We have heard plenty of criticism of political activists in the past week. Their methods were likened to terrorists and their tone, we were told, had echoes of the racism.
Surely those critics will be just as vocal in denouncing the California labor unions who have been trying to scare voters away from signing referendum petitions, right?
The Golden State’s finances are anything but, and unions are likely worried about the types of reform movements that gripped other states with budget woes (like New Jersey and Wisconsin). There are real possibilities that those reforms could be enacted by ballot referenda. And so, there are not one but two campaigns working to squash ballot measures before they even get on the ballot.
The California chapter of the SEIU’s Think Before You Ink laughably blames ballot initiatives for “silencing the voices of working Californians” through ballot initiatives. You read that correctly: the SEIU says that allowing voters to vote on referenda silences voters.
More insidious is Californians Against Identity Theft, which tells voters to stay away from petitions on the flimsy premise that signing risks identity theft. Petitions, of course, require voters to share their name and address – in other words, most (but not all) of the information that can be found in a phone book, if anyone uses those anymore.
CAIT gets more unhinged the more you dig. Check out this image from the website masthead:
It looks like someone found LSD, Red Bull, and Photoshop in the same weekend and had a bad trip. And if that’s not enough, listen to their radio commercial, which suggests that felons straight out of San Quentin are patrolling the Ralph’s parking lot, preying on your phone book information. And they might even send your information to (gasp!) India. Who knows what those Indians will do with it? the ad intones ominously.
CAIT is comically over the top; it is also a deceitful effort that plays on identity theft concerns and racial tensions to suppress voters from participating in democracy. The SEIU “Think Before You Ink” campaign is less egregious, but just as dishonest. Both are founded on the basic premise of sabotaging democracy.
Common Cause certainly knows it’s wrong, though Vice President Joe Biden has yet to liken the organized labor goons behind it to terrorist.
Crossposted at Punditleague.us.