Humboldt Progressive Democrats Seek to Pull Delegate Credentials of Elected Democrats Over Their Endorsement of Sundberg

Humboldt PRogressive DemocratsPress release from the Humboldt County Progressive Democrats:

As statewide and local frustration grows with Democratic representatives endorsing non-Democrat candidates, the Humboldt Progressive Democrats unanimously approved a credentials challenge recently sent to the California Democratic Party (CDP). Citing the violation of CDP bylaws prohibiting endorsement of non-Democrats, the letter was signed by Executive Board members Robert Shearer (AD-02), Cullen Tiernan (AD-18 and Veteran’s Caucus Chair), and Tania Bhatia (AD-61). The challenge reads in part:

“It has come to our attention that a number of DSCC members have violated Section 9 Paragraph b of the California Democratic Party State Bylaws by actively supporting a candidate for partisan office in the top two primary who is registered as other than Party Preference Democrat.”

If sustained, the CDP would strip delegate status from US Congressman Jared Huffman, State Senator Mike McGuire, and State Assemblyman Jim Wood. As elected officials, all three are automatically DSCC members, and appoint additional delegates with voting privileges to the Party conventions and other meetings.

Despite repeated meetings and strong opposition from local labor and Democratic representatives, all three electeds publicly endorsed incumbent NPP Ryan Sundberg for Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor over Democratic Party challenger Steve Madrone. The Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee also officially endorsed Madrone, as did a majority of the local labor unions, and the Yurok, Karuk, and Hoopa tribes.

The challenge clearly describes media coverage of Sundberg’s endorsement and outlines the impact on local electoral politics:

“The endorsement of Sundberg by Huffman, McGuire, and Wood has openly sabotaged the HCDCC and the Democratic local grassroots movement to elect a candidate who truly represents the best interests of the people and resources. This is not the first time that this has happened but we certainly think it should be the last time.

By their endorsement of a NPP candidate, who was a lifelong Republican before registering as NPP to run for Humboldt County supervisor, Huffman, McGuire, and Wood undermined the likelihood of an active Democrat being elected in an extremely important local race by exerting Party influence from well outside a county that any of them have ever lived. They have subverted the very same democratic process that they claim to uphold. Madrone is now hampered in his efforts to unseat an unpopular Humboldt County Supervisor who appears to show favor to those with deep pockets both in and out of the county, state, and country.

We ask that the CDP Credentials Committee take immediate action to remove these delegates in order to prevent them from unfairly intervening in the Democratic endorsement process. They have already made it clear that they support a non-Democrat for the office of 5th District Supervisor of Humboldt County.”

With a highly organized and effective campaign team, Steve Madrone did win by over 100 votes in the final tally. However, Humboldt was the exception. Democratic candidates lost key races in San Diego, Sacramento, and elsewhere to Republicans endorsed by incumbent Democrats. Delegates to this July’s CDP Executive Board meeting repeatedly raised the issue – including testimony at the Rules Committee and during the Progressive Caucus when Officer Liz Lavertu directed her comments to Party Chair Eric Bauman:

“Raise your hand if you had an elected Democrat in your area supporting a Republican in the primary.” [note: at least half the delegates raised hands]. “THIS is the problem with our party right now. If we are not holding our own elected officials to the same standards we are holding our delegates that’s a problem…and maybe we can get our chair to stand up and let’s pass some rules that hold our electeds accountable just like we are.” Full Challenge here. 

Helene Rouvier
HPD chair


  • I thought the democratic process supports the freedom to vote for whomever the voter chooses. Does that democratic freedom no longer exist?

    • Yes it still exists and no one is attempting to prevent citizens from voting as they wish. Huffman is a representative, and must represent his delegates when endorsing candidates.

      • What if his party has ceased to represent most people? The only thing such spiteful attempts at bullying do is create a choice of polar opposites when what most voters want is a middle ground, being that is where they really live.

        I’ve never seen a party yet that hasn’t willingly traded what benefits the voters most for increasing the power of the few to leverage their personal wants.

  • Yes, let’s restrict people’s ability to name the candidate they believe would be the best, and try to enforce divisive party lines. Maybe instead of making threats over obviously protected speech, they should try running some candidates that would get more support. Based on their press release, I would have absolutely nothing to do with this group of people. They seem harmful to the democratic process.

    • That’s ridiculous. There are parties for a reason, and the bylaws are also there for a reason. If you don’t like the rules, you can work outside that party structure. Sundberg isn’t a Democrat, he’s more often been Republican, and shouldn’t have been supported by Democratic representatives that also represent their party. The party shouldn’t let their elected representatives support what are essentially opposition candidates, considering they explicitly supported Madrone.

      Can we have an ounce of political strategy and pragmatism up in here? Allowing that open dissention in the party (party points one way, their representatives another) both looks stupid and isn’t accomplishing anything.

    • It is not protected speech and Huffman is not being prevented by the government from speaking. Thus this is not a free speech issue.

