Mike Barkley, Candidate for Congress
(c) 2012, Mike Barkley


I received an email regarding the candidate endorsement process of the California Democratic Party. [reduced to straight text]:

In response, I looked at the State Party Bylaws and more specifically Article VIII, Section 2, PARTISAN PUBLIC OFFICES OTHER THAN PRESIDENT p. 29 et seq.

Article VIII Section 2(g)(3) on p. 33 stands out:
This Committee:. . .
(3) hopes and expects that all of its members will make every reasonable effort to see that those aspirants for the Party's endorsement who fail to receive that endorsement withdraw as candidates in the Democratic primary and encourage a unified effort on behalf of the endorsed candidates; and . . .
With my Democratic opponent being informally endorsed by President & Mrs. Obama, Congressman Steve Israel and the DCCC, and various officials of one or both local DCCs, it is likely that my opponent will be endorsed, and unlikely that I would be.

An examination of the California Elections code shows:
    8040.  (a) The declaration of candidacy by a candidate shall be
    substantially as follows:
      I hereby declare myself a ________
      Party candidate for nomination to the
      office of ________ District Number
      ________ to be voted for at the
      primary election to be held ________,
      20__, and declare the following to be
      true: . . .
      If nominated, I will accept the
      nomination and not withdraw.
                    Signature of candidate
    [form for notarization]
Section 8041 describes the nomination paper. Section 8061 provides for accepting an in-lieu-filing-fee petition instead of filing nomination papers.

On 12/30/2011 I began the in lieu signature gathering process. The hundreds of people who have signed my petitions and the thousands of people I've talked to at their front doors over the past few months regard my candidacy as a personal commitment I have made to them. The signers understand that their signatures are made to put me on the ballot, and thus are in nomination. As far as they are concerned, they have nominated me.

Section 8800. No candidate whose declaration of candidacy has been filed for any primary election may withdraw as a candidate at that primary election.
[This language is puzzling. What does "at that primary" mean?]

There are various provisions for withdrawal in the Elections Code. I do not see one for a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives.

18205. A person shall not directly or through any other person advance, pay, solicit, or receive or cause to be advanced, paid, solicited, or received, any money or other valuable consideration to or for the use of any person in order to induce a person not to become or to withdraw as a candidate for public office. Violation of this section shall be punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years.

I have been a Democrat for nearly a half century. I value being a Democrat. To me, being a Democrat is so important that I regard my association with the party as "valuable consideration." I value the friendships I have made in the two DCCs and would not wish to lose those friendships through pressure applied pursuant to that Bylaw Section. To me, those friendships are so important that I regard them as "valuable consideration." No doubt the various endorsing officials who would be so pressured regard their relationship with the State Committee as "valuable consideration" as well.

I regard Bylaw Article VIII Section 2(g)(3) on p. 33 as a deliberate violation of the California Elections Code and possibly the California Penal Code and several sections of the United States Code.

An email to Mr. Raj did not resolve these issues.

I completed the Registration Form with the pertinent unlawful provisions stricken, see the pdf form here, (which I signed) and sent the $350 that the California Democratic Party charges to consider endorsing a Congressional Candidate, along with an appropriate explanatory letter.

I received a phone call 01/04/2012 that the California Democratic Party is returning my Registration Form as "incomplete" since they require my subscription to the provisions I struck out on the form, regardless of whether or not they are legal. Presumably they will be returning the $350? That is where it stands.

In this state, any applicant for State Party endorsement risks ostracism by the party leadership at every level if the endorsement goes to someone else. Party management is happy with that. I am not. Half a century as a Democrat, and they intend to "send me to Coventry", and they want to charge me $350 for the privilege. For shame.

Best wishes,

--Mike Barkley, 167 N. Sheridan Ave., Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817 mjbarkl@inreach.com

No more excuses! - Cure Multiple Sclerosis now!

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    |  Paid for by Mike Barkley for Congress Committee #C00495507  |
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    |            (except that it didn't cost anything)             |
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