Staff’s blog

Last week, Citizens in Charge Foundation co-hosted a transpartisan panel in Denver, CO to discuss the various attacks on Colorado’s initiative process.

After the panel was done we chatted briefly with Mr. Trippi on why he thought initiative & referendum rights are so important for citizens in holding their government accountable.

SFO SealCurrent San Francisco law prohibits the Mayor and members of the Board of Supervisors from altering or repealing voter-approved laws, but city lawmakers may consider passing what amounts to a “Cut the Voters Out Act.”

DenverColorado’s initiative process has been under sustained attack from state legislators and special interests for several years. Misinformation, half-truths, and outright falsehoods have characterized the arguments of those aiming to restrict initiative rights, while the voices of those supporting the state’s initiative process often go unheard.

Dr. John MatsusakaJust last week syndicated columnist George Will conjectured that “as much as 85 percent” of California’s budget is controlled by initiatives. Where he gets the 85 percent figure isn’t clear, but then Mr. Will is merely repeating what has become a fundamental piece of California political mythology: the idea that the state’s budget woes are the fault of voters and the initiative process. As updated research from Dr.

Claims of petition signature fraud are often used as the basis for passing laws that severely restrict citizen initiative rights. Citizens in Charge and Citizens in Charge Foundation have widely publicized the fact that those claims are usually proven to be false, and our report, “Is the F-Word Overused?” highlights that fact.

However, just because petition signature fraud is rare and often over-exaggerated that does not mean it never occurs. Case in point, it seems a case of fraud in Georgia is finally being investigated by state officials:

Last month, Citizens in Charge along with the Humane Society of the United States and numerous other groups endorsed an effort by the Voter Protection Alliance in Missouri to protect the will of the voters from meddling by the state legislature. The constitutional amendment was approved for circulation and the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch agrees, voters need some protection:

In 2009, Citizens in Charge Foundation gave the October Lilburne Award to Healthy Democracy Oregon, and organization working to improve the state’s citizen initiative process through citizen led review panels.

Yesterday, the Oregon House approved a bill that will create the very citizen review panels that Healthy Democracy Oregon worked for:

The Oregon House today approved a bill that would allow Oregonians to review ballot initiatives and share their findings and recommendations with other Oregon voters.

Will You Be There?

Thu, May 26 2011 by Staff

Don’t forget! Tonight from 5-7 PM MT Citizens in Charge Foundation will co-host an event at the University Club in Denver, Colorado to discuss the many attacks on Colorado’s citizen initiative process.

Guest speakers include John Fund of the Wall Street Journal and Democratic Party consultant Joe Trippi as well as a transpartisan panel of experts on citizen rights.

If you’re in Denver today make sure you stop by. If you have not RSVP’d please do so. See you there!


Check it out.

Oklahoma’s legislature wrapped up its 2011 legislative session Friday, and while the state still has arguably the toughest petition process in the nation, it didn’t get any tougher this year.

State Senator Kevin Lundberg will join our panel of other initiative rights experts this Thursday, May 26th in Denver.

The event, co-hosted by Citizens in Charge Foundation, Independence Institute and the Humane Society of the United States, has a great transpartisan and experienced panel lined up to talk about the attacks on Colorado’s citizen initiative process.

Independence Institute president Jon Caldera who was originally slated to be part of the panel discussion will now give a short welcome speech and introduce keynote speakers John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, and Democratic Party consultant Joe Trippi.

If you regularly follow our newswire and blog you’d know that in communities around the country citizens hate red-light cameras. Numerous petition campaigns and ballot initiatives have attempted to get rid of them, and most have been successful.

In yesterday’s Common Sense article, Paul Jacob discusses an interesting story out of Washington regarding the red-light camera issue there:

We are happy to announce that longtime Democratic Party consultant Joe Trippi will be one of the keynote speakers, along with John Fund of The Wall Street Journal, at next week’s event in Denver, CO.

Additionally, election and campaign finance law expert Shayne Madsen has been added to the panel discussion lineup. Madsen brings years of experience working in election law to our already outstanding group of panelists.

If you are planning to attend but have not RSVP’d yet please do so. Information on the event is posted on the flyer below. Hope to see you there!

updated flyer

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented Thad Tecza, a senior instructor emeritus in political science at the University of Colorado, with the May 2011 John Lilburne Award for his efforts during this year’s legislative session to protect Colorado’s initiative process.

“Professor Tecza has been a huge asset to the citizen initiative rights movement in Colorado,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. “His work in speaking out against legislative attacks on the process and helping to mobilize people at the grassroots helped defeat SCR-1, a major negative change proposed by legislators.”

Once in the past 18 years...

Wed, May 18 2011 by Staff

An interesting story out of Montana: