Before leaving this spring for a 12-month military deployment in Afghanistan, Assemblyman Jeff Gorell told me he had put together a "three-part plan" to make it possible for him to become a candidate for re-election next year.
Option A -- the one that creates the least stress and hassle for Gorell -- is now available, thanks to an act of the Legislature.
Here was the problem: Gorell will not return from active duty until after the early March deadline for candidates to file for office in 2012 has passed. Under current law, only the candidate can submit the completed paperwork to county elections officials. Had that law not changed, Gorell would have been forced to either use his one personal leave to return to California to file the paperwork, or would have had to fly a notary public notarized in California to Afghanistan to he could have his signature on the papers notarized.
Effective Jan. 1, there will be an easier option, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this summer. The law allows perspective candidates who are are deployed on active military service outside the state to grant limited power of attorney to another party to file their candidate papers.
The law (AB 754) was authored by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, who is a friend of Gorell's from their days working in former Gov. Pete Wilson's administration and a former reservist himself. The law is narrowly crafted and is modeled on earlier legislation which granted military personnel serving outside the state to grant a limited power of attorney to someone else to sign a marriage certificate. It passed both houses of the Legislaure without a dissenting vote.
Gorell has announced plans to seek re-election in the new 44th Assembly District, which includes Oxnard, Camarillo and Thousand Oaks