July 14, 2024

Last Friday, upon California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s death, I had this to say about who would be her replacement:

In the Democrat intersectionality game, “Mo’ melanin and Mo’ gender” are the watchwords, and there’s currently no one else who could fill that slot. The only one that could take Lee down is a Black transgender woman with two heads, and as far as we know, there’s not one in existence. But, give it time.


Didn’t take long. As RedState reported, Governor Gavin Newsom has tapped EMILY’s List President and former SEIU CA President LaPhonza Butler as the placeholder for Feinstein’s seat until the 2024 elections. In case you weren’t playing, she is 1) Black; 2) Identifies as a Woman; 3) Lesbian. Three out of four intersectionality points met. I guess the transgender hat trick will have to wait a while longer. Maybe Caitlyn Jenner needs to start identifying as a Black Democrat.

Butler is a veteran organizer and well-known in Newsom’s orbit. He contemplated hiring the Southern Mississippi native to be his first chief of staff, and she was a one-time partner in the San Francisco-based consulting firm, now known as Bearstar Strategies, with his top political advisers. She has remained a confidant of Vice President Kamala Harris, after serving as a senior strategist on her 2020 presidential campaign.

Butler, who is based in Washington and maintains close ties with Los Angeles, had a stint as director for public policy and campaigns at Airbnb and spent nearly two decades as a powerful and well-respected labor leader with the Service Employees International Union. As president of SEIU California, she worked closely with then-Gov. Jerry Brown on policies like hiking the minimum wage to $15 per hour and raising taxes for wealthy Californians. She also served on the University of California Board of Regents, to which she was appointed by Brown in 2018 before stepping down in 2021.

Butler is the first openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the Senate.


Butler goes on to say in the X thread:

No one will ever measure up to the legacy of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but I will do my best to honor her legacy and leadership by committing to work for women and girls, workers and unions, struggling parents, and all of California. I am ready to serve.

Work for women and girls? Butler is an abortion rights activist who no doubt supports the transgender agenda, so she’s already 0 for 2 on that one, and she hasn’t even been sworn in. We definitely know Butler will work for the unions, how it plays out for workers remains to be seen. And then there’s the rest of y’all in California. I pity you, because if “LaPhonz” (Ayyyee) has her way, you won’t even be a consideration. With this choice to replace a California Senator, you already aren’t.


This lack of residency in the state is already causing a stir, as my colleague Bonchie reported. Guess those California values Newsom is always touting need not apply here. There are some key reasons for this choice. With the Democrat agenda to push through the PRO Act before the 2024 elections, and anointed (but not confirmed), Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su working hard to destroy the independent contractor and small business, Butler is the perfect placeholder. When Butler was SEIU’s state council president, she spoke at the 2016 CA Dem convention and showed herself to be a union shill to the bone. This speech is all one-note buzzwords and Democrat bluster. “Activism,” “Stand Together,” “Black Lives Matter,” blah, blah, blah, intermixed with the usual Trump Derangement Syndrome and calling out evil corporations. Her touting of the then-$15 minimum wage (check), and that every “worker” in California gets to form a union was prophetic. So, expect more of this regurgitating of Big Labor talking points and supporting that agenda in the Senate. She’s a guaranteed vote to align with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to ensure the Labor Unions stay funded, and small businesses and independent professionals keep getting their legs cut from under them.   


One thing LaPhonz has in her favor is she is more articulate than Vice President Kamala Harris, whose failed campaign Butler worked on. Butler maintains close ties to the Vice President, and Butler’s X timeline is riddled with posts promoting and fluffing Harris at every turn. 

This makes for an interesting flex for Newsom’s president aspirations, as he only has the first Black-Indian VP in his way in order to ascend to the throne. Butler’s other X posts are mostly about that Republican abortion ban that the not-so-savvy presidential candidates keep trying make a thing. Butler affirms her alignment and commitment to fight for the death of all babies.


It is no accident that LaPhonz is currently domiciled in Maryland. The D’Alesandro family still maintains political ties there. D’Alesandro is former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s maiden name. Her father Tommy D’Alesandro, Jr. was a congressman, delegate, and Mayor of Baltimore. Pelosi’s brother Thomas D’Alesandro III also served as mayor of the city for one term. As of this writing, Pelosi has said nothing about Butler, but political dynasties run deep and Pelosi and the D’Alesandro family have always been the conduit between East Coast and West Coast. Remember the earlier mention of Butler maintaining close ties to Los Angeles and her partnership in a political shop in San Francisco? Yeah… if you do some dusting, you will probably find Pelosi’s fingerprints all over this pick. 

But ultimately if Newsom does make a presidential run, he needs to cozy up to the East Coast Democrats, East Coast Labor powerbrokers, and the elites who run that end of the party. Through LaPhonz’s over 20 years of being embedded in Labor, law, NARAL, political consultancy, and now EMILYs List, she has the connections to the people who can make that happen.

As California goes, so goes the nation.


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