San Diego, CA. - As reported by IVN San Diego, the political games and drama surrounding the Fair Voter Participation Act and the efforts to get the measure onto the November ballot would make the best Telenovelas blush. Now, County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar is making sure the community is aware of her feelings on those efforts.
Last Friday, Superior Court Judge Ronald Styn, appointed to the bench in 2000 by Governor Gray Davis, ordered County Registrar Michael Vu “take all actions necessary to ensure that the Full Voter Participation Act (FVPA) of 2018 appears on the county’s ballot for the November 6, 2018 election.”
The move was stunning as it essentially nullified the County Board of Supervisors request to study the measure and perhaps delay for the 2020 ballot.
If passed by voters, the FVPA would do the same thing for the county that Measures K and L did for the City of San Diego in 2016, having all elections decided when voter turnout is highest, in November.
Supervisor Kristin Gaspar Unloads
County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, who docketed the item for the County to consider, sent IVN San Diego a blistering statement regarding the court's decision:
"Working with the Legislature and SEIU in this state is like playing board games with small children," Gaspar wrote, "The rules are constantly changing and they always seem to favor the person changing the rules! After a failed effort from Sacramento to dictate how our County runs local elections, SEIU simply went to their cronies in the Legislature to change the rules they themselves wrote."
Gaspar is referring to an administrative error in the original writing of the initiative.
Because of that error, the initiative had to be reworked and rushed to Governor Brown's desk in time for Registrar Michael Vu to conduct a recount of the signatures. The retroactive fix was the subject of an emergency petition brought by the Republican Party of San Diego County to nullify the initiative.
Gaspar called the process "highly unethical."
"Despite the Legislature retroactively changing the rules, the County expedited the signature counting and I personally late-docketed the item outside of our normal course of business to give this initiative consideration," Gaspar continued, "Due to the highly unethical manner in which this initiative came to the Board of Supervisors and the numerous unresolved issues that were glossed over, bypassed or outright ignored, our Board legally asked for a study. This time, the proponents manipulated the Court resulting in the complete reversal of a tentative ruling made just hours prior."
FVPA Proponents Respond
David Lagstein, a Political Director for SEIU, has been the point person in the effort to get the Fair Voter Participation Initiative on the ballot in November.
Lagstein sent IVN San Diego the following: “We are pleased that the judge honored the wishes of the 103,000 people that signed the petition, and we are confident that voters will support this common sense measure in November."
When the county decided to table the measure for a study, Lagstein noted additional efforts to get the measure on the 2018 ballot would be coming, calling the county’s move a “blatant and illegal use of procedural shenanigans.” At the time, labor was reportedly exploring all options to get the measure on the November ballot.
It's not yet clear if Superior Court Judge Ronald Styn's decision will be appealed.