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Tuesday March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Party Committee

Democratic Party County Central Committee — Democratic PartyCandidate for Member, Assembly District 74

Photo of Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler

17,451 votes (9.3%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Continue serving DPOC goals: Recruit/elect at all levels inspiring Dems aligned to fine progressive CDP Platform. Raise $$, budget to pay top staff, rent, events & aid nominees. Register & GOTV. Pick wise DPOC officers. Back smart resolutions & bills
  • Dems honor Rule-of-Law, key to democracy. DPOC's "R-o-L" is Bylaws & processes. As Parliamentarian continue advice for fair meetings that honor rights of all & efficient majority action. Clarify Bylaws to let club speak on local race when DPOC punts.
  • On huge issues (climate, healthcare, choice, equality, justice, housing, voting rights, $$-in-politics, immigration, etc) mbrs’ progressive views mostly align (see mine below). They don’t arise often at DPOC; let’s speak on those wisely as need be.



Profession:Citizen-advocacy leader, fmr constitut'l litigator
Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County District Attorney (1980–1983)
Senior Environmental Attorney, Nat'l Health & Environmental Law Program (legal services "backup center" at UCLA Law School) (1975–1978)
Executive Director; director of law students constitut'l litigation clinic, Public Counsel (public interest law office "test-case" litigation) (1975–1978)
Associate, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton (big NYC law firm) (1968–1971)
Law Clerk, Calif. Supreme Court Justice Mathew O. Tobriner (1966–1968)


Yale Law School Ll.B., J.D., Law Journal (law review), typical law courses (1966)
Harvard B.A. cum laude, government, constitutional law, international relations (1961)


    I'll limit this to some political biography & organizing, focused on issues & legislative advocacy; those determine the candidates I support.  Being totally honest, not falsely-modest:

    Overall: Skills & experience unique among C.C. candidates, important to DPOC, supporting re-election to a 3rd term (after 4 yrs as an Alternate) include: Unequalled expertise in DPOC's "Rule-of-Law" (multi-source procedural law) and in grassroots advocacy on Calif. & national legislation.

    Democratic Party of Orange Co. Central Cmte ("DPOC" "C.C."):  Valuable hard-working C.C. Elected 2012-20, Alternate 2009-12.  DPOC’s Parliamentarian 2015-20 (for some periods Acting Parliamentarian). Executive Committee Member, 2017-20 (C.C.-Mbr-elected); Alternate 2013-16 (C.C.-Mbr-elected). Standing Committees 2009-20: Bylaws/Rules, Resolutions, Legislative.  Meetings rarely missed.  Respected editor/draftsman.  Experienced “institutional memory.”  C.C. re-election well-earned.

    Calif. Democratic Party ("CDP"): Delegate 2008-19 (appointed by DPOC C.C.).  ADEM-elected Delegate 2008-11.  Progressive, Environmental, Veterans & Seniors Caucuses member 2008-20.

    Parliamentary law teacher 2014-20 as V.P., Robert's Rules Study Club (formerly O.C. Parliamentarians Ass'n); plus unexcelled grounding in DPOC/CDP Bylaws/Rules, Election Code & caselaw (DPOC’s “Rule-of-Law” is all those)  Purpose: Efficient democratic action at meetings; protect rights of individuals (to be heard, etc.) and the body (majority to decide, etc.).

    Laguna Woods Democratic Club ("LWDC"): Legislative Action Committee Chair 2005-20 (and same position for a 2d big 400-mbr progressive club in Laguna Woods, "Concerned Citizens"): I research, prioritize, advise Board, draft, and present actions (petitions, letters, postcards) on key issues: E.g. on impeachment, $$-in-politics, gerrymandering, election protection, voter suppression, voting rights, healthcare, gun safety, immigration, climate change, peace, income inequality, entitlements, tax giveaways, $$-bail, many more.  7 meetings, 2-4 issues/month, for 15 years: About 450 total actions.  Impeachment talks: to Dem clubs & other progressive groups, on history, Founders’ writings, prior impeachments' precedent, current politics. World-class expertise on impeachment, frankly.  Unsurpassed as “legislative nerd”?

    Raised as NYC liberal Dem; at ages 11 and 15 raised money for Adlai Stevenson. 1960: Press/publicity work for Adlai at National Student Mock Democratic Convention.

    1968-71: Co-founder, officer, director, Council of NY Law Associates (pro bono services); Chaired its Civil Liberties/Civil Rights section. Co-founded Wall St. Moratorium (anti-Vietnam War lawyers, bankers). Organized, led research team widely credited with defeating Nixon’s Supreme Ct. nominee G. Harrold Carswell. Delegate, researcher, speech writer for John V. Lindsay for Democratic Presidential nomination. Consultant, NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund (helped brief landmark Supreme Ct. case Furman v. Georgia, stopping death penalty for years).

    1972-73: Senior Environmental Att'y, Nat'l Health & Environmantal Law Project at UCLA Law School. Nationwide support of legal services lawyers litigating poor clients’ environm'l issues. Helped then-Councilman Tom Bradley end L.A.’s partnership in Four Corners coal power plant.

    1975-78: Executive Director, Public Counsel (public interest law office "test-case" litigation): Conceived, briefed, argued & won landmark Calif. Supreme Ct. Wheeler case ending discriminatory peremptory juror challenges. Taught constitutional litigation clinic; many other test cases, included ending L.A. Sheriff bugging att'y-client meetings, and involuntary servitude by involuntarily-committed mental patients.

