Legislature should get on with the people’s business instead of focusing on SB 660 to reform the recall process.
By Bob Mulholland, Chico
Bob Mulholland is a Democratic operative in California, a campaign adviser for the California Democratic Party from 1991-2010, and a Democratic National Committee member from 1991-2020.
Re “Reform the recall process; make it honest”; Commentary, Sept. 22, 2021
I, along with many local grassroot organizers, thank the governor for vetoing Sen. Josh Newman’s Senate Bill 660.
SB 660 is the Democrats’ version of voter suppression. Many people of color on the edge of society collect signatures, at times that are convenient for themselves for a few extra bucks. SB 660 would subject them, when police are called by some store owners, to being fined $25,000 because they were paying people for each signature.
For decades I have organized signature drives. Local referendums must be done within 30 days, so a local group has to move quickly, sometimes having college students collect signatures for a dollar or two each. They choose the hours and sites. SB 660 would have required a business to be set up with accountants, election attorneys with federal and state taxes, Social Security, etc. be deducted before any initiative, referendum and/or recall was started.
With all the problems of COVID-19, wildfires, the economy, schools, crime, unemployment, homelessness, upcoming elections, it is amazing that the Legislature had extra time on its hands to push a bill that three governors have vetoed – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom.
Big industries, whether it’s insurance, health care, oil, tobacco or the Proposition 22 folks, can always qualify Initiatives or referendums, either statewide or local. It is the “small business” activists that would be shut down by SB 660. Uber can qualify whatever it wants under any rules, but under SB 660 type rules, Uber drivers and local community groups could not.
Let’s focus on the people’s business instead of a proposal already vetoed six times.