Melahat Elected as Cal Dem Party Secretary. Tremble!

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Now she’s everybody’s problem.  (And no, this web ad is not retouched.)

The California Democratic Party has just announced the results of its officer elections for the next two years.  (I haven’t been covering them because the outcomes have been foregone and it has been pointless to argue.  Melahat, Rusty Hicks, and others have been doing their damnedest to obliterate whatever ability to persuade party delegates on internal matters, so I’ve just been watching it unfold towards today’s inevitable conclusion.)  Understanding the horror of Melahat, promoter of Jordan Brandman, corrupter of Farrah Khan, in a top party office requires more background information than most people are willing to digest at one sitting, and presenting it will be a task for a long term.  The main problems are that she’s very good at what she does, that what she does is entirely self-serving, and that she takes the creed of the fundraiser — “be shameless” — to rarely achieved heights.  She will devour CDP — most of whose officers have been surprisingly bumbling — whole, and turn it to her own ends.  They have no idea what’s coming.

Melahat — who, now that she’s on the Democratic National Committee along with Ada Briceño — has convinced the likes of Minnesota AG Keith Ellison and DNC Chair Jamie Harrison that she’s actually a progressive (and, I presume, a champion of Muslim rights, which will be news to OC’s Muslims) and she parleyed those endorsements and others from more moderate figures like Nancy Pelosi and Gavin Newsom to become the top vote-getter for any of the five elected CDP offices.

Here are those results:

I’ll let Melahat tell the story herself:

It is not often that I am speechless. Still, I want to say that I am truly grateful for the overwhelming support in our race to be the next California Democratic Party Secretary. The preliminary results are in – and I am honored to be your next CADEM Secretary with a total of 2,261 votes (70.41%).
Thank you for the confidence you have placed in me to help lead our Party.
I am excited to work with Rusty, David, Betty, and April on a vision that will empower delegates on the ground, beat this Republican recall, and deliver results for Democrats.
I want to give a special shoutout to my sister, Diana Love, for running a spirited campaign that brought so many great ideas to the table to move our Party forward. I am honored to have shared this campaign with such an incredible leader in our party.
I look forward to seeing you all this weekend at Convention!
Democratically Yours,
Melahat Rafiei,
CADEM Secretary-Elect

So gracious, so sweet!  The good news is that — as she begins her inevitable campaign  to parley the CDP Secretary position into supplanting Rusty Hicks as Chair (about which I’ll presumably be hearing from sources wishing to remain anonymous) — she won’t have much of anywhere to hide.  Yes, even the Five Points- hating Larry Agran and Chumley have remained discreetly silent in the face of her awesome presence — but smooth as buttered silk as she is, she won’t be able to maintain a cap on her ambition for long.

Melahat has more political skill and nerve than the other four CDP officers combined. (And yes, that includes former state officeholder Betty Yee and basically inept Chair Rusty Hicks.)  The party leaders have focused on trying to pound on progressive reformers — witness the thrashing of Delaine Eastin in the Chair’s race and Norma Alcala for Comptroller, and of the more equivocally progressive Daraka Larimore-Hall in the male Vice-Chair’s race — and yet the woman who calls her campaign consultancy “Progressive Solutions” (I suspect for similar reasons that  an exterminator might name their company “Termite Solutions”) not only got more votes than anyone else — but a higher proportion of them!  It’s like they don’t fear her brand of “progressiveism” — likely because it isn’t one.

I’d tell Rusty Hicks to watch his back — although more likely the challenge to him would come from the side, as Melahat puts her arm around him and steers him into an open manhole — but frankly I hope he doesn’t.  It will be fun to watch the realization emerging on his face on the way down.

Let’s get this straight: Melahat is not a progressive if it threatens her power or her checkbook — as good progressive politics often will.  She’s as self-serving as Eric Bauman, but operated with a public smile and backroom machinations rather than bellowing.  She’s not, to my knowledge, ever had any penchant to grab people by the crotch and intimidate them; that’s not where her deepest urges lie.  She’s about amassing power, influence, and prospects for future income, period.

Pretending to be progressive — I don’t know if Keith Ellison has ever had a conversation with her about class issues, and if so how she soft-soaped him in such a discussion — serves her well, and from what I can tell that Keith Ellison endorsement won her much of the progressive delegates’ vote in this election.  But like most OC politicos, her progressivism starts with women’s rights, includes LGBT rights (especially now that it’s safe), and yields on anything and everything that could stand in the way of labor and corporate donations.  (I expect that she represents herself as an environmentalist, but the kind who won’t support much of anything that inconveniences polluters.

I’m not going into the details of her history here; perhaps Vern will decide to add to this when he wishes.  Anyway, good luck to the party as they discover how she works — generally, after it’s too late.  (On the good site, the unions won’t be able to trust her either — and while the Secretary can pull various dirty tricks that previous ones may never have dreamed of — as we’ve long seen at DPOC — I think that the CDP Bylaws are a bit harder to twist.)


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. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)