Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful title=
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful
Reads 10169

By Jerry Roberts of Newsmakers

In a private email, SB mayoral candidate Deborah Schwartz told key supporters over the weekend that Supervisor and local Democratic honcho Das Williams urged her to drop out the race and back incumbent Cathy Murillo -- then asked if the party could "offer" her something in return.

Schwartz, writing to board members of the independent Democratic Women's club, which has endorsed her, portrayed Williams' bid to get her to throw her support behind the party-endorsed Murillo as part of a broader, "ugly" and "shameful" effort to vilify challengers in the campaigns for mayor and two council seats.
"I decided that the unbecoming, un-Democratic tactics and behavior coming out of a core group within the (Democratic County Committee) needs to be called out now," Schwartz wrote, adding that she is "beyond disheartened" that this unnamed "core group" is "aggressively waging negative campaigning against legitimate non-incumbent challengers" and "in mail pieces represents themselves and their endorsees as the 'real Democrats.'”
As a political matter, Schwartz's comments, coming one week before Election Day, suddenly surface long-festering indignation and resentment among some Democratic candidates, insiders and activists at the tight control and demands for total loyalty exercised by a small group of leaders of the local party.
Going public is a gutsy move, albeit one that risks political payback. Depending on the results of next Tuesday's election - and whether or not the party succeeds in pushing Murillo, especially, along with endorsed incumbent city council members Meagan Harmon and Kristen Sneddon to victory - Schwartz's airing of her concerns could represent the first step in shaking up the Democratic organization, which dominates local politics, or ensure retribution against her.
In the email, Schwartz said, in effect, that party leadership has lost its way by putting power ahead of principle, and yearned for a return to "a 'big tent' (party) where true values of diversity and inclusivity were priorities," which she recalled from her youth and early years in politics.

What Das says

Williams, in a text message, acknowledged meeting with Schwartz about the mayor's race, but took issue with her characterization of the conversation.

"I was not heavy-handed," Das said."You may remember that I helped get her on the Planning Commission and worked very hard for her (previous unsuccessful bid for) election to City Council.

"I heard she was being approached by some of her supporters to drop out of the race because she was so low in the polls," Williams said in explaining why he approached Schwartz. "So I told her that if that did come to pass that I would do my best to give her credit and repair relationships."
Willians also responded specifically to comments Schwartz made about the matter in a Newsmakers interview; she told us Williams offered a "quid pro quo" if she would drop out and back Cathy, describing the offer as "shameful," "desperate" and "undemocratic."
Das replied: "That is so far from what happened."
The plot thickens. After Newsmakers texted its request for comment to Williams, he sent a screen shot of our text to Schwartz, protesting that she was going to the media rather than keeping her concerns in-house among party leaders, Deborah told us on Monday evening.

She said she responded by calling Das and castigating him for failing to call out, as a de facto leader of the party, what she sees as reprehensible behavior by some Dem insiders and their allies. Among her concerns:

  • "Slanderous" attacks on Nina Johnson, the longtime City Hall staffer who is challenging Harmon in District 6, which she said have included formal complaints by party apparatchiks about errors in her campaign finance reports, picketing at an open event she held to meet voters and an effort to get Dem Women to withdraw its earlier endorsement of Johnson for being "anti-Democratic."

  • "Outrageous" comments by former party chair Daraka Larimore-Hall on the SB Talks podcast, in which he insulted Schwartz, Sneddon and school board member Laura Capps -- all Democrats -- in addition to demeaning mayoral candidate James Joyce III - a loyal Democrat -- for having challenged party-endorsed candidates at various times.

  • A "threatening Google text message" that she, Schwartz, has received, which she connected to the "desperation" of some party leaders about Murillo losing, and which she said she has forwarded to the Santa Barbara Police Department: "I am watching my safety," she said.

Schwartz also noted that even if, hypothetically, she did drop out and endorse Murillo, her backers would not follow her, given that her entire campaign has been premised on the need for change in culture and operations of City Hall under the mayor's leadership.

"My supporters would never vote for Cathy Murillo," she said.

So there's that.

