The campaign promises made by Kimberly Ellis of new style leadership have already been broken.
Over the last two weeks Kimberly Ellis has been claiming that the election for California State Party Chair was stolen from her without providing any evidence or proof of her accusation. Monday Ellis issued a six-page memo that was long on narrative but short on proven campaign discrepancies.
In fact one of her claims has already been proven to be incorrect. While emerging facts and deepened perspectives are the product of any investigation what is troubling in this particular instance is the Ellis response. Ellis now knows the irrefutable facts behind one of her central claims undermine her allegation and she has not issued a retraction or clarification.
We live at a time when America is under the onslaught of fake news and alternative facts emanating from the highest office in the land. Democrats are choosing to be the resistance of the authoritarian propaganda big lie tactic with a movement based on truth and fact. Ellison’s failure to clarify her now discredited claim is troubling and in truth a broken promise of new style of leadership at a time when facts are central to the lefts agenda.
The now discredited Ellis claim is that there was a proxy holder during the election that signed two proxies and therefore voted twice. Under Party rules proxy holders can only represent and cast a vote for one delegate. Soon after Ellis released her claim a delegate by the name of Fritz Friedman stepped forward and clarified the issue. Mr. Friedman is an Orthodox Jew and as such cannot put pen to paper during the Sabbath. As he has done in the past Mr. Friedman asked that someone sign for his ballot so that he could receive it in order to cast it at the appropriate time. While it is not clear if this procedure is technically prohibited by the rules we should all hope that it is allowable. As a party that stands for increased civic participation and is dedicated to removing barriers to voters participation the accommodation made for Mr. Friedman was reasonable by any standard. However even if the rules where technically broken in this instance it would not be proof of voter fraud or of a systemic violation that would cause the invalidation of 63 votes which is what Ellis would need to secure the job she seeks.
The real issue at hand is how Ellis has handled the situation. While is has been known for over a day that a claim that she called “gravely troubling” of her findings Ellis has not issued a clarification or apologized to Friedman for any stress or discomfort that she may have caused him. While the Trump era may in fact be having the effect of making us all less sensitive to politicians not retracting mistaken claims Ellis promised to be the heart of the resistance and provide new leadership. The basis for the resistance has to be fact and responsiveness to truth. While we should all concede that when facts are not readily apparent mistakes do happen and misstatements occur. But the essence of leadership is accepting the facts when they become available and adapting to them. When one continues to hang on to disproven claims one cannot claim the mantle of new leadership.
Trump has created an environment where fighting for the truth is at the center of the well being of our democracy. We cannot be the core of our resistance if we don’t accept that we must hold those that would lead us to the same standards as we do those that oppose us. At this juncture Ellis is facing a key test of her ability to lead us in a fight for fact based leadership and at this moment is failing.
Posted on 06/07/2017 at 08:41 AM