Last week, the Coalition for Civil Liberties reported that there is video evidence of signature gatherers for Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s ballot proposition misrepresenting the proposition to get citizens to sign the petition so it can be placed on the 2017 General Election ballot. Please take a moment to read the press release below:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (April 14, 2016) – Gavin Newsom’s ballot proposition campaign has received a letter detailing alleged illegal activity by many of the people it pays to collect signatures. Videos and photographic evidence show Newsom’s paid ballot initiative signature gatherers completely misrepresenting what the initiative does in an effort to lure citizens into signing petitions.
“Lieutenant Governor Newsom must take responsibility for his campaign workers’ deceptive practices. They should throw out every signature gathered under false pretenses. He should also allow a neutral third-party to conduct an investigation into the validity of the signatures they have gathered so far,” said Chuck Michel, a co-chair of the Coalition for Civil Liberties, a diverse group of Californians opposed to Newsom’s ballot initiative. “Newsom is allowing signature gatherers to mislead citizens into unwittingly supporting his initiative that will strip them of important rights. How can a candidate for Governor be so reckless so early on?”
Signature gathering in California is a lucrative business this election season. In previous years, signature gatherers usually received approximately $2 for each signature. Newsom’s campaign is reportedly paying twice that, as much as $4 per signature. It is a crime – punishable by imprisonment and fines – for signature gatherers to intentionally misrepresent or make false statements about petitions they present to the public.
A court could hold Newsom’s campaign civilly or criminally liable for the actions of signature gatherers, as well as prohibit the measure from going before voters if signatures were gained by deception. Witnesses from around the state have volunteered videos and pictures that show Newsom’s signature gatherers making significant misrepresentations to prospective signers of the petition. Evidence and additional details on the alleged illegal activity can be found here.
Paid for by Coalition for Civil Liberties, a project of California Rifle & Pistol Association, ID#1382067