GUEST COMMENTARY - As one who understands elections from a first-hand perspective, I also understand the risk that is assumed when endorsing a candidate or cause.
While I did support the recall of District Attorney George Gascon, I had grave concerns supporting the campaign running that effort because of the risks I identified early on with the consultants running that campaign.
These risks included the fact that these very same individuals had blown $1.4 million in the 1st round effort, and then we're telling individuals they were the only ones capable to run the 2nd effort. However, even the most cursory and superficial of scrutiny would show that these individuals were unmitigated failures in the campaigns which they ran.
The list of defeated campaigns that the fundraiser had run before read like a who’s who for every Republican who ran and lost. The PR firm had just come off the heels of running the Larry Elder campaign. Prior to their involvement the recall effort showed statistically tied within the margin of error. After their involvement the recall came in lower than even the 2018 gubernatorial race.
Even more concerning was watching elected officials and candidates with the greatest of potential in winning their races support this campaign and expending their own political capital in so doing, now having their chances damaged because of the Recall Gascon consultant failure. Candidates such as Rick Caruso and Alex Villanueva will have to work even harder and spend more money to overcome the failures of these "professionals."
Not to mention is the damage to democracy and the suppression of motivation for conservatives to vote. When the Recall Gascon consultants and committee members started a disinformation campaign spreading a patently false narrative about signatures not matching being why there might not have been enough signatures for the recall to make it on the ballot it exposed several things.
First, they knew disqualification was likely and were concocting fantasies to deflect attention away from their failures and deceptions about having effectively screened for unregistered voters and duplicates - which the results clearly showed to be false.
Secondly, repeating these unfounded rumors against the Registrar only drives down the motivation of voters who support law and order and more conservative causes from turning out. The answer isn't to point blame. It is to get more signatures, do a better job at screening signatures that would be known to be disqualified. The campaign consultants speak out of both sides of their sides of their mouths when they say the disqualification rate was not higher than other petition efforts, but also say that the disqualification rate is also staggering. What's overwhelming is the incompetent ineptitude that continues to be given oxygen by media outlets for them to continue their Orwellian doublespeak.
Finally, there is the disservice to communities, such as Beverly Hills, having been used by the campaign consultants as a mere ATM to line their pockets while offering "assurances" of verification checks being made that the evidence bares out to be categorically false. Donors should demand better. Donors should demand refunds. Most importantly, donors should never again donate to any cause for which any of these consultants work again.
(Miran Kalaydjian is the Chair Education Public Health / Homelessness Committee Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council [email protected])