It looks like The People’s Reporter has two more assignments to complete today, so here we go:

Assignment: “How is it possible?” said: “Here’s another assignment for you, Andrew: How is it possible that James Hartline could be running for City Council, in District 3, when he is a multiple convicted felon, who spent many years in prison? Thank you.”

First, for some background, read this in-depth profile of Hartline by former and San Diego CityBeat reporter Dan Strumpf.

Second, I haven’t done any original research on whether Hartline is an actual felon, so this answer is just geared toward the basic question of whether a felon in general could run for San Diego City Council.

I checked with the Ethics Commission and the City Clerk and neither knew, but made it clear that this was something that fell under the purview of the City Attorney’s Office. I have a call into the elections person there for a final opinion, but I haven’t gotten a call back yet.

But here’s what I gather from my research: there is no problem with someone who’s been convicted of a crime running for office. Basically, the city’s requirement is that the candidate must live within the city boundaries. Beyond that, they just have to qualify as a voter under California’s laws, it seems.

And here’s what the state law says:

Who May Register to Vote
You may register to vote if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are a United States citizen
  • You are a resident of California
  • You are at least 18 years of age (or will be by the date of the next election)
  • You are not in prison or on parole for conviction of a felony
  • You have not been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent to register and vote

More specifically, this is from the FAQ on the Secretary of State’s website:

Question: Can an ex-felon register to vote and vote?
Answer: An ex-felon can register to vote and vote if he/she is not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.

Assignment: ChulaVistan asked: “Find out who paid for Cheryl Cox’s trips to Gaylord Hotels back east.”

Liz Pursell, spokeswoman for the city of Chula Vista, said Cheryl Cox did take a trip to Dallas for such a purpose, and that she paid for it herself. Pursell said Cox is very careful about issues like that. “She’s got the receipts,” she said.


Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.