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.