California Forward Waits and Waits

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Is today the day the Secretary of State will announce if the California Forward governance reform initiative has the signatures necessary to appear on the November ballot? Time is running out. The constitutional deadline for achieving ballot status is Thursday.  Supporters of the measure are demanding to know why the count is not done yet.

They have good reason to be curious. Even though the end date for a random sample verification of signatures for the California Forward measure is July 2 – after the constitutional deadline to make the ballot – the recent approval of the governor’s tax measure raises questions.

County registrars of voters usually count initiative petition signatures in the order they are submitted. Yet, despite the California Forward signatures coming in prior to the governor’s tax initiative petitions, the governor got his green light for November last week. Days have gone by and California Forward is still waiting.

The reform group submitted 1.2 million signatures May 7. Governor Brown submitted the first of his 1.5 million signatures to secure a spot for his tax increase measure on May 10.

California Forward noticed the timing difference. I was told attorneys for the group were burning up phone lines to county officials asking how this happened.

As I’ve noted in this space before, because public unions believe it contains elements of a spending limit, they don’t want to see the reform measure on the ballot as another November ballot initiative to draw their funds.

Might their prayers be answered and the initiative fails to meet Thursday’s cut-off date?

Joe Mathews, in his Fox and Hounds piece today, Jerry’s June 20 Miracle, reports checking with county clerks about the counting procedures and being assured officials did everything by the book.

Perchance, it was a miracle that the governor’s measure already had qualified for the ballot ahead of California Forward’s initiative.

Or maybe it’s just good to be governor.

Perhaps, today California Forward will find out the measure’s fate.

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