Tag Archives: dirty trick initiative

Updated: Frankenstein Dirty Trick Initiative

Crystal Strait noted earlier that the dirty trick initiative appears to have some new life.  It is unclear quite how feasible it is for them to gather enough signatures to get it on the ballot, or if they really have the money to give it a shot.  The bottom line is that there are paid signature gatherers out there trying to get names.  The LAT Top of the Ticket blog has the latest information:

But in recent days, the state’s network of signature gatherers has been abuzz with talk that the initiative is not quite dead. GOP consultant Ed Rollins has told California backers of the measure that he has cash lined up, according to three sources reached by The Times. (Rollins did not immediately return phone calls.)

At this point these are just claims.  They have money, but is it the $2 million or so they would need?  Or are they just making a show.  That would be a huge waste of money.  Who else is behind this?  Some familiar names to the recall and more info below the fold.

Dave Gilliard, a Republican consultant in Sacramento who was involved in shepherding the recall petition against Gray Davis to the ballot, is reportedly involved. (Reached Monday, Gilliard declined to comment.) Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) has committed to a donation, according to the sources. A signature gatherer who works in the South Bay area of Los Angeles said he was carrying the initiative petition.

I know the gatherers were down in Pismo Beach at the Clam Festival this weekend.  And they were getting paid.

Arno, owner of the petition company that handled an earlier signature-gathering effort, flew back to California from a trip to Russia on Monday to oversee the effort. There are reasons to be skeptical. The deadline for qualifying the initiative for the June 2008 ballot (so that it could take effect before next year’s presidential election) is Nov. 13, although such deadlines can be pushed.
Insiders familiar with the initiative and the many obstacles it faces scoff at the notion that Rollins can raise the many millions needed to meet the fast-approaching deadline for gathering hundreds of thousands of valid signatures of registered voters. No formal report of any new donation has been filed with the secretary of state’s office. (Donations of $5,000 or more to any initiative must be disclosed within 10 business days.)

Bottom line is that we should know within days if they actually have real money.  Stay tuned.  This thing might just pull a Frankenstein in time for Halloween.

More information from John Meyers.  They claim they have all the money they need.

In a phone interview this afternoon, Andrade said that the campaign has amassed close to $3 million to get the roughly 434,000 valid signatures needed to qualify for the June statewide ballot. He said that while volunteer signature gatherers are getting a buck per signature, paid gatherers could end up getting as much as $4 per signature by the time the dust has settled.

We know a bit more about the funders, even though we don’t know their names.

So who’s put up the cash? Andrade says that $2 million has come from what he calls a “national group,” but declined to elaborate on their identity. The rest of the money, he says, comes from various social conservatives… including some who helped bankrolled the signature gathering for the 2003 recall of Governor Gray Davis.

Shadowy Republican bankrolling the frankenstein dirty trick.  This is indeed developing.

Arnold Now Has 2,148 Copies of the Dirty Tricks Initiative

(bump – promoted by Lucas O’Connor)

copies on the sealOn August 23, Gov. Schwarzenegger said:

“I haven’t looked at the language and I’m not saying I’m against it or I’m for it or anything.”

Well, now he has 2,148 opportunities to read the thing and say whether he is for it or against the dirty trick initiative.  Thanks to you.

We asked the blogosphere and thousands of Courage Campaign members to send him a copy and boy did you deliver.  I had to get my weightlifter friend to help me cary them in to the Governor’s office.  Mind you it is about 100 degrees in Sacramento today.

I had given the press office a heads up that I was coming, just so we would not have an issue when I arrived.  Unfortunately, the guy I talked to was no longer around when I arrived.  A Sergeant at Arms directed us to the back door drop-off location.  After some convincing and him talking to the governor’s staff, we were allowed to go in to the governors office.  Everyone was very gracious.  The CHP officer laughed when I told them what we were up to.  Not so much from the governor’s staff…

Here are the boxes sitting on the official seal of the governor and one of me with the boxes.  They are now in the hands of the governor’s staff.  Hopefully, at least one makes it’s way to the governor’s desk.

me and boxesAs for me, I am thrilled to see a brainstorm idea I came up with a week ago, translate into thousands of Californians taking action and creating a real world impact.  We asked, you answered and we delivered.  I look forward to many more.  It was a thrill to be your messenger.

