Staff’s blog

Former University of Colorado, Boulder Senior Instructor Emeritus professor of in political science and initiative rights activist Thaddeus Tecza writes in a letter to the Denver Post:

Following Missouri state Senator Jolie Justus’ mis-Tweet about her proposal to severely burden anyone attempting to use the citizen initiative process comes more criticism; this time from a leading policy voice in the state. Analyst Audrey Spalding of the Show-Me Institute writes in the Missouri Record that:

Justus’ proposal will make it at least 50 percent harder (and that much more expensive) for Missourians to bring an issue to statewide voters…Why would Justus want to restrict this process further, so that only the most wealthy individuals and groups can participate?

The Attacks Continue

Mon, Feb 14 2011 by Staff

The state of Washington has an active state-wide initiative process, so naturally elected officials in the state want to do everything they can to put a stop to it:

McNultyColorado legislators have ramped up their war against petition rights, bringing a new attack on citizens in the stealth of the night. As the Denver Post notes here and here, the story with Colorado’s citizen initiative process is that it might be dead; the victim of a 2009 legislative hatchet job, parts of which state officials have admitted are unconstitutional.

CPAC 2011

Wed, Feb 9 2011 by Staff

If you happen to be in DC this Thursday through Saturday make sure to come say hello and grab some information from our booth at CPAC 2011. We’ll be there all three days in the exhibition hall talking with citizens about initiative & referendum rights and how they can use them.

Hope to see you there.

Today I will be presenting the following testimony before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee in support of House Bill 101.

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge, a national voter rights lobby, joined a group of Colorado-based policy organizations and individuals active in recent state ballot initiatives in sending a letter to new Secretary of State Scott Gessler, officially petitioning his office to engage in rule-making to clarify the state’s initiative and referendum process, which has recently been declared “dead” due to an ongoing lawsuit that threatens to bankrupt initiative sponsors.

“We call on Secretary Gessler to act promptly to clarify the rules in a way that protects the First Amendment rights of all Coloradoans to petition their government,” said Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob. “The current legal limbo is killing the state’s initiative process.”

BlockersEarly this morning I made the short drive to Annapolis, Maryland, to meet with Delegate Samuel Rosenberg (D-Baltimore) to ask what Citizens in Charge could do to support his bill aimed at preventing petition blocking and voter intimidation bill and help make it law in the Old Line State. Luckily, Del. Rosenberg asked us to do what we do best in the case: show that this reform will benefit all citizens no matter what their political leanings on any given issue.

Basically, Del. Rosenberg’s bill prevents democracy from being blocked and tackled.

Alright fellow petition fans it’s time for you to weigh in on one of the most pressing issues of the next 48 hours…VOTE VOTE VOTE!

Who is going to win the Big Game this weekend in Dallas?



For the second time in as many weeks the Denver Post has highlighted the deep freezeCar that has overtaken Colorado’s petition process. Colorado citizens are now caught up in a whirlwind of red tape, bad laws, and litigation that may spell the end of initiative rights in the state, but citizens are fighting back, and the media is starting to take notice.

As new research from shows, electoral recall is being used more frequently by citizens looking to hold government officials accountable. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is the latest recall target.


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.