I’m no fan of the current con-con initiative that’s being circulated, but if this is true, it is deeply troubling:
Repair California, the Bay Area-based business group behind two initiatives that would convene a Constitutional Convention, has accused five firms of blacklisting their petitions, shouting down their volunteers, destroying valid signatures and intentionally submitting fake signatures.
“We have had hundreds of reports from all over the state,” said Repair California spokesman John Grubb. “I even received a death threat.”
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But The Economist magazine quoted Fred Kimball, owner of Kimball Petition Management, in its online edition, saying he opposed the Constitutional Convention measures and was blacklisting signature-gatherers who carried those petitions. Most are contract workers who carry multiple petitions.
The industry leaders fear a Constitutional Convention could result in reforms or the elimination of the initiative process that would hurt their business. (CoCoTimes)
Even if you are highly motivated, have great grassroots and financial networks, it is now exceedingly difficult to qualify an initiative without using paid gatherers. If the firms are blacklisting your petition and not allowing people they pay to carry yours, it is nearly impossible.
And this right here is the long-awaited logical conclusion of where the initiative process has taken us. Now not only does money play the most important role in initiatives (see PG&E’s Prop 16), but the signature gatherers are now acting as a gatekeeper for innitiatives they don’t like.
The process is now clearly morally and politically bankrupt. If ever there was a reason to fix the initiative system, look for this as Exhibit One.