California adopts law against unauthorized ad inserts

CALIFORNIA – Unauthorized advertising does not have a home in the folds of Golden State newspapers anymore.

Starting in 1999, it will be a misdemeanor to put advertising or literature which has not been authorized by the publication into newspapers and distribute them.

The new provision, which was prompted by hate literature inserted by the Ku Klux Klan into several free California newspapers, was signed into law by Gov. Pete Wilson in September.

“We must fight against those groups who attempt to incite hate crimes by distributing race-baiting literature in our community papers,” Wilson told the Nando Times.

The legislation was introduced after Ku Klux Klan members picked up large numbers of free-distribution newspapers in Lodi, Stockton and Santa Rosa, inserted their own literature and then distributed the papers.

Because most college student newspapers are distributed for free, this new law could be of special significance to them.