Initiatives and Scammers

A volunteer with the I-1068 campaign catches some paid gatherers in Tacoma duping people into signing another petition by telling them it’s the Marijuana Reform Act.

I’ve had several occasions throughout this signature gathering cycle where paid gatherers have expressed frustration over the difficulty for them to get signers for their initiatives. One lady outside of my local Safeway took a few of my I-1068 petitions because people kept asking her if she had it for them to sign. At Folklife, one of the paid gatherers shadowed me for a bit to try to get more signatures from the people who were signing I-1068.

But in the end, those less popular initiatives will be on the ballot while I-1068 may not be. It’s all about having the money to pay people to get the signatures, and that simple fact is something that has made me more fully appreciate the mess that our initiative system has become.

UDPATE: Obviously, if the scam described in the post above is more widespread than just this one incident, there’d be a certain number of people who think they’ve signed I-1068, but really haven’t (and therefore would decline to sign the actual I-1068 petition if offered). With yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, we may be able to have the traceability required to figure out who’s been scammed and who was doing the scamming. You’re required as a signature gatherer to sign your name to the petitions you turn in.


  1. 1

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Apparently your pro-STONER krowd is too f***ed up to actually read something before they sign it.
    This is yet another example of your wrongheadedness….failing to hold folks accountable for reading what they sign.

    Do you blindly sign things put in front of you Lee? I don’t. Puddy, do you?
    See the difference between Constitutional Conservatives and Rootless Atheist Progressives is you KLOWNS boast about your intellectual prowess despite one boneheaded action after another.

    Folks like Puddy & I. We are humbly always RIGHT!

  2. 2


    Do you blindly sign things put in front of you Lee?

    I don’t, but some people do (and your belief that conservatives are less likely to do so is so adorable – like a child falling asleep near the fireplace on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa).

    I’d say about 75% of the people who signed my I-1068 petitions verified that what they were signing was really I-1068.

    Dance, monkey, dance!!

  3. 3

    mikek spews:

    Working on 1068 as a volunteer has converted me into a firm believer that the initiative process in this state is undemocratic in the same way most of our politics is undemocratic: money is way too much of a factor, and changes need to be made to the process. Paying signature gatherers subverts the spirit of the initiative process, which is supposed to be about the citizens taking direct action to effect change. I’m not naive, I’ve been following politics since the 60’s, before I was 18 (I proudly cast my vote for McGovern in 72 as the first group of 18 year old presidential voters, newly enfranchised by the 26th amendment), so I know all too well that the rest of our system has been corrupted by money. However, seeing the way it works up close the way I have over the last 4 months of volunteering has really driven the point home to me in a personal way.

  4. 5


    Hey monkey-boy, you can dance here and make us all laugh at you, but you have to be on-topic for this thread.

  5. 6

    Steve spews:


    No, it’s about freedom, you dumbfuck KLOWN, not that your vile, America-hating ilk could give a rat’s ass about fucking freedom.

  6. 7

    Steve spews:

    The KLOWN comes out of his barn long enough to let us know that he wants to deny Americans the freedom to smoke a joint in their homes. Tell it to the goat, KLOWN.

    “Constitutional Conservatives”

    At least he grasps that “Republican”, “GOP”, “Libertarian” and “Teabagger” as brands are as disgustingly soiled as a Klynical KLOWN Kostume. Konstitutional Konservative KLOWNS is a far more apt handle for these despicable shits.

  7. 8

    Poster Child spews:

    I really wish people would be more discerning about what petitions they sign. I think a lot of people take the attitude that as long as someone has taken the time and trouble (and expense) to organize an Initiative that it somehow therefore deserves to be on the ballot.

    Obviously we’re not the only state in tax and budget disarray, but I’m certain our situation is worse that it would be were it not for the eponymous horses ass and all the signers who didn’t give his propositions enough thought.

    Obviously there are some people who really want to starve the beast, but I think most people just aren’t making the connection between an adequately funded government and adequately run government services (like roads).

