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Americans Elect Signature Worker: “We’re not allowed to talk to Press”

Reporter Alexis Tittle of GC Summit reports on her encounter with paid signature gatherers for Americans Elect at Grossmont College in California on Wednesday:

When they solicit Grossmont students’ signatures for the three forms on their table, Tony Willison and Randy Shimizu get, according to them, no hourly wage or compensation for Prop 8 or Voter Registration, and are paid only one dollar for every signature on a petition whose aim is to create a new political party – The Americans Elect….

I was curious about the petition calling for the new political party. But when I asked about the petition, Shimizu told me, “we’re not allowed to talk to press about it” … When I asked Willison about The Americans Elect petition, he responded, “I don’t know what they’re doing – they just gave us a piece of paper and said ‘do not talk to the press.'”… Willison stated several times during the conversation, “we don’t know what’s going on.”

13 thoughts on “Americans Elect Signature Worker: “We’re not allowed to talk to Press””

  1. J. Clifford says:

    A public petition to create a political party? They’re not ALLOWED to talk about it?!?

    What kind of crazy organization is this?

  2. Tom says:

    Especially since the workers, when asked legitimate questions by the people whose signatures they solicit reply “we don’t know what’s going on.” i can’t see this group going very far, big money or not.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Watch and see what happens when they deploy their money for public relations and start using Roger Craver’s media connections to book appearances on NewsHour and coverage by the Atlantic and Hotline. Look for that to start soon.

  3. TOOL says:

    Petitioners can’t talk about the petition they are talking about. Epic Fail.

  4. Ore says:

    J. Clifford,

    Victory Consultants, the main Arno Political Consultants contractor in San Diego County, has had all of it’s petition circulators sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding giving information to the press.

    As for the petitioners not knowing anything about the party, more than likely no information has been given to them. The only information about the petition is the one line of text on top of the petition. There isn’t much more information to be found online aside from funding and possible connections with certain people.

    1. Jim says:

      Ore, can you share what that one line of text is? Not being in California, we are dependent on the reports of people like you. Thanks.

      1. Ore says:

        I don’t know, I am not circulating the petition since I don’t deal with APC.

        I just asked a friend of mine, according to him it says “Americans Elect petition to participate in the primary election” at the top. The rest of the petition is just standard stuff that is on all petitions(disclaimer at the top and declaration at the bottom). Nothing is written on the back. I’ve heard the street price is either $1.25 or $1.50 per signature, so it sounds like the petitioners in San Diego were getting ripped off.

        Considering the number of valid signature the campaign needs (a little under 1.1 million in the state of California alone). APC was paid $2.1 million in 2009 to collect signatures for prop 16, which they only needed a little under 700,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. The street price for that petition was $.70. So I wouldn’t be surprised if APC will be paid $5+ million for California alone on this campaign. Considering they’re doing this in all 50 states, this is crazy money, not even going into campaigning or any of that.

        Sorry if you already know all of this. I’m just trying to find out more information on this party.

  5. Jenn says:

    I just ran into a signature-gatherer for this. He said the petition was so that voters would have more than two parties to choose from in elections. This didn’t make any sense to me, since there are already more than two parties in California, so I questioned him about it. He said he didn’t have the text of the petition (I didn’t realize this was a petition to start a new party until I did some research when I got home), that telling me what I was signing was what *he* was there for. Then he gave me a bogus “.gov” website to read the petition at, so I asked if he worked for the Secretary of State, and he said “Yes.”

    This goes beyond misrepresentation, and into outright fraud, IMO. Most people won’t question this at all, and the wording is incredibly vague, due to the name of the “party”. I suspect they chose the name for just that reason- it’s so generic that no one will understand what it’s about, and it makes it difficult to google it to get more info. Their website is equally vague, not giving any stated intention other than the standard new-politician’s promise to be better than the current set of scoundrels.

    If they were genuinely about bridging the divide between parties, they would call themselves the Centrist Party, or the Bridge Party, or something that wasn’t so vague. This is political Google-bombing at its worst, mark my words…

    1. Ore says:


      Most petitioners have no idea who they work for. Misrepresentation? Perhaps. But probably not intentional.

      Petitionrs are mostly just unemployed people who answer ads like this:

      9 out of 10 will quit after a week, most of the rest will end up getting ripped off by the petition management companies they work for. These companies will give them very little information about the petitions they work on and who they’re ultimately working for.

      Basically, don’t put your blame in the petitioners themselves, they may very well end up being the victims of all this. Most have no idea what they’re doing. The ad above for example is utter crap, full of lies.

      1. Jim says:


        Thank you for the example — and from that start I’ve been able to finagle that ProVote America is one of the companies putting paid circulators out there to wrangle Americans Elect signatures. More on that today.

        1. Ore says:

          More than likely they are merely subcontractors of JSM Inc

          Who are in turn, subcontractors of Arno Political Consultants

          APC has the contract for the state of California, everyone is going through them. APC has well established territories in California, any manager doing work in Orange county or parts of LA county is forced to turn into JSM, APC’s main contractor for the area.

          I apologize if this sounds confusing, just trying to clear things up. Just telling you that I seriously doubt ProVote America is a major player in this Americans Elect petition and will know little to nothing about Americans Elect. Basically, they’re subcontractors of subcontractors of subcontractors, way down on the totem pole.

          1. Jim Cook says:

            Thanks, Ore. Americans Elect’s use of Arno Political Consultants goes back to 2010, back when Americans Elect still disclosed its expenditures (it doesn’t now as a 501c4 organization).

  6. Savana Ferguson says:

    Hi guys, I am a paid petition circulator who does work under a contractor who works under a contractor from APC (Arnold Political Consultants) and I must say, I am very disappointed in the very nerve of some “contractors” these days. Those ads posted on craigslist are not always crap, that site is where I found my current position, I have been petitioning for 5 years but am new to the area and found craigslist to be my best contact list. That is not to say that there aren’t a bunch of crappy “coordinators” out there looking to scam a few bucks by grossly disregarding state and federal regulations, and those individuals should be brought to the attention of proper authorities (see: ) and disbarred from the political community.
    You can find any information about the Americans Elect ballot initiative on , and this is common knowledge for any petitioner of repute. I am currently in a battle with a “fellow” petitioner whom does not explain his pages, and is quite rude to passer bys, giving us all a bad name. Tomorrow morning when I arrive at my favorite spot (the courthouse) I will be further questioning this individual and potentially reporting him to my superiors at the very least, possibly even the sheriff as this is a serious crime.
    When I approach a potential signer, the first words out of my mouth are “Are you registered to vote?” followed by the title of the ballot initiative and it’s message. Here is a snippet from that website, which is basically the talking points I adhere to when collecting signatures;

    How Americans Elect works.
    In summer 2012, Americans Elect will hold a secure convention online in which any registered voter of any party can become a Delegate and help pick a competitive ticket for President and Vice President, unaffiliated with any political party. Until then, we are working to secure ballot access for this ticket in all 50 states. Any person who meets the constitutional qualifications to be President may seek the Americans Elect nomination. More details will come soon.”

    Any petitioner that does not openly disclose specific details of the initiative as well as contact information is either highly untrained and needs to seek different employment if they aren’t interested in LEARNING THEIR TRADE, or a fraud. Good luck to us all and have a lovely evening.

    Savana Ferguson Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, I will not be checking this blog again.
    Tulare County, CA

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