Independent Voter Project

IVP Challenges Taxpayer Funding of Party Central Committees

In light of recent court precedent that insulates political parties from any form of regulation by the state, the Independent Voter Project (IVP) is challenging the public funding and administration of party central committee elections.

California state law provides that a county registrar shall conduct party central committee elections at the request of any qualified political party (see e.g., California Elections Code sections 7230 and 7425).

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However, as the political parties have successfully argued in court, a party’s county central committee does not perform any governmental functions and membership in the committee is not a public office (see, Wilson v. San Luis Obispo County Democratic Central Committee 175 Cal. App. 4th 489, 500 (2009), holding that California Election Code provisions that seek to govern the composition of a party central committee violate the First Amendment rights of political parties and their members).

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