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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
Party Committee

Contra Costa County Democratic Party — Democratic PartyCandidate for Central Committee, District 4

Photo of Scott Joseph Rafferty

Scott Joseph Rafferty

Utility Consumer Attorney
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Making sure the Committee gets CHERYL COOK-KALLIO elected to retake AD-16 and endorses and elects a FULL SLATE OF PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES for local offices
  • Encouraging all Contra Costa residents to register Democratic and ensuring that EVERY VOTE COUNTS.
  • Revitalizing the Central Committee by adding club representatives, selected local officials, and our most valuable volunteers as VOTING COMMITTEE MEMBERS.



Profession:utility consumer attorney; Incumbent Central Committee parliamentarian; voter protection attorney
Attorney, specializing in utility law and voting rights, self-employed (2012–current)
Parliamentarian, Member Rules Committee, Member Endorsements Committee, CONTRA COSTA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE — Elected position (2015–current)
Member, Rules Committee, Endorsements Committee, CONTRA COSTA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE — Appointed position (2015–current)
Delegate, Assembly District 16, CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC STATE COMMITTEE — Elected position (2014–current)
Voter Protection Representative to the Contra Costa County Registrar o, DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY — Appointed position (2014–2014)
Deputy Director, Administrative Conference of the United States (federal agency) (2010–2012)
Delegate, Member of the Credentials Committee, Member of the Rules Com, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION — Elected position (1976–2004)


Oxford University Ph.D., regulatory economics (Rhodes Scholar) (2012)
Yale Law School J.D., labor law; anti-discrimination and civil rights law; voting rights and election law; consumer protection (2009)
Princeton University B.A., Public Affairs (Politics) (2004)

Community Activities

Board Member, Meals on Wheels, Senior Outreach Services (2016–current)
Legislative Representative, PTA, Las Trampas Regional Council (2013–2016)
convention floor whip, Obama for President (2004–2004)


Scott lives with his wife Linda and daughters Melina and Annie in Walnut Creek, which currently has no members on the County Central Committee.   Linda works for the University of California at the Lawrence Hall of Science.   Melina and Annie attend Walnut Creek Intermediate School.   Scott grew up near Washington DC, but his daughters are fourth-generation East Bay.

Scott graduated Princeton University summa cum laude and Yale Law School.  His college thesis wrote about the Civil Rights Division in the Kennedy Administration and its struggle to secure voting rights for Southern blacks.  He used the Freedom of Information Act to disclose more than 100,000 FBI and Justice Department documents, which are now on deposit in the Kennedy Library.  In her memoir, Justice Sotomayor wrote of her classmate that “integrity has remain[ed] evident over his distinguished professional life in public service.”  While he was a graduate student at Princeton’s Wilson School of Public Affairs, Scott won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he completed his doctorate in regulatory economics and politics. 

Since high school, when he fought against California’s winner-take-all primary on the floor of the Democratic National Convention, Scott has been committed to the Democratic Party.  In college, he was an uncommitted Rules Committee member to the 1976 Convention, and helped manage Governor Brown’s successful floor fight to assure that future conventions were equally divided between men and women.  He served as staff counsel to the Winograd and Hunt reform commissions, and as legal adviser to the Association of State Democratic Chairs.  He has attended 10 national conventions, as delegate, standing committee member, campaign staff, or DNC staff.  In 2004, he was Senator Kerry’s representative to California’s Secretary of State and organized delegate selection statewide.  In 2006, he ran voter protection for Senator Tester of Montana, whose upset victory by 1600 votes changed control of the United States Senate.  In 2008, he was a floor whip for President Obama.

Professionally, Scott served as counsel to the House Telecom Subcommittee during the AT&T divestiture.  He drafted a comprehensive rewrite of the 1934 Telecom Act that proposed to reorganize AT&T and to extend FCC jurisdic­tion over emerging services (using language that would have included internet transmissions).   Scott prepared a letter from a bipartisan group of Congressmen proposing changes to the AT&T consent decree, most of which Judge Greene adopted (citing the letter 13 times).  After his public service, Scott helped restructure Montana Power to separate competitive ventures from regulated operations as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co.  He also served a variety of clients of McKinsey’s technology strategy and organizational practices.

In 1990, Scott was the chief witness for the state attorney general in the New York Telephone rate case.   He conducted depositions and large-scale electronic discovery (new at the time) that detailed systematic overcharges of NYT by unregulated NYNEX affiliates.   Based on his disclosures, the FCC levied its largest fine ever.  At the time, the disallowances made by the New York utility commission were also the largest ever levied in any state.  Scott co-managed a retrospective audit that provided additional refunds to ratepayers.  He also testified in the subsequent criminal case brought against NYNEX by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Scott returned to his home state of Maryland, where he served as the Public Service Commission’s first telecom director.  Scott advised the British Labour Party on the privatization of British Telecom and the Dutch government on the sale and regulation of its telephone monopoly.  When the Berlin Wall fell, Scott was in Poland helping the first post-communist government plan the reorganization and eventual sale of its largest state enterprises.  Under a UN contract, he advised the Vietnamese finance ministry on privatization and industrial regulation.

When he moved to California in 2000, Scott worked as director of business development for a GPS chip manufacturer and later as an attorney in private practice.  He developed an election law practice and represented intervenors before the California Public Utilities Commission in regulatory proceedings, including the PG&E backruptcy.   The CPUC staff selected him as a finalist for general counsel immediately before President Peevey arrived.  Scott was Senator Kerry’s statutory representative to the California Secretary of State during the 2004 presidential campaign.  He has also performed extensive pro bono work on behalf of veterans.

In Washington, Scott served as deputy director for research at the Administrative Conference of the U.S., a federal research agency that proposes government-wide reforms to make administrative processes fairer and more efficient.  During this period, the ACUS membership (a group that includes the general counsels of most federal agencies) made recommendations regarding collaborative regulatory enforcement, e-rulemaking, the Sunshine Act, the deportation backlog, social security adjudications and other subjects.   

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am committed to progressive ideals of promoting economic growth, reducing income inequality, guaranteeing equal opportinity, respecting individual rights, including the right to marry, protecting refugees and other migrants, and protecting human rights in our foreign policy.

But my strongest commitment is to democracy itself, which is threatened when all votes are not counted or when voting is made difficult for any citizen.  The more people register and vote, the more progressive values succeed.  Therefore, I believe we must provide every opportunity to allow citizens to register in the party of their choice and encourage them to exercise their right to vote.  During the Bush Administration, I filed a lawsuit challenging the military's policy of forcing enlisted men to waive ballot secrecy, which is not only an individual right, but an obligation to protect elections from bribery and coercion.   On a pro bono basis, I represented the chairman of the Santa Clara party in his six-year lawsuit to require the VA to allow nonpartisan voter registration assistance on VA campuses.   (Both policies were changed when Obama became President.)  Some questioned these efforts, believing the soldiers and veterans tend to vote Republican.   If the Democratic Party does not compete for the enlisted men in today's military, it cannot succeed.   And the veterans instututionalized in Menlo Park and other California nursing homes are overwhelmingly Democratic.  But such calculations are irrelevant.  The Democratic Party must fight to empower everyone to vote, even if some vote wrong.   When more people vote, including the marginalized within society, our progressive values prevail.   

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