Governor Newsom’s pick of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla for the Senate is no real surprise. The job of a Democrat in the SOS position is to rig elections for Democrats. And California has a beauty of a system for doing just that which has thrived in the Padilla era. And Padilla’s baseline qualifications include heading the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) which means tapping in to an identity politics political machine.
Before the pick, black and Latino groups has feuded over the Senate spot with the LA Times offering the creative proposal of having Feinstein resign so that each group could get its own Senate pick. That didn’t happen and Newsom inevitably picked the senior partner in California’s Latino-Lefty coalition between white lefties and the rising minority group that helped turn a somewhat conservative state blue (despite the positive results for President Trump in Texas, don’t assume it can’t happen there.)
Kamala Harris got where she was through the patronage of Willie Brown. But Brown, as he knows better than anyone, represents another era.
Here’s Mayor London Breed, his former protege and babysitter, ranting about the Padilla pick.
“The sad reality is she was the only African-American woman in the Senate at this time,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said. “And when you think about the history of this country, of the challenges that exist for African Americans, especially African-American women in the Senate, definitely this is a real blow to the African-American community, to African-American women, to women in general, and I think it’s really challenging to put it in words.”
It’s challenging because Breed is one of the highest ranking black elected officials in California. If Newsom were going to pick a black woman for Kamala’s seat, the odds are it would have been Breed, despite her denials, because the alternatives, like members of California’s House Dem delegation are so much worse.
But black voters are the junior partners in this coalition. And their rigid lockstep Democrat voting habit helps make them so.
Latinos are a growing demographic and a potential swing vote. That makes them far more valuable. It’s why Padilla got the seat and Breed didn’t. For all the BLM dogma, Latinos matter more than black people in California. And the demographics mean that’s going to be the case nationwide.
The willingness of increasing numbers of Latino voters to break for Republicans just means that they’ll be more aggressively courted.