Sunday, May 13, 2018

3 Versions Of Why The DCCC Threw Hans Keirstead Overboard And Endorsed Harley Rouda


The coastal Orange County district occupied by Putin ally Dana Rohrabacher, CA-48, has been pretty red for a long time. As crazy as he is, Rohrabacher has never had any serious competition and Obama lost both times there, 51-46% the first time and 55-43% the second time. In 2016, though, Hillary beat Trump 47.9% to 46.2%. The PVI went from R+7 to R+4. I looks fairly winnable, especially in a wave cycle and especially when the GOP tax scam hits California suburbanites especially hard.

That picture up top is from the DCCC's Red-to-Blue page. They added one of the candidates, Harley Rouda, to the page on Friday, a shock since the DCCC recruited two candidates for the seat and have been trying to stay neutral. (Rouda, a former Republican who has been endorsed by the New Dems, was recruited by right-wing DCCC staffer Kyle Layman and then Hans Keirstead was either also recruited by Layman or was pushed on the DCCC by corrupt money-hungry consultant Achim Bergmann.) Anyway, the DCCC, confused and dazed, had been neutral until they started getting uncomfortable with Hans last month-- but I'll get to why in a moment. First, the "official story" from the Beltway press release machine, Roll Call:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is taking sides in a crowded California primary in the 48th District, backing businessman Harley Rouda, in an attempt to avoid a nightmare scenario of being shut out of the November ballot.

Rouda was added to the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program on Friday, giving him additional access to committee resources. The move is also evidence that Democrats are stepping up the effort to coalesce around one candidate.

In California, the top two vote-getters in the June 5 primary advance to the November election regardless of party affiliation. This district is one of a handful of California races where Democrats are concerned multiple candidates on their side could split the Democratic vote, allowing two Republicans to advance to the November ballot.

...“Harley has demonstrated that he is the strongest Democrat in this race and best prepared for the general election, and with the grass roots and numerous California delegation Members strongly behind him, we know we will flip this district this fall,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) said in a press release.

...[T]he DCCC's move does contradict the state Democratic Party's endorsement process, where delegates backed prominent stem cell researcher Hans Keirstead.

State Party chairman Eric Bauman said in a statement that the California Democratic Party and the DCCC have had a "productive and successful partnership", and he encouraged the DCCC not to attack the state party's candidate.

"Throughout our partnership, I have been consistently clear on one key point: when CDP delegates endorse a candidate, that candidate is the official candidate of the Party, and the DCCC should tread carefully in openly supporting a different candidate," Bauman said.

"California Democratic activists value our independence and the grassroots nature of our endorsement process," Bauman said. "Decisions that undercut the independence or our endorsed candidates have the potential to be extraordinarily counterproductive."
So that was the official story for the public. The official story for insiders is that the DCCC is disappointed that Hans didn't spend enough of his own money on the race. As of the March 31 FEC reporting deadline Rouda had spent $1,130,500 of his own on the campaign and another "ex"-Republican masquerading as a Democrat-- and calling himself a "Reagan Democrat," Omar Siddiqui-- had self-funded to the tune of $764,856. But Keirsteaf had "only" put $430,400 of his own into his campaign. That made the DCCC sad.

Frick and Frack... neither would make a good member of Congress

And that may be true. But there's a third story for "inner" insiders, like Pelosi, who seemed punch-drunk at a big end-of-the-day meeting last week between DCCC staffers and interested members when the final decision was made to jettison Hans and endorse Harley. (By the way the two are both New Dems and are basically as indistinguishable ideologically as their names are.) Before I get into the "real" reason, this was Han's response the the betrayal by the DCCC hours after they dumped him and started pressuring him to drop out of the race for the good of the party:
I was shocked this morning when I saw that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) added our opponent Harley Rouda, a former Republican, to its "Red to Blue" program.

“Red to Blue” is meant to help strong, committed Democratic candidates in key districts. On every measure, Harley Rouda doesn’t make the cut.
Harley Rouda was a registered Republican before he announced his run for Congress in 2017.
 In 2016, Harley Rouda donated $1,000 to anti-choice, anti-union Republican presidential candidate John Kasich.
The California Democratic Party endorsed Hans Keirstead over Harley Rouda by an overwhelming margin.
"Red to blue" should be adding committed progressive Democrats to its program. Not recent Republicans who failed to win local support.

We’re running the only true grassroots campaign in this district. We’re fueled by more than 3,200 grassroots donors across 49 states, far outpacing our opponent’s level of support.

