HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

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By Jerry Roberts of Newsmakers

Republican wannabe governor Larry Elder this week claimed he's "detected fraud" in California's recall election -- days before vote counting even began -- a move that Santa Barbara senior stateswoman Hannah Beth Jackson says is "right out of the totalitarian playbook."

"The (Republicans') feeling is, 'if I lost the election, it must have been rigged,'" former state Senator Jackson told Newsmakers, a few hours before polls closed for the recall election. . "What’s very scary to me is, this comes right out of the totalitarian playbook."

"Take a look at some of the countries in the world where they said the elections are fixed, therefore we’re suspending the elections – well that’s where we’re headed in this country," she added. "If people believe...what is not true, because it serves whatever their purpose is, democracy is doomed."

While Gov. Gavin Newsom last night stomped the effort (MSNBC called it first, at 8:35 p.m. PDT) to eject him for office, some Republicans, led by talk show host and GOP front-runner Elder, had preemptively claimed without evidence that Tuesday's election was fraudulent.

Last night, Elder walked back his statements somewhat -- telling his supporters to be "gracious in defeat" when they loudly booed a mention of Newsom's name -- but his earlier effort to sow mistrust about the results mimicked the 2020 strategy followed by Donald Trump, in a bid to delegitimize President Joe Biden; Trump himself issued a statement two days before Tuesday's recall saying it was "rigged."

"The politics of fear and irrationality has taken over the Republican Party," Jackson said. "When people say this election was fixed…this is not even the Republican Party that George W.. Bush and the Bush family knew -- it’s become a cult of anger and bigotry and ignorance."

Since leaving office in January, Jackson has put out her shingle as a public policy and political consultant, working most recently to help the Montecito Association spread the word about Senate Bill 9, a housing measure recently passed in the Legislature which effectively outlaws single family home zoning in California.

Forty-nine days before the city's Nov. 2 Election Day, Newsmakers invited the longtime state lawmaker to drop by for a gabfest about politics, during which she also:.

  • Expressed support for changing Santa Barbara's mayoral election system to provide for a run-off between the top two finishers in a primary race, in order to avoid the spectacle of a mayor -- the only official who is elected citywide -- winning with only a fraction of the vote: "What we should have at the end of the day, like we do in most elections, a general election, where the top two vote getters duke it out for the position. That would force people to be clearer on what their vision is and...allow people to really be able to hone in on just what the future of this community is going to look like."

  • Doubled down on her endorsement in the mayor's race of James Joyce III, her former top aide, who is one of three major challengers to incumbent Cathy Murillo: "We really need an infusion of optimism, an infusion of vision...James is the kind of person who will bring everyone to the table and say ;what are your needs, and what are your needs and how can we come together, how can we get to yes.'"

  • Maintained that Democrats "have done a terrible job of articulating what (they) have done for the Latino community," referring both to struggles her party has had in motivating Latino voters in the recall and to gains that Trump made nationally among the cohort in the 2020 race.

Check out our conversation with Hannah Beth Jackson via YouTube below or by clicking through this link. The audio version is here.

This just in

Former SB Assemblyman Pedro Nava, who now serves as chair of California's Little Hoover Commission, said on Tuesday that the independent oversight agency, which investigates state government operations and policy, will hold hearings to study whether the century-old recall system should be changed.

"Our Commission can bring a unique perspective to discussions of recall reform," Nava said in a written statement. "Should the recall system be changed? And if so, how?"

Among other features of the current system that came under scrutiny during the Newsom recall is the constitutionality of the process, by which a challenger can be elected with far fewer votes than an ousted governor might receive from voters casting ballots for him to remain in office.
The commission meeting, which will be conducted via Zoom, is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. Details on how to participate are available on the commission website here.

Hey, we're just asking questions

As developers, contractors, architects, public employee unions and other labor organizations pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign treasuries of mayoral candidates, who will be the first candidate to step up with a tough ethics proposal that limits campaign contributions and bans donations from those with business before City Council?

How much stock should we put in the top line numbers of that shock poll now circulating among the cognoscenti that shows Randy Rowse leading Cathy Murillo, with a huge 40 percent of voters surveyed still undecided in the mayor's race?

