Democrats Violate Election Law, Again

This California anti-recall petition site advocates that anti-recall advocates "Engage the Petition Collectors" by suggesting that activists "Engage them in conversation; the longer they talk to you, the less time they have to collect signatures, they have a limited period of time to collect over 1 million signatures."

Here’s what California state law has to say about such activities:

California Law Code Section 18620: Every person who seeks, solicits, bargains for, or obtains any money, thing of value, or advantage of or from any person, firm, or corporation for the purpose or represented purpose of fraudulently inducing, persuading, or seeking the proponent or proponents of any initiative or referendum measure or recall petition to (a) abandon the measure or petition, (b) fail, neglect, or refuse to file in the office of the elections official or other officer designated by law, within the time required by law, the initiative or referendum measure or recall petition after securing the number of signatures required to qualify the measure or petition, (c) stop the circulation of the initiative or referendum measure or recall petition, or (d) perform any act that will prevent or aid in preventing the initiative or referendum measure or recall petition from qualifying as an initiative or referendum measure, or the recall petition from resulting in a recall election, is punishable by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment in the state prison 16 months or two or three years or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment.
(Emphasis mine)

So here we have a group of Democratic partisans using methods that are specifically illegal under California law in order to stop a democratic process by California voters. So far the San Francisco Gate has even picked up on these activities.

Had this been a Republican operation to prevent the recall of a Republican governor, this would be front-page news nationwide. Of course, when Democrats are the ones breaking the law for a Democratic governor, it hardly warrants a mention. However, it is illustrative of the sort of tactics liberal activists are willing to sink to in California and elsewhere.

15 thoughts on “Democrats Violate Election Law, Again

  1. Cute manipulation. Actually, the GOP is brazenly breaking the law by recruiting talking heads from the national party to come to California, illegally proclaim their residence in the Golden State after being there 10 minutes, and then signing the petition and advertising to the intellectual lightweights foolishly signing it and sacrificing the nature of legitimate elections for years to come.

  2. Soooooooo unlike the Democrats (with Hillary! Clinton), isn’t it?

    For that matter, Slick Willy’s been listed as a possible Dem candidate after the recall.

    You were saying?

  3. Oh cmon Jay. This is exactly the kind of clever manipulation that you would applaud if the tables were turned.

  4. Mitch, as far as I understood it, Hillary Clinton’s Senate candidacy was done in complete accordance with New York law. It would be unfortunate if Bill Clinton attempted to be the California Governor, but at the same time,if Side A is willing to use every sleazy manipulation of law and ethical conduct in the book, expect side B to respond in kind.

    I also find it odd how the same GOPers crying foul for months about “carpetbagging” Hillary Clinton’s New York candidacy didn’t balk just as hard at Liddy Dole doing the same thing in North Carolina two short years later. Situational ethics….the Republicans prove time and time again on just about every issue that it’s a concept they have down to a science, taking advantage of the apathetic electorate’s short memory and inability to put two and two together.

  5. This is clearly illegal, and not all that clever either.

    Ludicrous. It’s not even close to illegal because it doesn’t represent an involuntary drain on a person’s time.

    It takes two to tango to have a conversation. It can be ended by any one of the participants. Nothing forces you to stay and talk to somebody. Therefore how can having a conversation be any kind of interference with the election process?

    Like the man said, this is just the kind of thing you’d applaud if it was on a conservative site. Don’t they teach you law in those political science classes?

  6. Yes, and I also learned how to read. An organized effort to deliberately distract petitioners is clearly against the highlighted section of the California Legal Code. If people engage a petitioner in conversation, that would be within the law. However, doing so in order to deliberately distract them is criminal intent under the statute.

    Yes, this would be narly unenforceable in practice – or it would have been had the activists not posted these instructions to the web for all to see.

  7. Yes, and I also learned how to read. An organized effort to deliberately distract petitioners is clearly against the highlighted section of the California Legal Code.

