In 2011, Steve Fox was elected to the 36th Assembly District in a nail biter victory. I served as a consultant on that winning campaign but, unknown to those who served on that campaign, it would be a one-time victory.
During this first term, Mr. Fox was accused of sexual harassment by former employees of his law practice. Assembly Speaker Jong Perez approved a negotiated settlement. But times changed and with the arrival of the Me-Too movement, many voters came to see the settlement as evidence of guilt.
Shortly after his election, two competing Democrat factions formed in the Antelope Valley and each faction fought for power and influence. Mr. Fox aligned himself with one faction and as such, alienated himself from those aligned with the other faction. This dichotomy currently exists with no signs of diminishing. To many voters not involved in Democratic politics in the Antelope Valley, this is hidden.
It is essential that any consultant, or operative, be aware of the dynamics and navigate these treacherous waters for a positive Democratic Party result.
Ken Mann, Lancaster City Councilman
Case Study 2
Working Across the Isle
As Regional Primary Contact Staff for the California Teachers Association in the Lancaster California Office. Ken was a first-time candidate for Lancaster City Council and endorsed by the Teachers Association of Lancaster, one of the union chapters part of my chapter load.
Although I was a Democrat, I never hesitated to consult on his campaign for two reasons:
1) It was part of my job, 2) I knew him personally from membership Antelope Valley Chamber of Commerce and my presidency of the Antelope Valley Community Labor Coalition. It was my belief, as it is still today, that because we live in a two party political system in the United States, it is essential that we make and have relationships with those on the other side of the isle in order to do the work the voters task us to do.
I wholeheartedly immersed myself in his campaign from start to victorious end.
Cheryl Brown, 47th Assembly District
Case Study 3
Working with Non-Endorsed Candidates
This is an examination of steps taken when working with candidates not endorsed by labor unions.
In this case, Cheryl Brown was not endorsed by the California Teachers Association, my employer. It must be noted that any consultation with the candidate or their committee must be done before the labor union completes its endorsement process and, upon the endorsing of another candidate, all collaboration and communications must stop.
In this case, prior to endorsement, work was done on honing and refining her education message on behalf of the candidate. This situation is not uncommon in the top two primary system in California. In Democratic districts, it is often two Democrats vying for the elected position. Depending on one’s affiliation, those waters must be managed perilously.