Tag Archives: California Counts

Breaking: Dirty Trick Delayed

No, not dead, just delayed.  They kept pushing their luck on turning in the signatures and now have conceded that they will not make the June ballot.  (Got this via email, but Meyer’s blog has technical problems, will update with link later)

The initiative to change how California’s Electoral College votes are awarded in the race for the White House will not appear on the June statewide ballot, according to campaign officials.

In a brief statement e-mailed to reporters this afternoon, the California Counts political team said they are now shooting for the November ballot after being unable to gather enough signatures in time for this week’s drop-dead June deadline.

“Due to the tight calendar we are operating under and the challenge of raising money and gathering signatures during the Holiday season,” says the statement, “we understand that submitting signatures and having them counted in time to make the June ballot, is no longer a realistic goal.”

They are now shooting for the November ballot.  However, like Meyers notes that there are two major problems with that strategy.  1) The turnout will not be as favorable for the Republicans as it would have been in June.  2) If it were to pass there would be a court challenge over whether it would count for the election occurring on the same day.

We have killed it twice now and we will for a third time if necessary.

[UPDATE] 3:20 pm Here is the SacBee breaking story that has a crucial piece of information:

California Counts has until Feb. 4 to submit their signatures, a deadline representing six months after the initiative was approved for circulation. Gilliard’s statement said his group had collected more than 500,000 signatures; political strategists believe they need about 700,000 to ensure they have enough valid ones to meet a state threshold.

“CalCounts will continue with its fundraising and signature drive because we believe Californians deserve the right to vote on this important initiative to reform the Electoral College and to make our state count again in presidential elections,” Gilliard said in the statement.

There has been a lot of confusion over when the dirty tricksters needed to turn in their signatures.  The hard deadline was Feb 5th, but that is also when they need to be certified by, so they obviously had to turn them in before then.  The County Registrars need time to do the random counts and if that failed, to do a full count.

They are busy preparing for the primary, thus can’t be devoting a lot of resources to a count.  The dirty tricksters pushed it so far that it is now impossible to get certified in time for the June primary.  But if they get the 200,000 more in by February, it will make the November ballot.

$1.2 million for Dirty Tricks

They are getting closer to having enough money to pay for all of the signature gatherers.  The $600k they announced earlier would not get it done.  They have raised a total of $1.2 million.  They will need at least $2 million to pay for the signatures to be collected.  Politico is the only one with the story thus far, so regretfully I link:

Backers of a California ballot initiative that would drastically increase Republican chances of retaining the White House in 2008 have raised $1.2 million, including $316,000 in eight days this month – and supporters say they’re on pace to qualify for the vote in June.

The group, California Counts – Make Your Vote Count!, reported Tuesday it had raked in $855,000, mostly from a handful of huge contributions, according to a filing with the California Secretary of State’s office.

That doesn’t include $350,000 in contributions which are either below the reporting threshold of $5,000 or which arrived in the past week, campaign manager Dave Gilliard said.

Contributions above $5k have to be reported to the Secretary of State’s office within 10 days.

They are expected to turn in the signatures by the 29th.  Then the SoS will do a random test of the signatures to estimate how many are valid.  If they pass that test then it goes to the ballot.  If it fails, then they will do a manual count.

“California Counts” using DIRECT MAIL to gather signatures for Dirty Tricks!

I opened my mailbox this afternoon to find something truly amazing–and something I just knew couldn’t have been for a Democratic activist like myself: an envelope from California Counts, the organization funded by Darrell Issa to resurrect the Dirty Tricks Initiative from the dead.  It turns out that, yes, the envelope was in fact directed to whatever Republican apparently dared to inhabit my apartment before my girlfriend and I arrived to dispel the traces of the dark side that must have apparently been lingering there.

Regardless, I considered it a stroke of good fortune that this thing fell into my lap–not only because it allows me an opportunity to give some insight into what they’re up to, but also because it’s downright hilarious.  More below–including a picture!

First and foremost, I have to admit that what they’re doing is rather sophisticated–the envelope contains a fundraising letter from Darrell Issa, as well as a petition to sign.  So it seems organized in that regard, though a little bit on the expensive side–collecting petition signatures through direct mail can’t be that easy a process.

The fundraising solicitation is pretty boilerplate, with the usual talking points about how it’s not a partisan initiative because Michael Dukakis got 48% of the vote in 1988 but still didn’t get any electoral votes, and how candidates have no reason to come to California, etcetera, whereas the new initiative already in use in other states (namely, the powerhouses of Maine and Nebraska)

will lead candidates to campaign in every district of California.

Of course, why it will do that is still a mystery, give the fact that most CDs in California are hopelessly gerrymandered and even if you could find one that was still in play, it’s a lot easier to stay in the East Coast and campaign in New Hampshire and Maine for 4 votes a piece than to come all the way out here to see if maybe, just maybe, you can peel off one measly EV you might not otherwise have gotten.

But I get ahead of myself.  You see, the fundraising letter makes a big deal about how the initiative is non-partisan.  And yet for some reason Darrell Issa just has to mention that he helped organize the recall of Gray Davis, and that the “liberal media” wants to convince you that the initiative has a partisan purpose.

Even at that, I may have been willing to suspend my disbelief and assume for the sake of magnanimity that California Counts really did believe in their heart of hearts that the recall was purely about accountability, and that the Dirty Tricks Initiative really is non-partisan, and that the media is just inherently liberal in its reporting that the initiative has a partisan purpose, even though it is funded by Darrell Issa, the financiers of the Swift Boat Vets, Hitachk and other well-known GOP operatives.  But the envelope that the solicitation came in kind of burst my bubble a little bit:

So basically, it’s non-partisan, it really is, except for the fact that the liberal media doesn’t think so, it’s organized by the same guy who recalled Gray Davis, and Hillary Clinton doesn’t want you to open the letter.  So other than the fact that Republicans are pushing for it and it will hurt Democrats and the media thinks it’s a dishonest piece of crap–other than that, it’s non-partisan.

It’s funny in certain ways–but very sad and simultaneously very terrifying in others–that the Republicrooks can be so hypocritical that they will contradict themselves so repeatedly and so patently in fundraising solicitations to their own supporters.  I don’t know how they live with the logical disconnect.  But then again, that’s why I’m not a Republican.  As Bill Clinton said in his speech at the Empowerment Summit at UCLA over the weekend:

I spent a long time trying to get into the reality based world, and I like it here.

I’m right with you there, Mr. President.