A young California Republican operative and Coast Guard veteran targeted by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told the Star News Network Senate Republicans are not doing enough to opposed Becerra nomination to lead Health and Human Services.
“Xavier Becerra is by far one of the most ruthless, unethical and corrupt politicians in our country,” said Jordan Tygh, a Coast Guard veteran and former campaign staffer for the California GOP in 2020.
“If any one of Biden’s nominee’s can be stopped it needs to be him. The GOP needs to stand strong together with courageous Democrats that are serious about unity to stop this man,” he said.
“He played a huge role in destroying my life over a blatant lie – along with Senator Padilla he used his office for partisan political intimidation,” Tygh said. “He used it to legitimize false accusations in order to win cheap political points that resulted in harassment, threats of rape and death, and and a complete tarnishing of my reputation that still affects me to this day.” Then-California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is now serving as the state’s junior senator after Gov. Gavin Newson appointed him to fill out the remainder of Vice President Kamala Harris’ Senate term.
“Padilla used my image and spread that around and said: ‘Only give us the people that you trust’ he was like: ‘This is illegal. We can’t let people steal the votes or suppress democracy,’” he said. “He used my image, which was totally slandering and defaming, and blatantly lied to the public and misled the public on the whole thing.”
Republicans claim to be concerned about voter fraud [while data shows it is exceedingly rare], yet they show no remorse for violating state law by using unofficial, unauthorized ballot drop boxes that are blatantly misleading. https://t.co/hUZ1gluscH
— Alex Padilla (@AlexPadilla4CA) October 15, 2020
Tygh said Becerra knew his lawsuit against him was a farce.
“Two weeks after the election he dropped his lawsuit against the GOP and admitted there was no wrongdoing, making it obvious this was all political,” he said. “Unfortunately I’m only one example of his laundry list of partisan and abusive actions: David Daleiden, Sandra Merritt and Little Sisters.”
Tygh worked to elect Michelle Steele to the House seat once held by Dana Rohrabacher
“I was a regional field director with the California Republican Party and I was assigned to the 48 Congressional District working on Michelle Steele’s campaign,” said Tygh, who was working to reclaim for the GOP a seat lost in 2018 by Dana Rohrabacher, the former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, who was in Congress for 28 years.
In the 2018 midterms, Democrats won seven Republican-held seats in California, including three other other seats in Orange County in addition to Rohrabacher’s.
Tygh said he was still on active-duty in the Coast Guard during the 2018 midterms, but he was aware of that Democrats had great success in House races in his state, using the newly legal practice called “ballot harvesting.”
Tygh said ballot harvesting is when a political operative collects ballots from voters in bulk and delivers them to the polling sites on behalf of the voters.
“What I heard was these Democrat operatives, these paid union people, all sorts of people coming down and working for the Democrat candidates and party were going door-to-door with Santa Claus sacks or Tupperware boxes and just stuffing ballots in them,” he said.
“Ballot harvesting really did help flip those seats, he said. “You had most notably the 39th Congressional District against Young Kim. She won on election night, and two, three weeks later, they kept counting these ballots that were brought in through harvesting and she did not become the congresswoman.”
The former Coast Guard storekeeper said his role in 2020 was to help California Republicans play catch up.
“Ballot harvesting with something Republicans opposed, and myself also opposes,” he said. “In 2016, they lost in the state legislature.”
Republicans then went to the courts and lost there, too, he said.
“In 2018, obviously they didn’t like it,” he said. “There really wasn’t a big, widespread ballot harvesting operation from the California Republican Party or their candidates. But, Democrats did. Democrats went door-to-door. They were collecting ballots from all sorts of people.”
All that changed going into the 2020 election cycle, Tygh said.
The GOP strikes back in 2020
In 2020, Republicans, from the higher levels, had plans and operations in place, so the Republican Party would have a ballot harvesting operation of its own to compete with the Democrats, even though they opposed it,” he said. “Even if you’re against it, if you want to be able to compete politically, you need to engage in it.”
Tygh said he was governed by a non-disclosure agreement, so he had to speak carefully about how the California GOP won back three of the seats they lost in 2018.
“You can say that these were veterans of the 2018 campaign and they were licking their chops for the opportunity to basically leverage this new law to the Republican’s advantage, because it’s almost like they sat out of ballot harvesting in 2018,” he said, “In 2020, they were really motivated.”
One of the projects Tygh said he was involved was the placing of ballot collection boxes in Republican offices. “There’s no law against having it in a GOP office. And obviously, you’re probably going to get a higher GOP turnout in a GOP office.”
