County Spent Public Funds to Seek a Sponsor for a Statewide Initiative on Criminal Justice Matters

In League of Women Voters v. Countywide Crim. Justice Coordination Com. (1988) 203 Cal. App. 3d 529, 250 Cal. Rptr. 161, a county spent public funds to develop, draft, and seek a sponsor for a statewide initiative on criminal justice matters. (Id. at pp. 532-540.) The appellate court concluded the development and drafting activities did not involve an attempt to persuade or influence a vote, and thus did not constitute partisan campaign activity. (Id. at p. 550.) The court further held that the power to draft such an initiative implied the power to seek out a proponent as well (id. at p. 554), but noted that any expenditures to ensure passage of the message would run afoul of the rules set forth in Stanson v. Mott, supra, 17 Cal. 3d 206. (League of Women Voters, 203 Cal. App. 3d at pp. 555-556.)