December 6, 2011
Contact: Nicole Winger
SACRAMENTO - California Secretary of State Debra Bowen today certified the first initiative for the November 6, 2012, Presidential Election ballot. The initiative would restrict political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. It joins one measure already placed on the ballot by the Legislature: SBx7 2, known as the Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2012 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 2009) and amended by AB 1265 (Chapter 126, Statutes of 2010).
In order to qualify for the ballot, the initiative needed 504,760 valid petition signatures, which is equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2010 gubernatorial election. A measure can qualify via random sampling of petition signatures if the sampling projects a number of valid signatures greater than 110 percent of the required number. The political fundraising initiative needed at least 555,236 projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling, and it exceeded that threshold today.
County elections officials have 30 working days to verify the validity of the signatures filed with their offices using a random sampling method. The state Elections Code requires county elections officials to verify 500 signatures or three percent of the number of signatures filed in the county, whichever is greater. Counties receiving fewer than 500 petition signatures are required to verify all the signatures filed in their elections offices.
The political fundraising initiative is the first ballot measure to qualify under the rules of SB 202 (Chapter 558, Statutes of 2011), which requires that all ballot measures approved after July 1, 2011, only appear on November general election ballots.
The Attorney General's official title and summary of the initiative is as follows:
PROHIBITS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY PAYROLL DEDUCTION. PROHIBITIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS TO CANDIDATES. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Same use restriction would apply to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Permits voluntary employee contributions to employer or union committees if authorized yearly, in writing. Prohibits unions and corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate-controlled committees. Other political expenditures remain unrestricted, including corporate expenditures from available resources not limited by payroll deduction prohibition. Limits government contractor contributions to elected officers or officer-controlled committees. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state implementation and enforcement costs of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, potentially offset in part by revenues from fines. (11-0010.)
The proponent of this initiative, Ashlee N. Titus, can be reached at (916) 442-7757.
For more information about the initiative process and history in California, go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/initiative-guide.htm.
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