HomeNationalCalifornia Rep. Porter still claims ‘big dark money’ shape election outcomes, but...

California Rep. Porter still claims ‘big dark money’ shape election outcomes, but regrets Trump-like comments

Weeks after losing the Senate primary race, California Representative Katie Porter decided to further elaborate on her claims made the day after the vote when she claimed that the election was ‘rigged’. Her initial statements, very similar to Trump’s baseless claims about the 2020 presidential election, sparked a lot of debate among leading Democrats and the general public, leading to backlash on social media. Porter finished third in the California-unique Senate primary race.

The details

On Super Tuesday, California held its Senate primary election for one open seat. The state has a unique voting system, often referred to as ‘jungle election, where candidates from both parties compete for the first two spots. The first and second-placed candidates then advance to the general election for the Senate seat. This voting system sometimes makes candidates adopt non-ordinary and unconventional campaign tactics and strategies. And such was the case earlier this month.

A Republican candidate wins the primary election

Porter openly criticized her fellow Democrat, Adam Schiff, accusing him of undermining her campaign efforts. Steve Garvey, the Republican candidate, won the primaries, with Schiff coming in second. Garvey and Schiff proceed in the general election, where they will compete for the Senate seat in a direct face-off. Given California’s strong Democratic leaning, the general expectation is that a Republican candidate would have little chance of winning. Porter suggests that Schiff’s strategy was to indirectly help Republican Garvey proceed in the general election so he could win the Senate race with ease.

The controversial comments

A day after the election, Porter claimed that the election was “rigged,” attributing the alleged rigging to the financial support received by Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff from affluent donors. “We had the establishment running scared,” Porter wrote in a Wednesday post on X, “withstanding 3 to 1 in TV spending and an onslaught of billionaires spending millions to rig this election.”

“Special interests like politics as it is today because they control the politicians. As we’ve seen in this campaign, they spend millions to defeat someone who will dilute their influence and disrupt the status quo. But take my word for it: I’ll never stop fighting for you,” she continued in a follow up post on X.

Read also: California Rep. Nancy Pelosi turns Trump speech into a tool for Biden’s gain

Porter said she regrets using the term "rigged" during an interview on the Pod Saves America podcast, but claims big dark money are a problem
Katie Porter – Katie Porter/FB

The regrets

After being attacked by fellow Democrats, Porter initially defended her “rigged” election remark, arguing she was referring to manipulation by “big dark money” that funded false attacks against her rather than issues with the election process or vote count. But last week, Porter said she regrets using the term “rigged” during an interview on the Pod Saves America podcast.

“I wish I had chosen a different word because what happened with the controversy was it took away from two really important truths,” she said.

Read also: Democrats controversial plan to make Californians pay for electricity based on personal income

Controversial campaign funding

Porter mentioned that she thinks the people who run elections in California are excellent at their job. She quickly made it clear she wouldn’t ever say that the state’s election process is anything but detailed, considerate, and outstanding. She also pointed out that her comments caused people to miss the important issue of how campaign money affects politics.

“Big money does influence our elections,” she said. “Outcomes are manipulated and distorted when you have people coming in, spending millions and millions of dollars at the last minute, and that money is not disclosed until after the election, so people don’t know about it. They can’t take that into account when they vote.”

The results

In the primary election, Porter received support from roughly 17.3% of California voters. Schiff got 29.3% of the votes, while Garvey led with 33.2%. Barbara Lee came in with around 11.7% of the vote. Schiff is viewed as the favorite to win in November, as California is considered one of the most Democratic states in the U.S.

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