SAN JOSE (KCBS) — San Jose election officials have thrown out a measure that attempted to repeal the city’s ban on polystyrene food containers because thousands of signatures gathered were made up.

Of the over the 38,000 signatures gathered for the repeal of the ban on polystyrene – commonly known by the brand name Styrofoam – more than half were linked to people that didn’t exist or were unintelligible.

“When we saw Jimmy Hoffa’s name on there it started to raise eyebrows,” San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo said.

Liccardo said his office received reports of signature gatherers offering gift cards to homeless people to sign the petition. Later it was discovered that there was no money on the cards.

In some cases, the paid signature gatherers complained that they were told to make up names if they failed to meet their quota.

“So it’s not surprising to me that the clerk found that the majority of the signatures are not valid.” Liccardo said.

Election officials have thrown all the signatures.

San Jose’s styrofoam ban was opposed by the California Restaurant Association. Many restaurant owners said the ban would hurt their bottom line.

A spokesperson for the association told KCBS, however, that they were not responsible for the signature drive.

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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