From: Walter Moore, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles.

January 11, 2005

To: Noah Modisett and the Steering Committee of the Citywide Alliance of Neighborhood Councils.

Dear Mr.  Modisett:

The City Attorney has stated, with respect to debates sponsored by neighborhood councils, "With any format, all candidates for that race must be invited with sufficient notice." 

You can read his
opinion letter at the DONE website.  The letter includes the following passage, which is quite instructive: 

Neighborhood councils may wish to provide a forum for candidates to provide information to voters. However, there are various laws including the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, California Penal Code 424, 524 and court decisions that limit or otherwise restrict the use of public resources in relation to election matters..

The California Supreme Court in Stanson v. Mott (1976) 17 Cal.3d 206 at 217 provided the general guiding principle prohibiting the use of public funds and resources in election matters: "A fundamental precept of this nation's democratic electoral process is that the government may not 'take sides' in election contests or bestow an unfair advantage on one of several competing factions. A principal danger feared by our country's founders lay in the possibility that the holders of governmental authority would use official power improperly to perpetuate themselves, or their allies, in office [citations]; the selective use of public funds in election campaigns, of course, raises  specter of just such an improper distortion of the democratic electoral process."

Accordingly, please consult with your group and confirm in writing that, in conformity with the law, you will include me along with the other candidates in the televised mayoral debates.  For what it's worth, you should consider this a formal legal demand for same, not a mere request.  As per the City Attorney, I have a right to be included in the debate.  And, as a business trial lawyer with 20 years' experience, I generally protect my rights where, as here, they're important.  But I'm confident that you and everyone associated with the debate want to do the right thing anyway.

Thanks in advance for including me in the debate.  You won't be sorry. Indeed, if you visit my website,, and click on the "What's New?" link (
or click here), you can see the un-televised debate between Alarcon, Hertzberg, Parks, Villaraigosa and me.

Walter Moore
L.A.'s Next Mayor
Mayor4U Committee, P.O. Box 45705, L.A. CA 90045