Category Archives: petition signature gathering

“‘I feel duped’: Inside the fast-food industry’s push to dismantle a new California labor law”


Susan Bushnell was in a hurry when a man, clipboard in hand, approached her outside a Walmart Supercenter in Vista, Calif., one afternoon last September.

The man asked Bushnell to sign a petition as she wrangled her fussing 5-year-old daughter into a shopping cart. He said the petition would help to raise wages for fast-food workers in California.

“Oh, that’s a good cause,”Bushnell remembers thinking, having once worked in retail. Bushnell paused her rush into the San Diego County store to jot down her signature.

But what the man told Bushnell was false. The petition was part of an effort to kill a newly approved law that could bring significant wage increases for California’s fast-food workers.

That law, known as Assembly Bill 257, or the FAST Recovery Act, was set to go into effect Jan. 1 but is now on hold. State election officials said last week that a coalition of fast-food corporations and industry trade groups, which raised millions to oppose the law, secured enough valid signatures to block implementation of AB 257 until California voters decide next year whether to repeal the law.

Bushnell is among 14 voters interviewed by The Times who say petition circulators for the ballot measure to overturn AB 257 lied to them about what they were signing. Others said the signature gatherers made vague and misleading claims — a Hollywood canvasser, for instance, presented the petition as an inflation cure — or tried to hide legally required paperwork explaining the proposed referendum, sometimes becoming abusive when questioned.

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Ballot initiative skullduggery?

The plot thicks. Maybe.

Earlier this week, I’d mentioned a movement to amend state constitutions to prohibit voting by noncitizens in state elections, even though every state currently prohibits voting by noncitizens in state elections.

Now a report featuring speculation (and it is only that) about another motive for the campaign in Florida, where the nonprofit is based: the possible attempt to corner the market on petition circulators, to box out another campaign.

And in the middle of it all, the election administrators trying to keep up with the volume.

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Montana Court Grants Relief in Challenge to Green Party Petition

From the conclusion of the district court order in the case challenging the Green Party’s candidate petition:

1. Certain signatures on the Petition are declared invalid …. Removal of these signatures results in the Petition not qualifying in the 34 House districts required by § 13-10-601,MCA.2. Plaintiffs’ complaint for a declaratory judgment removing the Montana Green Party from the election ballot is GRANTED.

2. The Green Party’s Petition is declared invalid and the Secretary is directed to remove the Montana Green Party from the election ballot. The Secretary, his agents, officers,
employees, and successors, and all persons acting in concert with each or any of them, are enjoined from implementing, enforcing, or giving any effect to certification of the Green Party’s Petition.

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