      • Free speech violations are when the government suppressed free speech. When a political party practices it, it’s called intimidation. Strange that people who professionally trade their personal values for a political party’s power would be desirable. But it is reality.

  • I have been lurking around a long time waiting for a post like this to pop up. I would like to learn more about the humboldt progessive demoncats. I am a native of humboldt and I would like to know how they are affecting my area. I have seen the area decline in not so many years and I would like to know more about the individuals moving into the area and becoming politically influential. It seems to me years ago many southern ca implants sold their homes for a profit, only to move north where they can afford cheaper housing with some money left over to live rent free and jobless to start pushing for utopia. Isn’t that one of the only ways one turns progressive demonocat? -I will leave this post light

    • You sound completely in touch with reality. :\

      • Anti troll league

        You insult as an alternative to reason. There are arguments to be made. Why not make them instead?

        • you failed to educate your kids and this is the result. there’s no argument to be made. do you know why implants have all the important jobs around here? do you know why most implants leave after only a short stint?

          • Our kids learn how evil progressives are. They have fucked up this county, the pot industry, the state. 9000 companies have left this state for much better systems run by republicans. Progressives are truly not Americans. Communism and socialism has failed in every country they run, and have killed more than 100 million people in the last 100 years. Progressives, go to Venezuela, Cuba, and others who suppress freedom. Please little snowflakes, go to Mexico and demand welfare and other services from their govt, and please tell them you are there illegally. Or Honduras. Please go.

        • TRUMPTASTROPHE for the GOP in November

          Why does “Anti troll league” only criticize those on the Left?

          Maybe you should try a new, more appropriate pseudonym, like “Anti Left league” for instance?

          Truth in advertising is a virtue.

    • well the answer is related to joe lube rack. if you raise methnecks, they will stay, fail, and eventually end up mentally ill street people draining the resources of the community. the majority of towns in the foothills of the Sierra’s are no different. pretty much all of conservative America is no different, but luckily you have voted in a Socialist to bail you and his failures out.

      • Just happen to notice getting personally bashed for no reason other than being against progressives, not labeling any one person individually, and loaded down with generalizations, local observing isn’t doing any justice if it labels the local community, regardless if they are business owners, tech school professionals, teachers and retirees as methnecks and street folk. But this typically tends to be the reaction with progressives when you question their ideology.

  • We have the best reps. I extra love Jared Huffman, who was an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council before becoming our congressman. Mike McGuire wrote and is trying to pass the Great Redwood Trail Act to reclaim the disused NCRA rail line. I know less specifics about Jim Wood but he seems to always vote the way I would.

    • TRUMPTASTROPHE for the GOP in November

      The NRDC is the weakest, most conservative. and least effective of all major environmental advocacy groups in the U.S. A principal Congressperson Huffman has clearly taken to heart 💜 .

      P.S. – Can we get some Democratic candidates with backbones from this part of CA for a change? Mike Thompson? Jared Huffman? McGuire?Wood? Grow a pair, y’all! Or better yet, gentleman, step aside for some female Democrats who aren’t afraid to fight! 🇺🇸

  • GOOD WORK Humboldt Progressive Democrats!!!
    These Republican-lite ‘Dems’ are the institutional, corporate funded types we need to EXPOSE!
    Not even endorsing an accomplished man from their own party. Disgusting! And wrong!
    PLEASE CA Dom Party, demonstrate that you have a spine, strip ALL Dems who endorsed outside their party (violating Section 9 Paragraph b) of their credentials. That will send a message to others that supporting/enabling more mainstream, corporate funded, non-Democrat, candidates, will NOT be allowed!!!
    Thank you!

  • Fuck Putin - Don’t Believe The Bullshit

    It’s finally arrived, Russian anti-democracy propaganda has hit our home turf. To the neophytes this is exactly what foreign run propaganda agencies are trying to do, divide TO conquer. Learn your history: Nikita Krushchev said: We do not have to invade the United States we will destroy you from within.
    The name of the game for foreign agencies is to fracture the Democratic Party so they can gleefully watch infighting and get their patsys in power. This is no joke. Beware and stand together.

    • Yeah and you know who funded the Bolsheviks right? You know that the real problem of Russia actually left to come here to take over the antiwar movement and became the progressives, etc., who are now punishing Russia for kicking them out.

  • Corporate Dems are paid to lose. Time for fresh blood and better ideas.

  • I guess Progressive means the politics of revenge. Go ahead and let them eat each other in the name of ideology. Huffman at least deserves it as a practitioner of the hateful himself.

    • If your party delegate betrays your party, replacing them is not matter of revenge. This should seem obvious to the undeluded.

      • Did you read what your chastised leader said? Huffman said that this interpretation of the party’s rules is nonsense but that he will wait from now on to hear the party’s endorsement before rendering his own opinion.

        That is so flexible as to show no spine at all. And should be an embarrassment to both the Party and Huffman. Only tyrants prefer that characteristic in their elected representatives. At least that was the tactic of Hitler and Stalin. It transfers responsibility for the openly elected individual to the hidden and undemocratic workings of the party.

