• California,  Identity Theft

    Shocker: California Group Warning About Identity Theft and Signing Initiative or Referendum Petitions Files as a Campaign Committee

    An unusual radio in California warns voters against signing petitions for ballot initiatives on the grounds that signers might be exposed to identity theft. This ad is posted here because such ads tend to disappear after campaigns are over. In this case, the ad appears to be an effort to discourage signing of a “paycheck protection” initiative which would make it difficult for labor unions to use dues money for political campaigns.

    Not really a surprise, now is it?

    A labor-backed group running controversial radio ads urging voters not to sign initiative petitions has formally filed as a campaign committee.

    Californians Against Identity Theft launched a website and radio campaign last week telling voters that signing petitions to qualify measures for state and local ballots increases the risk of identity theft.

    The group has come under fire for both its claims of an identity-theft threat, which some consumer advocates have blasted as false, and a lack of disclosure of its backers. The secretary-treasurer of the effort initially declined to identify donors funding the spot, though the president of the state building trades union acknowledged last week that he had helped think of the idea and was providing funding.

    State Building and Construction Trades Council of California President Bob Balgenorth told The Bee on Friday that he was not still directly involved in the effort, saying the corporation operating the campaign was formed by “some other people.” He declined to name the principals or other contributors, saying “I don’t know who all the people are.”

    But Balgenorth is listed as a principal officer on the committee’s statement of organization, which identifies its primary sponsors as the building trades union and the California State Pipe Trades Council. The two other officers of the committee, who were listed elsewhere as the president and secretary of Californians Against Identity Theft, also have ties to the building trades union.

    Liars, Liars, pants on fire. They don’t want voters to sign certain initiatives and are not worried about protecting voters from identity theft.

    Pretty standard in politics – scare people and lie.