Power Grab

Establishment Democrats Masquerading As Progressives

Elected officials attempt to hijack the selection of community representatives to the state party convention with their own slate of delegates.

Carl J. Petersen
Political Sense
Published in
4 min readJan 29, 2021

“Padilla, Cárdenas, and Rivas are actively campaigning against their own constituents. We see them stealing community seats to get their family, staffers, and representatives of special interests in positions that effectively allow them to stay in power. This is an act against democracy.”

- Angelica Dueñas

During the 2016 presidential primaries, many Bernie Sanders’ supporters felt that Democratic Party leaders had improperly put their thumbs on the scales. Some of these Berniecrats quit the party in protest and registered as Greens. Others stayed in the party but vowed to become more involved in the process so that progressive values were better represented.

In California, much of the efforts of the Berniecrats who remained in the Democratic party were focused on winning seats during the biannual Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEM). During these meetings, 14 community representatives are selected in each district to become Assembly District Delegates (ADD). These delegates join elected officials and their appointees at the yearly State Convention to endorse candidates, take positions on ballot propositions, and establish the state party platform and party resolutions.

After making initial inroads into gaining representation in the party apparatus, California progressives are finding that the establishment is fighting harder this year to keep them out. Not content with the seats that their positions already give them, they are trying to take control of the ones that are supposed “to represent their community.” Grassroots efforts are being overwhelmed by flashy flyers and any other materials that piles of campaign cash can buy. Worse yet, this spending is not regulated by campaign finance laws and the funding source does not have to be revealed to the…



Carl J. Petersen
Political Sense

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com

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