California GOP experiencing deja vu with ACORN controversy

While John McCain supporters attempt to draw connections between Barack Obama and ACORN in the wake of the thousands of bogus voter registrations submitted by the organization, California Republicans have failed to remind the media that just two years ago a group the San Bernadino GOP hired to register voters was also investigated for fraud.

From the March 7th, 2006 Los Angeles Times:

County voting officials said they found problems with many of the nearly 3,000 registration forms submitted by the company, including 1,800 that lacked voters’ driver’s license numbers or other official forms of identification, which were required by a state law this year.

The district attorney’s office is also investigating whether the same political firm, John Burkett Petition Management of Riverside, was responsible for the large number of signatures declared invalid in a recent petition drive in Rialto, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Frank Vanella.

The firm was being paid up to $6 for each voter who they could register as a Republican.

There doesn’t appear to be any evidence, by employees at ACORN today or at Petition Management in 2006, of any political agenda – just greed or laziness on the part of temporary field workers, likely under a quota or paid in part by the number of registrations they submitted.

Steven Rosenfield at Alternet attempts to put the more recent fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN into perspective:

ACORN has not said how many bad registrations were flagged in 2008, but one nationwide estimate was 10,000. What is ACORN’s error rate then? It would be less than one percent. Yes, in one Indiana County a third or more of its submissions were bad. In 2006, contractors for the California Republican Party had local error rates of 60 percent in San Bernadino County, the Los Angeles Times reported, where 1,800 out of 3,000 submitted registrations were incomplete and could not be processed.

Of course, the John McCain campaign knows this, as does Barack Obama’s. Unfortunately, there is little time to fully explain how these irregularities happen, especially in the last few days of election season.

Sidenote: I can’t tell if, supposedly the website for John Burkett Petition Management, has been hacked or is a complete spoof. The About Us page begins:

John Burkett Petition Management has been providing questionable quality petitioning since our founding. It is our mission to avoid legal trouble as much as possible when gathering signatures from our circulators/coordinators. We believe the best way to achieve this goal is to deny,deny,deny.


12 responses to “California GOP experiencing deja vu with ACORN controversy

  1. Pingback: GOP voter registration fraud and ACORN alive and well in California « California Faultline

  2. I just want to clarify that the website has nothing to do with John Burkett, nor with his business John Burkett Petition Management.

    An individual who holds a personal grudge against John Burkett created that website, for the purpose of slandering and ruining his reputation, but the character and integrity of John Burkett remains solid.

    I know John Burkett personally as well as professionally, and I can attest that he is a very honest, upstanding, and trustworthy citizen.

  3. I owe the website!!!

    I know John Burkett professionally, and I can attest that he is a NOT very honest, NOT upstanding, and NOT a trustworthy citizen.

    John owes me approx. $7,000 for gathering petition signatures and I also know several other individuals John owes money to. If he is so honest why won’t he pay up?

    Just read the newspaper articles about John!!! Lisa admit it, you work for the crook!

  4. P.S. Anybody who would like additional; info can email at and I will provide the info you need!!

  5. I have been a petitioner as well as coordinated for the last seven years. John Burkett has the best reputation out there next to Eileen. I’ve known several people who work or have worked for these two people, and I have never once met anyone who has ever had a problem with them. If anyone ever had a problem with them, it’s most likely because they tried to submitt forgeries and they are mad because they were caught and didn’t get paid for them. $7,000 is way more than a weeks worth of turn in, and sure raises a lot of questions with me off the bat being that amount. Especially since John pays same or next day. I would spend my last dime and risk being homeless just to get out west and work for John Burkett or Eileen Ray. THEY ARE NOT THEIVES. Though they have to weed through many who are. Wanna know who the real thieves are? Do your own validity, and qualify, qualify, qualify your signers. Then see what your validity rate is from those coordinators who GIVE you something for free. Like room, flight, ect. I know my vality rate based on my qualifying methods, and past work. I don’t turn in JUNK just because I want the money. Therefore I’ve never lost a penny working for John Burkett or Eileen Ray. I’ve made myself valualbe and that’s my security. My advise to anyone who has problems with these people is search yourself and your conduct. A dishonest person stands out like a sore thumb next to those who work the store fronts from sun up to sun down and pull good numbers with good validity. If you’re worth keeping around then you’ll be kept around, but if you’re nothing but baggage and headaches with crappy work, then well, … you’ve made your own bed because you were’nt focused on trying to be what you should be. … and that is a ROCK STAR PRODUCER! … the game ain’t for everyone. Just fold if you can’t play. Welcome to the real world. Life is what you make it, so stop cryin’.