Although, Democrats brought ballot harvesting to California and used it to great success, they went after Republican attempts to get in on the practice themselves by accusing Republicans of setting up the boxes without someone assigned to the box.
“Democrats lied and said that, ‘You can’t harvest your ballots with an inanimate object. This is illegal,’ but they didn’t even ask questions. They just blatantly lied and said that’s what it was. Each box was actually assigned to a person, so the box in my office was assigned to one of the staffers that was in the office that I worked in.”
The operative said the practice in his office was for the staffer assigned to the box to give the voter his name and phone number and a receipt with a tracking number that the voter could use to track the ballot on the secretary of state’s website.
Nothing reeks of desperation quite like the Republican Party organization these days — willing to lie, cheat, and threaten our democracy all for the sake of gaining power.
These unofficial drop boxes aren’t just misleading, they are illegal. https://t.co/5bWDVWPLEe
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 12, 2020
Democrats target Tygh
“We were just trained on all this stuff,” he said. “They had told us about these ballot receptacles that were going to be coming to the offices that we worked in. And they wanted us to promote them, to say: ‘Hey, listen, you have an alternative. You don’t want to wait in line, you don’t trust mail-in voting, you can bring it into a GOP office and a GOP staffer can safely and legally harvest your ballots for you or deliver your ballot to the register of voters for you.’”
Looking to promote the ballot collection box, Tygh said he took some initiative.
“I took a picture with one and I advertised it,” he said. “Nobody had anything to say about it for a couple of days, and then, one in Santa Clarita that was at the church started getting attention.”
Next, Democrats went after Tygh, he said.
“They were able to pick it up and find mine, and next thing you know, they were accusing me of setting up illegal ballot boxes, they were accusing me of election fraud, they were accusing me of trying to tamper with the votes,” he said.
“They were like: ‘Who does this guy think he is? He can just take people’s ballots? What’s stopping him from ripping them up?’ he said.
“These are the arguments that the Republican Party had made, and the Republican Party didn’t do it,” he said. “When Democrats had passed it, they were like: ‘Well, it’s great. This is a great way to expand voter access and make it easier for people to vote.’”
Tygh said once Democrats fingered him, their media allies joined in to pile on.
Despite the legality of the collection box, when the California Republican Party agreed to take the word “Official” off the boxes, Democrats and the media played it up as if it was an admission of guilt, he said.
“I was on Jimmy Kimmel, I was on the Young Turks and all of them just completely slandering me, defaming me,” he said. “Representative Harley Rouda used me as a point of attack against Michelle.”
Rouda put Tygh on his website as if he was a criminal.
“I’ll tell you, this is a guy who campaigned on common decency, he campaigned on saying that he wanted to get toxicity out of politics and he wanted to campaign on honesty. He also said he cared about veterans,” he said. “I was in a year back from my third and final deployment with the U.S. Coast Guard, and he used my name and my image with the words craven and criminal, insinuating that I was a part of some criminal scheme.”
Other Democrats went further, he said.
“His supporters were angered and demanded that I go to jail and gleefully talked about how I would get raped when I was in prison without any condemnation from him at all.,” he said. “That’s your idea of common decency and that’s how this person in his campaign treats veterans coming back into civilian life.”
Another Democrat who targeted Tygh was Senator Alex Padilla.
— No more Malarkey 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 (@46Presidency) October 12, 2020
“Nobody asked any questions. It was just accusations. And quite frankly, it kind of destroyed my life and my career,” he said.
Tygh still tainted by Democrats’ attacks
“I can’t get a job now,” he said.
“The career outlooks look bleak, even though the GOP admitted it was their project and I was obviously a low-level staffer, even though the attorney general quietly admitted that there was no fraud committed and the election was safe and secure,” he said.
“When you Google my name, a lot of stuff that comes up is felony, election fraud, crimes – and it’s really, really been damaging – and to this day, I haven’t gotten an apology from anybody,” he said.
“I was seen as an untouchable, controversial figure, even though all I did was just post a tweet promoting getting out the vote that was all sanctioned by and following protocol with my employer.”
– – –
Neil W. McCabe is a Washington-based national political reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. In addition to the Star Newspaper, he has covered the White House, Capitol Hill and national politics for One America News, Breitbart, Human Events and Townhall. Before coming to Washington, he was a staff reporter for Boston’s Catholic paper, The Pilot, and the editor of two Boston-area community papers, The Somerville News and The Alewife. McCabe is a public affairs NCO in the Army Reserve and he deployed for 15 months to Iraq as a combat historian.