Bienvenidos a Mexico: California's ballot-harvesting, sure enough, is borrowed from Mexico

In an extraordinary investigative piece on how ballot-harvesting works by Steve Miller, published on Real Clear Investigations, we learn an amazing amount of information about how ballot-harvesting works and why it's so closely connected to election fraud, skewing elections in directions they normally wouldn't go.  The must-read piece is focused on how Texas is dealing with the seedy issue, enforcing the law, prosecuting more than twice as many cases of electoral fraud as California, even hampered as Texas is by weak penalties for violators.  But a little detail stands out much deeper into the piece: ballot-harvesting, which is at the root of considerable fraud of all kinds, is a practice specifically borrowed from Latin America, with an impressive Latino analyst, K.B. Forbes, who has electoral experience in both countries, citing Mexico.  Here's the passage:

The practice has its roots in Latin America, said K.B. Forbes, a political consultant and Hispanic activist who has served as an elections observer in Sonora, Mexico.  "In the Latin culture, they have colonias, which is 'little colony,' literally," he said.  "In these, they sometimes have the equivalent of a precinct boss, and that's how people move up.  The [politiqueras] deliver the vote and when the candidate moves in, the theory is that they get a good post inside the government."

That brings up California, where ballot-harvesting is perfectly legal, and normal voters have to wonder how the heck that happened.  Ballot-harvesting has been a disaster for Republicans in California, with all conservatives now shut out from any representation in once red Orange County.  Most congressional elections there showed Republican candidates in the lead on election night in the last midterm, but all of them flipped to Democrats as the Democrat-led ballot-harvesting brought in votes and votes and votes from supposed precincts, harvested by their political operatives, until the result went the other way.  (This, by the way, didn't happen in districts where Democrats held a small lead.  Nothing flipped in their cases, and ballots did not keep rolling in.)

If ballot-harvesting is a practice imported from Mexican politics, what does that say about California politics, whose legislators would embrace Mexican electoral practices over the U.S. standard?  As I mentioned earlier, Mexico has been called "a perfect dicatorship" by none other than Nobel Prize-winning literary lion Mario Vargas Llosa, owing to the continuous power of the Mexican Partido Revolucionario Institucional (or PRI), which, up until a decade or two ago, had a hammerlock monopoly on Mexican politics, winning every single election in what was then a one-party state.  That's a system so bad that people emigrated illegally from that country to get away from it.  Now, the cultural practice is right there waiting for them in California, albeit, virtually nowhere else.

And like the PRI's Mexican electoral practice of ballot-harvesting, it's noteworthy that the ruling Democrats of California also are famous for doling out the goodies to the loyal voters.  They've promised amazing things to California's illegal alien population, with the latest thing free heath care.  California's insurance commissioner, the respected non-partisan Steve Poizner, was, conveniently, ballot-harvested out of office after an election-night lead several days after the midterms by utterly leftist Democrat Ricardo Lara, who openly declared his support and big plans for free health care for illegals.  He's tried it before in the Legislature, and now he's going to do it through the Executive.  California's incoming governor, of course, is all in for the goody-slinging.  In Mexico, they used to pass out bags of beans for votes.  In California, the prizes are considerably higher, and they go well beyond free health care.  I've already noted the weird similarities between how California is run and PRI-style politics here.

Any wonder California is going way out of its way to welcome illegal aliens?  "You're all welcome here," as Gov. Jerry Brown famously said.  California already hosts a quarter of the nation's illegals, and with middle-class families now moving out due to high living costs and punitive taxation, the California PRI likes new bodies coming in who have a lot of needs, which keeps the congressional seats numerous and the federal funds flowing.

It all makes a normal person wonder about the weird closeness of California officials and their Mexican counterparts, too.  Newsom has already paid a visit to Mexico to discuss the caravan with the Mexican government in Mexico City (not Tijuana, where he would have gotten an earful from the generally conservative and more dissident-oriented Tijuana locals), and he has declared he plans to withdraw National Guard troops from the U.S. border.  With his party now embracing the PRI's style of governance and having some unnaturally close ties to Mexican officials (I've seen it myself at Los Angeles functions as a guest of the Mexican government), it looks like a growing merger of Mexican and California politics.

Mexico knows how bad the system is, and its citizens did rebel against it with a Trump-like leftist president, Andrés Manuel López-Obrador, who won on a vow to end corruption.  One can safely take that as a sign that Mexicans are trying to move away from that kind of politics, which would include ballot-harvesting.  California, on the other hand, is moving toward it, embracing what Mexico is trying to reject.  That speaks pretty poorly for the sorry state of affairs in California.  It's great only for the rulers and those they patronize, until the money runs out.

Until then, clarification about California's Mexico borrowings needs to stand as an incentive to other states about what not to do.

Image credit: Carlos Manuel Citalán Marroquín, via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.

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