Angry political activists fail to qualify their initiatives

In the last two days it was reported in the press that individuals and groups who are mad as hell about something they consider to be dead wrong have failed to get enough signatures on petitions to qualify what they see as a fix for the California ballot.

First it was announced that a ballot initiative being marketed by illegal immigration activists (this is what the story in the Register called these folks) failed to garner enough signatures to qualify for the June ballot. This initiative, called the California Taxpayer Protection Act, would require the State to issue one kind of birth certificate to children of U.S. citizens and green card holders and another kind to children born here to parents here as temporary legal residents or here illegally. This would give anchor babies a unique kind of birth certificate, sort of a scarlet letter for life.

The second announcement is the people circulating petitions for an initiative to restrict public employee unions from using member dues money for political purposes announced the signature gathering effort is being stopped because they figured out they would be unable to gather enough signatures. This initiative was being called the Citizen Power Initiative and was aimed at reducing the perceived political clout of public employee unions as well as cutting off some funds for politicians’ election campaigns.

From press accounts it seems the leaders of both initiative petition efforts blame the lack of funds to hire professional signature gatherers – known by some as bounty hunters or paid hit men – to gather signatures. They say they will try again, this time focusing on raising money to hire petition signature gatherers.

What does this say about the issue these folks are advocating, and the California initiative process itself? When people who are mad as hell about an issue cannot gain enough support from other “concerned citizens” to take their issue to a public vote then they turn to a questionable political industry to try and get the job done. This is especially ironic for the initiative that wants to thwart the ability of public sector employees to peddle influence through their unions.  Guess one kind of hired gun is o.k., but another is not.

An interesting sidebar is that in this case both these groups seem to be headquartered in Orange County. The anchor baby birth certificate advocates are with the California Coalition for Immigration Reform which the newspaper says is based in Huntington Beach. The newspaper reports that Mark Bucher of Tustin is a co-author of the initiative seeking to limit the influence of public employee unions. It seems that Orange County may have more than its fair share of mad as hell advocates. But that is probably a story for another day.

I wonder if there is a mad as hell group out there interested in trying to get enough signatures on an initiative petition to outlaw paid signature gatherers. Now that would be interesting.


About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.