Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

California Governor Jerry Brown just vetoed Senate Bill 168, writing, “It doesn’t seem very practical to me to create a system that makes productivity goals a crime.”

Senate Bill 168 makes it illegal to pay someone circulating an issue petition based either directly or indirectly on the number of signatures gathered. In fact, had Brown signed SB 168 into law, you’d get thrown in jail for awarding a prize, say a campaign t-shirt, to the volunteer who gathers the most signatures.

Petition campaigns like productivity. They don’t want folks locked up for it.

Could undercutting productivity and doubling the cost of petitioning be the real goal of SB 168?

Perhaps outlawing incentives isn’t intended to slow the pace and super-size the cost of a petition drive. But it does. Californians have only 150 days to gather hundreds of thousands of voter signatures, so a slowdown and added cost means issues blocked from reaching the voters.

In a Sacramento Bee op-ed, Sen. Ellen Corbett, SB 168’s author, addressed concerns about diminished democracy, writing, “[I]n states that have enacted a similar law there has been no change in the number of initiatives qualifying for the ballot.”

But a review of those states shows a change — for the worse. Oregon saw a roughly 50 percent reduction in initiatives. In Montana and North and South Dakota the number of citizen measures dropped. After passage of productivity bans in Nebraska and Wyoming, neither state’s voters have seen another initiative on their ballot.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    Well, 10% unemployment is almost the same as no unemployment, so it would be logical that they would look at a 50% reduction of initiatives as almost the same as no change.

    Community organizing/agitating doesn’t have a math requirement.

  2. Bill says:

    Punishing productivity is working SO well on our economy, why not carry it over into the political arena?

  3. Jay says:

    Sen. Corbett probably DID NOT want to address the bill as a protection deal for the special interests-who give bribes-I mean campaign contributions- to the (primarily) incumbenents, to protect their interests.

    So she used other jargon. Ignoring facts, that are not compatible with her views.

  4. Jeff Daiell says:

    Did Sen. Corbett get mixed up, or just say something she knew to be false?

    Jeff Daiell

  5. Pat says:

    How many of those who voted for this bill hire campaign consultants and have at least some paid staff on their reelection campaigns? If this bill had become law the next step could have been an initiative to ban paying any campaign workers on any political campaigns.

  6. […] Sacramento, California, Governor Brown has already vetoed a bill passed by his own party’s legislators that would “drive up the costs of circulating […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2020 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top