Jon Fleischman

Jon is the elected Vice Chairman, South of the California Republican Party.

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*Breaking News* GOP AG Candidate Eastman Files As 'Assistant Attorney General'


by Jon Fleischman - Publisher (bio) (email)(print)

3-17-2010 2:23 pm
Today conservative leader and attorney John Eastman formally filed his candidacy for State Attorney General.  This is not unexpected as Eastman has been running hard for the office since jumping into the primary earlier this year.

But we have learned that Eastman's candidacy will be getting a significant boost from his ballot designation.  Up until recently, Eastman has been the Dean of Chapman University's School of Law (ironically, in that role he was the "boss" of U.S. Senate candidate Tom Campbell, who is teaching there right now).  But with Eastman having stepped down from that role, what IS he doing for an income?

Eastman is an ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL (and has filed his ballot designation as such). 

But wait, before you ask whether Eastman has been appointed by California Attorney General Jerry Brown, let me assure you that he most definitely has not.  It turns out that Eastman's primary source of income is now a legal case in South Dakota, where he is representing the State in a case before the United States Supreme Court.  In this capacity, Eastman was appointed as an Assistant Attorney General by South Dakota Attorney General Marty J. Jackley.

Attached is the official appointment form designating Eastman as an Assistant Attorney General.  Below is the rationale for use of this title, provided by the Eastman campaign...

We'll get to more analysis later on, but assuming that his ballot designation is upheld by a judge on the invariable court challenge, it will REALLY help Eastman.  Especially given that none of the GOP candidates for Attorney General are going to have the big bucks necessary to run statewide television campaigns (certainly not one that will break through the noise of the Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races)...

Ballot Designation Worksheet

1.      Assistant Attorney General

Background and Substantiation

I resigned as Dean of the Chapman University School of Law on January 28, 2010, and am currently on a reduced teaching load, to be followed by a sabbatical, as is common in academia after stepping down from an administrative post. On February 23, 2010, I was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General by South Dakota Attorney General Marty J. Jackley to represent the state before the Supreme Court of the United States in Reisch v. Sisney, No. 09-953.  Attached is the appointment certification.  Under South Dakota Codified Law 1-11-5, the South Dakota Attorney General is "authorized to appoint assistant attorneys general as he may deem necessary on a part-time basis for special assignments." (Emphasis added).

As Assistant Attorney General, I have been appointed to represent the state in all matters relative to Reisch v. Sisney.  My work as Assistant Attorney General has included substantial activity to seek certiorari of Reisch by the Supreme Court of the United States researching, writing, and overseeing the preparation of the petition filed in this case.  (My work on the petition began in November 2009, prior to the formal appointment on February 23, 2010.)  I will expend substantial time on this case over the balance of this month and next to review the opposition to the petition and prepare the state's reply brief.

My work as Assistant Attorney General constitutes a principal profession and occupation within the meaning of Elections Code Section 13107(a)(3). My work as Assistant Attorney General has been the primary professional activity since my resignation as Dean from Chapman.  Pursuant to the terms of my retainer agreement, I will be paid $20,000 for researching and writing the Petition for Certiorari and representing the state in submitting a reply to opposing briefs. My work has constituted one of my primary, main and leading endeavors since I was retained and ultimately appointed Assistant Attorney General. Should the Supreme Court grant certiorari, I will expend significant effort preparing the briefing on the merits and preparing for and conducting oral argument.  I anticipate I would bill the state at least an additional $100,000 for such additional work.  Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey P. Hallem can verify these matters.  His contact information appears on the attached appointment materials.

In sum, my appointment as an Assistant Attorney General is expressly authorized by statute, I was duly appointed to this position, the position represents my primary professional occupation since January 28, 2010 and the ballot designation of Assistant Attorney General is literally accurate and is the most accurate description given Section 13107(a)(3)'s three-word limitation.

     Special Assistant AG Appointment Documentation

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Wow, that seems misleading and sketchy.

Very misleading! Eastman has lost my vote!

"Misleading"? "Sketchy"???

"Technically accurate" IS accurate!
What would you prefer? "Former dean", "Itinerant speech maker", "unemployed attorney"???

It is misleading PERIOD.

Stop defending the phrase "technically accurate" and making excuses for the man!

Mr. Eastman is commonly known as former Dean at Chapman Law!

How can it be "misleading" if it is the truth?

Eastman IS currently employed as an Assistant Attorney General. Truth. No excuses, just a fact.

"Former Dean" and current AAG are both true; I'll bet that if Eastman didn't make it known that he is currently an Asst. Atty. Gen. there are people who would take shots at him for "hiding" that fact.

Seems to me that your overreaction to this hints at some hidden agenda on your part...

By the way, although I do support and endorse Eastman, I acknowledge that Cooley is also a good choice, and I will fully support whomever our nominee is in the General Election.

By using the designation of Assistant Attorney General, Eastman has put himself afoul of the the Hatch Act -- a non-elected enmployee of an agency which takes federal funds (S.Dakota does) cannot be a candidate for partisan office. Eastman needs a good attorney, wait isn't that what he was supposed to be?

Allen, you should read the ballot designation laws and rules before your offering your opinion. They very clearly state a strong preference not to use a former occupation, especially in the case that you have a new occupation.

John Eastman spends a substantial amount of his professional time and receives a substantial amount of his professional income as an Assistant Attorney General. That is the standard by which ballot designations are chosen.

Since you are supporting another candidate, it appears, one might understand why you don't like this ballot designation. But if you are going to try to explain a legal basis for your statements, you should know the law.

Jeff Flint
Campaign consultant for John Eastman

With regard to Kevin Ready's comments about the Hatch Act, John is not an employee of the State of South Dakota nor the federal government, he is a contacted outside lawyer. South Dakota's laws require the designation of such outside counsel as Assistant Attorneys General. That does not make them employees. The Hatch Act does not apply.

With regard to comments about John's legal ability, that laughable and not really worth responding to. But obviously, in this case in point, a potentially landmark case dealing with states' rights and federal mandates, South Dakota hired a really good attorney, who has Clerked for Clarence Thomas, who has appeared dozens of times before Appellate and Supreme Courts on serious constitutional law questions. Questioning John's legal talent undermines any credibility you have.


For the record: I am not supporting any candidate for Attorney General in the GOP Primary.

However, I will let my view known on June 8th and that will be between me and the ballot!

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