The Somewhat Secret World of Pre-Election Litigation

BY BRADLEY W. HERTZ Unbeknownst to many attorneys, a flurry of litigation precedes the printing of the voter information guide and sample ballot each election cycle. This somewhat secret world of pre-election litigation involves high-stakes skirmishes over how candidates are permitted to describe themselves to the voters, how ballot questions […]

Ballot Selfies: Post Away

BY MATTHEW C. ALVAREZ After months of debate, the California legislature this week finally reversed a decades-old law which prohibited Californians’ constitutionally-protected right to the ballot selfie.  That is, the right to post online a photo of yourself alongside your completed ballot, marked for the candidates and ballot measures of your […]

Goodbye, Two-Thirds Voter Threshold for Taxes Passed by Initiative

BY JIM SUTTON I recently asserted that the Citizens’ Plan for San Diego ballot measure – which would raise funds to promote San Diego tourism, expand the Convention Center, build a football stadium, and other inter-related matters – requires a majority and not a two-thirds vote, even though others disagreed. A landmark appellate […]

The Regulatory Creep of Grassroots Lobbying Public Disclosure Regimes 4

BY MATTHEW C. ALVAREZ Requiring public disclosure of an organization’s grassroots lobbying efforts may not be a new concept, but San Francisco’s recently adopted Proposition C is a reminder of the regulatory creep of lobbying disclosure regimes on nonprofit organizations across the nation. San Francisco is the latest of many […]

FEC should look to California to rein in super PACs 300

BY MATTHEW C. ALVAREZ Special to The Bee The money-in-politics world recently witnessed a seemingly rare event: a government agency actually did something about super PACs that secretly and illegally coordinate with politicians to affect our elections. Unfortunately, the wrong government agency acted. California’s version of the Federal Election Commission […]

Desperate Measures 347

BY BRAD HERTZ   In Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll used the phrase “curiouser and curiouser” to describe Alice’s amazement as her body grew so big she imagined having to mail her shoes to herself. “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense,” she says. “Nothing […]

New Year, New Laws 2

BY BRAD HERTZ   You probably remember Proposition F (the anti-Airbnb law that lost) and Proposition A (the $310 million affordable housing bond that won) from San Francisco’s November ballot. But you might not be aware of the 10 new state laws that take effect January 1. In what has […]