Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Beware the Signature Seekers

This evening as I entered my local supermarket for a DiGiorno frozen pizza I was stopped by a man looking for my signature. He was a black man, maybe in his late 30's, with graying hair pulled back in cornrows and an old track suit. He wanted me to sign his petition to reduce the amount of health care that our elected officials receive. At least that's what he said.

I was immediately skeptical because of the Affirmative Action petition, which many people signed under the assumption that it was in support of Affirmative Action ("Petition Signers Say They Were Duped" -G.R. Press, May 20). It is not.

I became more skeptical when this individual began to try to tell me that Michigan has a part time legislature. That was wrong. Michigan has a full time legislature. He must have sensed my reluctance because he switched rails and came at me with another petition. This one was a petition to end the "Small Business Tax," as he called it. The SBT is actually the Single Business Tax, and it is a prime target of Michigan Republicans at the moment.

The SBT petition he misinformed me about is an effort headed by Oakland County Commissioner L. Brooks Patterson. He's trying to collect 254,206 signatures by May 31st. Apparently he's two-thirds of the way there. Granholm says she won't kill the SBT until an adequate fund replacement is found, but if this petition drive works, she might not have the option
("Repeal petition in need of signatures, contributions"- The Oakland Press, May 6).

Since this guy was bullshitting me, I bullshitted back a bit. I told him that the SBT funds important services for the poor, which is true to some extent. If the SBT is cut, some programs will have to be cut, and it's a fair bet that the poor will bear the brunt of such cuts.

I can't find any info on the other petition he wanted me to sign. I tried to read it but couldn't concentrate with his constant chatter.

This guy did have an impressive little schpiel, even if it was total disinformation. I hope I run into someone like him again, now that I'm a little more informed on the subject. I'd like to ask them if they actually supports this effort, or it he would collect signatures for anything as long as they got paid. I thought about this while I shopped, but when I came out with my frozen pizza the guy was gone.


Blogger Laba said...

Sad. Last year, while on campus, I was approached by a young African American whom was trying to get me to sign the "Affirmative Action" petition. The poor kid had no clue that he was really holding a petition completely counter to what he was trying to "sell." It made me both incredibly angry and sad.

4:13 PM  

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