Candidate loses fight to be called a ‘peace activist’

The Associated Press
Friday September 15, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A judge refused Wednesday to allow a Santa Monica City Council candidate to list himself on the November ballot as a “peace activist” but urged him to appeal for a definitive ruling. 

“I want to see this issue get to the 9th Circuit (Court of Appeals) as quickly as possible,” U.S. District Judge J. Spencer Letts said in denying Jerry Rubin’s request for a preliminary injunction against the city of Santa Monica. 

State law requires that candidates be identified on the ballot only by their profession, occupation or vocation, specifically barring the term activist. 

But Rubin, 56, argued that peace activist is really the only job he has. 

He is running for one of four open seats on the seven-member council. 

Rubin’s attorney, James Fossbinder, said the state law is unconstitutional, adding he plans to file an appeal Thursday seeking an emergency ruling. 

That may not be soon enough to help Rubin. Deputy City Attorney Cara E. Silver said Wednesday was the deadline to submit the city’s Nov. 7 ballot to Los Angeles County printers. 

Rubin says he has spent the last 20 years working full-time as a peace activist. He has marched on Washington, done 25 peace-related fasts and vehemently opposed the manufacture and sale of war toys, among other causes. 

As director of Los Angeles Alliance for Survival, he exists and operates the peace group on about $12,000 annually. 

He is listed in the telephone directory as Jerry “Peace Activist” Rubin because of confusion years ago with Jerry Rubin, the late Chicago Seven defendant.