“With the stroke of a pen, Governor Brown can start fixing California’s broken ballot-measure system this week.
“A bill that would ban paying per-signature ‘bounty’ payments to petition signature-gatherers – Sen. Ellen Corbett’s SB 168, which my organization is sponsoring – is on the Governor’s desk now. The bill is good for California and I urge the governor to sign it.
“Governor Brown should sign SB 168 because bounty payments are a proven incentive for fraud. When each signature on a petition is worth anywhere from $1 to $5 dollars, too many signature gatherers are tempted to fake signatures or deceive voters about what they’re signing. Some will even bribe homeless people on Skid Row with Snickers bars to get a few extra signatures. Because most initiatives qualify for the ballot based on a random sampling of signature validity rather than a full check of each one, there’s no way to know how many faked or coerced signatures help qualify measures for the ballot.
“The bill will also help give all groups equal access to the ballot. Right now, California has direct democracy for the highest bidders, rather than what Gov. Hiram Johnson intended – direct democracy that gives the people a powerful check on corporations and the government. Texas oil companies and PG&E can afford to pay massive bounties to qualify measures for the ballot, while it is far rarer for truly populist efforts to be able to do the same.”
Governor Brown Should Sign Law to Reform Ballot Measures, by Justine Sarver, Executive Director, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, as posted to Calitics by Brian Leubitz, July 28, 2011
Please, Governor Brown, sign this bill into law. The reasons are profound and compelling for this law. It’s time for California to stop getting Issa-ed with stupid ballot initiatives, including the one Amazon is trying to buy. Probably with the sales taxes their not collecting for California (oh! don’t get me started!).
Just remember everyone, Darrell Issa bought the Davis recall in 2003 and then the Republican powers that be took the election away from him and gave it to Ahnold. And this is why, children, the word “Issa” is interchangeable with the word “sucker” in California.
Warning: this video clip might trigger nasty flashbacks for many Californians, mostly the sane ones:
Update August 1, 2011: $#%+!