Faculty Voice Newsletter: December 2017: News Update

by David Lau

Postscript to Napolitano’s Visit

And so now the tide begins to turn. University of California President Napolitano’s visit to Cabrillo College coincided with another wave of criticism of her management at UCOP. A new investigative report from former California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno finds that Napolitano’s office of the President interfered and altered the results of an audit of all UC campuses about their relationships with the UCOP. In a much-publicized incident, an angry Napolitano called UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal on his personal line after she discovered that he had his office send the audit directly to the State. UCOP was instructing all campuses to send their reports to the Napolitano’s office for some final polishing before the reports went on to the State. Blumenthal did withdraw the audit and then went down the dubious route that Napolitano had sketched out for him. This interference with the audit shadowed Napolitano’s visit to Cabrillo, which was held with UCSC Chancellor Blumenthal. The chorus against Napolitano continues to grow. San Jose Mercury News ran an editorial calling for her firing. Its stinging first sentence concluded: “it’s time for President Janet Napolitano to go.”

National Elections 2017

A year after the shock victory of Donald Trump, voters turned out for off-year, November elections all across the country. The results were eagerly watched and celebrated by Democrats as victories, especially as standard bearers of the pro-Wall Street wing of the party won elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Some observers on the left also noted the victories of several members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in last month’s races. DSA member Lee Carter won 54% to 46% in Virginia’s House of Delegates, where he defeated the well-funded Republican whip. Lee, a former marine, was running as “pro-worker, pro-union,” so he was abandoned by the Virginia Democratic party while also being subjected to intense red-baiting by his opponent. Overall, Democrats won in Virginia, with the turnaround featuring transgender journalist Danica Roem’s victory over Bob Marshall, author of the state’s “bathroom bill.” In Knoxville, Tennessee, Socialist Seema Singh Perez won a city council seat, part of a group of four women elected to the council. Successful candidates mobilized grassroots groups as part of a movement-developing strategy.