Who will lead -- and who will trail -- in our upcoming, top secret Power Rankings of campaign signs now festooning yards, lawns, windows and illegal locations throughout Santa Barbara?

These and other political secrets revealed and mysteries unraveled, only in the Newsmakers newsletter.

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ChillinGrillin Sep 16, 2021 02:07 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

For the sake of argument, let me take the GOP claim that the 2020 elections were fraudulent to its full conclusion. Widespread fraud would mean the federal law enforcement led by Trump appointees would investigate it. They didn’t. It would mean recounts showing discrepancies with initial vote totals. Nothing to be found, even in GOP-controlled states. It would also mean GOP candidates on the ballot were also elected fraudulently. Exactly zero of them raised objections when they won. It’s almost like they don’t actually care about election fraud or something…

Luvaduck Sep 16, 2021 10:44 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Automatically claiming fraud if losing an election is a ploy to put a drain on the other sides's coffers. That can be fixed: Make a law that says if such a claim entails costs to defend, the claimant must put up a bond to cover costs if the claimant fails to prove the claim of fraud. This should include costs to the general public (taxpayers) for a nuisance suit. Either the claimant pays costs or his law firms pay what he can't or won't. This kind of sheenangan needs to be stopped.

SBTownie Sep 16, 2021 03:50 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Exactly what type of system are you proposing, Voice? As far as I have researched, paper ballots are by far the safest and most secure system though auditing them may take more time. Any electronic or online voting options are definitely off the table as security would be impossible to guarantee.

Voice of Reason Sep 16, 2021 03:30 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

My point is the opposite AlexBlue, if we had easily auditable elections, claims of election fraud would be silenced immediately and not catch on. Regardless that the 2020 claims were baseless, fighting against an audit is not a good look and only gave more credibly to those believing the claims.

Voice of Reason Sep 16, 2021 03:07 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

@2:41 how can you look at the government of today and say that sounds like Trump and he was the authoritarian one? ___au·thor·i·tar·i·an

favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom

Alexblue Sep 16, 2021 03:07 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Paranoid fantasy world. It doesn't matter how air tight the elections security systems are, when losers lose and they decide to try and hold power despite the cost or damage...claims of fraud become an issue. Your logic there is pretty ridiculous.

Beyond that, here you are asking questions, as are thousands of right wing journalists, bloggers and influencers and people on the street. Your fantasy that they aren't able to ask these questions is just that...a fantasy.

sacjon Sep 16, 2021 02:25 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

VOICE - "questioning" the "experts" is not what happened in 2020. What happened was, despite all the evidence suggesting it was a fair election and despite not having a SHRED of proof to support it, Trump convinced his followers the election was "stolen" due to fraud. No, this is not about "falling into line," this is about accepting the results of a PROVEN fair election and not crying foul when you have ZERO evidence to support your claim.

Plus, none of Trumps' followers questioned his lies, so didn't they "Fall in line or else?"

Voice of Reason Sep 16, 2021 02:04 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

If we had it now claims of fraud wouldn't be an issue and attempts to audit wouldn't be blocked/hindered nor take months to accomplish. It would be an open book where scrutiny is welcomed. But alas, you're not allowed to question the politicians, bureaucrats, or 'experts' these days. Fall in line or else!

Byzantium Sep 16, 2021 09:59 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Sacjon, you will be pleased to know I am under heavy moderation on this forum and am not allowed to immediately follow-up on your commenting requests. Ms Jackson's entire comment was a slur on the GOP and unfounded, except in her own warped, confirmation bias mind. How do you fact-find opinions, sacjon? I am a Republican and she can be nostalgic about the Bush brand of GOP as the party of blue blood privilege all she wants, but that train left the station long ago. The current GOP has much wider and broader appeal and the numbers prove this. One thing the GOP is not, and this will warm Ms Jackson, it is not the party of the public sector unions that have always provided Ms Jackson with her ow iron-clad political base. Though the numbers of government employees opting out of their previously mandatory union membership should give Ms Jackson pause .Except perhaps the police unions who got caught up in the current Democrat internecine turf war where SEIU and the teachers unions are trying to devour them.