    1980-83: Facilitator, End Hunger Event;  chaired writers of End Hunger Televent.

    1984-2005: Leader, member, L.A./O.C. RESULTS chapters (the leading advocacy group for the world’s  poorest people; many amazing successes lobbying Congress).

    2006-20: South O.C. Coordinator, Calif. Clean Money Campaign, Move-to-Amend (U.S. Constitution to overrule Citizens United doctrines), Represent.Us (to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act). Member, Progressive Democrats of America, Democracy for America, Money-Out, Voters-InNeed-to-Impeach.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Katie Porter, US Rep CD45 (thanks much, even more since I DIDN'T ASK, was surprised when you said "I'm endorsing you"!)
  • DPOC Chair Ada Briceño, Dem Nat'l Cmte mbr candidate, Nicaragua war refugee, rose to co-Pres UNITE HERE Local 11. Thanks
  • Thank you Dave Min, State Senate candidate in SD37, fmr Congressional candidate in CD45, UC Irvine Law School Professor

Organizations (1)

  • Laguna Woods Democratic Club, Board of Directors

Elected Officials (7)

  • Shari Horne, Mayor Pro Tem, Laguna Woods: "I can’t think of anyone better." "Unexcelled 'legislative action nerd'."
  • Dr. Jose F. Moreno, Anaheim Councilmbr, fmr Mayor Pro Tem, Pres. of O.C. Los Amigos, CSULB Chicano & Latino Studies Prof
  • Thank you Jeff LeTourneau, longtime Vice Chair, DPOC; Co-Chair of Resolutions and of Bylaws/Rules Cmtes
  • Victor Valladares, Vice Chair, Democratic Party of Orange Co.
  • "Unique valued contributions to bylaws, resolutions, and legislation earn re-election.” –DPOC Vice Chair Annie Wright
  • Florice Hoffman, (elected) Calif. Dem. Party Region 17 Director, & as DPOC Treasurer; DPOC Executive & Bylaws Cmtes mbr
  • Luis Aleman, (elected) Secretary of the Democratic Party of Orange County

Individuals (15)

  • Linda Nearing, President of Laguna Woods Democratic Club ("LWDC")
  • Jim Pantone, longtime DPOC elected mbr of Central Cmte, Executive & Bylaws/Rules Cmtes; O.C. Bar & Trial Lawyers leader
  • Susan Dearing, DPOC Director of Clubs, 1st V.P. of Laguna Woods Democratic Club ("LWDC"); and 2nd V.P. Rebeca Gilad
  • Dr. Bill is also DPOC fmr Outeach Chair; PDA (Progressive Dems of America) Nat'l Outreach Lead, CA coord'r, OC Chptr Ldr
  • Dr. Bill Honigman, CDP Senior Caucus Vice Chair; Physicians for Nat'l Health Plan CA Strg Cmte; Healthy CA Now org'l rep
  • Tim Burns, 74th-ADEM-elected CDP Delegate, OC Justice Fund Brd mbr, LW Dem Club Legislative Action Cmte mbr (I chair it)
  • Margaret Pearlman, Past President of Concerned Citizens, L.W. Dem Club's Legislative Action Cmte member (I'm its chair)
  • "I support your run ... your knowledge and history is valuable. ... I value your work." --DPOC Vice Chair Betty Valencia
  • Vern Nelson and Greg Diamond, Orange Juice Blog principal writers
  • Fran Sdao and Henry Vandermeir, last 2 prior DPOC Chairs; and Diana Carey and Monika Broome, 2 prior DPOC Vice Chairs
  • DPOC Alternate Allan Feldman, Secretary, Laguna Woods Democratic Club; and LWDC Treasurer / Budget Chair Pat Leftwich
  • LW Dem Club Outreach Chair Jeanne Lepowsky; Legislative Action Cmte (I chair it) mbrs Joel Goldstein and Frank Mulvaney
  • DPOC Associate (club rep) Heide Krueger, Special Director of LW Dem Club; and L.W.D.C. Campaign/GOTV Chair Jeanette Peck
  • Carina Franck Pantone, Co-Chair, DPOC Resolutions Cmte; and Ken Wyant, DPOC Executive Cmte & Bylaws/Rules Cmte member
  • Fmr 2nd VP Anne Pearson, fmr Membership Chair Janet Means, and current Outreach Chair Jeanne Lepowsky, of L.W. Dem Club

Who gave money to this candidate?


More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

    I'll "shorthand" this:

    I support most issue positions of Sens. Bernie S, Eliz. Warren, Barbara Boxer, Cory Booker on mass incarceration, Patrick Leahy re reviving Voting Rts Act vs. voter-suppression, Sherrod Brown re workers' rts, Sheldon Whitehouse on climate change & carbon fee/100%-refundable dividend & DISCLOSE Act re $$-in-campaigns, Murphy-Blumenthal-DiFi on gun safety/background check/assault weapons ban, Tom Udall re For-the-People Act (identical to HR1, huge democracy-protection anti-corruption bill), Klobuchar re election security & re-districting reform vs. gerrymandering, and Green New Deal co-sponsors.

    I also support most issue positions of Robert Reich, Lawrence Lessig, Bill Moyers, Robert Scheer, Rachel Maddow & Lawrence O'Donnell;  Calif. Clean Money Campaign, Move-to-Amend, Need-to-Impeach, CDP's Progressive Caucus, and Money-Out/Voters-In;  and re Impeachment & all cases in SCotUS, Prof. Larry Tribe (my fmr co-law-clerk at Calif. Supreme Ct.) and Neal Katyal.

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