Friday, January 4, 2013

Will Billionaire's Intimidation Attempt Win? | Santa Monica Mirror

Will Billionaire's Intimidation Attempt Win? | Santa Monica Mirror - Tom Elias:

Dec. 29, 2012 - "No one spent more money trying to influence California politics during this year’s election season than the billionaire Munger siblings, Molly and Charles Jr....But Charles Munger Jr. was also active on the intimidation front....

"It stemmed from Munger’s 2010 investment in Proposition 14, which established the “top two” primary election system.... Top two cost minor parties like the Libertarians, Greens, American Independent and Peace and Freedom their usual spots on the November ballot [so] they and their supporters sued the state. Enter Munger, as an intervenor. He contended state Attorney General Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Debra Bowen were not equipped to defend Proposition 14 on their own.... Munger, as usual, spent big, hiring a prominent, politically-connected law firm with offices in Sacramento and Marin County to make his case.

"When the plaintiffs, led by 69-year-old minor-party advocate Richard Winger, longtime publisher of the Ballot Access News blog, lost the case, Munger insisted they be dunned for his legal fees. A San Francisco Superior Court judge assessed Winger and his fellow plaintiffs $243,000, of which Winger is liable for one-fifth as things now stand. He says paying that sum would just about break him and likely put his blog out of business."

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