Power Rankings

Seven days is an eternity in politics (although, to be sure, it's a, um, shorter eternity in an all-mail election in which many ballots already have been cast. But we digress), and things can change quickly - but one week out, here is our totally unscientific, fact-free view of where things stand, according to the book maintained by Las Vegas bureau correspondent Tony (Little Tuna) Tagliatelle.

1-Randy Rowse. The sudden outbreak of Democratic in-fighting and sturm und drang underscores his campaign message about the corrosive effect partisanship has had on City Hall, and the latest e-blast by Dem chair Darcel Elliott, linking him by not-very-sly innuendo to Donald Trump, highlights the desperation with which Team Cathy views his campaign.

2-Cathy Murillo. In a low-information local election, don't underestimate the importance and effectiveness of the squadrons of volunteer precinct walkers the Dem Party turns out every weekend for its candidates, and don't forget that campaigning door-to-door is what Happy Cathy does best, certainly far better than governing.

3-James Joyce. The collegiate track man has all the momentum in the race as it heads to the final stretch but from where we're watching up in the nosebleed seats, it looks like he waited too long to turn on the burners, and simply has too much ground to make up. Whatever happens, however, he's established himself as a player on the local political scene.

4-Deborah Schwartz. Deborah thought the mayors race would be all about policy, not power-brokering. She declined to identify by name any of the Democratic Party "core group" she says created a toxic political atmosphere, but here's a wild guess at who would lead off such a list: Das, Darcel and Daraka.

5-Mark Whitehurst. Nice full-page ad in his own newspaper.

6-Matt Kilrain. Leads the field in appearances in police reports.

Don't forget to vote.

Login to add Comments


Show Comments
idamuckracker Oct 26, 2021 11:15 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Multiple tires have been slashed on cars belonging to Nina Johnson supporters. Meagan Harmon this is not good sportsmanship. The entire town knows that you were not voted in your last term but instead, you were only appointed into office! Now that Nina is running against you in a race you are losing, you/your followers decide to slash tires to try and induce fear amongst Nina's supporters. You're a city council member and not a Mob Boss!

Ahlia Oct 27, 2021 05:54 AM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

i was so turned off by partisan (hypocrisy) politics after the Clinton impeachment ended that I changed my voter registration to, "DECLINE TO STATE". The gridlock has only worsened. Before district elections took away our rights to vote for "all" city council members, our mayor and council members worked for ALL of Santa Barbara. .... I'm voting for Randy Rowse because I believe that he has and will continue to work for a UNITED Santa Barbara.

Lorax Oct 27, 2021 07:02 AM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Well said Bizuntium
Joyce is pure machine. The local revolving door farm club moving up the political machine party ladder. Get rid of all of them - break their lock on the slow and steady decline of this city. No more Hannah-Beth Jackson wannabes, no more family legacy entitlements like Capps, Sneddon and Schwartz, no more new faces already sold out to machine political agendas like Limon and Harmon, no more tired old faces with failed track records like Das Williams and Gregg Hart. Can we finally breathe the fresh air of people running who are not 100% dependent upon pleasing their national political party's desire to take over every single public office and have them parrot only the national political party agenda? Look for those who have rolled up their sleeved locally and proven by stint of public service their care about the city and not their next political career move.

haskelslocal Oct 27, 2021 07:08 AM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

A small group commandeered this city and has since turned it into a perpetual cash cow for themselves.
All-the-while playing pawning games with you rabble rousers who can't get enough of the bread and circus sham show.
A textbook strategy which permeates politics from sea to shining sea. The comedy is in how easy it is to perpetuate and loot. And to do so right in your face as you're watching.

a-1635358786 Oct 27, 2021 11:19 AM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

So true. This crap is nothing new. Years ago someone I know was going to run for a seat on the BOS. She was told by a prominent local democrat official, not to bother because that the seat had already been “promised” to someone else. Unless you can raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and oust the local DNC pick, it’s futile to run. It shouldn’t be this way for non partisan local government positions. Das is as shifty as they come. A career politician and a main driver of partisan politics. He is arrogant, condescending and will be making a run for higher office as soon as the machine gives him the go ahead. BOS is a placeholder for him to stay relevant. It’s all a load.

