But what caused the initiative\ufffds creator, Tom Hiltachk, and its spokesman, Kevin Eckery, to resign, was their dispute with the effort\ufffds largest donor, an organization called \ufffdTake Initiative America.\ufffd The group was created by Charles A. Hurth III, a Missouri lawyer and a Giuliani donor, just one day before Mr. Hiltachk received a $175,000 check from the group to help finance the cause.
But when Mr. Hiltachk could not learn the names of the individual donors to the organization, he declared the effort more or less undermined, and quit.
The powerful, if elusive Mr. Hiltachk \ufffd he has not returned numerous calls for over a month \ufffd put out this statement: \ufffdI am deeply troubled by their failure to disclose prior to my demand and by their failure to disclose to me or to our committee that Take Initiative America had been formed just one day prior to making the contribution.\ufffd
He added: \ufffdI believe strongly in the reform proposed by the initiative and had hoped that it would revive California\ufffds role in presidential politics, increase voter participation and better reflect the vast diversity of our state. I am not willing to proceed under such circumstances. Therefore, I am resigning my role in this campaign.\ufffd
The initiative is still technically alive \ufffd the signatures to get it on the ballot in early June are not due until early December. But as it stands, there is no vehicle right now to gather the signatures, nor is there a way to raise the roughly $2 million that effort would require.