Huntington Beach : Royce Asks Grand Jury to Investigate Ad Firm

State Sen. Edward R. Royce on Thursday asked the county grand jury to investigate a Huntington Beach advertising firm for allegedly violating the state elections code in connection with a controversial slate mailer that urged voters to reject Proposition 51.

The Anaheim Republican charged that Michael Mercier and Jim Corey of Pacific Ad Mail deliberately circulated a mailer before the June 3 primary that was "calculated to mislead" 2.5 million GOP voters into believing the Republican Party had endorsed an official slate of GOP candidates, in violation of state law.

Royce charged that Mercier and Corey failed to include a required "Notice to Voters" identifying the true sender of the mailer.

Further, he accused Pacific Ad Mail of trying to "lend credence to their dirty trick" by including names of prominent Republicans, like Gov. George Deukmejian, who were on record endorsing the so-called "deep pockets" initiative. Deukmejian has threatened legal action for use of his name without permission.

The initiative, which passed, was designed to limit a co-defendant's share of the damages awarded to a plaintiff for pain and suffering, restricting those costs to the individual defendant's actual share of blame.

"It is too late to reverse the damage done to those candidates who refused to be blackmailed into appearing on the mailer," Royce said Thursday. "It is not too late to bring the perpetrators of this deceptive mailing to justice."

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