Signature Gathering for Brown’s Tax Initiative

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The campaign team for California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative says it plans to turn in signature petitions in the next couple of weeks.  It’s a little over halfway to its goal of 1-point-2 million signatures.  To meet that goal, the campaign isn’t just using paid signature gatherers – it’s relying on some less-common methods as well.

Robert Wachman (like “walkman”) is a “semi-retired” community college professor in Yuba City.  His friend forwarded him a petition emailed by a community group, and he says he gathered about 20 signatures.

SIGS2A / Wachman:I basically explained to people in my own words that this is an initiative to get more money for schools, and that it was going to raise income taxes for the wealthier people but not the rest of us.” (0:15)

Unions and the governor’s website have also distributed petitions.  And the California Democratic Party mailed petitions to registered party members.  That’s a tactic traditionally used by Republicans … with mixed success.

WRAP

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PROMO: Governor Brown’s political team is pulling out all the stops to get his proposed tax initiative on the November ballot.

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Governor Jerry Brown’s political team is playing catch-up in its bid to qualify his proposed tax initiative for the November ballot.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, his consultants are turning to some not-so-familiar strategies.

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There are paid signature gatherers, who are charging the governor’s campaign up to three dollars a signature … and then, there are folks like Robert Wachman.  He’s a semi-retired community college professor in Yuba City, and after a friend emailed him a petition for Brown’s tax measure, he printed it out and took it to work.  Wachman says he got about 20 signatures…

SIGS1A / Wachman: “It was a pretty easy sell.  I don’t think very many people even read the statement on the petition.  They just went ahead and filled it out.” (0:08)

…though not everyone said yes.

SIGS1B / Wachman: “There’s one guy I remember in particular – and he said no, I think we need to do a better job managing the money we already have.” (0:07)

The California Democratic Party is conducting its own effort – complete with robocalls and mailed petitions.  The governor’s campaign says it’s a bit more than halfway to its goal of 1-point-2 million signatures … which it plans to submit in the next couple of weeks.

Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio news.

At the State Capitol, I’m Ben Adler.

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