    And to get this back on topic: the immigration rally which messed up downtown traffic on Wednesday induced me to change bus routes and I was no longer going to be able to swing by the West Seattle business hosting an I-1068 signing event, but there at the other bus stop I was approached by an I-1068 volunteer. I signed and thanked her heartily for giving me the chance.

    at least I think that’s what i signed…

  8. 9

    Mark1 spews:

    I light of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on the R-71 lawsuit, I think it’ll be hysterically hilarious when all the stoners that signed I-1068 have their names released and then shockingly get yanked in at work by their bosses for a “random” drug test. You know, all that shit about “transparency” and “right to know” and all….

    (double edges sword falls….)

  9. 10

    Alki Postings spews:

    What kind of a shock is this…money buys you what you want politically 90% of the time. It’s not fool proof. Witness the Mitt Romney campaign. But 90% of the time you can buy what you need. If you pay people to get signatures, they’ll say or do whatever it takes (flat out lying included) to get signatures. I ran into a lady down on Alki with a pile of these clipboards…she finally admitted she didn’t really know what any of them were about, so I’m sure she just told people whatever they wanted to hear (“is this for blah blah blah?”) so they sign it. Shocking…not.

    @9 If your boss makes you do a drug test because he finds you name on a petition….you should quit. You work for a piece of crap “tough on drugs” Republican idiot who bases decisions on magic and superstition not reality. You’d be better off with a job for a rational human. :)

    Remember marijuana is magically evil and contains 15.7% demon energy, while vodka and cigarettes make the baby Jesus giggle…or something like that. Apparently America loves drunk driving deaths, cancer and domestic violence more than listening to Pink Floyd and eating Cheetos…whatever.

  10. 11

    Steve spews:

    @8 The only petitioner I’ve encountered was at the Safeway in Shelton. I was actually driving out of the lot when a woman approached my car. An older lady, she looked nice enough so I stopped, lowered the window and let her speak. As kindly as she appeared, she sounded rather cranky. She wanted to know if I would sign I-1056 to “get the illegals out of Washington”. She about spit that line out. As nicely as I could muster, I told her I hadn’t read it and therefore wouldn’t sign it. She accepted that and I drove off. I got on line later, looked it up and, eh, I definitely won’t be signing that one. Odd, I don’t recall any discussion of I-1056 on this blog. Maybe I missed it.

  11. 12


    I had to pass a piss test to work at my current job and I’m not even remotely worried about this scenario (and I not only signed the petition, but signed the backs of petitions as the gatherer). Although it’s entirely possible that some insanely anti-pot employer might think of doing this, it’s also possible they’ll run into legal problems if they actually try.

  12. 13

    If you're not Dutch, then you're not much spews:

    sounds like a bunch of sour grapes by people who arent going to get their initiative to the voting stage.

  13. 15

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I was thinking precisely the same thing.
    The problem Mark is that most of the signers are lifestyle unemployed people.
    So they don’t have to worry.

  14. 16

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    12. Lee spews:

    Although it’s entirely possible that some insanely anti-pot employer might think of doing this, it’s also possible they’ll run into legal problems if they actually try.

    Why? Many employees are at will…not protected by Unions. But even under Union Contracts there are drug-testijng provisions.
    You raised the issue Lee without finishing your sentence. Check with a lawyer friend and tell us WHY?

  15. 17


    Why? Many employees are at will…not protected by Unions.

    My understanding is that it is illegal to fire a person solely because of their political leanings. I could be wrong about that, but singling out a person to take a drug test because of their political views could also cross that line. It’s certainly something the ACLU would know about, so if someone whose opinion I care about wants to know, I’ll take the time to ask them.

  16. 18


    No, your comment at #4 was not even close to on topic. It was about Patty Murray and her poll numbers. That’s why it (and your comment bitching about it) were removed.

  17. 19


    The problem Mark is that most of the signers are lifestyle unemployed people.

    That statistic came from so far inside of your own ass, not even your biggest dildo has touched it.

    Dance, monkey, dance!!

  18. 21


    If the words “Patty Murray” appear in any comment you leave in this thread, just assume that it will be removed.

    If this is a problem for you, call your therapist.

    Dance, monkey, dance (but do it on topic)!!

