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New Name May Stand as Ballot Label

October 17, 2003|Bob Pool | Times Staff Writer

A local Superior Court may soon do what the U.S. Supreme Court would not: force Santa Monica officials to place the words "peace activist" next to a veteran peace advocate's name on a future local election ballot.

Twice the city has refused to print the "peace activist" designation with Jerry Rubin's name when he unsuccessfully ran for a City Council seat. Election administrators contended that the phrase violated state rules that ban misleading occupational descriptions that can confuse voters.

Rubin sued in federal court after "peace activist" was rejected for a 2000 council election ballot. After losing at the district court and appeals court levels, he took his case to the Supreme Court in July.

The high court declined two weeks ago to hear the case, sending Rubin to the lower court.

So on Thursday he filed for a legal name change so that henceforth he will be known as "Jerry Peace Activist Rubin." A Santa Monica Superior Court hearing was scheduled for Dec. 11 to act on the request.

"That day's my birthday, the day I turn 60," Rubin said. "It's going to be my birthday present to myself."

For years Rubin has been listed in the local telephone book as "Jerry Peace Activist Rubin" to avoid confusion with another Jerry Rubin, the now-deceased political leftist who was among the so-called "Chicago Seven" charged with inciting rioting during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

According to Rubin, his three-year ballot-listing challenge was handled for free by Hawaii-based attorney James Fosbinder. But he said he had only $2.03 left in his savings account in June after he spent $1,600 to have his petition for a writ of certiorari printed and delivered to the Supreme Court. Thursday's filing cost $269.50 and will require him to pay for a published newspaper legal notice.

His intent is not to trick the city into printing "peace activist" on the ballot, Rubin said. Courts will not approve name changes sought for fraudulent purposes.

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