Ann Ravel is a deeply embedded political hack and a crusading zealot against Recall efforts. Guess which Recall she is choosing to target?
According to a tweet from POLITICO’s Jeremy B. White, the former California Fair Political Practices Commission chairwoman filed a complaint to investigate Prov 3:9, LLC’s $500,000 donation to the Newsom Recall efforts.
— Jeremy B. White (@JeremyBWhite) January 4, 2021
I wrote about this donation, as well as the increased momentum of the Recall:
“The Recall Gavin Newsom effort just received more cash infusions. How much? Enough to be a game changer that puts boots on the ground in order to get the less than 600,000 signatures needed to complete the Recall effort.
“Thanks to contributions from Prov 3:9, LLC, and Sequoia Capital’s Douglas Leone and Patricia Perkins-Leone, it looks like the money for boots and advertising is now available.
“After I wrote back in early December that conservative heavyweights Newt Gingrich and Governor Mike Huckabee threw their support behind the Recall, I also spotlighted the grassroots efforts of RecallGavin2020 that has already garnered 810,000 signatures. Those signatures are being certified as I write, and they make up more than half the 1,495,709 total signatures needed by March 2021 deadline.”
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who is backing the Recall efforts, writes in his latest blog post about Governor Gavin Newsom’s growing unease with the successful citizen effort:
“As the Recall gets closer to qualifying, Gavin Newsom is becoming increasingly unhinged.
“He’s lashing out at us for ‘refusing to accept the will of voters.’ Who exactly does he think is going to decide the Recall?
“He’s calling the Recall a ‘refusal to play by the rules.’ Has he ever read the California Constitution, which sets forth the rules for recalls?
“He’s accusing the former San Diego Mayor of ‘bungling’ a pandemic and homeless crisis. Is he aware California is easily the worst state on both counts?
“He’s claiming the Recall is driven by ‘Trump supporters’ and the ‘Trump train won’t leave the station.’ Has he noticed people of all parties are joining together against his betrayals of the public trust?”
I suspected with the addition of Clintonista Dee Dee Myers as Newsom’s senior adviser and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, that we would begin to see opposition and push back to the Recall efforts. Myers has little experience in economics, but as Bill Clinton’s first female press secretary, she does have a Ph.D. in spin-doctoring, and that is all Newsom has left to avoid being booted out of office.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Ravel,
“filed a complaint Monday urging state officials to investigate an Orange County company with a biblical name that contributed $500,000 to the campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“The complaint says Prov. 3:9 LLC appears to be a ‘shell company’ designed to conceal the true source of the largest contribution to the effort to oust the California governor, which has gained momentum recently.
“Ann Ravel, chair of the election commission under former President Barack Obama and an unsuccessful candidate for a South Bay state Senate seat last year, said the firm doesn’t appear to be engaged in any business and could be evading campaign finance laws if it is helping to disguise the source of the money.”
Ravel is literally fresh off that lost election against Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese for the District 15 State Senate seat, so she’s between political endeavors. I have no doubt Ravel is more than willing to be a useful tool in the Governor’s increasingly empty belt.
In 2013, Ravel was appointed by then-President Barack Obama as head of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), and resigned after the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017. According to the Hill:
“Ann Ravel’s rocky tenure ended this week on March 1. She resigned with a 25-page screed that painted the campaign finance agency as rife with dysfunction. But Ravel’s difficulties were hers, not the FEC’s.
“She misunderstood both her and the commission’s role. And when she couldn’t mold the FEC into a federal version of the state agency she previously headed, she lashed out in ways that did little but aid her self-promotion and increase tension.
“Ravel previously directed the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Her tenure was controversial but aligned with Golden State leftism. With an activist’s eye for publicity, she sought high-profile cases and headline-grabbing initiatives. Sometimes she got facts wrong, sometimes she got backlash like when she proposed to regulate bloggers. But she cemented herself as a reformer zealot and started at the FEC in 2013.”
