CRP Blog

Thursday, April 26, 2007

AB 965: Assemblyman Anderson Proposes Cleanup of Elections Code

Assemblyman Joel Anderson, who happens to be my Assemblyman, has introduced AB 965 to clean up sections of the Califorina Elections Code as they relate to governance of the Republican Party.

AB 965 repeals provisions of state law concerning the internal governance of the California Republican Party -- matters the United States Supreme Court held were not subject to state regulation. (March Fong Eu v. San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee, et al., 489 U.S. 214 (1989).

The Court held that state regulation abridged the speech and free association rights of political parties and their members under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Since 1989, the California Republican Party has adopted its own governance rules, or has incorporated provisions of these laws by reference into its governing standing rules and bylaws. At this juncture, with the need to make some major amendments to the statutes to ensure basic conformance of the law to these standing rules and bylaws, the Party’s General Counsel comprehensively compared the existing law with our standing rules and bylaws and recommended the extensive revisions that comprise AB 965.

AB 965 revises the statute naming the Party (from Republican Party of California to California Republican Party); retains the basic statute that identifies the principal purpose of the Party (current Section 7385, renumbered as Section 7353); and retains without any substantive change the provision establishing superior court jurisdiction for injunctive relief actions to enforce prohibitions and limitations of the Party’s standing rules and bylaws relating to endorsement of candidates in contested partisan primary elections against county central committees that endorse in violation of those party standing rules and bylaws (current Section 7389, renumbered as Section 7354).

AB 965 adds a provision that requires the California Republican Party to maintain a current version of its standing rules and bylaws on its Internet Website, something that we have done for a number of years, in order to facilitate public access to information concerning the applicable Party rules.

This is common sense legislation that brings the California elections code in line with court decisions protecting the party's rights.

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