    Laughable! Do you seriously think one sentence on a website, jokingly suggesting to readers that they stall the process by engaging canvassers in conversation, represents an “organized effort”?

    What’s your argument – if I’ve read the site, and I engage in conversation with the guy trying to get my signature (assuming I’m a CA resident), I’m breaking the law because of “criminal intent”? How do you know what my intentions are? Talk about the thought police.

    Since there’s no way to distinguish between the motive of someone wanting to stall the process and someone genuinely interested in conversation, the law can’t apply here. I think you’re just sorry that Republicans didn’t think of it first.

    Do you seriously think this will somehow be the death knell for the recall process? That this will present any kind of threat?

  8. The site is not a joke. It is an organized campaign to violate California election law.

    You couldn’t arrest people on the street, but you certainly could shut down the website and fine/arrest the people responsible for it. (Which, admittedly won’t happen as California prosecutors have better things to do.)

    This really isn’t a very effective scam. Even in the world of dirty political tricks, it’s idiotic to post this kind of thing where anyone can see it – or more importantly where your opposition can see it and use it against you. If the Republicans did something like this, I’d be all over them too – because it’s the sort of thing that can easily ruin a campaign.

    This won’t effect the recall at all, fortunately. The signatures have been collected, and the courts have ruled that the counting and verification can go foward. (Which is what’s happening now.) Davis will be recalled, and he’s no chance of remaining in office. His approval ratings are around 25-27%, which is abysmal for a Democrat in California.

    My guess is that Arnie will run, and he’ll win by a large margin. Depending on what kind of advisors he has, and if he listens to them, he might not be a bad governor.

  9. Even in the world of dirty political tricks, it’s idiotic to post this kind of thing where anyone can see it – or more importantly where your opposition can see it and use it against you.

    Oh, I’m so sure some California senator is going to stand up in Congress and say “The California democratic process is being circumvented, and this website is proof!”

    Depending on what kind of advisors he has, and if he listens to them, he might not be a bad governor.

    Yeah, he might be, actually.

    I didn’t realize that you didn’t have to be a native-born citizen to be governor.

  10. The “Schwarzenegger for Governor” campaign is absurd, and both he and his supporters need to take a good healthy dose of “Get Over Yourself”. Republicans like the idea of propping up these doltish figureheads into a position of great power since they can resurrect the ghosts of right-wing politics past to be the puppetmasters for the newly-elected talking head. Ulysses S. Grant is history’s most widely-renowned figurehead President (at least until Bush) and his Presidency was considered one of the most corrupt administrations in history. Clearly, Republicans want a piece of that action in every available opportunity and see Schwarzenegger as their “in” in California. One would think the GOP could find someone with at least marginal policy expertise necessary to carry out their elected duties without everybody holding their hand, but I guess electing worthy leaders is a luxury whose time has past for Repubs.

    Richard Riordan is the only GOP candidate with the experience and moderate political values that would make him a comfortable fit for California, should the republic decide to become a banana republic by recalling Davis, which will be the biggest mistake the California Republicans could ever make.

  11. Mark,

    Regarding Liddy and Hills…

    Liddy Dole is a native of North Carolina. Rather different than Hillary! going to a state she had never lived in, donchathink?

  12. Mitch, I get it. If you’ve lived in a location at some point in your life, that exempts you from being a carpetbagger. That’ll make it alot easier for you to justify Dubya’s run against Joe Lieberman for the Connecticut Senate in 2006 after he either gets impeached or voted out of the Presidency in 2004.

  13. Mark, Mark, Mark. I light your strawman on fire and kick it off the stage.

    Dole has real, genuine blood connections with the state of North Carolina; other than Kansas, it was really the best place for her to run.

    The ONLY connection Hillary! had was pure expediency (and the boundless stupidity of New York Democrats).

    Bush didn’t need to carpetbag; he won his election in the state he lived in, fair and square.

    On his way to two terms in DC, that is.

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