Daraka Larimore-Hall, chair of the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party — the leaders of which almost entirely support Hillary Clinton — was among the 39 percent of delegates to cast a vote this week in Philadelphia for Bernie Sanders. Larimore-Hall is quick to balance his support for the Vermont senator with passion for the party’s platform, which he described as making “huge gains” in the weeks before Sanders endorsed Clinton, who clinched the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.
“I wish some of my Sanders folks were more celebratory,” he said Monday, acknowledging the incessant booing at the mere mention of Clinton’s name. At a convention nominating her for president of the United States, Larimore-Hall said flatly, “Her name is going to be mentioned.” Susan Rose, former county supervisor and a Clinton delegate, was the only other delegate from Santa Barbara; five came from San Luis Obispo.
The recent resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as head of the Democratic National Committee — because of thousands of leaked emails suggesting DNC staffers, who are supposed to remain neutral, actively favored Clinton — contributed to an atmosphere that was far more contentious than in 2012, Larimore-Hall said. “A lot of people here who are new to politics see this as an end-of-the-world scenario,” he said. As for the scene at the convention, Larimore-Hall said the nearby hotel Californians used was nice, though absurdly expensive: $700 a night.
Asked about the possibility the hacked emails were the work of the Russian government, Giovanni Vigna, a UCSB computer science professor and a guru in web security, said such findings by intelligence agencies are probably accurate, but “it’s impossible to say with certainty.” He noted, “There are a lot of Russian people, [and] it’s easy to pretend to be Russian.”