I took a video camera up to UCSB and found some folks luring students in with "help us cure cancer" when in fact one of their petitions is the so-called "Electoral College Reform Act" -- a blatant attempt to steal the White House in 2008.
See the Courage Campaign YouTube here, and then send this on to your friends in California. Tell them to keep their eyes peeled for dirty tricksters when they go shopping this weekend. If you encounter a petitioner trying to trick you with a line about "children with cancer," then click here to report when and where you saw the dirty tricksters.
Last week, University of California student Steven Attewell discovered a team of petitioners on the university campus at Santa Barbara. After discovering that the petitioners were trying to get signatures for the Dirty Trick Act, Mr. Attewell immediately contacted the Courage Campaign to help shine a spotlight on these illegal tactics. The following day, we found the petitioners using their deceptive tactics to get signatures from unsuspecting college students. And we had a video camera.
As you can see in the video, the petitioners said that their petition would "help children with cancer," and then proceeded to instruct well-meaning students to sign several petitions that were attached together on a single clipboard. The petitioners clearly tried to obscure the language on the petitions, using a rubber band to make it difficult for anyone signing to read beyond the first page. When pressed, the petitioners described some of the other issues (besides curing cancer) they were advocating, but their descriptions of the petition language on eminent domain and presidential election reform was unclear or inaccurate.
According to an investigation from the UCSB Daily Nexus, the petitioners in Santa Barbara said that they work for Arno Political Consultants (APC), a notorious Republican consulting firm which has previously contracted to get signatures for tobacco companies, Mobil Oil, and they've been discovered tricking people into registering to vote as a Republican. APC has been in courts all over America, as you can see here.
APC said that their corporation bears no responsibility for the tactics seen in Santa Barbara, and that any violations of election law are the fault of the individual signature-gatherers in Santa Barbara. This seems unlikely as reports are flowing in from across the state of APC petitioners using similar deceptive tactics used to get signatures on the Dirty Trick Initiative.
If you see anyone collecting signatures for the Dirty Trick, let us know right away by visiting CourageCampaign.org/sneaky. Send us your video, your photos and your stories; we'll post them and we'll offer them up when it comes time to challenge the process.
-Erik Love, CourageCampaign.org