READER COMMENTS ON
"Ballot Petition Fraud Occuring in Support of California's Republican Electoral College Initiative?"
(13 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 11/15/2007 @ 10:02 am PT...
And don't forget, the battle is just getting the signatures. It will pass on e-vote machines! The vote will take place on e-vote machines! Statistics show that close to 100% of anomalies on e-vote machines favor Republicans.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 11/15/2007 @ 12:17 pm PT...
At least, under SOS Debra Bowen, CA should have the safest election possible under current conditions (ie- the unfortunate "necessity" to use any kinds of electronic voting machines). Only a limited number of DRE's will be in use and 100% of votes on those machines will be audited, if my understanding is correct.
In any case, this effort to unilaterally reapportion CA's electoral votes and to achieve this through any means possible, including fraud, shows how desperate the Repugs are to achieve victory, however dishonest, in order to further their dangerous agenda. I don't know how any honest person can remain a member of that party. On the other hand, I'm so sick of and disappointed with the spineless, corporate-shilling Dems that I'm not sure what the answer is.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 11/15/2007 @ 12:39 pm PT...
I sent the link to this to the SFChron reporter, Carla Marinucci, who exposed the last round of dirty trickster tactics by the CA repub party to steal some of our electoral college votes.
Seems like it would be a fairly simple process to expose this by contacting the signers to determine if they are aware of what it was they were signing, and then nullifying all petitions based on the results of the investigation.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
The Liberal Democratic Party of the United States
said on 11/15/2007 @ 12:58 pm PT...
Threaten boycotts against any store chains that allow people to gather signatures for petitions for this electoral college manipulation by the Republiklan party.
I have started a new political party called the Liberal Democratic Party of the United States. You can read the web page at http://www.dmocrats.org and you will find that this party works differently from other political parties. Take a look and help enact progressive legislation and end the war where you work as a legislator and you vote on legislation.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 11/15/2007 @ 7:50 pm PT...
Thanks for the nod, Brad.
This report of fraud by a signature gatherer in California is something that could likely be avoided. In 2005, when she was a state senator, Debra Bowen introduced SB 1047, which would have banned the paying of signature gatherers on a piece-rate. It passed through the legislature but Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill. At the time he said he felt it was unconstitutional.
From the time that the initiative process was adopted in this country, many states had banned paying people to gather signatures, and in those states, signatures were gathered by volunteers who cared enough about their initiatives to donate their time to see them passed. In 1988, U.S. Supreme Court struck down Colorado’s law making it a felony to pay people to gather signatures as a violation of the proponents’ rights of free speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Meyer v. Grant 486 U.S. 414 (1988). However, bans on payment to signature gatherers did not disappear entirely; Colorado’s law was a blanket ban on payment, and many states had always banned only a per-signature payment, or amended their laws after Meyer to ban only payment for signatures obtained.
In the ensuing years, there have been a number of challenges to such per-signature payment bans, and the decisions as to the constitutionality have gone both ways. Proponents of such bans have sought to justify them as necessary to prevent fraud by signature gatherers. The decisions to date have largely focused on the evidence presented which tended to show that fraud did, or was likely to occur; when the government has failed to provide concrete examples of fraud, the statutes have often been overturned. See e.g. Citizens For Tax Reform v. Deters 462 F.Supp2d 827 (S.D. Ohio 2006).
When the courts have been presented with evidence of fraud directly related to the particular statute in force in the jurisdiction, such bans have generally been found constitutional. For example, in North Dakota, the State was able to point to evidence that approximately 17,000 fraudulent signatures had been gathered in support of one initiative (which one might consider rather alarming in a state that has a total population of about 600,000 and significantly fewer registered voters). Initiative & Referendum Institute v. Jaeger 241 F.3d 614 (8th Cir. 2001). The 9th Circuit upheld Oregon’s ban on per-signature payment, based on a showing that signature gatherers often signed each other’s petitions, and often held “signature parties.” Prete v. Bradbury 438 F.3d 949 (9th Cir. 2006). The 2nd Circuit recently upheld a similar ban in New York, although the Court acted in an emergency situation, and it is unclear just how much evidence of fraud was presented in that case. Person v. New York St. Bd. of Elections 467 F.3d 1144 (2nd Cir. 2006).