sacjon Sep 16, 2021 01:35 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

BYZ - it is pleasing to know you are being moderated, given the volume of lies you unleash. So you admit, she did not "hurl unfounded slurs," she merely has an opinion about the current state of your party that you don't agree with. Got it. It's much more admirable and dignified (since that's how you insist HBJ acts) to simply say you don't agree with her opinion, as opposed to accusing her of these "unfounded slurs" against those who insist the election (2020 and now) were lost only due to fraud.

gcheadley Sep 16, 2021 06:46 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

It really doesn't say much for the Republican party when their most popular candidate wants to pay reparations to slave owners for having their slaves taken away, tells women to stay out of politics because they don't know as much about it as men, and wants to get rid of the minimum wage. Also, he has been said to have pointed a firearm at a woman he was in a relationship with during a heated argument.

Byzantium Sep 16, 2021 10:15 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

It doesn't say much for the Democrat party they could not find one good thing their own candidate and why he should not be recalled. Defeat for Newsom was looming. Only after Democrats resorted to their typical politics of personal destruction creating false scenarios about what they now targets as their primary opponent, Larry Elder. Democrats were perniciously skillful turning this recall yet again into a vote against Trump, and not the intended referendum on the extremely poor record of Governor Newsom himself. As they say, winning is everything and elections have consequences. It is now Newsom's burden alone to fix the gaping wounds he has inflicted on this state and the stark geographic dislocation of his support base - which came primarily from the heavily concentrated coastal populations, to his utter loss in the rest of the state geographically, which is shorter on population but not in real estate- up to 82% favoring recall in eastern California counties . Maybe Newsom can now "bring us together"? Not everyone in this state is hoodwinked by his sheer incompetence, including the recent state audit report declaring all state programs are incompetently managed, not just the Newsom $31 billion loss to fraud in the EED handing out "covid relief" funds.

ChillinGrillin Sep 16, 2021 02:01 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

The recall was a complete and utter waste of everyone’s time and money. Almost $300mil wasted for a Trumpy radio host with zero experience to lose in a landslide. If the GOP had any sense they would have backed a fiscal conservative and moderate. Instead they’re hostages of their rabid base. Now Newsom has more support and $24mil in leftover campaign funds. Brilliant move, GOP.

sacjon Sep 16, 2021 03:18 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

VOICE - whoa whoa whoa there.... "slander?" OK, point out the "slander" on this board. Throwing that word around is desperate and unlike you. Point out exactly where I said (or anyone) said anything defamatory about you or Elder.

sacjon Sep 16, 2021 03:15 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

VOICE - when words are in " " it means the writer is debating the use/meaning of that word, as I did. Yes, they are linked in the sense that EDD was one of the 40 reasons for the recall (along with eating in a restaurant without a mask, which was #1 on most sites I looked at), BUT they are not in the sense that one excuses the other, as I said. You can quibble over the meaning of an inconsequential word, or you can accept the vast difference in the two things. ONE was intentional, the other was not. BOTH are not excused by the other.

You keep missing the point. You cannot use the EDD fraud as a "rebuttal" to my original comment from 2 days ago bemoaning the loss of $300 million of our tax dollars on a failed and petty recall effort. I can't say this enough, so I will end my part in this now. When I say it's a shame we wasted that much money on a recall effort, the logical response is not, "well what about the even more money that was stolen on his watch?"

The logical (reasoning here) response would have been to address that $300 million and explain why it was a good use of taxpayers' money. What you did was typical deflection, aka whataboutism. And now I'm done. Typing the same argument over and over again thinking you will miraculously finally understand, is the definition of insanity. I'm not insane.

Voice of Reason Sep 16, 2021 02:59 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

It absouteltly means they're linked. This is you're typical MO though, when faced with facts contrary to what you claim, you distort the customary definition of a word, in this case 'linked', to try and twist out a rebuttal that make you feel like you've "won" something. By the way, most intelligent people would not be dumber after listening to someone they don't agree with but smarter, hopefully having gained insight and perspective, in this case insight into why people think Elder would make a good governor (I am not one of them), why they would be in support of the recall, why they feel Newsom failed them as a governor (without resorting to insults and slander). With the amount of insults and slander this board throws at anyone that doesn't toe the line of the DNC talking points I don't think many here take advantage of those types of opportunities to learn.

sacjon Sep 16, 2021 02:34 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

VOICE - and before you say what I'm pretty sure I know you're going to say, just because the EDD thing was one of the MANY reasons some people had for the recall, it doesn't mean they're "linked" to the extent that one should excuse the other.

