As the campaign for the next Chair of the California Democratic Party heats up, social media feeds supporting individual candidates running are super-blooming like California poppies in Lancaster. The feeds are fun to watch, because any question about a certain candidate is immediately viewed as an attack on that candidate by supporters.
There is a particularly interesting Twitter feed called AltCDP, which some claim is actually run by one of the four senior CDP officials running the party in the wake of former chair Eric Bauman’s resignation. Some are calling on public denials in order to out the identity. Good luck with that.
Orange County is no stranger to Internet trolls; best to ignore them.
The current charge de jour on AltCDP is that an unnamed senior party official is pressuring those suing Bauman to amend their lawsuit to soften it but having the effect of harming these staffers all over again.
Go to the Twitter feed and check it out.
Meanwhile, CDP chair candidate Kimberly Ellis announced earlier this month that she’s raised $350K in her bid to become the next chair. And a website has emerged with information suggesting she’s violating campaign finance reporting from her 2017 bid.
First, the press release:
Team Ellis Surpasses Its Midway Fundraising Goal with $350K Raised from Individual Donors in CDP Chair’s Race
BERKELEY, Calif. (March 6, 2019): Te…am Ellis is proud to announce it has surpassed the midway point of its fundraising goal, having raised $350K from individual donors since January 2019 — expecting to complete its total funding goal of $650K by the end of April.
“Delegates understand that it’s the Chair’s responsibility to raise the funds to run the Party, and should I be fortunate enough to earn their support, the Party faithful can trust in me that I will keep the lights on without having to sell out our moral integrity to the highest bidder,” said Kimberly Ellis. “Our early goal was to focus on raising the funds necessary to achieve our admittedly expansive programmatic vision so we can later be afforded the opportunity to spend the rest of our time in community with delegates.”
Team Ellis established a $650K goal for the five month campaign, which includes three programmatic components, including a $1000 paid internship with a focus on Gen Z + Millennials, four full-time, benefited regional campaign directors to provide delegate member-services, $50K in grants for Central Committees in hotly contested Congressional and Legislative districts, and live streamed statewide issue forums.
“There’s so much more the Party needs to be doing to bring about progressive change both here in California and nationally. This race is an opportunity for each candidate to audition for the role of Chair, and we should, as the delegates deserve no less.” Ellis concluded, “California Democrats cannot be afraid of ambition, of doing better, or achieving more. This campaign is here to prove that the time has come for California Democrats to be known nationally as, hands-down, the best in the organizing business.”
Kimberly Ellis for California Democratic Party Chair – Fundraising Philosophy:
At Team Ellis, our fundraising philosophy is simple and straight forward… we believe in publicly financed elections and the eradication of big money in politics. But until this goal is achieved, we believe it is our responsibility to take as many dollars from as many people as we can – BUT – to never take any dollar that comes with strings attached.
Practically speaking, this means our campaign will only seek out and solicit individual donors or political organizations whose values are aligned with our own. Our experience in fundraising teaches us that corporations and corporate PACs generally never give political money unless they want something in return – and since we don’t believe in pay to play – our campaign has no intention of receiving any corporate donations.
But should the world’s best corporate citizen come along and want to help us turn a Republican seat into a reliably progressive district for the next couple decades by banking all the costs out of the goodness of its heart without expecting anything in return, then our campaign is willing to talk… well, just as long as they’re not charter schools, tobacco and oil companies, the private prison industry, big Pharma and the like. Thanks but no thanks; donations from them are non-starters for our campaign.
For a list of donors click here: https://www.voteforkimberly.org/donors
Note: Ellis was asked — twice — about contributions from high tech millionaires at a DPOC meeting in 2017 and ignored the question completely. Misha Houser asked the questions.
Ellis violated the Internal Revenue Code by never filing regular contribution and expenditure reports (known as Form 8872).
In order to receive contributions and not pay income tax on them, an organization must establish tax-exempt status. Kimberly Ellis did that in 2015, when she registered her campaign as a 527 political organization:1
Having tax-exempt status comes with public disclosure requirements. A 527 organization that “accepts a contribution, or makes an expenditure, for an exempt function” must regularly file campaign reports with the IRS.2 3
But what is an “exempt function”? An exempt function is “influencing or attempting to influence the … election … of any individual to any Federal, State, or local public office or office in a political organization…”4 The IRS considers political parties like the California Democratic Party to be a “political organization.”5
Kimberly Ellis’ campaign organization was of course created to influence the election of the CDP Chair’s race, which is the office of a political organization. She was therefore required to file reports pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.
As of this writing, Ellis has not filed any of the required Form 8872 reports in the almost two years since she filed for 527 status–despite her legal obligation to do so:6
What Ellis Disclosed
- Names of Donors
What Ellis Did Not Disclose
- Amounts Donors Contributed
- Donors’ Employers
- Donors’ Occupations
- Donors’ Locations
- Contribution Dates
- Names of Campaign Expenditure Recipients
- Amounts of Campaign Expenditures
- Campaign Expenditure Recipients’ Employers
- Campaign Expenditure Recipients’ Occupations
- Campaign Expenditure Recipients’ Locations
- Campaign Expenditure Dates
- Name of Person in Charge of Keeping Accounting Records
The race for chair is turning into a nasty and dirty campaign; whoever wins deserves the support from California Democrats to unit all factions of the party to defeat Republican candidates from President to Dog Catcher.