Person gathering signatures to put minimum wage hike on ballot has clipboard, signatures stolen

Clipboard returned with note

SAN DIEGO - A person asking others to sign a petition to put San Diego's minimum wage hike on the ballot was reportedly confronted Friday afternoon in Clairemont by two men who then stole the person's clipboard and signatures.

Steven Ostic gets paid $2 for every signature he gets on his clipboard. He says he is against the hike in minimum wage here – and getting paid to fight for his beliefs is something that he has loved – until now.

"Been doing this for 25 years and never seen this happen in all of my life," he told 10News.

He had his clipboard and hundreds of dollars worth of signatures nabbed.

"When I backed up they grabbed all four boards and took off running," Ostic said. "I stood there for a couple seconds, then I went chasing after them."

10News learned the men later returned the clipboard -- minus the signatures -- with a note that read "Sorry Bud! It's all fair in love and war."

The petition gatherer has filed a police report, 10News learned. No arrests have been made.

According to officials, 34,000 valid signatures are needed for the minimum wage ordinance to qualify for a public vote. A public vote likely would not happen until sometime in 2015.

On Thursday, some collecting petitions reported "blockers" who showed up at various locations and caused problems.

"The union bosses organized an effort to basically harass voters that want to sign the petition when they're out in shopping locations and things like that," said Jason Roe, who is organizing the petition drive for the San Diego Small Business Coalition.

"They are carrying signs and hollering," to keep people from signing, said a woman who identified herself only as Carolyn.

Carolyn spent all day Thursday outside a Vons store in Clairemont asking people to sign.

"Can I get your signature to put the minimum wage referendum on the ballot? It just gives the voters a say," she repeated to each shopper who passed by.

Many stopped to sign.

"I think everybody deserves a livable wage," said Ted Janette as he signed the petition.

On the other side of town in Hillcrest, San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria, who helped pass the minimum wage ordinance, was approached by a man outside the post office.

Gloria recorded the conversation on his smartphone and posted the video on Instagram.

"Have you signed the petition so the state can't force the city of San Diego to increase the minimum wage yet?" the man asked Gloria.

Gloria responded, "I support the minimum wage."

Gloria posted the video as proof of his claim that people might try to trick voters into signing the petitions.

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