And therein lies the rub. Ravel is an activist for progressive goals and policies, not an activist for an integrous election process. As former chairwoman of the FPPC, Ravel has a history of opposing recalls, despite it being the will of the citizens and part of our Constitutional rights. Ravel’s intent appears to be on protecting elected officials, and damn what the people actually desire.
According to a 2017 Sacramento Bee article,
“As head of the FPPC, Ravel received attention for focusing on major offenses rather than less-significant transgressions and pursuing cases quickly. In 2012, she sued to reveal the donors behind an $11 million donation from an Arizona group aimed at blocking Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax hike proposition and supporting an anti-union proposition.”
In 2018, she was a visible part of a campaign to stop the Recall of Judge Aaron Persky, whose Recall was sparked by the ridiculously short sentence he rendered to Brock Turner, the champion swimmer who infamously raped an unconscious woman. The featured image shows one of the nationwide protests mounted to express outrage over the judge’s sentencing record, and to fuel the Recall efforts, which ultimately succeeded.
According to San Jose Inside,
“Ann Ravel said she only ever defended Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky against a recall on principle. But the former Obama-appointed Federal Election Commission chair told San Jose Inside that she now regrets being associated with a campaign that devolved into what she called ‘victim blaming and negativity.’
“Ravel lent her name to ads denouncing an effort to recall the jurist over a controversially brief sentence he gave Stanford student Brock Turner for sexually assaulting a passed-out woman. As the local legal community closed ranks around Persky, she joined them for fear that his ouster would have a chilling effect on other judges.”
Ravel only went on an “apology” tour when she decided to run for the District 15 seat. Now that she’s failed at that, Ravel is more than happy to paint the hardworking volunteers and the grassroots activism of the RecallGavin2020 campaign as some sort of dark money plot.
Ravel told the SF Chronicle,
“ ‘Such a dark money scheme is antithetical to a functioning democracy and in violation of the state’s comprehensive campaign finance laws,’ Ravel wrote in the complaint. ‘The people of California have the right to know, when the recall is being circulated, who is behind the effort.’ ”
Both the RecallGavin2020.com site and the Rescue California site are clear about who is spearheading the efforts. Citizens can download the petition themselves and sign it, as well as encourage others to sign. Each site also gives information on who one can contact for questions and where they can hand in their petitions. But when one is used to greasing palms and having appointments handed to them, they resent the hard work and ingenuity that exemplifies a free people.
The Chronicle spoke with Rescue California’s campaign manager Anne Dunsmore, who said,
“ ‘Ravel’s complaint shows the recall effort is gaining momentum, to the chagrin of the governor’s allies.
“ ‘We are challenging the governor of California, and up to this point they have not taken us seriously,’ Dunsmore said. ‘Frankly, no one has. These types of complaints are normal things to do when you have serious contenders.’ ”
Asm. Kiley ended his blog with these encouraging words,
“More than placing a new occupant in the Governor’s office, it’s about repudiating everything the current occupant stands for. It’s about restoring government by the people and repairing our broken political institutions, so we can reverse California’s decline before it’s too late.
“Such a disruption coming directly from the people could redound far into the future, reshuffling the stacked deck of our political system. It’s the only remedy for the corruption at the core of our politics.
“A recall is an inherently confrontational event. But I believe that by breaking free of the nation’s most partisan and divisive Governor, we can come together again as a state. It’s a new year, and our greatest strength as a free people is the power to make tomorrow better than today.”
If Ann M. Ravel represents anything in her decades-long years as a political flunkie, it’s maintaining the status quo of the political elite. While Ravel makes noises about disruption and change, the only change of which she is capable is thwarting the Constitutional right of California’s citizens to Recall an ineffective and destructive governor.
No matter how Ravel tries to spin her deep concern about who is behind the Recall, the citizens of California know she is just doing her master’s bidding, so she can secure her place in the next Democrat administration.
To volunteer or financially contribute to the Recall efforts visit RecallGavin2020.com.