Recall Voting Recs: NO & Kapelovitz!

Vern is sure that he’s voting NO on the Recall. I’m not sure that I will, because I’m so pissed at how the Democratic Party has handled this process that I can’t personally support their efforts without some token to compensate for seeming like an obsequious party dupe — but I encourage others who don’t have the same qualms to vote NO for the sake of their friends who would be sad if the recall succeeded. I’ll decide whether to vote NO or to abstain on Tuesday evening before 8:00.

If the recall were polling closely, I would probably vote NO without misgivings. But it’s not. NO is leading Yes by between 10 and 20 points. The recall is not going to pass. Most of the work Democratic activists (and people pulled into the fray by the threat of Larry Elder) has been unnecessary; they will feel good about their efforts nevertheless and be ripe picking for Gavin Newsom’s 2022 re-election campaign and 2024 or 2028 Presidential campaign based upon the warm glow they will feel about having contributed to (but not really) Newsom’s victory.

It was a sly move on Newsom’s part to secure a huge advantage in the recall by elevating Larry Elder to Public Enemy #1 status — sly, but disgusting and harmful. One of the unmentioned costs of this election is that it has greatly enhanced Larry Elder’s profile beyond his current talk radio bubble — which will allow him to continue to chop into Democratic support among Blacks and Latinos. Gustavo Miranda Arellano wrote a story calling Elder “the most Latino candidate” based on his nasty derision and disdain towards people who didn’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps and took government handouts, and with a wider national following now Elder will be hammering home that message (along with election fraud conspiracies) for a generation or two. Thanks, Gavin — that really helps.

If you really want to undercut Elder’s future support, the right move was to vote for a non-Elder in Part 2 of the race so that Elder has less of a talking point than he’ll probably have now. (He’d love to tell people at future Trumpian rallies that he got “three times the vote of his nearest competitor” or some such — which seems within his reach.)

Democrats could have stopped that. They could have safely (and informally) chosen a single candidate — movie villain Patrick Fitzpatrick, perhaps, or Berniecrat Dan Kapelovitz, who joined the Green Party for this race (and recently won its endorsement) — and told people to vote for that candidate in Part 2. Endorsing Kapelovitz in particular, who is a NO on the recall, would not have threatened Newsom at all — and would likely have increased turnout on the left. It would also have reduced Elder’s share of the vote — and possibly even knocked him out of 1st place among replacement contenders. At a minimum, it would have lowered the likelihood that RINO huckster Kevin Paffrath would be the top vote-getter among non-Republicans — something that will also come back to haunt the party.

But they didn’t — not as a party, which is understandable given the internal processes involved, but not even as individuals! People bought the line that voters should “Vote NO and GO” — skipping the replacement race because voting in it somehow “legitimized” the recall’s result. (It’s the law! It doesn’t need to be “legitimized”!) This most amazing sentiment was expressed by California Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks — who maybe now people will believe is as dumb as I’ve said he is — that having to vote in Part 2 was too time-consuming, effortful, or confusing for voters. (Way to insult voters, Rusty!) The fear was that voters would take too long studying the candidates and perhaps not turn in their ballots at all — but lots of voters are disobeying the party’s edict to “VOTE TODAY” and studying the replacement candidates anyway, probably many more so than would be the case if Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Dianne Feinstein, Toni Atkins, and Anthony Rendon were to have said, as individuals, that people who wanted to vote should choose, oh, Fitzpatrick. (Individual Democrats would not endorse Kapelovitz because the party has the ethos of a street gang and endorsing someone outside of the gang, even if it’s for the good of the party, means getting beaten out of the gang.)

But for me and (after much ruminating) Vern, the vote for Kapelovitz is an easy one. No, at this point he’s not going to beat Larry Elder, but every vote for him strengthens the power of the Berniecrat faction within the party — of which Vern and I are part — and bolsters our chances for change. That may be why the party really didn’t want people to vote in Part 2 — fear of a good example. And that is why I currently lean towards abstaining.

The replacement race is your chance to represent your beliefs. Don’t sacrifice it because a party that disdains you — except as a potential vote, potential donor, and potential campaign volunteer — doesn’t want you to express your views. If you’re a Berniecrat, meaning that your platform is mostly the same as that of the Green Party, vote for Kapelovitz to represent your views. If you’re not a Berniecrat, but just don’t like being screwed with by the party, vote for Kapelovitz because a Green candidate (who as an NPP votes in Democratic primaries) doing well is a subtle but eloquent way of telling them that you’re pissed! If neither, then I guess you can stifle your voice and skip it.

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.)