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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Recording Allegedly Shows a Signature Gatherer for the Repeal-$15 Effort Giving Out False Information

Posted by on Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Working Washington, the labor-backed group that helped push for Seattle's $15 minimum wage law, says it has caught a signature gatherer giving out false information about a new referendum effort that seeks to repeal the city's historic wage hike.

In the above audio recordings, a man who Working Washington says was out signature-gathering recently for the repeal-$15 effort can be heard telling a voter that by signing to get a repeal vote on the ballot, the voter will be helping to raise the minimum wage (and that the city council hasn't yet voted on the matter, and that a $15 minimum wage hasn't been legalized in Seattle yet).

In fact, the city council voted unanimously to raise Seattle's minimum wage to $15 earlier this month, Mayor Ed Murray signed the legislation into law, and—unless it's repealed through this signature gathering effort—the new law will take effect in April of next year.

Working Washington says this isn't the only instance it has catalogued of repeal-$15 signature gatherers misleading voters, and calls all of this "abhorrent." Forward Seattle, the business-leader-backed group behind the signature gathering effort, did not respond to requests for comment on Working Washington's recordings.


Comments (30) RSS

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Theodore Gorath 1
I am sure this thread will be full of erudite observations, arrived at by only the most stringent academic standards of research and citation.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 1, 2014 at 6:12 AM · Report this
NopeNope 2
Ya gotta realize that your cause is fucked when you not only have to lie, but to tell people that you're collecting signatures for the exact opposite reason. But of course, using grassroots tactics for this specific cause is pretty half-baked as it is.
Posted by NopeNope on July 1, 2014 at 6:18 AM · Report this
What the hell is wrong with these people?! Ugh. I'd love to hold a sign with the truth on it and stand next to them.
Posted by PistolAnnie on July 1, 2014 at 6:19 AM · Report this
raindrop 4
@1: Well, I was going to point out some things but given what you said I'll reserve comment.
Posted by raindrop on July 1, 2014 at 6:19 AM · Report this
are most signature gatherers paid to gather them? I figured thats why this guy is collecting for both Uber and Forward Seattle. Isn't it possible that this guy is just not giving a shit and not being a sneaky anti-15 operative?
Posted by derpyderpington on July 1, 2014 at 6:37 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 6
Sorry, but don't sign petitions unless you are 100% positive you know what you are signing. It's really that simple. And these days when I run into signature gatherers I tell them I never sign petitions because of Tim Eyman. The man who has raped the initiative process in this state.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 1, 2014 at 6:41 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 7
@ 6, I hope you at least first take the petition to read thoroughly (or pretend to), because they hate it when you try to read it rather than just buy their spiel. And then watch them try to keep their cool when you don't sign it.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 1, 2014 at 6:49 AM · Report this
@8 nope. The referendum will repeal $15 and replace it with nothing. Sounds like they lied to you too.
Posted by Fat-tailed on July 1, 2014 at 7:00 AM · Report this
@5 agree. The question is who is training them to say the min wage referendum would raise it. Dude is probably just doing his job. Who gave him that job? Forward Seattle did.
Posted by Fat-tailed on July 1, 2014 at 7:02 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 11
Expect the entire campaign to be like this. Raising the minimum wage is generally a popular idea. So the only way "Forward Seattle" can win is to sew confusion and dissent through lies and misrepresentations.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on July 1, 2014 at 7:04 AM · Report this
A few things:

1. You can always ask to read the initiative you're signing.
2. Watch out when they pull back a sheet of paper to show another place to sign without showing you the top of the page. (This makes more sense when you imagine a few sheets of paper on a clipboard.) It's a sneaky as fuck way to hide what you're signing.

@7 Is right, it really pisses them off when you want to read something.
Posted by Solk512 on July 1, 2014 at 7:08 AM · Report this
Confusing thing on this is that the text printed on the petition is what they want to repeal. (For an initiative, it's what they want to pass.) so just reading it can make you think you're supporting what's written... especially if they tell you that to begin with.
Posted by Fat-tailed on July 1, 2014 at 7:21 AM · Report this
More seriously, where can we report this behavior if we encounter it in the wild? Lying to people about what they are signing is some dirty, dirty shit, regardless of what is being signed. Is this behavior actually illegal?
Posted by Solk512 on July 1, 2014 at 7:22 AM · Report this
In Goldy's blog, someone pointed out that WA is a two party consent state for audio recording. I didn't hear the signature gatherer consent to being recorded, did you ?
Posted by ChefJoe on July 1, 2014 at 8:10 AM · Report this
@14 I wish I could find the reference but there was a case where it was determined that signature gatherers can lie as much as they want about the contents of initiatives without penalty. They get paid per signature so they just don't give a fuck about anything except your John Hancock for their pay day.
Posted by decidedlyodd on July 1, 2014 at 8:16 AM · Report this
Fnarf 18
They've lied to me too. Sons of bitches. The funny thing is, I saw them outside QFC in Wallingford, but they immediately turned tail and skedaddled when a cop car pulled up and parked. Very bizarre.
Posted by Fnarf on July 1, 2014 at 8:28 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 19
Haven't I been saying that the greatest nemesis of these anti-15 guys is a live microphone?