  19. 22

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    So Lee–
    It’s unfair for me to ask if one of our State’s unesteemed Senator’s has signed the petition…or even been asked to sign the petition?
    My, you are losing it.

  20. 23

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    If one of our unesteemed State Senator’s has signed and you can prove it…I will go out & get some sigs for you Lee.
    Show me da proof!

  21. 24


    It’s unfair for me to ask if one of our State’s unesteemed Senator’s has signed the petition…or even been asked to sign the petition?

    Your comment wasn’t unfair, it was off-topic. And so that everyone knows, the part about Murray signing the petition was only a small part of the comment. You were primarily posting polling on the Senate race in general, which is why your comment was deleted.

    Dance, monkey, dance (but do it on topic)!!

  22. 25

    rhp6033 spews:

    Lee @ 17: Employment in Washington State is generally “at will”, meaning either the employee or the employer can terminate it without notice or reason.

    There are, of course exceptions:

    Government jobs come with civil-service rules which limit the grounds for firing. But those jobs also come with quite a bit of restrictions which encumber the employee in their political conduct. Usually this means you can’t use your work telephone, computer, office, etc. for political activity. It also means you can’t use your job status to lend credibility to your off-hours political activites.

    Any contract between the employee and the employer can give the employee or the employer additional rights. This includes collective bargaining agreements (union contracts).

    An employer cannot discriminate based upon race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, religion. But political opinions or membership in political organizations is not a protected class.

    An employer cannot fire or refuse to hire someone because of their position in the Army Reserve or National Guard, even if frequent call-ups disrupt their work schedules.

    Anyway, those are all the exceptions which come immediately to mind. I may think of others later.

  23. 26

    rhp6033 spews:

    Just to be clear, an employer cannot MAKE you take a blood or urine test. But they can condition your continued employment on you agreeing to being tested anytime the employer asks.

  24. 27


    That sounds about right, and it may be a state-by-state difference in what I’ve experienced. In the HR online guide that we have to take at my current company, we’re told that people cannot be fired for political activity. My company is not based in Washington, so it’s possible that they’ve simply adopted a different state’s laws as their company-wide policy. It’s also possible that they say that, but then don’t follow their own rules.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I think the bigger question here is whether they can single out a particular employee and do that based on their political leanings. Based on what else you’ve said, it sounds like they might. But as a few commenters have already pointed out, any company that did so would probably have some difficulty retaining top people (especially in the tech world).

  25. 28

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    You got the major exceptions.
    And Lee— an employer is under no obligation to explain why you are canned unless challenged based on one of the exceptions.
    Employers I have worked with have drug-testing policies they enforce uniformly. They wouldn’t pull someone out of your Initiative dungheap of sigs so relax.

  26. 29


    They wouldn’t pull someone out of your Initiative dungheap of sigs so relax.

    I’m well aware of that. Most employers don’t have the time or desire to do something that petty.

    As I mentioned before, I had to take a piss test to get hired on at my current company (I’m an IT QA Manager at a financial services company) and I’m not even concerned about being a volunteer for I-1068 and collecting signatures. But I have run across a number of people who are worried about this (mostly public sector workers). In fact, I encountered a woman who said she’d be fired for signing because she was a federal employee, even though another federal employee had just signed the petition and chatted with me for about 10 minutes.

    The fact that we actually worry about this is indicative of why we have such a messed-up policy nationwide. It’s not enough that it’s illegal, we have to cultivate an environment where people are afraid to say something as simple as “people should have the freedom to put what they want into their own bodies” (which, Mr. C, if you were a real conservative, you’d recognize as a Jeffersonian ideal).

  27. 30

    Chris spews:

    I cannot understand why anyone would sign a petition without looking at it and checking they are signing the right one. That is plain stupid. But maybe we can sue to right this wrong. Find a judge with liberal leanings and call up every person who signed 1107 and not 1068 and ask if they meant to sign 1068. If so, there names should be switched from 1107 to 1068.

  28. 31

    Chris Stefan spews:

    My Aunt supports I-1068 but won’t sign because she has a relatively high-profile job with the state.