born out” — I believe that every single signature associated with every single ballot should be checked, by someone impartial, outside of the CDP, and with relevant expertise, to ensure that the anomaly I saw was not part of some greater scheme to distort the true results of the election.

[1] CRC/CDP == it became hard to distinguish between them, and either of them from other Bauman supporters, so I’ll just say “CDP” from here on when it came to their responses — said that they had not retained records of what volunteers had worked at what table, and what voters had been processed through what table, and at what time or in what order.  Documents were either missing or withheld and were stated to not be available for review.  To do the eventual internal recount information on each ballot was transferred onto special “Ballot Review Forms” (called “BARFs” by critics) which contained result information but — critically — did not allow signature matches with voter registration rolls, which was determined to be either or both impossible and a waste of money.

[2] On reflection, it defies credulity that CDP staff would allow someone to be standing in front of the line gesticulating wildly..This has led some Bauman supporters to suggest that I must have been hallucinating it or addled by my stroke.  No, I wasn’t, and both the observation and this story occurred about 2-1/2 months before my stroke.  And my memory is still pretty good for events and information that were drilled deep into my mind — this is in that category.  At any rate, others have told me since then that they did see the person as well.

The most obvious conclusion, which I don’t think I fully appreciated at the time because it seemed too brazen, was that person waving his arms WAS himself CDP staff!  My first attempt to engage him in conversation, while I was moving along the back wall, was to ask him if he could tell me where I could find CDP Staff so that I could suggest to them that they move some of the voter files from the paper with the huge line to other ones that had literally NO VOTERS in front of them.  The person  absolutely refused to recognize that I was even talking to him at all.  That’s why it didn’t occur to me that it might BE staff, though in retrospect it seems obvious.

[3] I thought at the time that the person looked like they had Asian-American-ish features, but perhaps not fully so.  Some people have suggested to me that that description matches CDP Executive Director Chris Masami Myers, who incidentally is the staffer for CRC challenges.  (We write each other a lot.)  There’s only one picture of Myers on the web — at least that I can see — and I can see why they’d say that.  Until literally yesterday, at a Credentials Committee meeting, I had only seen Myers once in real life — when I was making a noise about Lenore Albert’s complaint file at the bar just before she got endorsed by one vote — for which more than one person has apologized to me for casting — and mostly what I remember of him is the back of his head.  As you’ll note from this piece, whoever was doing this was extremely ill-dressed for the occasion, may have been wearing a wig, and was avoiding all eye contact and conversation.  Even if it wasn’t him, he was in charge of the area and should have quickly shown this “not him” the door.  About a month after the convention ended Chris Masami Myers did get an appointment chief deputy director at the to California Workforce Development Board = which I recall someone telling me was an especially shady slush fund with which Bauman was involved until it got reformed, but I don’t have direct information about that – but I don’t know how seriously to take either claim. In any event Myers was soon called back to the CDP.

As noted, I saw Chris Masami Myers last night, and while I’m trying to use my initial notes (written pre-stroke) and now looking past both the apparent disguise and the effects of the stroke, upon seeing him I had doubts that he was the hand waving guy, though it was a possibility.  Here’s another photo of Myers to double the number I’ll now be able to find on the web.

By sheer coincidence, at least from my perspective, there was another person at the meeting whom I’d never met in person before, but whose photo (from a decade before) I had picked out as looking very much like a younger  and more dapper version of the hand waving guy.  His name is George Wu; and he worked snd still works for the law firm that Eric Bauman had obtained for his own purpose and then installed as the law firm for the party.

I can’t be perfectly sure that this is him; after all, the handwaving guy was avoiding eye contact and dressed to unimpress.  But he well-matches what I said — snd wrote to the CRC in those pre-stroke days — that I saw two years ago.  In legal terms, having now seen him in the flesh, I believe beyond a reasonable doubt that that was him waving people towards the congested table.

That raises the question of why he’d be allowed to stand there and do this — but I think that the “why” is pretty clear from what I suggest in this story.

[4] I don’t recall the name of the RFK/UDC Club’s Executive Director, but I did know it at one point and, if I recall correctly, there was a news report that he had taken a job someplace like South Carolina.  If anyone knows who is was and where he went (and maybe why), please do comment.

