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SideBar Welcomes Drew Liebert and Jonathan Mehta Stein of The California Institute for Technology and Democracy (CITED)

Drew Liebert, CITED Institute Director

Jonathan Mehta Stein, CITED, Chair

SideBar on Legal Talk Network

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CITED provides policymakers, the press, and the public with impartial expertise for AI regulation applied to campaign communication and election integrity.

Disinformation and deepfakes, accelerated by AI, pose an existential threat to our democracy and elections, and as a country, we are simply not ready.”
— Drew Liebert, Institute Director, CITED
MONTEREY, CA, UNITED STATES, December 4, 2023 / -- SideBar podcast on The Legal Talk Network welcomes Drew Liebert and Jonathan Mehta Stein to discuss the fight against digital threats to democracy. Liebert is the Institute Director of the newly formed California Institute for Technology and Democracy (CITED), a program of California Common Cause. Stein is Chair of CITED and the Executive Director of California Common Cause.

Mitch Winick, cohost of SideBar explained that as an organization, “CITED is focused on the issues that many of our previous SideBar guests have discussed, such as protecting democracy, maintaining free and fair elections, supporting voting rights, protecting free speech, and encouraging engagement in the election process. Specifically, the laws and regulatory protections related to the various applications of AI either do not exist or are quickly becoming outdated. Nowhere has this raised greater concerns than in the risk of misinformation, deep fakes, and digitally altered or created election and campaign information. This is of particular concern as we are within 12 months of the 2024 national elections.”

“Disinformation and deepfakes, accelerated by AI, pose an existential threat to our democracy and elections, and as a country, we are simply not ready,” says Liebert. However, “while California has the opportunity and know-how to step into the leadership void left by a gridlocked Congress on this subject, Sacramento currently has no one to turn to on bills that regulate tech and social media platforms other than the tech industry's trade associations and lobbyists. CITED will supply California policymakers, press, and public at large with critical impartial expertise related to AI regulation as it applies to campaign communication and election integrity,” added Stein.

Cohost Jackie Gardina noted that “Policy advances in California have frequently served as a model for other states and Washington DC and have actually driven nationwide policies. It seems appropriate to discuss how this type of policy development is being showcased in California, the home of Silicon Valley and so much of the nation’s tech innovation.”

As the Institute Director of CITED, Liebert brings over 25 years of experience as one of the California Legislature’s most senior staff attorneys. He has worked in both the State Senate and Assembly where he has advised state legislators about virtually all areas of the state’s civil justice system, including many bill proposals involving the technology innovation sector.

Stein serves as the Chair of CITED and as the Executive Director of California Common Cause, a nonpartisan group that works to create an open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest and empowers people to make their voices heard in the political process. Stein is a civil rights attorney and long-time advocate for achieving and protecting voting rights, particularly for disenfranchised communities.

To listen to CITED’s Liebert and Stein SideBar episode with law deans Jackie Gardina and Mitch Winick, hear previous episodes, read our blog, learn about future guests, and to contact the co-hosts with ideas, comments, or questions, go to For more information about The California Institute for Technology and Democracy, go to

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