Signature Signers Misled: They Want Their Signatures Back

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Sep. 9, 2014 (San Diego) As final leg of signature gathering approaches, (the deadline is the 17 of this month), people want to take their signatures back. The city has a way to do it. You can submit a form to the City clerk, before or at the 17, requesting that your signature be withdrawn. A link to the form and what you need to do is at the bottom.

Three people, Anita Simons, Marilisa Navarro and Eric Thies, joined former Assembly Member Lori Saldana at the table. The three of them had stories of how they were misled by the signature gatherers in different ways.

Saldana started by holding up the stack of forms. “I have before me a stack of forms from people who want their signatures back.” She said that this stack was close to 1000 signatures from people who felt that they were lied to and misled by signature gatherers.

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These people, nearly a 1000, “are the tip of the iceberg.”

Saldana said that while in the Assembly she authored bills to regulate what is pretty much an industry that is not regulated. Unfortunately those bills did not become law.

She also asked, “are we going to be governed by duly elected officials? Or are we going to be governed by deep pocket interests who will cheat, lie or say anything to get signatures?”

Saldana added that the gatherers are coming from outside San Diego and are encouraged to misrepresent the petitions.

When asked about who is behind the petition drive, Saldana, and the organizers said that it was deep pocket interests, but the way the industry is configured it is very hard to say at this point. This is part of the problem, the secrecy that surrounds the industry, but the Chamber of Commerce is in favor of sending this to the ballot in 2016, and ultimately defeating it.

As evidence to some of the deep pockets. we know that Revolvis, a conservative firm is involved in the effort.

Saldana said that “they are a political firm that works on campaigns, they tend to be very conservative Republican campaigns, and the people that they hire are coming from all over the state, and outside the state. They tell them what they need to know.”

Simons said that she knew this already passed city council. She was told that this “was to back it up, in case anything happens we need your signature.” She was bothered by the whole encounter and later that day she posted on Facebook, where she started the process of learning how do you take a signature back.

Thies said that what bothered him chiefly is that he expected these people to be honest. They were not. While he did not sign, he was still left with “we have a reasonable expectation that when someone approaches you to gather your signature that they’re more or less telling you what they’re trying to do,” In this case it was opposite of what it was.

Navarro recounted a story of her shopping at Target and having the gatherers inside the store. He was not honest to her, about what the signature was about, and while she admits to not have been as informed on the issue as Simons, she was left befuddled.

According to Saldana, who wanted to regulate the industry, they can lie in California. It is no longer a volunteer driven effort, but paid itinerant political workers who go from effort to effort. She compared this to Oregon where people need to register and one misleading will lead to them being barred for life from these efforts.

Saldana added that the industry could be regulated even at the local level by city ordinance. The City Ethics Commission needs to take a good look at this, since powerful out of area interest are now overturning lawfully elected political leaders.

If you want to take back your signature you can download the form here.

Make sure to take it in, or fax it, by the 17. RaiseupSanDiego.org volunteers have also offered to help. You can find the information here.

Ann Kinner, a proponent of the referendum, told Channel 7 that she sees no problem with the paid signature gatherers. She also alleged that people are going to her store to sign the petition. She is the owner of Seebreeze Books and Shorts in Point Loma.

The videos of signature gatherers telling people things that are not are embedded

This first video claims that the minimum wage will go up to $15 like Seattle, Washington. The wage will top off at $11.50 after three years. The way the ordinance works is that it will raise the wage to $9.75 Jan. 1, 2015, $10.50 Jan. 1, 2016 and to $11.50 and on Jan. 2017. In 2019 it will indexed to inflation.

The second of these videos says that the minimum wage is going to be doubled. This is simply not the truth, from how the ordinance is written.

This third encounter has a signature gatherer lie to Council President Todd Gloria.

Twitter: @nadinbrzezinski

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Categories: City Hall Politics, labor, Saldaña

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