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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Byzantium Sep 15, 2021 10:41 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Predictable. Why bother reporting Jackson's party machine misrepresentations? What kind of state did Jackson leave us with after her career in public office, esp claiming she was the "education" candidate? #45 ranked K-12 schools and barely functional illiterates who now get called high school graduates ready for college. She did enough destruction to this state during her overlong elected tenure. Please no more from this woman.

PitMix Sep 15, 2021 02:20 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Byz, try wrapping your head around the fact that schools in middle-class to affluent communities do just fine in measures of student achievement. It isn't until you include schools in poor communities with uneducated parents, single parents, low wage jobs that the US starts to look bad. I've never understood why you think schools can solve societal problems like these- teachers are not social workers. You think HBJ could really fix fundamental problems with how our society is structured? I don't think she has superpowers.

Voice of Reason Sep 16, 2021 08:31 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

I agree Pit, and in responding to the pandemic those poor communities with uneducated/single parents and low wage jobs were thrown right under, ehh, in front of, the covid bus by Newsom/State of CA while the middle-affluent communities, aka the pajama class, went right along with it staying safe working from home, helping their kids with zoom school, and having their groceries delivered while never missing a paycheck.

SantaBarbaraObserver Sep 16, 2021 08:48 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Pretending to care about these people when you vote, support and continue to promote policies, politicians and media personalities who do the exact opposite, makes you either a bad person or an easily manipulated person... Your words, your positions, your chosen politicians and media talks how hosts all align against the PEOPLE, the WORKERS, the FAMILIES, and especially SINGLE PARENTS. Give it a rest, as you are the one who needs reform and a whole lot of honest self reflection...

Voice of Reason Sep 16, 2021 09:19 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

You have no idea how I vote and I wholeheartedly reject this concept of putting people in column A or column B based on their opinion on one or two issues. It's this blind party allegiance on every single issue we need to collectively move away from. Red/Blue, Fox/CNN, it doesn't matter, neither are right about everything, neither are wrong about everything, unfortunately, they all care more about money and the power of their party than their constitutes and viewers.

sacjon Sep 16, 2021 09:24 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

VOICE - "You have no idea how I vote" bwahahaha! Oh yeah, you're the epitome of party ambiguity. ROFLMO! "One or two issues???" My God man, you have an opinion, a very strong opinion, on just about every single article on this site. Wiping away tears of laughter as we speak....

Happy2BeSB Sep 15, 2021 11:11 AM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

At least, Elder said to be "gracious in defeat." We need more of that. Politicians that try to make their supporters feel like losers after losing an election are the lowest kind. Voters are not losers because their choice did not win.

fitz Sep 15, 2021 02:20 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

Oh sure. Larry Elder playing tapes of dog barking while referencing Maxine Waters. Absolute disrespect. He is nothing but a provocateur shock jock. The Republicans just made some terrible choices in a recall that they might have won. Too into Trumpism and undermining our democracy to run a smart campaign. HBJ has never been disrespectful towards the other side. She is a gifted speaker and avery smart woman. She has never had to resort to barbs and name calling.

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?

Happy2BeSB Sep 15, 2021 01:12 PM
HBJ Decries Recall Authoritarian Playbook, Urges SB Elxn Runoff

52% of registered Democrats and 25% of registered Republicans cast a ballot in early voting.

Counties may begin processing mail-in ballots seven days before the election. That means they can verify signatures, etc and have a nice neat stack that they can feed right into the counting machines as soon as the polls close.

Enough votes were counted by that time that all it takes is a rather simple estimate of outstanding ballots to know that the YES vote would not catch up enough to win.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.


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