We’ve built the strongest ground game in the district-- our volunteers and organizers have knocked on tens of thousands of doors.

But this isn’t the first race that D.C. insiders have meddled in. In Texas, New York, and elsewhere, they’ve swooped in and tried to prop up their chosen candidates-- creating chaos and angering local activists.
One of the DCCCers on the now infamous phone call and meeting that settled Hans' fate, first told me the incredible real story and then sent me the back-up documents to prove it, obviously on condition that I wouldn't rat him out. I was so shocked that I took two days before publishing so I could get absolute confirmation. I also worried that I was being used by the scumbags at the DCCC to help disseminate this smear campaign against Hans which is very much the same kind of nightmare they used against Laura Moser in TX-07 and against Andy Thorburn in CA-39. Their excuse is always the same: the Republicans have the info already and if the candidate-- in this case Hans-- gets into the general election the Republican candidate will eviscerate him with it and we'll lose an opportunity to win a crucial red seat. (Is that true? Do the Republicans already have it? Or am I doing the DCCC's dirty work and giving it to them? I was told by several sources that Harley has had the documents for weeks and chose not to use them.)

The documents accuse Hans of having had sexual affairs with multiple students and employees at UC Irvine. Even worse, it documents a scene that Hans promised for weeks to refute and then never could, that he punched a young woman in the face when he was drunk and in a limo filled with female students he was partying with. The first memo is 14 pages. Here are the first 2 pages that the DCCC was handing out internally and seems to have decided it would be a good idea to send to me as well:

You'll have to click on the 2 images to read them

Is there a moral to this sordid story? The DCCC needs a new staff and a totally new direction. And the DCCC should stop interfering in primaries and spend its resources fighting Republicans, not other Democrats. Nor should the DCCC be recruiting such totally flawed candidates like Harley and Hans. There was a grassroots activist in the race, Laura Oatman, but the immense self-funding and DCCC pressure drove her out of the race. Today she would surely look like the best candidate to beat Rohrabacher.

UPDATE: Why The Mess in Orange County?

A DCCC source-- someone different from the one who sent me the documents-- called to congratulate me on the story. He also wanted to remind me that Hans is the reason for the mess in another Orange County district-- the 39th in the northeast part of the county. "Kyle Layman is the most incompetent and pig-headed staffer I 've ever met. He recruited Hans and, to help clear the field for him, he pushed Cisneros and Dr. Tran to run in the 39th, where neither of them lives. We are in our mess in the 39th largely because the DCCC was in love with the concept of Hans... We fucked up royally and, thanks to Kyle, may now lose both districts.

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At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of points:

I have never liked the CA Jungle Primary. Just as the Electoral College failed to do its duty in regards to having two terrible candidates as the front runners in the Presidential contest, the CA Jungle Primary doesn't allow for any write-ins once the two top vote getters emerge. You are stuck either with selecting one of two evils (note I don't say "lesser"), or not voting for either candidate (as I have done with DINO DiFi versus any Republican she faced for her seat since this primary format was enacted).

I also find it very interesting that the DCCC found it convenient to send Howie that memo on Hans despite all of the negative comments many of us on DWT have made at their expense. They must believe we here have some utility to assist with their agenda despite our opposition. This means that they are watching what we post, yet they are ignoring what we say. Their Will Uber Alles!

So much for reclaiming the Party from within. They know your plans and likely have already countered any and all possible avenues you just might have thought you had to achieve the goal.

Now watch this drive.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woah, sounds like Hans is going to have no choice but to drop out after this!

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it reprehensible this was not disqualifying and is taking this long to surface! Hans needs to step down NOW and the DCCC should be ashamed this was not discovered earlier. Fran Sdao needs to be a hero and tell Hans to take a hike. Pronto!

At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog was written on 5/13/18. The "Whistleblower" report was written in 2009. I have seen no response from Hans Keirstead. If the information in the report was VERIFIED and TRUE, the OC Register and the LA Times would be reporting this disturbing information. The fact that nothing has been reported makes be suspect the Whistleblower Report as not true. I am a Harley supporter and do not condone this kind of political smear campaign.