[5] I don’t think that I’ve spoken to Trujillo since this came out.  I don’t recall the specifics of our conversation, and this is where — if he’s reading this — I do have to apologize for the stroke damage that wiped out a lot of details that didn’t make a deep impression.  I recall that he seemed like a stand-up guy.

[6] I don’t want to leave you in suspense.  Yes, the idea is that these same people are the ones who I later say I say in line going into the hall, and who later were the ones being processed through a single table, leading to the long long line in a mostly empty room.

[7] Eventually I and others came to believe, based on an explanation given by an indiscreet Bauman supporter, is that Bauman had real-time information as to who had still not reported and might need to be replaced by a (probably single-day) proxy.  I recall that that person said that Kimberly could have had access to the same information, but didn’t seek it.  I tend to think that this is hogwash.  Bauman was the insider candidate and could have threatened his way into getting special favors from staff even if it was not freely given.  Real time information about who hadn’t showm up would allow his team to contact them and find out who wasn’t showing up — which were the people who would then be assigned one of the elderly RFK Club delegates at the very end of voting.  If Ellis’s team lacked the same information about who hadn’t registered yet, she wouldn’t know who to contact.  I don’t see why anyone should have that information directly from the source, but if it happens at all it should definitely be doled out to all.

[8] I recall one delegate bragging that County Chairs could appoint proxies even without the delegate knowing it was happening, or wanting it to happen, or approving of the voting intention of the person chosen to replaces them.  Other delegates think that this was just hot air.  Some though, say that it makes sense if the County Chairs had collected everyone’s proxies beforehand and the state’s electeds had just ceded proxy appointment power directly to Bauman and his team.  Again — there does not seem to have been paperwork that would allow people to find out what really happened, which is completely wrong, as was the failure to audit it — including calling delegates to find out if they had given a proxy, had wanted it exercised by a given person or campaign, etc..  The moral is, delegates — SHOW UP TO VOTE, PERIOD.  ON SUNDAY TOO.

So what was the deal with the beyond extremely long line at the C-Ch (or whatever voter processing table?  What I later found out is that the RFK/Unity delegates balked at having to pay the dues and convention fees required to be able to vote — which, in their defense, no one had told them they had to pay.  Now, they could have applied for a fee waiver — but the rules require that to have been done at least a day before the vote, and the request had to be made in writing.  You couldn’t legally do it at the last minute like this.

So this should have prevented these club members from completing their secret mission and casting the votes that gave Bauman his victory.  Any competent and fair poll worker would have spotted the deficiency and denied them a ballot.  What to do?

The brilliant solution was to have them vote late, (when few other people would be left in the voting line), in one large group, and have them processed at one table by a small number of trusty poll workers who knew of the problem and would be willing and able to overlook the deficiency and give them their ballots anyway.

This had the benefit of keeping the number of people party to the conspiracy as small as possible.  Records of who staffed the table, who voted there during this period, and why they were not voting at the tables associated with the last names of their proxies could be addressed by simply not creating or retaining records, or by denying anyone access to them by restricting an investigation only to ballots and excluding ancillary paperwork.  And that is what did happen.

The only problem with the plan is that it created a bulge in the system, there at the end, like a python swallowing an anaconda.  With so few around there at the end voting, though, almost nobody would be around to see it, and most people just sit around and take such things without complaint.  I just happened to be there because I had been “working the line” up until almost the last minute, and because I’m the sort of person who, when I see a problem in a voting place that seems to be due to an unnecessary inefficiency, will try to find the person in charge to suggest how to fix it.

There have been reforms to prevent a recurrence of this problem — but maybe not in the way you might think.  A new rules change allows a campaign to pay directly for the dues and convention fees if it’s supporters — something that, as a practical matter,  unions seeking to maintain their stranglehold on party governance would be the only ones willing and able to do.  So there won’t be another big line like that: last-minutes proxies for Rusty will already have had their expenses by his wealthy supporters.

We’ll see how things work out by mid afternoon on Sunday June 2.  Hopefully, this time, we’ll see everything that we’ll later wish we had been able to see upon reviewing the events.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)