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Dan Schnur

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Dan Schnur
Dan Schnur.jpg
California Secretary of State
Former Candidate
Partyindependent
Elections and appointments
Last electionJune 3, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sAmerican University
Personal
Place of birthMilwaukee, Wisconsin
ProfessionEducator, communications specialist
Websites
Personal website
Campaign website
Dan Schnur was a No Party Preference candidate for California Secretary of State in the 2014 election.[1][2] He sought one of two possible nominations in the blanket primary on June 3, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

A former GOP political consultant, Schnur switched his party affiliation from Republican to "No Party Preference" in 2011.[3][1]

Biography

Schnur is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds a degree from American University.[3]

Schnur is the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California. He also works as an Adjunct Professor at Berkeley. As an educator, Schnur's repertoire of subjects includes political communications, leadership and California public policy. In addition to his teaching work, Schnur previously served as Chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission.[3]

Schnur managed former Major League Baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth's 2003 gubernatorial campaign and was chief media spokesman for Pete Wilson during his tenure as California Governor. Schnur's professional campaign talents have also been enlisted on the presidential level; He was hired by the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and John McCain (in 2000) in the role of communications specialist. [3]

Elections


Dan Schnur for California Secretary of State 2014 - Posted to YouTube 4/8/214

2014

See also: California secretary of state election, 2014

Schnur ran as a No Party Preference candidate for election to the office of California Secretary of State.[1][4] He sought one of two possible nominations in the June 3 blanket primary. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

California Secretary of State, Blanket Primary, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Derek Cressman 7.6% 306,375
     Democratic Jeff Drobman 4.4% 178,521
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAlex Padilla 30.2% 1,217,371
     Democratic Leland Yee 9.4% 380,361
     Republican Roy Allmond 6.4% 256,668
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPete Peterson 29.6% 1,194,715
     Green David Curtis 3% 121,618
     Nonpartisan Dan Schnur 9.4% 379,898
Total Votes 4,035,527
Election Results California Secretary of State.

Race background

Outgoing California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D) is is prevented by term limits from running for re-election in 2014. Eight candidates filed for the open seat in the June 3 primary. Democrat Alex Padilla and Republican Pete Peterson received the highest number of primary votes. They will face off in the November 4 general election for the chance to succeed Bowen as California's chief elections official.

Top-two primary

One of the key issues of the 2014 secretary of state race has been the signature and filing requirements for minor party candidates under California's top-two primary system. Under new qualifications implemented with the top-two primary system, minor party candidates must collect 10,000 signatures to waive a filing fee equal to two percent of the first year's salary for state offices or one percent for members of Congress. Prior to implementing the top-two system, the number of signatures required to waive that fee was 150, so most minor parties opted to file petitions.

After launching their campaigns for California Secretary of State, California State Senator Alex Padilla (D) and ex-state Sen. Leland Yee, who ultimately had to withdraw from the race after he was arrested in March 2014, expressed concerns about ballot access limitations for minor parties under the top-two primary system. Then-Senator Yee opposed the top-two system since it was originally proposed on the ballot, and Senator Padilla said his office was looking into legislative solutions.[5][6] Green Party candidate David Scott Curtis campaigned against the top-two system while independent candidate Dan Schnur, who will be designated "no party preference" on the ballot since California’s Proposition 14 took away candidates' "independent" label option, is in favor of it. Democrat Derek Cressman openly opposes the system but has not focused on the issue during his campaign.

Also in the race, Democrat Jeff Drobman and two Republicans, Pete Peterson and Roy Allmond, had not made their stances on the top-two system known as of April 2014.

Candidates excluded from debate

A California non-profit association called the Sacramento Press Club incited the ire of Green Party candidate David Scott Curtis after failing to invite him and two other 2014 secretary of state candidates to participate in an April 23 debate.[7] With seven candidates in the running, the Sacramento Press Club said they wanted to restrict the size of the event by only including "top contenders in a crowded field," whom they determined to be Pete Peterson (R), state Sen. Alex Padilla (D), Dan Schnur (I) and Derek Cressman (D). By the time Curtis learned of his exclusion, back-to-back Field Polls had been released showing Curtis ahead of both Schnur and Cressman, two of these presumed "top contenders." Absent an immediate explanation and/or apology from the Sacramento Press Club, Curtis used social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to broadcast his outrage over what he considered a conspicuous display of political bias by the tax-exempt organization, into which Curtis subsequently filed an IRS investigation request.[8] Amid what a press club representative characterized as Curtis' "tirade of insulting and threatening social media posts" against the organization, the Green Party hopeful questioned what such demonstrable selectivity means for the state of 'journalism,' thus prompting recognition of his snub's contextual significance. At this stage of the primary election season, political media-affiliated individuals and organizations were already cited for their marked presence and potential influence in the secretary of state open seat race. For example, Schnur is known for furnishing the Capitol press, whose members make up a large portion of the Sacramento Press Club, with sound bites and other material. Schnur was one of the two candidates to receive invitations to the debate hosted by the press club despite trailing Curtis in the polls. Joe Mathews, the California editor at Zocalo Public Square, wrote, “Of course, I’m for Dan Schnur for Secretary of State. I’m in the media, and he’s our candidate...He’s the favored candidate of our state’s political media, which feeds us polls and old, bogus narratives about the state.”[7] Meanwhile, Northern California's chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists honored ex-state Sen. and candidate Leland Yee with its Public Official Award shortly before Yee's arrest forced him to exit the race.[7]

Yee Arrest

On March 26, 2014, Democratic candidate Leland Yee was arraigned on seven charges of corruption and firearms trafficking. Yee, along with 25 others, was involved in an FBI operation to uncover those suspected of illegal activities involving drugs, guns and arranging murder for hire. If convicted, Yee would face up to 20 years in a federal prison. He was released on a $500,000 unsecured bond. Yee's alleged illegal activities stemmed from his debt acquired in a failed run for San Francisco mayor in 2011 and money raised for the Secretary of State race. Authorities believe Yee accepted money for official actions performed while in office. These actions included urging an agency to accept a software contract from a specific vendor in exchange for $10,000, writing a Senate proclamation to honor the Chee Kung Tong group for $6,800 and introducing a medical marijuana businessman to state legislators working on the issue for $21,000. Unknown to Yee, all of these paying contacts were undercover agents. In other attempts to raise money, Yee allegedly promised to help other undercover agents obtain illegal guns from an international arms dealer. [9]

Despite no longer being in the race, Yee's name remained on the primary ballot. This is due to an election rule--scarcely seen outside California--barring candidates from withdrawing their names from the ballot after they file.

Endorsements

Schnur's campaign has been endorsed by the Editorial Boards of The Sacramento Bee, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Bakersfield Californian.[10][11][12]

Polls

California Secretary of State
Poll Derek Cressman (D) Alex Padilla (D)Pete Peterson (R)Dan Schnur (NPP)David Scott Curtis (G)Leland Yee (D)OtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
The Field Poll (with Yee)
March 18-April 5, 2014
3%10%27%4%4%8%1%44%+/-6.5212
The Field Poll (without Yee)
March 18-April 5, 2014
2%17%30%4%5%0%0%41%+/-5.5292
AVERAGES 2.5% 13.5% 28.5% 4% 4.5% 4% 0.5% 42.5% +/-6 252
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


Personal

Schnur is married to Cecile Ablack, a consultant and former U.S. Department of Commerce Director under President Clinton. Schnur and Ablack have two children together, Rob and Tessa.[3]

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See also

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References