Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lessons Learned: Steve Hallstrom's Letter To Scott Bates (I-522 Assessment)

Letter Excerpts:

Spring 2012.
Legislative hearings held on bills to label.  Packed halls with strong citizen support against a few professional lobbyists.  Clearly the bills would die in committee.

I suggested an initiative was in order, someone connected me to Trudy Bialic, Director of Public Affairs for PCC,  and the discussions started.  Trudy and I agreed to proceed, win or loose, the cause was too important.  We were forming a strategy when Chris McManus filed.  He filed an old version of the bill which had errors.  Trudy worked with Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Tom Stahl to get an improved version.  At this time the schism between a professional and a volunteer effort became clear.  Chris had some experience in campaigns and Trudy argued that we would need paid signatures, I wanted more volunteer involvement.  Chris it turns out wanted to advance his business opportunities, both in managing future initiative signature efforts and his media business.
Summer 2012
At this time Chris and Leah (his wife) had legal control of the PAC including all funds and expense decisions.  This was a concern to me and volunteer organizations and a meeting was held at Lori Lively’s work....

....The signature phase ended in debt.  David Bronner paid the bills.
Winter 2012

David Bronner laid down some expectations.  Hold a summit, get commitments of $3M and he was in.  
The summit was a success, close to $3M of which $750K was Bronners.  The SC now includes Bronner, OCA, FDN, EWG, CFS… as well.  The decision is made to proceed and Bronner brings in Bob Meadows, a consultant to Prop37.....

Ronnie Cummings, Director Organic Consumers Association, talks about Steve's letter and the I-522 campaign: Download MP3 (17+ mins)

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