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.