(The “food for signatures” tactic is especially damning. – promoted by Robert in Monterey)
Original post at Daily Kos
Vikingkingq published an excellent diary here and Calitics on Wednesday and a follow-up on Thursday about this issue. I too ran into the same tactics he described at UCSB here in Orange County on Thursday afternoon.
It appears there was a statewide effort by the company collecting the signatures to hide what they were doing. Reports of this tactic have come from Davis, Santa Barbara, Berkeley and Orange County. The story that keeps coming out is that petitioners approached registered voter, made their pitch to get a signature for the children’s cancer hospital initiative and then asked the voter to “sign multiple copies”.
The clipboard is set up in such a way with a large rubber band, holding down the “copies”, that unless you disassembled the mess, one could not tell that there other ballot initiatives under the children’s cancer hospital page. They simply appear to be more signature sheets.
The other ballot issues are never mentioned. This is a misdemeanor under California election code. But the f’kery continues in many different ways.
My hope for this diary is that we can collect up everyone’s experiences and post links to any articles relating to this.
There seems to be 3 different aspects to the fraud. The collection methods for the signatures (as described above), Daryll Issa’s illegal involvement (by poaching the names from the recall signatores and trading food for signatures on skid row.
The children’s cancer hospital/sign multiple copies tactic is documented in the UCSB student newspaper, The Daily Nexus. The other tactic used is to describe the initiative as an anti-war initiative (registration required).
Hjiorst has an excellent diary up on Daryll Issa’s involvement and Jerry Brown’s possible response.
Trading food for signatures on skid row in downtown L.A. seems particularly cynical. (hat tip LooHoo).
If you spot an article, please post a link. If you get hit by these guys, don’t be afraid to call the CA Secretary of State (they were very easy to talk to) and your local county voter registrar (no enforcement, but they are put on alert to look extra carefully).
If you encounter these people, please don’t interupt their “process” – see exactly what it is they are doing, so it can be reported. There are other groups out there this weekend doing petitioning. The others were doing it by the book and the contrast is quite interesting. The relevant election code is:
California Elections Code
(b) Willfully and knowingly circulates, publishes, or exhibits any
false statement or misrepresentation concerning the contents,
purport or effect of any state or local initiative, referendum, or
recall petition for the purpose of obtaining any signature to, or
persuading or influencing any person to sign, that petition.
I think this is even more relevant
18602. Any person working for the proponent or proponents of a
statewide initiative or referendum measure who covers or otherwise
obscures the summary of the measure prepared by the Attorney General
from the view of a prospective signer is guilty of a misdemeanor.
The “circulation deadline”, according the the CA Secretary of State website, is November 29th, 2007 to qualify for the June ballot.
Thank you, Vikingkingq for bringing this important issue into view! Let’s keep it at the top of the heap.