Like Rick Jacobs, the Chair of Courage Campaign says:

Thousands of Californians have made one simple request of the governor: please spend five minutes and read the initiative closely. The next time the Governor is asked publicly about this initiative, he will no longer have an excuse to play dumb about this partisan dirty trick.

The Republicans are pushing this dirty trick in an attempt to steal the election and our “post-partisan” governor is claiming ignorance. Has he failed to grasp the lessons of the 2005 election? In California, partisan power grabs are unacceptable and divisive.  It is time for him to do the right thing.

Thank you to all who took action.  If you have not done so already, please join the Courage Campaign and pledge to defeat this initiative.  No matter where you live, you can help us beat back this dirty trick.

Welcome HuffPo readers.  They have my picture and a link back to this post on the Politics section right now.  I screen grabbed for posterity sake.

Media (Matters) on Dirty Tricks Initiatives: OC Register, Dan Walters and FOX

There has been an interesting dichotomy when it comes to how the press is covering the dirty tricks initiative.  Editorial boards as diverse as the NYT to the OC Register are coming out with strong editorials against.  Check out this language today from the OC Register (Andrew has more at the Liberal OC).  It is titled: “Reform for Losers”.

A proposed change, which could be on next June’s ballot, in the way California’s votes are allocated in the presidential election might have a sheen of fairness, but it is nakedly partisan and profoundly subversive of our constitutional system. Both it and a competing Democratic “reform” deserve to be roundly rejected.

While I might quibble with the last line, it is worth it to have the biggest paper in the reddest county in the state call the initiative “nakedly partisan and profoundly subversive”.  Lehane and the Fair Election Reform campaign are doing a very good job with earned media, well except for FOX and Dan Walters, but we all know they are a special case.

Media Matters made the dirty trick initiative the main thrust of Jamison Foser’s weekly column, calling it a “constitutional Calvinball”.  He goes right after Dan Walters:

The initiative is beginning to draw significant media attention, but much of that coverage has been lacking.

In California, The Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters — whose column runs in more than 50 California newspapers and who is the founding editor of the California Political Almanac — has declared the GOP proposal to be a “fairer” approach than a competing proposal that would award all of California’s electoral votes to the candidate who won the most votes nationwide. Walters wrote of that competing proposal: “It is, however, a flawed approach at best and could result in all of California’s votes being cast for someone that the state’s voters had rejected. If the electoral system is undemocratically flawed, it should be dumped and we should go to straight popular vote.”

But Walters left out a key element of the competing proposal, and in doing so badly misled his readers. The proposal would take effect only if California was joined by enough states to total 270 electoral votes, which would guarantee that the winner of the national popular vote was elected president. In effect, it does dump the Electoral College in favor of “straight popular vote” — precisely what Walters complained it does not do. Yet Walters declared the Republican scheme to be “fairer” than both the alternative proposal and the current system.

And then there is FOX News, where “pro-reform” means favoring CA Repulicans‘ electoral initiative, not Democrats’.  Media Matters picked up TPM’s catch and ran with it.  That was not the only time FOX has misrepresented the initiative.

On the August 23 edition of Fox News’ Special Report, Fox News correspondent Anita Vogel — reporting on a ballot initiative (pdf) proposed by the Republican-backed organization Californians for Equal Representation that would “divid[e] [California’s] electoral votes among the winners of the state’s individual congressional districts” — falsely described Democratic alternatives as initiatives that would “protect the current process.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, either of the alternative initiatives proposed by Democrats would also change the “current process” if enacted by California and other states.

Vogel stated that “opponents have vowed to do whatever it takes to defeat the measure, including crafting their own initiative to protect the current process.” However, if California voters approve either of the two initiatives backed by Democrats (here and here), the state would enter into a “voting compact” with other states requiring members to award their electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote if “states cumulatively possessing a majority of electoral votes have enacted this agreement in substantially the same form.”

The media owes the voters an accurate depiction of both measures.  They are failing in many regards. 

Media Matters has done excellent work on the media coverage of this initiative.  It will be great to have them as a resource as this campaign rolls on.  They are an important piece of progressive infrastructure that we did not have a few years ago.