On Friday, attention was drawn to a radio ad and new website that popped up by a group calling itself “Californians Against Identity Theft.” While its backers were not immediately identified (nothing on the website indicates who is behind the site), it didn’t take long to discover that, lo and behold, the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California is behind trying to scare voters away from signing petitions for measures to appear on California’s election ballots.
Following a tip from a RedState reader who had pulled site registration data that gave the telephone number and address of the
perpetrators web site registrant, a google search of the phone number revealed the owner to be the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California.
In the meantime, Capitol Alert, the site that originally drew attention to the union astroturf campaign confirmed the Building Trades’ involvement.
State Building and Construction Trades Council of California President Bob Balgenorth said he was part of a group of people who came up with the idea for Californians Against Identity Theft, which recently launched a radio spot and website urging listeners not to sign initiative petitions.
“I’ve long been concerned about the whole ballot initiative process, the fact that it’s not regulated as much as it should be,” he said.
The domain name for the group’s website is registered to the phone number and address of the union’s Sacramento office, but Balgenorth said that was a mistake and that he is not currently directly involved in the group or behind the website. He said the union has provided funding for Californians Against Identity Theft, though he said he does not know how much it has given so far.
Balgenorth declined to identify people running Californians Against Identity Theft or other backers, saying that while the issue is important to a lot of people, “I don’t know who all the people are.”
So, what has unions so worried that they would actively work to persuade Californians not to engage in the political process?
Well, there are a number of ballot measures that threaten unions and their dues stream [view the list here].
It’s ironic that unions—the self-proclaimed bastions of democracy—are funding projects to persuade people not to engage in the democratic process?
How utterly typical of today’s unions.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776