It’s Common Sense: Let Californians Speak in a Safe Way
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The California Common Sense Party is attempting to be officially recognized, so that it can participate in helping independent-minded candidates running for the state legislature this November. The COVID-19 virus shut down all signature-gathering operations in the state, so we had to stop short of the required 68,000 registrations. However, as of March 8, when we had to stop gathering registrations in person, we had 20,000 registrations – more than enough to show that we are a serious party in-formation. That was enough for federal courts in Illinois and Michigan to lower the registration requirements there, and for state courts in Massachusetts and Maryland to do the same.
However, in California, Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra have taken the position that we should have continued gathering registrations through in-person meetings outside of shopping centers. This clearly contradicts Gov. Newsom’s order to limit in-person encounters during the pandemic. Nevertheless, the courts have been unwilling to contradict the elected state officials, and our lawsuits are now on appeal from adverse rulings at the trial court level.
Today, we’re calling on Padilla and Becerra to drop their legalistic position that the Common Sense Party technically could have continued to gather in-person registrations. If they don’t renounce their lawyers’ court-room positions, we are calling on Gov. Newsom to do what governors in Illinois, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Utah, and Washington State have done in lowering registration requirements because of the virus.
Six feet of physical distancing, clean pens for each signer, and people avoiding engagement due to COVID-19 effectively shuts down opportunities for the party to gather signatures in the most effective way – in person. Even without these common-sense restrictions, social behavior will likely make in-person signature gathering more difficult for the foreseeable future.
The California Common Sense Party is a party-in-formation “for the rest of us.” It will be fiscally responsible, socially inclusive and compassionate, and data-driven. But, let’s first start by applying common sense to the laws and lower signature requirements in the face of the pandemic.