Lawsuit to Stop Taxpayer Financing of GOP/Democrat County Committee Elections

This is not a surprise. Once Prop. 14 passed it were expected that the public election of County by County political Committees would end as a taxpayer financed responsibility. Under a new law every four years (it used to be every two) at the June primary an election is held for partisans to select those running their political party in the County. The law does allow the County Committee to select its own replacement without a public vote.

While this is inside “baseball” as an issue, it is a symptom of the closing down of political organization by the public and instead the special interests and those already in charge will control the process, keeping out activists and ideological partisans.

For those planning to run candidates for Central Committee next June, do not be surprised if there is an injunction stopping your County from running that election.

“The California Supreme Court has also held that taxpayer funds shall not be disbursed unless “a direct and substantial public purpose is served and non-state entities are benefited only as an incident to the public purpose.” (California Housing Finance Authority v. Elliot 17 Cal. 3d 575, 583 (1976).)

In light of this precedent, the Independent Voter Project is asking all county registrars to refrain from expending any public resources for the administration of party central committee elections unless each political party requesting such administration first agrees to reimburse taxpayers for the full and fair public costs related thereto.”

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image2256608

IVP to Challenge Taxpayer Funding of Party Central Committee Elections

By Independent Voter Project, 10/15/15

In light of recent court precedent that insulates political parties from any form of regulation by the state, the Independent Voter Project (IVP) is challenging the public funding and administration of party central committee elections.

California state law provides that a county registrar shall conduct party central committee elections at the request of any qualified political party (see e.g., California Elections Code sections 7230 and 7425).

However, as the political parties have successfully argued in court, a party’s county central committee does not perform any governmental functions and membership in the committee is not a public office (see, Wilson v. San Luis Obispo County Democratic Central Committee 175 Cal. App. 4th 489, 500 (2009), holding that California Election Code provisions that seek to govern the composition of a party central committee violate the First Amendment rights of political parties and their members).

The California Supreme Court has also held that taxpayer funds shall not be disbursed unless “a direct and substantial public purpose is served and non-state entities are benefited only as an incident to the public purpose.” (California Housing Finance Authority v. Elliot 17 Cal. 3d 575, 583 (1976).)

In light of this precedent, the Independent Voter Project is asking all county registrars to refrain from expending any public resources for the administration of party central committee elections unless each political party requesting such administration first agrees to reimburse taxpayers for the full and fair public costs related thereto.

If you are from California and would like to sign the letter, CLICK HERE or fill out the form below.

If you are not a California voter, but would like to support similar efforts in your state, CLICK HERE.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Speak Your Mind

*