Steven Hill, a coalition member and director of the political reform program at the New America Foundation, made the announcement a few minutes ago at a constitutional reform convention in Sacramento. It represents about half of what the group estimates it will need to run a successful initiative campaign.
Hill also outlined some of of the details of the planned initiatives, which he said will be filed with the state in the next 10 days.
The first initiative authorizes the voters to call a Constitutional Convention, an act restricted under current law to the Legislature. The second measure convenes a convention limited to the review of governance issues. Its recommended reforms would come back to voters in subsequent elections.
The measure assigns the management of the convention to the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
But one of the most discussed components of the draft measure has been how to select the delegates.
The final language is still in what Hill called the “tweaking” stage but he said the coalition is strongly leaning toward a hybrid selection of 435 delegates to a Constitutional Convention. A portion of the members would be appointed by the state’s 58 county boards of supervisors. The balance would be randomly, scientifically selected citizens from throughout the state.”
“It’s like Willie Wonka getting the golden ticket,” Hill told the group. “Everyone is going to want to participate … I wouldn’t be surprised if reality TV shows crop up around the delegates. ”
The convention would cost $1.50 per Californian or about $55 million, Hill also said.