CA Democratic Party Endorses Initiative Process Reforms
August 2, 2011 - The California Democratic Party’s Executive Board has passed a resolution outlining problems with the state’s existing ballot initiative process, and urging necessary reforms. Below is the party’s press release on its resolution.
California Democratic Party
For Immediate Release: August 2, 2011
Contact: Tenoch Flores, 916-503-8480
California Democratic Party Calls for Initiative Process Reform as Party’s Executive Board Passes Resolution Guarding Against Fraud and Urging Reform
Sacramento – The California Democratic Party’s Executive Board passed a resolution calling on California’s Secretary of State to take the necessary steps to make the initiative process more transparent as a means to prevent signature-gathering fraud and forgery. The resolution calls for petition signature collection forms to clearly indicate whether “paid” or “volunteer” labor is being used to gather signatures.
“Abuse of California’s initiative process runs rampant,” said John Burton, Chairman of the California Democratic Party. “Making the signature gathering process transparent is a no-brainer. It’s necessary and it will cut down on signature fraud and abuse.”
Title: Protecting the Initiative Process
The language of the Party’s resolution is included below:
Whereas, the work of the state legislators to create a budget balancing the needs of the people of California and funds incoming to the state treasury is constricted by the siphoning of much of that income away from the general fund to programs mandated by initiatives and thus the initiative process is being used to hinder our legislators in their attempts to fulfill their responsibility to build a balanced budget by requiring them to finance certain programs off the top, thus reducing the amount of state revenue available for all other needs; and
Whereas, the non-partisan Ballot Initiative Strategy Center issued California an "F" grade for not enacting legislation to properly regulate the initiative system; and
Whereas, the initiative process is being abused by the use of misleading titles and advertisements by unscrupulous signature gathering companies, hired signature collectors, and concealed sponsors so that voters are won over by the persons or groups who purchase the most seductive advertisements to create laws and programs that benefit a very few people at the expense of the many, therefore
Be it resolved, that the California Democratic Party requests the California Secretary of State to provide recommendations for reforms to the initiative process including, but not limited to, a requirement that at the top of each page of the official petition signature collection form in headline type the words PAID or VOLUNTEER indicate whether or not the person gathering signatures is being paid for this work; and
Be it resolved that the California Democratic Party request that the Governor of California and the California Secretary of State take all necessary steps to make information about initiatives more transparent so that voters will receive truthful information about the law proposed and its sponsors.