PitMix Oct 27, 2021 07:16 AM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

I guess the Rowse supporters here don't care that he took illegal contributions and didn't return them according to this site? Seems like a double standard but not surprising given the partisan politics that permeates our city.
"Now that District 4 candidate Barrett Reed has said he'll return $12,000 in don't-pass-the-smell test campaign contributions delivered on a single day from eight abstruse business entities controlled by real estate mogul Jim Knell, will Randy Rowse - who received the same amount from the same operations, on the same day - do the same?"

Friendsb Oct 27, 2021 07:33 AM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

In a video interview online Mr. James Joyce III says, “I’ve been a resident for the past decade working for State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, here in the district," said Joyce. "And founder of Coffee with a Black Guy, my business.”
For transparency sake, it would be good if Mr. Joyce would clarify how long he has actually lived and worked IN Santa Barbara verses how long he lived and worked in Oxnard at Jackson's Oxnard office. The "district" that Joyce refers to includes Santa Maria to the north and Oxnard/Camarillo/Port Hueneme to the south. A Google search shows an address for Joyce in Oxnard. When did he move to Santa Barbara? It's important that Mr. Joyce properly impart accurate information to the voters.
The California Secretary of State Business Search website indicates that Mr. Joyce's business (consulting and facilitation), Coffee with a Black Guy, was registered in California on November 13, 2020, starting shortly before Mr. Joyce declared his candidacy. Prior to that the company was registered in Texas, dissolved in 2019 and then reinstated in Texas in 2020.
State of California:
ID 202032310496, Coffee with a Black Guy, Jurisdiction in Texas, Application to Register a Foreign LLC on November 13, 2020
State of Texas:
ID 0802807595 Incorporated in Texas September 6, 2017,
Dissolution Date January 25, 2019
Status from Forfeited Franchise Tax (June 1, 2020) to Reinstated (July 6, 2020)

Shame Oct 27, 2021 07:46 AM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Well I was under the impression that city positions were not determined by Democrat or Republican. I was an impression that we elect people to better our broken city. Anyone who has been in Santa Barbara for any length of time house to see the damage that has been done to our city and if we don’t stop it now we will lose our city totally. That’s Williams who is taking Kickbacks and has pretty much broken every law on excepting money and it’s very well known for doing favors for people that are his friends or that is going to better his opportunities. For that reason I wouldn’t vote for Kathy Marella because he supports her. I have not made up my mind who are going to vote for yet but watching and listening and reading all this that’s going on is definitely shaping my mind on who I may vote for. I take this very seriously and I hope everybody in town takes it seriously and takes a hard look at what’s going on we need to save our town.

a-1635459165 Oct 28, 2021 03:12 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

No, whoever wins, we'll be saying that with 5 years to the next mayoral election, let's begin to work on getting a system of ranked voting. We've had time but Cathie was apparently uninterested in pushing or allowing it (I don't know which.) She my not care since she will be termed out then, should she win on Tuesday.

Mesarats Oct 27, 2021 10:24 AM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Deborah Schwartz is a good candidate, but hard to compete with the big money and our local self serving demonic Democrat party leadership. The 3 Ds are covered in political slime, Daraka Larimore-Hall got put on the back burner by his own party and is now not relevant, and remember this when Das runs for anything
She should stay in, she has little chance of winning, but her voters could could put a kink in Murillo’s count. I like Joyce, and ok with Rowse, but in the 1st month of Murrillio’s term I went ABC.

a-1635364954 Oct 27, 2021 01:02 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

SBC Dem Party is controls the local government, not to our collective benefit. Have you looked at their website, and seen the DCC board members' Day Jobs?
Darcel Elliott - Chair, Chief of Staff, Supervisor Das Williams
Hillary Blackerby - MTD, appointed to downtown revitalization committee
Lucille Boss Ramirez - Santa Barbara County Housing Coordinator (!!!!)
Bill Rosen - Goleta Water District Board Member
Jeffery Hall - Board of Trustees Alan Hancock College
Denise El Amin - ran for Solvang City Council
Joan Vignocchi - League of Women Voters
Christian Alonso - SBPD Police Oversight Board Community Formation Committee
Gabriel Escobedo - SB Planning Commission
Charles Croninger - husband of SBCC Trustee Marsha Croninger

Do things feel a little rigged around here to you? That's because they ARE!

