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RECALL: Decision doesn’t help other campaigns

Letter by Jeffrey Helsdon, Fircrest on Nov. 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm | No Comments »
November 20, 2012 2:25 pm

I read with interest your editorial, “The right of recall wins – too late to remove Washam” (TNT, 11-20), in reference to Judge Robert Bryan’s finding that the limit on contributions to a recall campaign violates the First Amendment.

I only wish that Bryan’s decision would have made the path much easier to “pry a loon out of office.” Unfortunately, he held the statute unconstitutional only as applied to the Washam case, writing that there was no need to find the statute unconstitutional on its face. Therefore, the decision is not binding on other recalls.

Bryan’s decision is illogical. All facially unconstitutional statutes are, a priori, unconstitutional as applied to the litigants. Not all statutes that are unconstitutional as applied are facially unconstitutional. The necessary implication of going through the analysis in the reverse sequence that he took and stopping at an “as applied” finding is that no statute would ever be held to be facially unconstitutional.

We have appealed Bryan’s decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to obtain a holding on the facial unconstitutionality of the statute.

Pacific Mayor Cy Sun spends huge amounts of money on his recall lawyers (in violation of the contribution limit, which purports to limit him as well) while the Cy Sun Recall Committee is limited to the $900 per contributor limit. The recall committee filed a complaint with the PDC, as Sun has not filed a single scrap of paper with them, and they have done nothing.

In the meantime, Rome burns.

(Helsdon is one of two attorneys who advised the campaign to recall Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam.)

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