Archives for October 2009

UFO Ballot Measure in Denver

Fri, Oct 30 2009 by Staff

The initiative process can be used in many different ways and for many different policies, but I don’t think it’s been used very often to create alien visitor policy.

In Denver, Colorado, a man by the name of Jeff Peckman is trying to get a measure on the local ballot to create a commision to teach citizens how to welcome any alien visitors that might show up.

Joe Matthews from the New America Foundation offers his Cliff’s Notes on California Constitutional Convention Initiatives at the Blockbuster Democracy Blog.

Illinois is technically an initiative state, but the process is very difficult.  Illinois citizens do not have the ability to pass their own statutes or repeal statutes passed by the state legislature. The initiative process in Illinois is only advisory. You can read more about the history of I&R in Illinois here.


Maine has 5 different citizen initiated measures on the ballot next Tuesday.  Recent polls show a swing in the level of support for the two tax measures since the last poll earlier in October. You can check out the poll breakdown here.

Also, the group supporting the Taxpayer Bill of Rights measure is calling for an investigation into allegedly improper use of taxpayer money and legislative time.

Dysfunctional Judgement

Tue, Oct 27 2009 by Staff

“The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court recently declared the state’s government “dysfunctional.”

But Judge Ronald George didn’t bother to tell this to his employers, the people of California. Instead, the judge delivered his speech all the way across the continent, in Massachusetts, at his induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.”

Read the rest of Paul Jacob’s most recent Common Sense column here.


Last Sunday the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran an editorial blatantly attacking the citizens and their powers of local direct initiative and recall. My response, which is copied below to the ridiculous claims of the Journal-Sentinel were published in today’s edition.


Recalls, Direct Legislation Are Vital

Letter to the Editor

Mon, Oct 26 2009 by Paul Jacob

Last week we blogged about Jeff Jacoby’s article in the Boston Globe discussing comments made about the initiative process by the chief justice of the California Supreme Court.

I wrote a letter to the editor in the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe responding to Jacoby’s article, you can check it out here. is a great online source of information about ballot initiatives, and has been nominated for an Open Web Award for Best Non-Profit Use of Social Media by Ballotpedia is a free, collaborative, online encyclopedia about elections, ballot measures and access, petitions and ballot law, recalls, school and local ballot measures, and state legislatures.

As the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether signatures on the Referendum-71 petition in Washington state should be made public, a public opinion battle is heating up. Compelling arguments are surfacing on both sides of the issue, with each side calling on the High Court to rule in their favor.

Recently there have been calls to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania State Legislature as a way to trim the budget and reduce government spending.  Earlier this week, Citizens in Charge Foundation president Paul Jacob addressed the issue in Pennsylvania in one of his Common Sense articles. You can read the article here.


After U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary block on the release of Washington petition signers names on Monday, the full court ruled 8-1 on Tuesday to reaffirm Justice Kennedy’s order.

If you would like to read more about the decision you can check out the article here.


Political Moonlighting

Tue, Oct 20 2009 by Paul Jacob

Last week, I traveled to Pierce County, Washington, to take part in an event entitled “The Fight for Democracy in Pierce County,” which was held at the University of Puget Sound. The forum was set up by folks with No Rigging the System, a group campaigning to defeat three measures on the county ballot this November 3rd.