Tim Keck gave them a platform here for weeks and the lied themselves into defeat. They'll take every chance they get to express their contempt for workers and their opportunistic need to deceive.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on July 1, 2014 at 8:38 AM · Report this

If I want to see video featuring lying sacks of shit, I have my choice between MSNBC and FOX.

(Remember when Rachel Maddow was snarky, somewhat balanced and cool? Throw a little cash her way and she'll dance the tune. Hope and change.)
Posted by Zok on July 1, 2014 at 8:46 AM · Report this
auntie jim 21
paid signature gatherers are paid to lie. You see them, raise hell! scream at people not to sign and tell them loudly that they are being lied to. Use a lot of expletives, this will usually get them kicked out of the Fred Meyer parking lot because people will complain that someone was yelling dirty words in front of their child etc. and you an spoil their otherwise profitable day.
Posted by auntie jim on July 1, 2014 at 8:53 AM · Report this
They knew they were lying and when they saw the cops they knew the cops would quiz them, ask them about clauses in the petition. Cops would ask for witnesses who had heard them and then take them to jail. It's a good thing you didn't get involved. Could have been dangerous.
Posted by caution&daring on July 1, 2014 at 9:22 AM · Report this
I saw one at the Safeway at 15th and 85th in Ballard. He asked if I was a Seattle voter as I left, and I told him as I walked away that I wasn't interested in what he was selling. Well, that didn't please him at all! The entire way that I walked back to my car, he yelled at me that I didn't know what I was talking about and I didn't know what his petition was about and on and on. Without ever looking back at him, I simply yelled that I knew exactly what he was doing and I still wasn't interested. The yelling continued anyway.
Posted by sloggerette on July 1, 2014 at 9:36 AM · Report this
fletc3her 24
I stopped signing petitions on the street some years ago. The paid gatherers are the worst.
Posted by fletc3her on July 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM · Report this
Forward Seattle hired these guys from out of state: They come in, lie about their shit, and then leave with their pay for the next highest bidder.

So yes, even in grassroots movements, there's money being thrown around to buy your processes. Free market transparency my asshole.
Posted by themightywoozie on July 1, 2014 at 10:39 AM · Report this
seatackled 26
Photograph and video them.
Posted by seatackled on July 1, 2014 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Simply Me 27
Signature gatherers did this shit during the marriage campaign too. They told people they were signing to legalize same-sex marriage. Be an informed voter -- and signer.

Posted by Simply Me on July 1, 2014 at 4:52 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 28
And of course, NO ONE points out the obvious: WHERE THE HELL IS THE "FOOTAGE"?! All this is is an audio only tape made by UNION ACTIVISTS on a UNION YOUTUBE ACCOUNT!
IF the CATO institute had an audio only recording of a 15Now activist lying, no one would believe it, AND RIGHTFULLY SO.
Here is an audio only video of David Lettermen trying to get into a you people believe that too?…
And before you rush to defend Working Washington, keep in mind it is a front group for the SEIU...THIS SEIU:……
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 1, 2014 at 6:50 PM · Report this
@28 I realize you've convinced yourself that whatever business you work for pouring wine will close down the instant the minimum wage increase goes into effect. Although none of your comments indicate that your employer has told you that the business will shut down. Still that is a distressing thought to convince yourself of.

Lashing out in irrational anger isn't going to help your job prospects regardless of where you move.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on July 1, 2014 at 9:49 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 30
If the value of 15/hour stays the same (I doubt it will) the question is this: who will hire someone who doesn't speak fluent English at 15/hour? How will recent immigrants, suddenly competing with people with college degrees, ever find jobs in this city? What about high school dropouts? People with felony records?
This will create an entire class of unemployable people in Seattle and make a very white city even whiter. I don't want to be around to see what the consequences of this will be.
"Irrational" is this law itself. A rational choice would be to slowly raise the MW to maybe $11 an hour, and give tax breaks to businesses that voluntarily raise their starting pay higher. But Sawant's flying monkeys wouldn't want to hear that.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 1, 2014 at 10:28 PM · Report this
@30 Oh that's an easy answer. Because the question at hand is limited to Seattle proper. A nationwide minimum wage floor would be a different question.

That's just the thing, the core of why I keep telling you, dude you are delusional and utopian in your thinking bordering on unhinged. IT IS NOT ONLY A FUCKING BIG COUNTRY WE LIVE IN, IT IS A FUCKING BIG WORLD.

Your stupid anarchy-capitalism, libertarianism, whatever the fuck your calling it today, was tried and failed to scale up.

Keep slamming your head into that wall it will continue to fail and you appear to be growing angrier an angrier about that failure.

Take a deep breath, step back, maybe read some Voltaire. Whatever. But climb down off that angry horse you're gonna hurt yourself or worse someone else.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on July 1, 2014 at 11:39 PM · Report this
You can keep your doctor. You can keep your plan.
Posted by tom Sullivan on July 2, 2014 at 8:32 AM · Report this

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