Archives for January 2011

From the Barroom Politics section of the Estes Park Trail Gazette in Colorado, a commentary on the state of citizen rights in Colorado:

According to Jon Caldara, initiative rights in Colorado are now dead.

As voters, many of us find state-wide citizen initiatives to be wanting, at least if election results matter. Caldara, of the Independence Institute, was a petition proponent for Amendment 63, the health care initiative that appeared on last November`s ballot. That ballot measure failed. Now Caldara is being sued personally for fraud supposedly committed by petition circulators.

In a story out of Oklahoma, a state representative is proposing a bill that would force those looking to put a measure on the ballot to also propose how to fund the measure. From the Tulsa Beacon:

State Question 744 could not have reached the ballot if legislation filed this month by state Rep. Pat Ownbey had been in place.

House Bill 1225 would require initiative petitions that mandate new spending to identify a funding source. Those submitting the petition would have to include a statement “outlining all sources of funding to be used in the measure.”

TwitterAccording to, to “mis-tweet” is “to use Twitter to mislead your followers.” Missouri state Sen.

MOYesterday, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, certified the Ballot Title for a citizen’s initiative petition called “The Petition Rights Protection Act” submitted by The Committee to Protect Petition Rights.

The group is very unhappy with the description Secretary Carnahan wrote to be used on the petition and  ballot.

Boulder City, Nevada officials seem to think repeatedly suing their own citizens is a good idea. In his weekly Townhall column on Sunday, Paul Jacob discusses the situation:

Public officials cannot simply throw dissenters into a gulag and govern by decree. But the city governors in Boulder City, Nevada, have found the next best thing.

Sue the people.

Regularly and repeatedly.

As a method of effectuating an oligarchy, what could be more American?

Snowy StreetsMost restrictions on petitioning and initiative rights have some type of chilling effect on actual usage of the petition process. In Colorado, one provision of a malicious 2009 law, House Bill 1326, has resulted in such a deep freeze that it may put an end to the state’s citizen initiative process entirely. Already two victims of HB 1326 are faced with losing their homes to pay for their defense against false and ridiculous allegations of ”˜fraud.’

GaggedMontana state Sen. Anders Blewett wants to make sure Montana voters won’t be putting any more initiated constitutional amendments on the state’s ballot. He wouldn’t like to see any initiated state statutes on election day either. A real friend to democracy, it seems.

Everywhere red-light cameras have been on the ballot they have gone down in flames. Citizens do not seem to like them one bit. However, that did not stop a California city council from deciding to add them at a couple of intersections:

If you’re interested in watching The Commonwealth Foundation 2011 Policy Summit going on in Harrisburg, PA you can do so here. They’ll be discussing Pennsylvania’s future regarding school choice, budgets and other state issues.

As the contentious debate rages over California’s Proposition 8, the U.S.

It’s long been known that officials in Howard County, MD are no fans of citizens’ petition rights, but as Larry Carson at the Baltimore Sun reports, the county now seems willing to resort to violence in order to keep petitions from being circulated.

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented Jim Gordon, state coordinator of Voters-In-Charge, a group working to improve and expand initiative and referendum rights in South Carolina, with the January 2011 John Lilburne Award for his work to reform the state’s local initiative law and to establish a statewide initiative process.