(PR) Court of Appeal Orders Secretary of State To Justify Manipulation of the Election Process
Sacramento ÛÒ In a victory for the integrity of the ballot process the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District issued an order to the Secretary of State Deborah Bowen to reverse her action giving Governor Brown’s tax hike initiative preference in the ballot materials or to submit a brief justifying her actions by July 30th. Pursuant to AB 1499 Bowen gave Brown’s initiative the highest available number (Prop 30) on the November ballot.
Assembly Bill 1499 seeks to repeal long-standing statutory law regarding how ballot measures appear on the ballot. "First Petitions for Writs are rarely granted by the Courts. The fact that this writ was issued less than 24 hours after we filed it is a reflection of the seriousness of this case" said Jon Coupal President of HJTA and a named petitioner in the legal action.
While the Court denied the request for an immediate stay the short briefing schedule they ordered makes it possible that the proposition numbers could be changed from those designated by Bowen yesterday. A temporary stay issued by the Superior Court in a related case brought by Molly Munger expired at 5 p.m. yesterday. Even though Bowen was made aware of the pending HJTA legal action she proceeded to assign proposition numbers at approximately 5:02 yesterday.
"Governor Brown is playing fast and loose with California election law and the Secretary of State should not be an accomplice" said Coupal. "She runs the very real risk of being perceived as a willing participant in the perversion of the integrity of the ballot process not a defender of it." Coupal suggested that a safe harbor for Secretary of State Bowen would be to default to the long existing law related to the numbering of ballot measures. "If she did that it would be difficult for anyone to complain" said Coupal.