A joint response by candidates Craig Greiwe, Alex Gruenenfelder Smith, Gina Viola, and Mel Wilson
The undated joint memorandum of understanding released by Mona Field and Raphael Sonenshein on behalf of the League of Women Voters (LWV) and Cal State University Los Angeles (CSULA), a public taxpayer-funded institution, is confirmation of their biased and unconstitutional debate selection process, filled with misinformation meant to perpetuate active voter suppression, deny voters real choices and election manipulation underway in Los Angeles.
Angelenos deserve to hear from every certified candidate, period. Pat Brown is surely rolling over in his grave, and these organizations are no different than autocratic regimes who engage in the same practices across the globe. This is a continued problem emblematic of the corruption and voter suppression happening across this city.
On its face, this undated memo is clearly an after-the-fact cover up, but CSULA and the LWV are too lazy to even cover up their corruption cleanly. At best, no matter what criteria they publish, it’s all arbitrary, a matter of personal judgment. At worst, this response from CSULA and LMV is a cover story designed to mask the lies and active voter suppression by Sonenshein on behalf of CSULA.
Even the criteria included in CSULA and LMV’s response is untruthful misinformation – they are either relying on outdated or faulty data that is months old and academically invalid, or no data at all, as they did not request any information on fundraising, endorsements, or coverage from any of our campaigns. Even today’s Los Angeles Times poll confirms that included candidates have no more support than excluded candidates.
These organizations, like those before them, are substituting their biased and singular judgment for the will of the people, arrogantly believing the people of Los Angeles do not deserve a broad, unfettered look at all the certified candidates.
At a time when Democrats nationally are fighting to expand the voices at the table, and to give the public more access to democracy, Cal State LA and the League of Women Voters are continuing a trend of institutions here in Los Angeles doing the opposite. Voters deserve to hear from every candidate, and when institutions do not include them, they are engaging in voter suppression.
If the Presidential debates can have a dozen people on a debate stage, and have a civil debate, why do CSULA and LMV believe any differently? Their only agenda is to be the arbiters of perpetuating the institutional elites of Los Angeles–-the very ones failing us at every turn.
To Sonenshein, CSULA, and the LWV, and to everyone in Los Angeles participating in this voter suppression, we say simply: You cannot control who voters hear from, it’s active voter suppression. This is an affront to democracy and the people of Los Angeles. Admit all candidates to the debate. Let the voters of Los Angeles decide.