Staff’s blog

The Springfield News-Leader, which had previously editorialized against Missouri’s “Puppy Mill Petition”, has now come out against efforts to repeal the measure. The paper takes the principled position that the voters have spoken and their will should be honored.


Miami Mayor Will Face Recall

Wed, Dec 22 2010 by Staff

We blogged previously about the petition signature campaign in Miami, Florida to recall Carloa Alvarez, the city’s mayor. The signatures are now collected, counted and approved:

Setting the stage for a recall election of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin announced Tuesday that the necessary signatures have been legally collected to require a vote.

TSA Agent Gropes PassengerAs air travelers continue to voice their discontent with the Transportation Safety Administration’s invasive new security procedures, Washington DC’s Metro transit system has instituted random bag searches, and many travelers are just as unhappy about the “Security Theater” on the train as in the airport.

A hearing was held this morning in the federal trial of Bernbeck v Gale. Arguments presented by Nebraska Attorney, David Domina will detail how restrictions placed on Nebraska’s initiative and referendum process have violated Kent Bernbeck’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Arizona Proposition 112, which would have forced petition proponents to turn in signatures two months earlier than they currently do, has been confirmed in a recount to have been defeated. The legislatively referred constitutional amendment triggered the state’s first-ever recount of a ballot initiative because the margin was less than 200 votes. Final results of the recount were certified today by a Maricopa County (Phoenix) judge showing the measure to have lost by 194 votes.

In regard to the recall signature-gathering process against Mayor Jim Suttle: On election day, I was contacted by longtime friend, Paul Jacob, formerly head of the national term limit movement and fellow initiative and referendum advocate and supporter. He was asked to assess the struggling recall effort which had been utilizing an all-volunteer team of petition circulators.

JindalThe person listed as vice-chair of a committee formed to recall Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says her husband - the committee’s chair - put her name on the application without permission. Joyce DeCarlo Ceasar says she wants nothing to do with the recall effort initiated by her husband Wednesday.

When asked, state officials indicated that the petitions had already been distributed listing the chair and vice chair, despite Mrs. Ceasar’s objections.

It seems there is the potential for a high profile recall campaign in Louisiana against Governor Bobby Jindal:

As anyone who has followed the Tea Party movement knows, a significant portion of our citizen’s feel there has been a breakdown in our political system. Average citizens are either angry or apathetic. The signs of the broken condition of our democracy are visible everywhere: the percentage of registered voters who participate in elections is declining and seventy per cent of incumbents are re-elected without opposition.

Citizens in Tampa Bay, Florida want to crack down on the homeless panhandling. The city council apparently has yet to act, so the citizens are gathering signatures to put the measure on the ballot:

Battles of EymanEmployees of various agencies and interest groups appeared before the Washington state Senate Government Relations Committee last week to complain that spending on initiative campaigns had increased over the last ten years. They claim voters are being foolish and swayed by big money, and that more regulation and restriction of the process is needed. The attacks on citizen rights led at least one lawmaker present, Sen. Pam Roach, to point out that it was improper for the state’s Public Disclosure Commission to “vilify the system”.

ReferendumThe first petition submitted to the EU Commission under the new European Citizen’s Initiative process has been rejected by officials on procedural grounds. Signed by 1.03 million voters, the petition would have banned genetically modified - also known as GM -foods until they have been scientifically tested for safety and sustainability.

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our new video on YouTube. It’s a quick look at some of what we’ve accomplished over the last two years, thanks in large part to your help.

two year

“We stand today to defend the integrity of the election process in America.”

Those were the words of an attorney representing activists leading the fight against red light cameras in Houston, TX - America’s fourth largest city. Last month city voters moved 53% in favor of banning the cameras and they were turned off just over a week later. Now playing the part of sore loser, camera provider American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is suing the city, claiming that voters didn’t have the right to weigh in on the matter.

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented incoming Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach with the December 2010 John Lilburne Award in recognition of Kobach’s outspoken advocacy during the recent election campaign for establishing a statewide citizen initiative and referendum process in Kansas.

“Kris Kobach’s campaign emphasized the importance of the initiative and referendum process in giving voters an essential voice in government and a check on those in public office,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. “We honor his effort to highlight citizen empowerment.”