On December 21, the San Diego County Republican Party, and other plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit in federal court against a San Diego city law that makes it illegal for political parties to contribute to campaigns of candidates running for city office. Here is the 29-page complaint, which also includes 39 pages of exhibits. The case is Thalheimer v City of San Diego, 09-cv-2862, southern district.
All city and county elections in California are non-partisan. However, in 1996 a U.S. District Court in California struck down a state law that made it illegal for political parties to endorse or support candidates in non-partisan elections. The 1996 case was California Democratic Party v Lundgren, 919 F.Supp. 1397.
The new San Diego lawsuit also challenges a ban on a candidate spending or raising money more than a year before the election. The individual candidate-plaintiff, Phil Thalheimer, points out that it is even illegal for him to spend his own money on his own potential campaign for city council in 2012.