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1:37 PM: A Bay Area-based group hoping to organize a statewide constitutional convention announced today they have put the campaign on hold, citing a lack of funds.

A week after claiming the movement was being derailed by “dirty tricks” from established signature gathering firms and Sacramento special interest groups, the group Repair California said it would call a halt to the campaign unless it received “significant new funds” by March 1.

Officials estimated the campaign was short about $3 million to $3.5 million.

Repair California, begun by officials from the Bay Area Council, a coalition of local business leaders, sought to call a constitutional convention to reform California’s budget, election and initiative processes.

The group was trying to put two measures on the November 2010 state ballot calling for the convention, which would be held the following year.

“Despite the great need and appetite for reform, we are in a tough economy,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, in a prepared statement.

“This was the ultimate good government movement, which is always a hard sell, and unless an angel or two appear, the official campaign needs to end,” Wunderman said.
Repair California officials said today they had collected only about 100,000 of the 1.8 million signatures (Repair California officials today clarified that about 1.8 million signatures were required for the ballot measures, not 1.4 million as earlier described.) required by a deadline at the end of April to place both measures on the ballot, but were confident they would have obtained the necessary amount.

At a news conference this morning, Wunderman called the campaign “a historic and important effort…and it doesn’t necessarily end here,” he said.

Wunderman said people “are absolutely hungry for reform” amid California’s “fiscal disarray.”

He acknowledged that fundraising for the campaign, begun a year and a half ago, had been initially delayed by about a month as the group perfected the ballot language.

“I think we were a little late in the game, but we wanted to get it right,” Wunderman said.
Repair California officials said that had the measures gone to the ballot this year, they had “a very, very strong chance of succeeding” based on their polling. They indicated they might try to revisit the ballot initiatives in 2012.

11:34 AM: A Bay Area-based group hoping to organize a statewide constitutional convention announced today they have put the campaign on hold, citing a lack of funds.

A week after claiming the movement was being derailed by “dirty tricks” from established signature gathering firms and Sacramento special interest groups, the group Repair California said it would call a halt to the campaign unless it received “significant new funds” by March 1.

Repair California, begun by officials from the Bay Area Council, a coalition of local business leaders, sought to call a constitutional convention to reform California’s budget, election and initiative processes.

The group was trying to put two measures on the November 2010 state ballot calling for the convention, which would be held the following year.

“Despite the great need and appetite for reform, we are in a tough economy,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, in a prepared statement.

“This was the ultimate good government movement, which is always a hard sell, and unless an angel or two appear, the official campaign needs to end,” Wunderman said.

A Repair California spokesman said last week that the group had collected only about 100,000 of the 1.4 million signatures required by a deadline at the end of April to place both measures on the ballot.

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  • Xenu

    So we’re fucked then, basically.

  • Rick

    i don’t think so…. but it would take a huge amount of grass roots organizing and some split-second precision to make it happen. only established people who could make that happen here would be someone like MoveOn + CourageCampaign.

    that said, why not try?

    heck, if the same people who stepped up to “defend marriage” felt like actually defending our state – we’d have all of the signatures we need with time to spare.