Home General Peace & Freedom Party Candidate Files Lawsuit Against New California Rules for Petitions in Lieu of Filing Fee
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Peace & Freedom Party Candidate Files Lawsuit Against New California Rules for Petitions in Lieu of Filing Fee

Published on January 31, 2011, by in General.

On January 31, Peace & Freedom Party candidate Daniel Frederick filed a lawsuit in state court in Sacramento, contesting the interpretation and constitutionality of the California Secretary of State’s rules for candidates who choose to file a petition in lieu of a filing fee, rather than paying the filing fee. The lawsuit especially contests the rules for special elections, which frequently give candidates only one or two days after the Governor has called the special election to complete these petitions. Furthermore, that problem (which is an old problem in California, for special elections) is compounded by the severe increase in the number of signatures in lieu of filing fee, caused by the Secretary of State’s interpretation of Proposition 14 and its implementing legislation.

In the past, candidates who are members of small qualified parties needed 150 signatures in lieu of a filing fee for any partisan office, but now they need 1,500 to run for Assembly. The case is Frederick v Bowen, 34-2011-80000773-cu-wm-gds. It will be heard by Judge Kinney in Sacramento Superior Court. Frederick wishes to run for the Assembly in the 4th district. A special election is being held there because the seat is vacant. It is vacant because Assemblymember Ted Gaines, who won that seat in November 2010, recently resigned because earlier this year he won a special election to the State Senate in the First District. That seat, in turn, had been vacant because State Senator Dave Cox had died on July 13, 2010, in the middle of his term.

10 Responses

  1. Mark Seidenberg

    The Americazn Independent Party founder William Shearer
    was the person that drafted the 5% minor party law on
    the issue of not succeeding 150 signatures.

    I was one of the parties in the case of 39 years ago cited in this lawsuit.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party

  2. Demo Rep

    How about have the courts write ALL election law stuff (to comply with voter approved constitutional amendments) — so that perhaps it makes some sense ??? — since the party hack robots have a unique EVIL ability to make unequal ballot access stuff.

  3. Jim Riley

    If Daniel Frederick were running for County Supervisor in Sacramento County, he would have to pay a filing fee of $715.20 or collect 2861 signatures ($0.25 per signature). Since a Sacramento supervisor district has about half the registration of a Assembly District, the relative signature burden is 4 times as high.

    Lubin v Panish was based on a candidate who was seeking to be elected county supervisor in Los Angeles County. If the in lieu of system that California imposed in response to Lubin v Panish is constitutional, then I don’t see that Frederick has a legitimate complaint.

    Of course, it is possible that 1974 system for non-partisan offices is unconstitutional since the offset per signature is a constant, while salaries and filing fees are subject to inflation.

    What SB 6 did was remove the privileged class status of the Peace & Freedom and Libertarian and other minor parties, which practically denied independent candidacies, except in rare cases. Even before Proposition 14/SB 6, any candidate could collect 1500 in lieu of signatures, so that law has not changed.

    Had an independent candidate sought to contest the AD 4 race last November, they would have been required to collect 8,883 signatures over 100 times that would have been needed by Daniel Frederick.

    It is not clear why Frederick submitted the 225 in lieu of signatures to the Secretary of State, rather than county registrars in the 4 counties where the signatures were collected. It is also not clear why 225 signatures were collected, when only 72 were needed to comply Elections Code 8106(6). Were the 225 signatures from registered members of the Peace and Freedom Party? It is also not clear why the Sacramento County registrar didn’t credit Frederick with $142.94 for the 225 in lieu of signatures that Frederick did collect. His lawyers appear to be economical with the truth.

    SB 6 left lots of superfluous election code that only pertains to partisan elections. For example, there is still the 1% requirement for nomination of write-in candidates, and sore loser rules with regard to partisan primary losers. The elections code provisions for voter-nominated offices is based on that for both partisan and nonpartisan offices. If California were to convert some offices back to being partisan offices, then the old partisan code would be valid.

  4. Demo Rep

    How about a sausage machine for the CA election code (to grind it to bits) — in connection with the requirements of the amended CA Constitution ???

  5. C. T. Weber

    Getting Daniel Frederick was a secondary goal of the suit. The overriding goal was/is to require the Secretary of State to reduce the number of signatures required in a special election in proportion to the reduction in the number of days to collect those signatures. The issue is also the amount of signatures in lieu of filing fees required when given the regular amount of time. Democratic and Republican candidates have rarely used the in lieu signature requirement since Lubin v Panish 1974. If a law is so difficul that it is rarely used it could be argued that it is unreasonalbe and as such unconstitutional. The idea of Lubin v Panish was to provide a reasonable alternative to filing fees. With the reduction in the number signatures to be proportional to the number of days allowed as part of the strategy, the 225 signatures was more than enough to qualify. Therefore, most of the signatures in lieu were from people outside of Peace and Freedom Party. To be honest, it much easier than setting up appointments with Peace and Freedom Party members and then drive to their home to get their signatures.

    However, the attorney felt that if

  6. C. T. Weber

    Note: The signatures in lieu of filing fees were delivered to the El Dorado, Placer and Sacramento county election officials, not the Secretary of State.

  7. Jim Riley

    #5 The lawsuit appears to be misdirected by its emphasis on 8106(a)(6), when the real problem is
    8106(a)(1) and (2) when applied to special elections.

    The reason that Republicans and Democrats probably did not use in lieu of petitions is that the regular petition requirements were so trivial, especially compared to the in lieu of requirements, that they went ahead and wrote a check.

    California ought to combine the regular petition filing with the filing fee. It is pretty goofy to have two sets of petitions. (eg 2/10 of 1% of gubernatorial vote or the filing fee, or some combination of the two, with at least 1/5 of the total in the form of signatures).

    The gubernatorial vote in 2010 was right at 10 million. So for a typical assembly district, this would be 250 signatures or the $950 filing fee, or some proportional combination, with at least 50 signatures required ($3.80/signature).

    For Congress it would be 375 or the filing fee of $1740, with 75 signatures required ($4.64/signature)

    For senator, 500 signatures or the $950 filing fee, with 100 signatures required ($1.90/signature).

    For statewide office, 20,000 signatures or the filing fee ($2600 t0 $3500), with 4000 signatures required.

  8. Demo Rep

    What is the cost per vote in special elections in CA ???

    Good only for stimulating the economy ???
    ———
    Candidate/incumbent rank order lists to fill legislative vacancies.

    Executive/judicial vacancies — replacement officers by laws or appointments.

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