TO: CVF-NEWS FROM: Kim Alexander, CVF President DATE: May 24, 2001 RE: Voters' right to know protected by CA Supreme Court
Great news! The long-awaited decision in the Griset vs. FPPC case was handed down today by the California Supreme Court, whose nine members unanimously upheld the constitutionality of California's "sender identification" law for political mailers.
The state supreme court overturned an earlier decision by the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana that struck down the mass mailing disclosure provision of California's Political Reform Act. That lower court decision eliminated the requirement that political campaigns identify themselves by name and committee ID number on all mass mailings of 200 or more pieces.
The case was brought by a former Santa Ana city councilman, Daniel Griset, who believed that he had a First Amendment right to send campaign mailers to voters under fictitious committee names. The California Voter Foundation took the unusual step of weighing in on this case by sending a letter to the California Supreme Court urging their review. Our position was that during a political campaign it is important to balance the right to anonymous political speech with the voter's need to make informed choices. California law achieves this balance by allowing anyone who spends less than $1,000 or who sends out less than 200 pieces of mail to remain anonymous if they choose.
Today the Supreme Court affirmed their earlier decision on this case and in doing so has protected the voters' ability to identify the messengers behind political messages. The Attorney General's staff, the Fair Political Practices Commission, and the many political reform groups that weighed in on this decision are to be congratulated for their hard work on behalf of California voters!
To view the decision, read the FPPC's news release, or get background information on this case, visit the FPPC's web site at http://www.fppc.ca.gov. CVF's letter to the Supreme Court is also available on our site, at http://www.calvoter.org/cvfnews/cvfnews051399.html.
Have a great holiday weekend,
-- Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation
firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-325-2120, www.calvoter.org
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This page was first published on May 24, 2001 | Last updated on May 24, 2001
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