Alexblue Oct 27, 2021 03:22 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Rigged? Come on, don't get into the whole victim/conspiracy thing.

It's not rigged, just get out there and convince people to vote for Non-Democrats.

Simple. But wait, you won't, because like 99 percent of the people who complain about the situation, you're likely not going to put the work in to changing it.

Alexblue Oct 28, 2021 03:03 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

831 it's also a good idea to read carefully; I said 99% and "likely" not putting in the work.

But, please, explain. How what changes are you proposing to the status quo ad exactly how are you going about bringing these changes to fruition?

And, no, posting on Qanon forums doesn't count.

Mesarats Oct 27, 2021 02:38 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

The Democratic Party is using the same scare tactics that got her elected. Remember the We must have a Latina mayor to combat conservatives who will come, terrorize the women and children and bring big money to fund a conservative.

Per the MJ “There’s a lot of concern that [conservative] Randy [Rowse] will get elected,” Elliott said”.
Rowse is is more of a moderate. If anything Murillo seems to have more in common with Trump.

1. She ignored the impact of the epidemic, disappeared and didn’t address the community for 3 months after the shut down. 2. When in office, she did follow the norms or respect the democratic voting process of the council for the representative for the seat on the SBACG, inserted herself into it and got Rowse to change his vote in her favor (bad move on his part) 3. She interrupted a BLM demonstration so she could have photo op. 4. She protects insiders who support her, she could have requested a investigation on the Novak and grand jury report of the Community Development Department, but that would have been a kick in the pants to Paul Casey who seemed to be her front man. 5. She takes credit for things accomplished as if single handed.

a-1635373026 Oct 27, 2021 03:17 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Mesarats, YES! She also is afraid to talk to people who don't agree with her - too thin-skinned for politics, really. She bullies other councilmembers, like Alejandra and Kristen. She is about the power, and the selfies, but has no clue how to deliver. I got a mailer about her today from the Dem Party of SB. You'd think Cathy was a job creator and savior in our town! For shame, Marty Blum, for being on it with her. ABC.

Byzantium Oct 27, 2021 03:23 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Rowse is no Donald Trump. That is a last-minute mud-slinging sign of desperation by whomever is saying that.. No real conservative at all running this time, like Dale Francisco who was a highly competent city council member with solid pragmatic conservative credentials, or the more erratic Frank Hotchkiss who was a little too hot to handle though did have conservative instincts at times. Rowse is very much down the middle and his key strength is both public and private sector experience, and a decent grasp of what has been missing in past city leadership. Good combination, best we can get right now. With the mix on city council, good to have someone who is down the middle. Ideological litmus tests don't serve anyone at this time.

janemcmann Oct 27, 2021 06:08 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Meagan Harmon and the Democratic Machine shame on you for having Lee Heller write a letter to the Democratic Women trying to undue an endorsement oh Nina Johnson. Here is the link and Lee's letter is in this article.

a-1635409404 Oct 28, 2021 01:23 AM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

Also, I can't see any group turning themselves into a laughing stock by withdrawing an endorsement. Doing so seems to me to be more self-destructive than making a questionable endorsement. How could they ever live down changing their minds?!
Agreed that some good points were made in Ms. Heller's letter.

idamuckracker Oct 27, 2021 06:16 PM
Deborah Says Das Pressed Her to Quit the Race, Calls Dem Party Tactics Shameful

So many people support Nina Johnson and are excited to show their support as District 6's last city council member Meagan Harmon was actually never voted in. We are all so excited to support Nina that we put the "Vote Nina" signs on our bikes, electric scooters, cars, homes, and businesses. Recently, Nina supporters have been reporting people throwing rocks at them and one person had to file a police report because someone witnessed their property get destroyed by someone with a sledgehammer. Is this democracy?


Please Login or Register to comment on this.