David Harmer, Mormon GOP candidate for CA-11, fabricates vote count drama

David Harmer: “We received numerous reports of malfunctioning voting machines.” But he doesn’t have a single example. And election officials have received no complaints.

This is Harmer’s third congressional election. He lost in Utah in the 1990s and again last year to Democrat John Garamendi in neighboring Congressional District CA-10.

Now he’s losing to incumbent Jerry McNerney (D) in California’s 11th Congressional District.

As a political junkie, ex-Mormon and fan of the only member of Congress with a Ph.D. in Mathematics, I’ve been following this race pretty closely. My latest tally shows a +568 lead for McNerney (based on county tallies as of this posting: Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Alameda).

All that’s left now in CA-11 is to get the remaining votes counted, but it seems that David Harmer is still in campaign mode and trying to sow doubts and cast aspersions on both the vote counting and the counters:

If David had one shred of evidence, that would be one thing. But he doesn’t. He’s just crying wolf and insulting all the civic-minded, honest folks who do the real work of processing and monitoring our ballots, folks like this blogger who, unlike Harmer, actually live in District 11:

What I did on election night: I went to my county registrar’s office and watched ballots being counted. It was eye opening and really satisfying. Without sounding clich, I was watching democracy in action. There were more than a handful of observers there, including journalists, volunteers and employees of various campaigns, a candidate and his friends, and a few concerned citizens. The amount of logistics and planning involved is breathtaking.

Compare the above sentiments and on-the-ground observations to David Harmer’s untethered scaremongering spin as reported by ABC7:

… Harmer sent an e-mail to supporters saying, “As of 4:09 a.m. pacific time, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, we led by 23 votes then. In the preliminary final count, the incumbent suddenly jumped ahead. If that sounds suspicious, it is. We have reason for serious concern about the integrity of the count and the security of the ballots in some areas.”

“We received numerous reports of malfunctioning voting machines, for example, and we’ve asked people to forward those to the appropriate authorities,” Harmer said.

But beyond that, Harmer doesn’t have an example.

[Contra Costa County Clerk Steve] Weir says he hasn’t heard of a single complaint that would justify Harmer’s concern for the integrity of the vote count.

If Harmer was attempting to raise fears, it wouldn’t be the first time that tactic has been used to motivate supporters. The e-mail went out as a pitch for campaign contributions.

It’s suspicious that you lost a sliver-thin lead of 23 votes, David? Seriously? Nearly 300,000 ballots were cast in this same 11th district contest in 2008. But apparently somebody must be cheating in 2010 when you go from being up by 23 votes to down by a few hundred?

Get a grip, man.

And kudos to Michael Cabanatuan over at the San Francisco Chronicle for his original reporting on Harmer’s alarmist antics, excerpted below:

Election day may be past, but the race is not over in the sprawling 11th Congressional District, where Rep. Jerry McNerney, the two-term Democratic congressman targeted by Republicans, holds a tiny lead over conservative attorney David Harmer.

Early Wednesday morning, when Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties completed their vote counts, McNerney held a 121-vote lead over Harmer. But tens of thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots probably remain to be counted, and that’s not likely to occur before the end of the week at the earliest.

But that didn’t stop Harmer from issuing an e-mail bulletin to supporters implying irregularities in the vote counting …

Emphasis mine.

Your FUD just went THUD, David. Better luck next time.

Chino Blanco

--- We are men of action, lies do not become us. ---

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16 Responses

  1. Hellmut says:

    If a race is that close, of course, you have to struggle for every vote. That’s the way it ought to be.

  2. Chino Blanco says:

    Agreed, Hellmut. And deploying supporters and staff and professionals to make sure there is integrity to the process is all good.

    What I bristle at is Harmer’s tactic of calling into question the integrity of the process before bringing any evidence of actual shenanigans. Rather than attempting to create a kind of circus environment, both candidates ought to be simply expressing their hope that every vote will be counted properly.

  3. Tamerlane says:

    Thanks for the mention, Chino. I was at Martinez in the Contra Costa County registrar’s office. I spoke to Steve Weir on election night quite a few times and he was as transparent and open as can be (not only to me but also to all the other observers there). Weir has a really professional operation going.

    The fact is, it is an incredibly close race. There are still a lot of ballots to be counted and either candidate has a 50% chance of ending up with more votes. But that’s just how an election works. Without solid, credible, verifiable evidence of malfeasance, Harmer is doing democracy no favors with allegations meant to stoke fear and anger.