KEY POINT - the $300 million for the recall was INTENTIONAL, the other was not.

Either way, it's over, there was no fraud and we're all a little dumber for having listened to Elder for that long. Better luck next time!

Voice of Reason Sep 16, 2021 01:56 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Sac, It takes a ton of ignorance to not see how the two are linked. One led to the other. Byzantium, I appreciate the effort but you'll never get them to acknowledge, let alone address, the failures and shortcomings of their preferred politician(s). They are perfect, any mistake is excused away, and will continue to vote blue no matter who and wonder why nothing changes. Ignorance is bliss.

sacjon Sep 16, 2021 01:37 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

BYZ - again, and you can ask VOICE about this, we're not talking about the EED funds, we're talking about the money spent on a hopeless recall effort that was doomed from the start. The 2 are not related in any way. Perhaps the two of you should start your very one website where whataboutism is the rule, not the joke.

Byzantium Sep 16, 2021 10:18 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Why are you ignoring the $31 billion Newsom wasted on fraudulent payments abusing the EED "covid relief funds". A primary duty of government is to respond to the constitutional election mandates. And a valid recall is a primary duty of this state. Sheer incompetence in managing state departments as the recent state audit concluding wasting billions of tax dollars is not a fundamental state privilege. With so much cancelling and banning of opposition views going on one can forgive the bubble most voters continue to live in. One an only hope the truth will continue to breathe somewhere in today's media.

Voice of Reason Sep 16, 2021 09:27 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Why we don't have an easily auditable and verifiable system to vote in the US is beyond me. It would squash all questions of fraud. We have banking systems and DeFi that process trillions of dollars in transactions each day, securely, yet we can't track votes for a few hundred million people in an secure and easily auditable way?

sacjon Sep 16, 2021 09:18 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

8:34/3:16 - I didn't mean you suggested fraud, I was just pointing out what the true threat to our democracy is - those who call fraud just because an election didn't go their way. Sadly, it's become the mantra of some.

a-1631806452 Sep 16, 2021 08:34 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

3:16 here: The AP appears to have called it first. So what. This rush to be first is not news. The media is not the arbitrator of the election or its results. If a media personality proclaims the result it is hardly worth attention. People have been corrupted into the thinking that we need to "know" immediately instead of having the patience to wait until the actual process is complete. Such prioritizing of a childish instinct has made our democracy and citizenry less responsible. In CA nearly 30% of the recall vote is still outstanding. If this were an election that was more competitive we would be complaining about the time it takes to count the votes instead of praising the officials for doing it right. The cost of "knowing' immediately is sloppiness and conflict. Especially when those claiming to "know" are without the real data. PS My comment never said there was "fraud" in this and I can't imagine how you would come to that accusation/suggestion. I think that our democracy rests on getting real votes counted by real processes, not relying on the media rush to headlines.

sacjon Sep 15, 2021 03:20 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

3:16 - what is the concern? Do you think it was called too soon? When it comes to a point where, no matter how many more people vote one way or another, they use math and numbers to determine there is no possible outcome for one side in an election. Those who suggest fraud without any evidence are the only ones causing any "fear" for the future of our democracy.

SBLetsGetAlong Sep 15, 2021 01:00 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Most voters don’t vote in person & most wait till last minute to mail in their ballots or perhaps drop them off.
Look at the last presidential elections, days later they were still counting votes that came in.

So how is it 35 minutes after pills close MSNBC declares a victor?

Just a question. Are you saying CA is Johnny on the spot and shows up early?

sacjon Sep 15, 2021 02:17 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

SAIL - context. Also, they're not "quoting MSNBC," they're asking how MSNBC can declare a victor "35 minutes after the pills (sic) close." Sounds like you're just trying to find any fault you can with my comments.

PitMix Sep 15, 2021 02:14 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

At least they didn't declare victory before the election, which would have been consistent with the Elder declaring fraud before it occurred. If he is the face of the Republican party in CA, you will never win another statewide office again without a recall election and an actor pretending to be a governor.


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