Weekend Open Thread: About Those Larry Elder Ads…




UPDATE: AGGGGH! Ignore those slimy anti-Rep. Ilhan Omar ads too! 

About Those Larry Elder Ads…

We’ve been using Google Ads for quite awhile, but we’ve just upgraded to include ads on the sidebar. We don’t choose the ads that they show; instead, Google itself makes that choice, generally based on keywords within the stories.  “No big deal,” we thought: “we can run as many ads for orange juice as its producers want to place.”

We’re somewhat nonplused to find that the first entity who has taken advantage of our new ad space is … rabidly right-wing talk-show host Larry Elder, who — among the 26 candidates in the recall election for Governor, rates 28th, behind “write-in for literally almost else in California” and “election cancelled due to hideous calamity.” This choice of ads is not what we wanted, but … a deal’s a deal.  They won’t be there forever.

We have decided, though, that we can have some fun with them!

As part of our admittedly (but legitimately and with justification!) biased coverage of Larry Elder — that attitude reflecting our views on his opposition to any minimum wage, his opposition to social services and public health rules, his misogyny, his mentorship and sponsorship of Trump’s anti-immigration hellweasel Steven Miller, and much more — we’ve been thinking that we should cover — fairly but imbalanced — the story of his allegedly waving a gun at his fiancée after becoming one of the few people to get more violent when using marijuana. (In my peer groups, the only violence done under the influence of marijuana was to recalcitrant bags of snack foods.  Rimshot!)

Elder’s ex-fiancée came out this week with some lurid  allegations against him, which the Trumpian provocateur of course denies (except presumably whatever’s caught on video.) But we consider ourselves to be the historical record here, so let’s track the events involving the candidate who has been leading the recall replacement contest, to the great relief of Governor Gavin “Why can’t Hitler be the leading candidate against me?” Newsom, who has been counting on Elder’s obnoxiousness to bring out the Democratic vote. Newsom, it should be noted, is one of the losers here in the Elder scandal, given that he’s relied on Elder to scare balky voters into compliance — but maybe he’s gotten all of the votes he needs already due to the “Vote No and Go” campaign to get people to skip Part 2 of the election.  (I kinda doubt it….)

Now, every time you look at that “Larry Elder is Fighting for California” ad, you can think of the above image — which puts those first four words in their place — and smile!

Meet Ex-Fiancée Alexandra Datig!

Elder was engaged for a year and a half to conservative commentator, blogger, and former producer of his show(!) Alexandra Datig. She had previously found some fame as the woman who turned in Heidi Fleiss, the Hollywood Madam, for whom she worked as a high-priced call girl.  She says that she is tired of that story following her around — but there are some things that one just may never escape, such as Larry Elder’s having written a book called Stupid Black Men. (Yes, he did.)

Datig has since become a crusader against human trafficking — although how similar her experience with Fleiss was to the plight of women forced to work in brothels against their will is at least debatable — but she says that she recognizes some of the abuse from her time with Elder from that experience, which is plausible.

Here are her main allegations, much of which comes from a story in Politico from former homegirl and Register reporter Carla Marinucci, now in the Bay Area, whose main source seems to have been Datig herself. (Yeah, you should read it.)

  • Elder, “high on marijuana,” brandished (or by some accounts, was waving) a gun at her.  I’ve found that, among my peers, cannabis has generally had an opposite effect, leading people largely to relax and then commit acts of carnage only against bags of snack foods. This sounds like more of a cocaine or meth thing — but, then, she was allegedly there with him and I was allegedly not.
  • Larry Elder brags, in a home video, about his relationship with Snoop Dogg, saying, “I introduced him to the evil weed. I’m the one who made him what he is, I can’t believe he turned his back on me, motherfucker.” (Unexpurgated here, because we’re not Politico.) Calvin Broadus of Long Beach was an active member of the Crips in high school and arrested for cocaine possession at age 18, so when did Larry Elder initiate him into marijuana use? When he was 10?
  • Elder had at one point repeatedly pressured Datig  to get a “Larry’s Girl’’ tattoo, ideally with Superman logo. which she did — but only after he agreed to get a tattoo that declared his love for her. After she got the tattoo, he reneged.  (Shoulda gotten the damn tattoo, Larry!)  This, she said, is reminiscent of what happens in human trafficking.
  • Elder made Datig sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), as he had done with previous women, when she broke up with him.  By violating this NDA, she may owe him some money — if he has the gall to collect — money that she would surely make back with a tell-all.

Some of my research for this story comes from coverage from the site the coli.com, which is extremely not intended for white guys in their early 60s, and which seems to include some friendliness to Elder of the “he shoulda known that white guys would get away with this but Black guys can’t, and what was he doing with a white ex-hooker anyway” variety.  Here’s one of the memes from page 4 of the linked site:

Good question! Answer: It’s because most of the time you can breach a contract so long as you’re willing to pay the damages, sir. The contract is not some sort of magic spell cast by the Elder wand.

Last point on Datig: she has now endorsed Kevin Faulconertotally ruining her (Easy) street cred.  Last I looked, Faulconer has not thanked her for the endorsement.

Enough Blather; How Does This Affect the Campaign?

When I started this story, I was going to luxuriate in dancing on Elder’s political grave in this conclusion. Faulconer and Jenner have both called for Elder to withdraw from the race — which would normally be the equivalent of a death rattle.

But I’m sorry to say that I’ve thought better of it.

The replacement race has taken the shape of a Republican primary — and that puts me in mind of the most recent Republican Presidential primary, in 2016 (as well as, with less force, the Democratic primary won by a wounded Bill Clinton in 1992.).

While these two stories certainly should hurt Elder, based on standard Republican views about Black men and drug use and violence, other Republican views about guns and power and swagger may swamp them. Those citing Republican principles may come off to a plurality of their voters like scolds, spoiling a very fun party.  (Lower-case “p” there.)

But there’s more to it than even that. I think that half of Republican voters place “owning the libs” above even lower marginal tax rates, in which case we might not see him slip beyond, say, 22% of the vote on these alone. Even with Cox and Faulconer still both in the race, that — especially with Jenner still there — splits the “we disapprove of Black men waving guns at white women” vote enough so that that 22% may be enough to win.

Of course, the Democrats could easily get 23% of the vote for a candidate — but they would rather serve their own master, French Laundryman, even when ordered to wade into the river wearing full suits of armor. I’m afraid that those voters skipping Part 2, the replacement election, are going to rue the day. (The Washington Post this morning came out with a good analysis of the race, reaching a similar conclusion just as this story was being completed.

I’ll remind people: the closest thing you can find to a legitimately qualified progressive candidate in that race is Dan Kapelovitz, a longtime Berniecrat running on the Green ticket. (You don’t have to let people in the party know that you’re taking and extra ten seconds to tick the box for Kapelovitz; it can be our little secret!)

This is your Weekend Open Thread. Talk about the above, or anything else you’d like to, within reasonable bounds of decency, decorum, and not waving guns at people while on mind-altering drugs.

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.)