December 19, 2013
I was living in San Francisco during the period when Jim Jones was a Democratic power broker, known for his ability to deliver thousands of votes. I recall that in 1976, Assemblyman Willie Brown, later the longtime speaker of that body, compared Jones to Martin Luther King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein, and Chairman Mao in an introduction. That same year, Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter’s vice-presidential candidate, met personally with Jones. So did Jimmy Carter’s wife, Rosalynn. Among dozens of accolades from leading Democrats that Jones collected was this one from Joseph Califano, who was secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Jimmy Carter: “Knowing your commitment and compassion, your interest in protecting individual liberty and freedom have made an outstanding contribution to furthering the cause of human dignity.”
Jones basked in the glow of praise his People’s Temple garnered from gullible politicians, and San Francisco mayor George Moscone, later tragically assassinated in 1978, even appointed him to San Francisco’s housing commission. Jones had been responsible for an incredible vote-harvesting operation that may have made the difference in Moscone’s narrow 4,000-vote victory over conservative John Barbagelata in 1975.
After Jones’s death, the national media briefly reported on the massive vote-fraud operation that Jones conducted on behalf of Moscone.
Then memory-holed it.