Staff’s blog

Jon Fleischman at FlashReport has a post up today from Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob discussing the awful legislation currently making its way through the California legislature:

Though Colorado’s famous Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, was approved by voters in 1992, a group made up of career politicians has recently filed a lawsuit claiming that the measure violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of a “republican form of government” in every state.

In case you missed Paul’s response to Ballot Initiative Strategy Center’s Justine Sarver last week, the Fox and Hound’s Daily blog has is up today:

In last week’s edition of The Colorado Statesman, and article from Ernest Luning talks about our transpartisan panel event last month in Denver:

MississippiClarion Ledger Editorial Director David Hampton argues in a recent editorial, ”It would be pretty easy to stand in front of a Wal-Mart and gather signatures on a petition to repeal or lower property taxes, or any taxes for that matter, in just about any city in Mississippi.” Clearly Hampton has never tried it before: the fact is that most attempts to qualify for the ballot fail for lack of signatures.

Writing for the Missouri Record, Patrick Tuohey says:

According to Washington University professor Gregory Magarian, “Missouri appears to be a national leader in overturning voter initiatives.” The legislature has acted against the publicly stated will of the people on matters dealing with handguns (2003), minimum wage (2006), clean energy (2008) and school funding (2009) in addition to the 2010 puppy mill vote. Sponsors of the measure are right to ask, if the people’s will can so easily be overridden, what point is there to a petition process in the first place?

In February of this year Citizens in Charge Foundation gave Boulder City, Nevada council member Linda Strickland the Lilburne Award for her work defending local citizens from frivolous lawsuits filed against them by their own city government. The city doesn’t seem to appreciate the citizens actually utilizing their First Amendment initiative rights.

This news article in Las Vegas City Life is from last month but provides a bit of an update on the situation in Boulder City:

Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund had a good piece in Saturday’s paper on threats to citizen initiative rights in Colorado and around the country:

Janine HansenThe first time I spoke with Janine Hansen was in 2009, while she was making one of her regular trips from her home in Elko to the Nevada State Capitol in Carson City””it’s a 5 hour drive one way if it doesn’t snow. Janine made that drive several times a week throughout the 2009 legislative session in her effort to convince lawmakers not to undermine Nevada’s initiative process by instituting a restrictive geographic distribution requirement for qualifying petitions. Now, two years later, her fight just may result in victory.

Our May 2011 Lilburne Award winner Thad Tecza just so happened to be one of the panelists at our event in Denver, CO last month. Citizens in Charge Foundation president Paul Jacob presented him with the award at the end of the event.

NY SealWhile legislatiors in Colorado, Utah, and California work to restrict their constituents’ access to the ballot initiative process, New York Senators voted Tuesday in favor of a constitutional amendment aimed at giving citizens more power by creating an initiative and referendum process in the state.

Santa Monica CameraThe Los Angeles Police Commission voted Tuesday to kill the city’s red light enforcement camera program, unanimously rejecting arguments that the cameras increase safety.

If you weren’t able to make it to Denver for our big event a couple weeks ago make sure you check out videos of the event on our YouTube channel. The keynote speakers and panelists were great. We just posted the full version of our panel discussion. Where else can you see John Fund and Joe Trippi at the same event…agreeing on something? Check it out.

Thirty-three years ago today Californians passed Proposition 13 through the citizen initiative process, and forever changed the tax system in the state.

Jon Fleischman of Flashreport has a column today about this influencial piece of citizen legislation:

We now know that “Pubulus” represents the collected works of the founding fathers James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton were the authors of the Federalist Papers, and that “Brutis,” “Centinel” and the “Federalist Farmer” represent the works of anti-federalists such as Patrick Henry. At the time of the debate over ratification of the US Constitution, the fundamental document of our nation’s government, the true identities of all these men weren’t known. Citizens were forced to [gasp] decide the issues based on the merit of the arguments made, not the perception of the people making the arguments.