Press release emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As reported in the San Jose Mercury News Thursday, July 29, a lawsuit was filed charging that state Senate Bill 6 is unconstitutional. SB 6 is the legislation that put Proposition 14, the Top Two election system, on the June 8 California ballot.
Specifically, the lawsuit claims that SB 6 bans the counting of write-in votes for the general election which denies voters the right to have their vote counted. The lawsuit also states that SB 6 bans candidates from stating their party preference if their preference of party is non-qualified. Several areas of the California Constitution and the U.S. Constitution are cited as being violated by SB 6.
The relief being sought from the lawsuit asks the court the institute an injunction against the implementation of SB 6. It asks the court to declare that SB 6 is unenforceable and to declare that Proposition 14 is inoperative. The lawsuit also asks the court to “declare that Proposition 14 shall not become operative unless and until lawful implementing legislation has been enacted and has become operative.”
Information included in the lawsuit stated that SB 6 was originally drafted as a bill dealing with hazardous waste, was amended and passed by the Legislature between 3:40 a.m. and 6:55 a.m., February 19, 2009 without public notice, and that the governor signed it the next day.
Today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement in response to learning of the lawsuit against SB 6 where he is quoted as saying, “It comes as no surprise that Sacramento special interests are trying to overturn the government reforms Californians overwhelmingly support. I will fight these special interests at every turn to protect these reforms that will break through Sacramento’s dysfunction.”
Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado, who sold his yes vote on a budget in exchange for passage of SB 6, is quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle saying, “This lawsuit is yet another attempted power grab by party bosses trying to continue the manipulation of legislators and deny the people of California their choice to vote for whomever they want.”
“Maldonado and Schwarzenegger are flat out wrong that this lawsuit is an attempted power grab by party bosses and special interests,” said Christina Tobin, Chair of StopTopTwo.org, an organization opposed to the passage of Proposition 14. “They need to calm down with the extremist statements. Those two quotes illustrate precisely what is wrong with Sacramento politics and it has nothing to do with the lack of a Top Two system. Politicians giving sound bites without a shred of substance hasn’t fixed anything in California yet.”
“Schwarzenegger is claiming that people who want their vote counted are special interests because they want to cast a write-in vote,” Tobin said. “Somebody needs to teach the governor what real special interests are and that he and his big money backers fit that description to a tee.”
“For Maldonado to pull out the party boss card in response to this lawsuit shows a real detachment from reality,” Tobin said. “The reality is that SB 6 was a sloppy and incomplete mess of legislation rushed through the Legislature in the wee hours of the morning without public input, let alone expert opinion, and it was signed the next day by Schwarzenegger. The reality of this lawsuit is that it asks Maldonado and his friends to fix the incompetent legislation they passed. It doesn’t give anything to any party bosses, contrary to Maldonado’s false claim.”
“Passing legislation in the manner they did with SB 6 is dysfunctional and part of this states’ problem,” Tobin said. “Now these two are acting exactly like the extremists they claim Proposition 14 will get rid of. Instead of addressing the issues raised in the lawsuit and finding solutions for the people of California these two are running to the media with sound bites and attacking their opponents. Are Maldonado and Schwarzenegger really the type of politicians California needs more of to fix things? I think not.”
A Free and Equal press conference will take place next week in Sacramento, Calif.
Free and Equal
Christina Tobin, CEO