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The political process is complicated – especially in California. Sanders Political Law has the knowledge and experience to help guide your political, legislative and governmental ideas into a reality. My practice focuses on providing clients plain-language legal counsel to decipher the complex laws and regulations that govern campaigns, ballot measures, PACs, lobbying and governmental ethics across all levels of government.

Campaign Compliance and Campaign Finance

California campaigns are subject to hundreds of laws and regulations which change all of the time.  Some rules come from state or federal laws, and others apply in specific cities or counties across the state.  It can be hard to understand how to navigate with winds blowing from so many different directions.  Whether you’re a business, trade association, union, nonprofit or just a normal person, we can be your general counsel and guide.  We are here to help you understand political process as you run for office, run independent expenditures or ballot measures, or just trying to make contributions to a cause you believe in. 

We also have relationships with experienced professionals who can prepare and file your campaign finance reports in any jurisdiction in the state, as well as around the country.

Ballot Measures and Referenda

Direct democracy is one of California’s greatest features, but its complex rules may make passing a ballot measure seem out of reach.  The rules for statewide initiatives look completely different than the rules in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, and each jurisdiction has traps meant to stop you from making change through the ballot box.  We know how to help you draft, qualify and pass your ballot measure, and achieve your legislative goals.  We can also challenge efforts on constitutional, statutory and procedural grounds – whether before a legislative body or in court.


Communicating with public officials should be easy.  It is not.  In California, dramatically different rules apply depending on whether you want to talk to an Assemblyperson, a Supervisor or a Councilperson.  We can help you guide your political goals to the right people in the right manner, as well as file your registrations and reports when necessary.

Ballot Litigation

One of the most surprising aspects of a campaign is how often a court gets involved with what does and does not go on the ballot.  We have the experience to represent candidates, committees or local jurisdictions in election and administrative law disputes.  Whether you are initiating or defending a lawsuit, we know the laws and the cases which dictate what can and cannot be printed as candidate designations, ballot arguments or candidate statements, and we have a record of success arguing cases regarding term limits, ballot ordering and other matters associated with candidates, ballot measures and other groups.

Governmental Ethics and Form 700

Public officials in California are subject to a number of rules which limit or prohibit their private activities.  We advise elected and appointed officials, public employees and others about conflict of interest law, revolving door, gift and other ethics laws.  We also advise public officials, employees and consultants regarding their obligations to file Statements of Economic Interests/Form 700, and the specific economic disclosures required.

Enforcement and Audits

We represent public officials, unions, businesses, trade associations and individuals in administrative enforcement actions in front of the Federal Elections Commission, the California Fair Political Practices Commission and every local ethics enforcement agency in the state.  Whether you are responding to an audit request from the Franchise Tax Board or need help in an investigation by an administrative enforcement body, we can help.

Education and Training

If you have a business engaging in the political process, or if you work for a local jurisdiction with dozens of Form 700 filers, then you likely have a team who needs to be on the same page about the rules and best practices of the political world.  We can provide trainings to your team in an easily digestible manner so that your employees can do their job the right way.

Voting Rights

We have a deep understanding of the Federal and California Voting Rights Acts, as well as California’s Fair Maps Act.  As redistricting takes place in California, we can be your resource to decipher, challenge or defend reapportionment efforts in your city or county.

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