Walter to Councils: "See you in court!"
Here is his latest screed:
Today I filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court regarding my exclusion from the upcoming televised debates.
As many of you know, the two 90-minute televised mayoral debates are scheduled for February 7 and 28, 2005. One of the sponsors is "the Alliance of Neighborhood Councils." The City Attorney has issued a formal opinion letter, based on federal and state constitutional law, stating that Neighborhood Councils holding a debate must invite all candidates, not just some of them. Despite the letter and the law, "the Alliance of Neighborhood Councils" has invited some of the candidates -- five, to be exact -- and excluded me, Walter Moore.
"The Alliance of Neighborhood Councils" explained its decision to exclude me by claiming, among other things, the following: "The Ethics Commission defines a 'viable' candidate for Mayor as someone who has raised $150,000 in contributions from individuals in amounts of less than $500." In fact, the Ethics Commission does not have a definition of "viable." Rather, "viable" is a matter of opinion, not law.
Through the lawsuit, I am asking the Court, among other things, either to put me in the debate, or to require the sponsors of the debate to disclose on TV: i) that the so-called "Alliance of Neighborhood Councils" is not an alliance of Neighborhood Councils at all, and, indeed, does not include a single Neighborhood Council; ii) that the five candidates participating were selected because they each raised $150,000 from contributors; and iii) that a sixth candidate, Walter Moore, deposited $100,000 of his own money into his campaign, but was excluded because he did not raise $150,000 from third parties.
You should, of course, not jump to any conclusions based on the foregoing information or the filing of a lawsuit. The defendants are entitled to explain their side of the story, and to try to justify their decision to exclude me from the debates. We'll leave it to the Court to decide who's right. In the meantime, however, I wanted you to know that I am taking action to protect my rights as a candidate, and your rights as voters, to a full and fair debate, not a debate limited to candidates who have raised $150,000 from donors.
And, though some of you will doubtless have many questions about the litigation, please don't bombard me with them. I generally never comment on pending litigation. I only made an exception for this e-mail because this particular lawsuit involves the public interest, and because I want you to know I am fighting for what I believe is right. I will keep you posted on the lawsuit as events develop.