Some Necessary Reform, More Needed

FPPC looks to clean up the initiative gathering money bonanza

by Brian Leubitz

It was rule-making week over at the FPPC, and they served up a few rules of note. Starting with something on the initiative front:

The people who pay for petition drives in support of statewide ballot measures can no longer hide their identity, thanks to a regulation adopted by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission on Thursday.(SDUT)

Anybody who drops more than $100K on signature gathering, which won’t really get you too far these days, must now report.

On another front, political committees that send out emails must now identify themselves. It seems shocking that this wasn’t the case before, but apparently a few tricksters sent out an email last cycle signed only as “The Hardy Boys” and “Nancy Drew”. Cute.

There is still much work to be done on initiative reform. For most folks who sign the form, the last thing they are going to think to do is look at Cal-Access to see who is paying the gatherers. But, baby steps forward are better than no steps.

3 thoughts on “Some Necessary Reform, More Needed”

  1. Good stuff, thanks Brian . . . bookmarked and also the CalAccess is bookmarked. Very valuable resource there, needs to be spread about. Posted this article to my FB wall to share.  

  2. But what is really needed is for signature gatherers to have to reveal who is paying them when they present the form for signature.

    How you deal with front groups (“Citizens for Babies and Kittens!, LLC”) used for cover is left as an exercise for the reader.

  3. Any signatures that utilize paid gatherers should be disallowed.

    This would rightly kill the industrialization of the initiative process.

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