Although no one can know how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule, based on the favorable outcomes in at least three of the Circuits, it is entirely possible that the Court would find a ban on per-signature payment to be an acceptable compromise between the individual Free Speech rights of citizens, and the government’s desire and need to prevent initiative fraud. No one in the California Legislature seems to be ready to take up the leadership position on election reform vacated by Debra Bowen when she became Secretary of State. SB 1047 has not been re-introduced. It is a shame, because Governor Schwarzenegger appears to have softened in his unwillingness to work with the Democrats.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 11/15/2007 @ 7:56 pm PT...
It is also interesting to note that Senator Bowen also introduced another bill which would require that each petition come with a top sheet that discloses the identity of each of the top five financial supporters of each inititative, and that the top sheet would be required to be updated weekly, in line with a website that would disclose all of the major contributors' contributions in real time.
The bill was introduced in 2005 as SB 469, and again in 2006 as SB 1598. The Governor veteoed it both times, claiming it would discourage participation in the initiative process.
I suppose that's true, if you are one of the "people" our Governor cares about: an insurance, tobacco, or oil company.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 11/15/2007 @ 9:04 pm PT...
IMHO, the only way to get the SFChron, formerly known as The Voice of the West, to get one of its reporters on to this story is to write to the editors and insist that they make this an issue in the paper.
I wrote my letter and sent it in. Any other takers?
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 11/16/2007 @ 6:46 am PT...
Well, they should pursue this deceiving of signatures and throw the whole thing out! Shouldn't they? This is one of those quiet things, that's going to bite the Democrats in the ass...if they don't come at this immediately with both barrels. We've already seen once, where it died...and now it's back again. The GOP is persistent on this. If this sinks? Guess what? They'll do it again! When is everybody going to learn this?
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 11/16/2007 @ 7:21 am PT...
If the Democrats don't do something about this, I'm giving up on them!
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 11/16/2007 @ 10:56 am PT...
Why should we even be "sweating this out" in the first place? It's so ridiculous!
How come you never see something like, "Democrats trying to break up electoral votes in Texas"? It's always the f*cking Republicans pulling stuff like this!
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 11/16/2007 @ 7:47 pm PT...
This is just one of the many reasons that the way out dated Electoral College should have been abolished at least 75 years ago.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 11/17/2007 @ 7:27 am PT...
There are other reports on Daily Kos where people have seen the same thing. They don't have long to gather signatures, they are going to lie like mad to try to make the deadline.
Getting a store to kick petitioners because you don't like their petition is not going to work.
However, if you observe them lying and deceiving about their petitions (and particularly if you can get them on tape), then you can complain to the store manager and get him/her to boot the sig gatherers off the site.
If enough good locations are taken away from these jerks then they might be disrupted enough not to make the deadline.
By the way, they are not required by law to give you their name - but the store manager may have their names, so if you want to file a complaint with the Sec. of State you might be able to get the names from him/her.
If you see any of these jerks lying about the petitions blatantly, covering up the election-stealing petition with another petition and claiming you need to sign multiple
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 12/17/2007 @ 2:30 pm PT...
I am a democrat and I support paid signature gatherers. In fact at times it is a significant part of my income. My real job in an Environmental Scientist. You guys do not realize how the system works. First of all the people doing this are mostly non partisian. They are in it for the money. Most of the people who do this go from state to state and stay in motel 6's and "follow the elections" I do not know of a single petition that did not make it IF they are paying per signature. Right now as of Dec 17, 08 there ARE ONLY two petitions that are out there in which people are getting paid for. That is the abortion restriction for minors AND the childrens hosptial (that one is ending in about a week). If you want to make a real difference I know of a little know court case that was passed in OCT 2007. Any store DOES NOT need to let the petitioners in front of their stores anymore. It is a 20 page document and very very few people even know about it. Here is the link.
Give the stores a copy of this 20 page document they will be happy you did as they now think they MUST let petitioners be there. That is no longer the case. As for deceiving voters what they are signing there is really a limited amount of what you can do since it is the VOTERS responsibility to read what they are signing. When you see these "tricks" it is not a Republican trying to secretly get signatures but a person from say Michigan, Florida, Oregan who could not care less about Republicans or Democrats but only cares about the color of Green (aka Money) and how much that signaure is paying. For your info the Childrens Hosptial was only paying 50 cents a signaure and the Republicans one was paying 1$(the republican petition is currently not being paid at this moment). I hope this help clarifies some things.