  4. JBN says:

    Harmer has every right and should question the vote count, especially in Alameda county. Alameda county is hard left, and blatently so. If it is true that SEIU is counting the ballots, that is fraud right there. The unions particularly the teachers union just took over this state by electing Dems to vitually every office and backed the prop to allow taxes to go up by a simple majority (what party do you think has a vast majority in this state?)

    Harmer was ahead in the polls anywhere from 4-6% (real clear politics). One has to question why Republicans have to have a 10% margin over a Dem in California just to squeak by on election day when that isn’t so in other states. Something stinks here and we can’t count on the bad joke the bay area media is to tell us the truth, or investigate anything. This state has become the laughing stock of the country.

  5. Goldarn says:

    Alameda county may be somewhat left, but the district is gerrymandered out into the conservative hinterland (I live in Alameda county, and my neighbors are mostly far from being liberals).

    Harmer is using the same dishonest tactics as so many others do to raise money for the next election (or possible court case). Count the votes, sure, and have poll watchers, but don’t automatically assume that everyone who disagrees with you is dishonest.

    Until Rep. McNerney was elected 4 years ago, Rep. Pombo (GOP) was the office holder. He routinely made the “Most Corrupt Members of Congress” list and yet he continued to get votes because of the gerrymandering. That doesn’t sound like the “most liberal” district.

    JBN, either put up or shut up. I live in Alameda county. I know what it’s like. And I know that Alameda county isn’t the entire CA-11 district, if that’s what you were trying to imply. If you have evidence of wrongdoing, put it out there like an honest man.

  6. Chino Blanco says:

    J-Mac looks to be up +631 at this point. For those who may have missed it the first time around: Captain Moroni for Congress.

    Tamerlane and Goldarn: thanks for your (sane) commentary from actual constituents, cheers!

  7. ExMoHoMoDon says:


    Do I hear the distinct sound of sour grapes. Wild speculative accusations of corruption do not evidence make. Harmer is a complete crazy—and he is going to lose, pitch a temper tantrum, and make the same kind of wild accusations, but will never come up with a single example of any voting malfeasance or illegal activity. Not one. You can take that to the bank. Still waiting for you JBN to help Harmer out by coming up with any evidence whatsoever. Put up or shut up.

  8. ExMoHoMoDon says:


    Harry Reid was also behind in the polls in Nevada. Did the teachers union go over to Nevada and throw the election for Reid? Or maybe it was the unions? Or Hillary Clinton maybe did it–I mean she killed Vince Foster didn’t she?

  9. Hellmut says:

    O, please, there is nothing wrong with the SEIU. That’s paranoid nonsense.

  10. ExMoHoMoDon says:

    If David Harmer is a good Mormon, should he be concerned with minimal standards of honesty? If he believes there was any illegal activity whatsoever, where is the evidence? Harmer is a simple opportunist and he is not honest. Still looking forward to that evidence of any illegal activity whatsoever.

  11. ExMoHoMoDon says:

    JBN Just checking in and what a shock! You haven’t come up with evidence of illegal activity in the Harmer election! How long do we have to wait? Brother Harmer needs you to help him expose the SEIU, etc etc rigging the election.

  12. redcoyote7 says:

    Harmer is just mad that his candidacy forced many of us to vote for the third party candidate David Christensen.

  13. Chino Blanco says:

    Here’s what Harmer had to say about your candidate:

    “I was a fellow at Heritage, published by Cato, attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, counsel to Hatch on Senate Judiciary. The third-party guy is an electrician with no policy experience. I defy anyone to explain how a vote for him advanced the libertarian, conservative, or constitutionalist causes.”


  14. redcoyote7 says:

    He doesn’t realize that a vote for Christensen was a vote against Harmer. Duh. Christensen got 12 votes in 2008 and over 9000 in 2010. It wasn’t because he campaigned because trust me…he didn’t.

    A lot of voters were tired of Harmer from his 3rd run (2nd in the same area…diff race) They were pissed that the establishment and Tom Del Baccaro of the CA GOP pretty must set him up to be the victor of the CD-11 race from the moment he stepped into the CD-10 race the prior year (special election). The whole thing was a mess from the moment Harmer announced and this result is not surprising.

  15. redcoyote7 says:

    Oh and Harmer ran on Reagan quotes from day 1 too. I never heard an original thought out of him.

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