The L.A. Times reports today that “veteran GOP consultants said Monday that they were relaunching a drive to change the way California allocates its electoral college votes, aimed at helping the 2008 Republican presidential nominee capture the White House.”
Political strategist David Gilliard said he was taking over the ballot initiative campaign, along with strategist Ed Rollins and fundraiser Anne Dunsmore. Consultant Mike Arno will oversee the signature-gathering effort.
Gilliard, who was instrumental in the recall of Democratic Governor Gray Davis in ’03, said “Our budget is going to be whatever it takes to make the June ballot,” said Gilliard. The electoral grab effort had “stalled last month when its original organizers failed to raise the $2 million needed to place the initiative on the June ballot.”
California Democrats “were gearing up to battle the measure” on Monday.
“Republicans seem to be pursuing a strategy where they will lose at the polls and, along the way, define the GOP as the party of electoral fraudster,” said Chris Lehane, a former Clinton White House aide who was organizing the opposition.
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has set Nov. 13 as the deadline for submitting signatures to place the measure on the June ballot. Backers must gather 434,000 valid signatures of registered voters. Because many signatures are typically deemed invalid, circulators will probably seek at least 650,000. The initial campaign had gathered about 100,000 signatures.
I remember during the circulation of petitions to recall Gray Davis there were rumors that petition gatherers were claiming that the petitions were to get more money for firefighters and schools in California. I wouldn’t be at all surprised in the wake of the SoCal wildfires, if they pulled something like this again.
SteveAudio has more here.