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California Bill to Eliminate Loyalty Oath for Candidates for Party Office Advances

On May 15, the California Assembly passed AB 2766. The bill deletes the requirement that candidates for County Central Committee must file a loyalty oath, saying they do not advocate the violent overthrow of the government. The existing law was declared unconstitutional last year, and only applies to candidates in the Democratic, Republican, and American Independent Parties.

The leader of the American Independent Party, Mark Seidenberg, had testified against this bill when it was in the Assembly Elections Committee, but the representative of the Secretary of State responded at that hearing that if the party desires to require the oath for its candidates for party office, the party is free to have its own bylaw requiring the oath.

4 Responses

  1. Jim Riley

    Why doesn’t the legislature simply eliminate Division 7 of the Elections Code?

    The reason that the oath only applied to the three parties was because there are three separate sections of the Elections Code (7210. 7408, and 7655) which purport to apply to each party.

    Eu v San Francisco Democratic Party was decided in 1989; it was heard when Ronald Reagan was president. March Fong Eu succeeded Jerry Brown as Secretary of State.

  2. Deemer from California

    Richard:

    Why didn’t this provision also apply to the Peace & Freedom Party, and by inference all the other parties to qualify in California since 1970, that had adopted the Peace & Freedom sections of the California Election Code?

  3. Deemer from California

    Richard:

    Why doesn’t this requirement also apply to the Peace & Freedom party? It’s sections of the Election Code were added at the same time as for the other 3 Parties. Also, wouldn’t it also then apply to all of the parties that have qualified for the California ballot since 1970 and adopted the Peace & Freedom sections for their own use?

  4. Richard Winger

    The Peace & Freedom code section omits the loyalty oath provision. The Peace & Freedom Party didn’t want it. The party was permitted to write its own section of the election code dealing with its own matters.

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