Constitutional reform group hires Clint Reilly

Veteran political consultant Clint Reilly has been hired to help run the campaign for two constitutional reform ballot initiatives.

Reilly will move from volunteer adviser to paid consultant at Repair California, a group founded by the Bay Area Council that wrote two ballot measures it hopes to place before voters in the November 2010 election. If approved, the initiatives call for the convening of a Constitutional Convention limited to governance reforms.

Read on for the press release.

Political Consultant Clint Reilly Tapped to Help Lead California Reform Campaign

Hiring Marks New Phase in Citizen Constitutional Convention Drive

CALIFORNIA, November 6, 2009 – Clint Reilly, who retired from professional political consulting after building Clinton Reilly Campaigns into one of the most recognized and successful firms of its kind in the country, is climbing back in the ring in a big way after a 14-year hiatus.

Reilly signed a contract earlier this week to help lead Repair California as it drives a movement to call the first Constitutional Convention in California in more than 130 years.

Citing a broken system of governance, Repair California turned in ballot measures that would call a limited Constitutional Convention to reform four areas of the constitution: the budget process; the election and initiative process; restoring the balance of power between the state and local governments; and, creating new systems to improve government effectiveness.  The Convention is specifically prohibited from proposing tax increases or from considering changes to social issues such as marriage, abortion, gambling, affirmative action, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, immigration, or the death penalty.  Voters will decide on calling the Convention on the November 2010 ballot, the Convention would be held in 2011 and its proposed reforms would require voter approval in one of the three scheduled statewide elections in 2012.

The agreement between Reilly and Repair California signals a significant new phase in the campaign to call limited constitutional convention on the November 2010 ballot.  It also marks a high-profile return to the politics business by one of its true pioneers.

“I have had the opportunity to work with and observe Clint Reilly on a number of important campaigns and public projects,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council and a member of Repair California.  “He has a remarkable strategic sense and a passion for organizing, which is all too often missing in statewide campaigns, and just what this historic effort needs to succeed.”

“Clint has been voluntarily helping out the effort for months and we have come to respect his candid, lucid and non-partisan advice,” said Lenny Mendonca, Chair of the Repair California movement.  “Clint has worked on Republican, Democrat and non-partisan campaigns, and this effort, as evidenced by our ballot measures, will, by its nature, be strictly non-partisan.  We expect Clint will build a multi-party, statewide team to help this movement succeed.  Our state desperately needs it.”

Reilly, who has been serving as a volunteer adviser to Repair California, said he agreed to go to work full-time for the initiative campaign because he believes strongly that California government is broken and can’t be fixed from within.

“Special interests have a stranglehold on Sacramento right now and it is going to take a citizen movement to change that,” Reilly said.

As chief strategist for Repair California, Reilly brings decades of experience in grassroots organizing, political fundraising and communication, and campaign management.  As founder and owner of Clinton Reilly Campaigns, Reilly was one of the country’s most talented and effective political consultants and a leader in the development of modern communications strategies that have become standard practice throughout the profession.

Today, he is owner and CEO of Clinton Reilly Holdings, a successful real estate investment firm in San Francisco whose properties include one of the city’s most historic downtown structures, the Merchants Exchange Building.

Though retired from professional political consulting, Reilly has remained deeply and continually engaged in San Francisco civic life, serving six years as chairman of the board of Catholic Charities, running for mayor in 1999, filing a pair of landmark lawsuits to protect competition in the Bay Area newspaper industry, and providing volunteer and financial support to numerous charitable and political causes.

A fourth-generation San Franciscan, he lives in the city’s historic Seacliff neighborhood with his wife Janet Reilly and their daughters, Jill and Ava.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Clint Reilly, a clever, self-promoting pseudo-intellectual, inflicts his opinions on unwilling readers thanks to his “landmark lawsuits to protect [sic] competition in the Bay Area newpaper industry” where he can carry on about constitutional change as much as he wishes. Why pay him to do so?