In a move of ultimate hypocrisy, a Colorado group trying to get $12 minimum wage on the state ballot was found to be paying its signature gathers less than $12 an hour.
According to a circulator and wage report filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office by proponents of increasing the minimum wage, 24 of the workers collecting signatures to get on the ballot were paid less than $12 an hour. The report was obtained Keep Colorado Working, the opposition campaign, in an open records request.
Colorado Families for a Fair Wage, the group looking to increase the state’s minimum wage, is funded largely with union money. It hired Fieldworks, a Washington D.C.-based firm that collects signatures, to get the 98,492 valid signatures needed to make the Colorado State ballot.
“The irony of paying someone less than $12 an hour to stand on a street corner to mandate a minimum wage increase to that amount is dripping off this story,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado, a free-market advocacy group in a statement. “Unions are trying to force small businesses already operating on razor thin margins to increase pay just so they can line their pockets, and they aren’t even paying their own workers that. The hypocrisy is palpable.”
On top of not paying its own workers minimum wage, Fieldworks was found to have forged some of the signatures. According to a local ABC news station, Denver7, a man who’s signature was included in the petition, told the news station not only had he not signed the petition, he actively turned down the opportunity when approached at the grocery store.
Although some of the signatures were forged, based on a sampling of 5 percent of all that were turned in, Colorado’s secretary of state determined that enough were valid to make the state’s ballot.
After the controversy broke, FieldWorks submitted an amended report to the secretary of state’s office showing all its workers were paid at least $12 an hour. The firm claimed its initial report had “clerical errors” in calculating pay for workers who were working multiple initiatives.
“Upon a re-review of the previous circulator report, we discovered that wages for some circulators were mis-reported on the report that we pulled from our payroll company,” FieldWorks wrote to the secretary of state’s office, the Durango Herald reported. “This is because we had multiple projects in Colorado, and when some staff moved between projects in the middle of a payroll period, their wages were incorrectly applied to one project or another.”
How convenient. If you ask me, it’s nothing more than a tired excuse after being caught red-handed not practicing what they preach.
Despite the corruption and hypocrisy, the minimum-wage hike made the Colorado ballot, threatening thousands of Colorado jobs.