State Senator Rollie Heath, who is leading the charge on the $3 Billion tax hike known as Prop 103, co-sponsored legislation in 2009 that seems at striking odds with the behavior of his own paid petition circulator whose deceptive behavior Heath tried to downplay to The Denver Post yesterday. Rollie's legislation, HB-1326 (PDF), was a bill "concerning the integrity of the statewide citizen-initiated petition process" aimed at cleaning up fraudulent signature gathering.
Rollie's paid petition circulator was caught on tape lying about what Prop 103 does — actually claiming it was an attempt to stop taxes from being raised. But Rollie doesn't seem to think that he has any responsibility for the lies being propagated about his ballot initiative, telling The Denver Post:
"When you rely on volunteers and paid circulators, you have no idea what they're saying."
Compare that to what Rollie's bill said about the importance of truthful petition circulators:
THE INITIATIVE PROCESS RELIES UPON THE TRUTHFULNESS OF CIRCULATORS WHO OBTAIN THE PETITION SIGNATURES TO QUALIFY A BALLOT ISSUE FOR THE STATEWIDE BALLOT
Help us out here, Rollie. If the initiative process "relies upon the truthfulness of circulators" shouldn't "having no idea" what they say be unacceptable?
Just as companies are responsible for the behavior of their employees, politicians running ballot initiatives are responsible for the behavior of their paid petition circulators.
If one employee is caught lying about what that company does, isn't it fair to ask if others lied as well? In the case of Prop 103, how many signatures were gathered fraudulently? Care to provide your paid petition circulators for deposition, Rollie?
We have heard from sources recently that there are many more problems, legally-speaking, related to the gathering of signatures for Prop 103. The lying petition circulator caught on tape may be just the tip of the iceberg.