Giving Day Open Thread: VOC, Wikipedia, Warnock and CA-13!

It’s been quite a week in our household — and I’m not telling you about it! (We’re ok, mostly.) Since we didn’t have a Weekend Open Thread, we’re doing one mid-week — marking Giving Day by giving you a pot pourri!

Where to give a miniscule amount of money

I went to one of the most valuable sites on the Internet today and they’re asking for the smallest contribution you’re likely to see. When you go to Wikipedia on your phone, it asks you if you’ll donate $2. If you go to the website, its asks (on the Donate line on the left margin) if you’ll donate $2.75. Either way, Wikipedia is an important and not that threatening part of our global intellectual superstructure — and with most everything else being taken over by trolls and bots and malware, it’s really worth keeping it going. So donate today!

Where to give more more, but more locally

Lots of great causes are available in OC, but one of those closest to our heart is the Voice of OC. (It’s the only one that we have on our sidebar, although the above is to their donations page.) Here’s their pitch:

Throughout this tumultuous year Voice of OC has been bringing you the best local news on the pandemic, protests, economy, wildfires and the election. As Orange County’s only nonprofit newsroom, we have become a lifeline for many residents, delivering real facts in real time. All this gets done every day with a handful of journalists. No paywalls, no ads.

Make a tax-deductible donation today to join our community.

It seems like that was written at a time that the pandemic was more prominent, but we’re not complaining about that. We’re a little sore at the “no ads” thing — have you ever seen ads that go away more quickly and quietly than the ones we have here? — and a continuous pledge drive is pretty much the same as ads. (We’ll note that if the almost two dozen journalists on their staff page are a “handful,” what does that make us here?) But they put the money to really good use, and a lot of what we write is deeply informed by their latest story. So, while your number 1 priority when it comes not supporting local journalist should be attending Vern’s concert on December 3, your second priority should be a say thanks to VOC in a way that they can spend.

When you have time or money to give this week to Re-elect Warnock

A week from today is Election Day in the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff between a Black man upholding the position and tradition of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Senator Raphael Warnock, and a Black man upholding the grand tradition of chronic concussion sufferers with multiple personalities and weaknesses for white nationalists and soliciting abortions everywhere — seriously, I know of no precedent — Herschel Walker. Do not just assume that Walker will lose because HE MUST LOSE; winning an election takes effort, and some of that effort can take place from OC itself.

When you have to know how California’s last Congressional race is going

The New York Times says that the only two uncalled House Races in the country are Lauren Bohbert’s in western Colorado and CA-13, where incumbent Adam Gray is defending his seat from John Duarte. Can’t tell you much about the former (except that some people are saying that the Bohb has already won), but I can tell you more than the New York Times can about the latter! Here’s where they say that the election stands right now.

CountyMarginVotesPercent of votes in% In
MercedGray +554,685100%
StanislausGray +435,025>95%
MaderaDuarte +1721,653>95%
FresnoDuarte +1013,132>95%
San JoaquinGray +68,528>95%

Well, unlike them, I’ve taken a look at the Secretary of State’s Estimated Unprocessed Ballots page, and I can issue some corrections! Let’s put up that table again:

CountyMarginVotesPercent of votes in% In
MercedGray +4.6%0100%
StanislausGray +40100%
MaderaDuarte +16.80100%
FresnoDuarte +10.22600>83.5% (100 provisional, 1000 conditional, 1500 other/to-duplicate
San JoaquinGray +63770>69% (1320 provisional, 1050 conditional, 1400 other/to-duplicate)

Duarte currently leads Gray by 593 votes with an estimated 6370 left to process. And I say “process” because provisional ballots, conditional voter registrations, and to-be-duplicated ballots do have to go through more complex pre-count processing than an in-person or vote-by-mail ballot that usually sails through the tabulation process without fuss or incident. And not all of them make it through that process — provisional ballots may not end up including this race (although that’s sort of unlikely); conditional voter registrations may not become real ones; ballots that need to be duplicated might turn out not to be salvageable after all.

Provisional and conditional ballots will tend to lean blue; largely they represent problems related to transience, which tends to affect lower income renters more than higher income homeowners, and possibly English literacy. So that would seem to help Gray, but that effect may be attenuated by however many will be thrown out.

The number of votes left in the two counties favors Gray — San Joaquin has about 1.5 as many ballots outstanding as Fresno — but the base rates of the two counties in play slightly favors Duarte. Duarte has been receiving about 55% of the Fresno County vote while Gray is getting about 53% of those in San Joaquin. If all ballots were to count, then that prior vote would suggest another that Gray will add 226 net votes (6% of 3770) to his total in San Joaquin and that Duarte would add 265 to his. Duarte’s margin would rise by 39 votes, from 593 to 632. So the blue lean in these categories of votes would have to be quite large: almost exactly 10% of the results, meaning that Gray would need to get 58% of the new votes in San Joaquin and 55% of those in Fresno. To the extent that ballots get thrown out, the number that Gray has to win goes up accordingly.

Is Gray likely to get 60% of the combined outstanding vote in these two counties? Probably not, but possibly so.

When you remember that I wrote about the Alaska Senate Race….

Yeah, well moderate incumbent Lisa Murkowski won! On some issues she can give Democrats a vote if Manchin or Sinema will not. (In the grand Alaska tradition, she’s not that hard to win over with a little pork form the barrel.)

When you need a break

And then, if that isn’t enough for you, there’s this trenchant new song on the Intertubes!

This is a highly displaced Weekend Open Thread: even though it goes from Tuesday to Tuesday, that contains a weekend! Write about whatever you’d like within reasonable bounds of discretion and decorum. And dignity!

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.)