  • Both major parties need to stop the partisan bickering and start compromising or this country is never going to get back on track. This is getting as ridiculous as two kids on the playground making fun of each other’s mamas. Is one of the main reasons many like myself has denounced the major parties and moved to independent, which now represent the majority of the country.

    • Unfortunately it still means that you must vote for one party controlled candidate or another as few without party support can afford to campaign nationally. Especially in California where independents can’t vote in primaries.

      • That is true, but I vote across the board, it doesn’t matter if they have a D,R,G or an I by their name. It is of my opinion that having representation from all sides is the best way to govern a country. The fact of the matter is everybody has a different opinion and if people don’t respect other people’s opinion then no one’s going to respect your opinion. It can’t be all or nothing, it has to be a compromise or it just won’t work.

  • I like stars too!

    Let’s see if I am keeping up…

    Ryan Sundberg, recently deposed by an actual Humboldt County Hippie with a Zig-Zag man beard, who is also apparently a big friend to Humboldt Pot Farmers, Ryan Sundberg was endorsed by Jared Huffman, who is himself a loser who will pretty obviously say anything at all, no matter how disingenuous, to promote himself to a life in politics. Also endorsing Sundberg, was Mike Mcguire, a would-be politician so likely to be defeated by a local, pot grower, and so out of touch with his constituency that we don’t know just WHAT he stands for… These two guys endorsed Sundberg the loser and now they are being repudiated by their party?

    Well, I previously cautioned Humboldt County politician-would-be’s to be careful just what they said in public!

    Once again I state, for the record: Get rid of all incumbent incompetent and corrupt office-holders in Humboldt, starting with Estelle Fennell! Also, in order to facilitate the evolution needed in Humboldt, fire all Administrators and Board members currently occupying positions and offices in in all public and County agencies, starting with SHCHD and progressing through healthcare, education and anything else present in Humboldt County.

    Only by cleaning out the dishonest and corrupt, and cleansing the incompetence present at every level of public service, not just in Humboldt but in all of CA, will we be able to move forward to the future we need!

    • Just starting with McGuire—The vast majority of his constituents live out of the Emerald Triangle–Marin and Sonoma Counties. I hardly think “a local pot grower” is going to defeat him.

      • I like stars too!

        OH I wouldn’t be surprised, since it is all about money and power and not so much about honesty and ability…

        Everyone is just a salesman, but the election of Mr Madrone gives me some encouragement! Nicely done, hippie!

        Hang in there, dear, watch & learn… I do it every day!

  • The same Democratic Party that cheated Bernie? The same Dem Party that testified in court that they can be biased and rig election, thus violating the by-laws of their own charter ? The same ones that said they can choose the winner in smoke filled back room if they so choose…The ones that voted to give Trump unlimited war powers and $700 billion military budget, and voted down single payer healthcare? That party? Corrupt af! Listen to the people, support Madrone!

    • TRUMPTASTROPHE for the GOP in November

      How was Senator Sanders, who is NOT a Democrat, cheated by the Democratic Party? Because he lost the presidential primary popular vote to the winner Hillary Clinton by 4 million votes?

      Was Donald Trump cheated by the Democratic Party too when Trump lost the presidential popular vote to the real winner Hillary by 3 million votes? 🏌️‍♂️💩

  • The two party system is a scam. The power players in both parties are on the same team. It’s Team Power/Money.

  • That letter was signed by Robert (who used to go by Bobby) Shearer, who actively campaigned for Jill Stein days before the 2016 election. The hypocrisy is mind blowing. This is why I’m not involved with the Humboldt Progressive “Democrats”
    Here is a link to the green party event that shearer spoke at.

    • So, it looks like Mr. Shearer is trying to move the Democratic Party in a more Progressive direction. Good for him! Why would anyone disparage him for doing that? That hypocrisy of this post is manifold…

    • Nice try, [edit]! Or, are there really people out there that are legitimately trying to pass themselves off as Progressives while throwing others under the bus for trying to move the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction?!

      Say it ain’t so! Bad enough we have the divide and conquer from The Man, and here we have it with a person that wants to own the “progressive” label, but acts overtly as a hypocrite. Anyone who has to put others down to lift themselves up is a bully. Shame on you!

  • TRUMPTASTROPHE for the GOP in November

    The bottom line is whoever recommended to so-called “Democrats” Huffman, McGuire & Wood that they endorse Republican Ryan Sundberg (who has been an atrociously corrupt county supervisor) over Democrat Steve Madrone needs to be fired from their job for unforgivable stupidity. I’ve heard through the grapevine that Huffman’s district representative John Driscoll urged Huffman to endorse Sundberg, against Huffman’s own political interests! If that’s true, Driscoll needs to go get a real job for once in his life, because he’s clearly far too stupid to continue advising a “Democratic” congressman on political matters. And anyways, Huffman inherited John Driscoll from right-of-center Mike Thompson, so isn’t it about time that Huffman got rid of dead weight like John Driscoll? Grow a pair, Huffman.

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