  6. I’m a seasoned petitioner and John Burkett owes me money from an East LA Initiative campaign we did in August of 2008. I turned in 5 times and he paid me 1/2 for 4 of the 5 turn-ins. Its not a lot of money and I called John many times over the next six months following the campaign and he made many excuses but never cut me a check. I have the receipts, calender, and bank statements to prove he owes me this.

    As for Eileen Ray, see is a great person to work with, her and Ken Hopper. If I didn’t have a coordinator that I worked directly for, I would have no issue with turning my work into her.

  7. Hmm, makes me wonder if there’s two John Burkett’s in the petition business… My experience with him has been great. He’s always paid me, in full, in a timely manner, and I never once had to remind him. In fact, sometimes he would even advance me, when I needed money to get going. John’s a good guy.

  8. Nico G, Burketts Nightmare

    I worked for Jhon Burkett and he had me serve as a sub coordinator, he ran off with 10K in my work and I know where he lives. I’m looking for others who he owes money too so we can take his home from him legally, sell it, and spit the money.

    As for Eileen and Ken, they pick and choose who they work for, Eileen owes me about $100 and had really pissed me off by not being very up an up as far as updates and providing paper for me.

    I also have earned $7000 in a week when petition drives have been at their peek so no, it’s not impossible

    John ripped off several people and is a scam artist. I saw him at the voters office in SF and hit him up for a few hundred but it’s nothing, he’ hasn’t returned my calls and is not intentioned to pay me off.

    For all you sheeple who want to kiss their asses for paying you, you don’t know what they have done to others so you have to keep your mouths closed because unless you know both sides, your just ass kissers and you have no place sticking up for them. The reality, is that they do rip people off all over the country, you have no clue! Bresslin, Jacoby, Derrick Lee, Burkett, and others are all scamers. If anyone has evidence of being ripped off such as bounced checks (like me) or unpaid invoices (like me) please contact me at

    They only rip off people who do really well, if you turn in $100 a week, they are fine with giving you dog biscuits for pay. It’s when you do well, that they are intimidated that you may be a better crew leader than they are and compete with them so they rip you off to try to discourage you from continuing in the industry.

  9. Nicolas Guillermo

    So now John is telling me he will pay me back. We will see what happens and I will do the right thing and respond on this tread for every payment towards what he owes me. If he pays me $800 , I’ll post that, if he pays me $2000 I’ll post that too. We will see. He says he didn’t get paid and he is paying me anyway to make it right. I’ll just take him at face value, he owes it to me and others to get all of our money though legal means, if that means suing the contractor for petitions collected, so it is. We will see how he turns out. It looks like he is trying to turn over a new leaf. I’ll keep you all posted.

  10. Nicolas Guillermo

    John Burkett is a complete scum bag. He isn’t paying me anything! He just got off the phone with me trying to say that he paid this other guy my money who I was working with, just passing the buck. It’s the same trick Jacoby used on me when he had me turn into Breslin my last turn in the year before. John Burkett is saying that he paid me but I have invoices and proof of item charge backs! I’m going to take him to court one of these days next year when I can get down to his area, file and have a sheriff deliver a subpoena. I’m looking for others who where screwed. I need some assistance on this one so the more people the better the verdict. We can take his home , sell it, and get our money and then some unless he pays up in full! Contact me at

  11. Nico,
    I saw your work, and it left much to be desired! With a validity rate below 50%, can you really justify your complaints for not getting paid? I remember that John wanted to give you back your work, because it wasn’t even worth the time it took to check the signatures, since we had to check all of them!
    Anybody can turn in tons of signatures. It’s not difficult to get people to sign, but if you don’t make the effort to make sure that the signers are registered voters, and register them if they’re not, then you’ve got hundreds of signatures you’re trying to get paid for when less than half of them are actual registered voters.
    So think about that as you proceed to post complaints about John Burkett.

  12. Thank you for clarifying Nico’s quality of work. The squeaky wheel gets the most grease. My validity has been bad and I didn’t get paid for bad work, but when my validity is good I get paid timely. One problem is that it is hard to get good validity in a city like Los Angeles. Validity varies according to the type of residents. It is important to be stereotypical and to profile so that a petitioner can make more money.

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