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of facts to keep in mind here:
1) According to the last paragraph of the whistleblower report, the whistleblower got his/her info from another person and had no direct knowledge of the events in question.
2) Hans married someone who was in his lab (either a postdoc or grad student, I don’t remember which, off-hand), so one can imagine that their relationship could have easily led to misperceptions of bias toward other members of his lab.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part I
While Hans was a professor at UC Irvine and running a lab, a man who was suing his family for $5 million over a piece of artwork filed a complaint with UCI accusing Hans of various forms of misconduct. He did this in an attempt to discredit Hans and gain leverage in the lawsuit.
UCI took the allegations seriously and funded an independent investigation. Hans fully cooperated, encouraged his students and lab employees to do the same. After months of interviews and conversations, the woman hired to conduct the investigation determined there was no wrongdoing and that all the claims were unfounded, not credible, or false. The man who accused Hans was forced to drop his other malicious lawsuit and signed a statement acknowledging the UCI complaint was false.

At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The man was recorded on a voicemail stating:
“You think, what I did to Keirstead is f***ing near child’s play. And I’m not letting up on Keirstead one f***ing bit. You have no idea.”
• The author of the whistleblower complaint was the same man suing Hans Keirstead’s family for $5 million.
• Once aware of the complaint, Dr. Keirstead instructed his staff to cooperate with the investigation with 100% transparency.
• UCI conducted a review of the allegations. The university’s investigation, run by a female senior investigator with UCI’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, concluded that every single allegation made against Hans Keirstead was unfounded and unsubstantiated. (See Ex. A)
• After the man’s complaint and the lawsuit were found to be frivolous the man signed a release saying he “acknowledges the allegations to be unfounded.” (Ex. B)
• The man is recorded admitting his hostile plans towards Keirstead. (Ex. C)
• The man who filed the whistleblower complaint against Hans has a history of erratic behavior, including having a restraining order placed against him after he threatened to kill his wife. (Ex. D)
A Message From Hans:
Every complaint should be taken seriously. Period. That’s why I welcomed a full-scale investigation and instructed my staff to cooperate during the inquiry. I encouraged everyone who worked with me and for me to speak the truth, because I knew the claims were unfounded. This was a very difficult process for my family, but more importantly for all the men and women who worked for me. There were assumptions and questions about whether there were inappropriate romantic relationships between me and women studying and working in the lab, unfair assumptions that were humiliating for everyone. At the end of the day, UCI conducted a thorough investigation and determined the complaint was false.
It is a time of great change, people who have been irresponsible with their power are being held accountable, and rightly so. Women and men are speaking up about these abuses, and I support them. It should go without saying that women are serious professionals, who have smart and relevant voices and who are imperative to a democracy that works efficiently and can help move this country forward.
Women don’t deserve to be targets for unethical politicians who have some need to prove their power or position. Women should also not be victims in political campaigns or games, period. The climate of this race has turned ugly. There are private investigators knocking on the doors of my former students. There are supporters of other candidates reaching out to my ex-wife asking invasive questions.
It is a requirement for a responsible government to be transparent and anyone who seeks to serve public office carries that responsibility as well.
As a candidate, husband and father, I promise to continue to be open about my personal and professional life. And I challenge all others running to represent us in 2018 to be transparent about their character, and be committed to respecting all women, and their important roles in our communities across this state and country.
Ex. B – COURT SETTLEMENT: Keith Roizman admits his claims were false
Ex. C – ROIZMAN THREATENING VOICEMAIL: Keith Roizman, is recorded discussing his plans to discredit Keirstead.
Ex. D – ROIZMAN RESTRAINING ORDER: Keith Roizman, who filed the malicious complaint against Keirstead has a history of erratic behavior, including having a restraining order taken against him after threatening to kill his wife.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the comments I can see that the information about Hans is not compelling. But I want to correct the record about Harley Rouda as well. He has not been a Republican for 18 years. Yes, he was an Independent for a long time and registered as a Democrat to run for office. As he says, you kind of inherit the Party of your parents until you figure it out for yourself. Same thing happened to me. What I want to see is a Democratic party that is welcoming to people who share the same values. There are more and more people leery of Party loyalty and yet have liberal views. We need to be a big, welcoming, diverse Party. Harley's work for the homeless and his passion for important issues is enough for me and many others. We don't need a life-long Party member.

At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That’s why I welcomed a full-scale investigation and instructed my staff to cooperate during the inquiry. I encouraged everyone who worked with me and for me to speak the truth, because I knew the claims were unfounded."

What Hans really said was that even though the testimonies were supposed to be anonymous, he would read them all and know who said what. I worked in the lab next to his and heard everyone talking about this for weeks. At the time I encouraged my friends in his lab to keep their heads down and their mouths shut. I regret that now.

How's the science going, Hans? Because, from where I stand, it seems like your rockstar days are over. Now you're selling eye cream? Better quit while you're ahead because the next rung down is selling snake oil.


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