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Calif. AG Candidate Ruffles Feathers With His Designated 'Occupation'

Califseal Yesterday, an attorney named John Eastman formally filed his candidacy for the elected position of State Attorney General in California. FlashReport reports in this post that Eastman had been the Dean of Chapman University's School of Law, but recently stepped down from that role. As of less than a month ago, he has been representing the State in a case before the United States Supreme Court, and for this limited purpose was appointed an "Assistant Attorney General" by South Dakota Attorney General Marty J. Jackley.

Eastman ruffled some feathers this week when he conveniently had his occupation listed on the ballot as "Assistant Attorney General." FlashReport states that, assuming this ballot designation is "upheld by a judge on the invariable court challenge, it will REALLY help Eastman" as none of the other GOP candidates for Attorney General are going to have the funds necessary to run statewide television campaigns.

Eastman defends his designation by stating that the South Dakota Attorney General is "authorized to appoint assistant attorneys general as he may deem necessary on a part-time basis for special assignments," and that he will expend substantial time on the case over the balance of this month and next month. Having stepped down as dean, Eastman says, his work as Assistant Attorney General now constitutes a "principal profession and occupation "within the meaning of Elections Code Section 13107(a)(3). Overall, he argues, "the ballot designation of Assistant Attorney General is literally accurate and is the most accurate description" of his occupation.

Cal Law's Legal Pad adds that an aide to Attorney General Jackley said she had never heard of Eastman. Legal Pad also notes that California law gives candidates a bit of leeway in describing their jobs, so long as the designation won't “mislead voters.”

Posted by Bruce Carton on March 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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