ballot measure

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In snowy and forbidding environments like Alaska, getting anything done takes a lot of hard work.  Likewise, petitioning for ballot measures takes a lot of hard work everywhere – and even more to brave the elements in The Last Frontier.

But Alaskan Dorene Lorenz, host of the local TV program “Alaska Political Insider,” seems to think that ballot measures are too easy, claiming supreme confidence that she can single-handedly collect the 30,000 signatures necessary to qualify a statutory initiative for the ballot. Not that she is going to actually do so, mind you.

Michigan’s Legislature enacted “Right-to-Work” legislation this week, sparking renewed debate about public policy regarding unions. Here’s a quick review of recent ballot measures having to do with organized labor.


Ohio “State Senate Bill 5” Veto Referendum, Issue 2 (2011)

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission meets today to consider new rules regarding disclosure of ballot measure financing, especially funding for petition drives to place initiatives and referendums on the ballot.

From the LA Times Here


This video is getting multiple airs during prime time on St. Louis TV news.  KTVI-TV covers Fox 2 Newsthe efforts of a Missouri group to qualify a constitutional amendment for this fall’s ballot.

Today several state and national grassroot organizations are denouncing California Senate Bill 34 aimed at silencing voters by restricting the citizen initiative process. In an open letter to the California State Legislature, citizens are speaking out on the legislation that targets their First Amendment rights.

As pundits continue to look at the value of the ballot initative process its refreshing to get a real prespective, that of the voter. Here is a comment from a reader of Paul Jacob’s Sunday column “Do California politicians have too little power?”

What is wrong with California politics? Is it the politicians, the voters, the balance of power?

Yesterday in Paul Jacob discussed the results of the California ballot measures and tries to answer the question, “Do California politicians have too little power?. What are your thoughts?

California’s ballot measures have received a lot of media attention in the last few months. Some want to blame the state’s problems on the initiative and referendum process. Paul Jacob disagrees.

In his Common Sense commentary, Prop 13 Declared Innocent, he explains why.
Prop 13 Declared Innocent.

Sometimes we in Kansas like to poke fun at our neighbors to the south in Oklahoma. I’m sure they do the same to us.

But one way in which Oklahoma has Kansas beat is in Oklahoma citizens’ ability to petition their government through the process of initiative and referendum.

Ballots for Oakland’s July mail-only election will be sent to city voters June 22 ”” and information on four ballot measures voters will consider is posted on the city’s Web site,

If all the measures passed, it could generate $7 million to $8 million, according to city estimates.

Read the story from Inside Bay Area

Since the mid-1990s, California, Michigan, Nebraska, and Washington have passed ballot initiatives to ban affirmative action programs at the state level. Although Colorado last year narrowly rejected a similar initiative, and although petition drives failed to attract enough signatures in three other states…

Read the story from the National Journal

Throughout the month of June we will be looking at the history and impact of the ballot initiative, referendum and recall process.

These reforms, which started gaining popularity in the late 1800s, can be traced to the political philosophy of one of our founding father, Thomas Jefferson.

We wanted to start the series with a great piece by Paul Jacob, the President of the Citizens In Charge Foundation. For over 10 years Paul has hosted and authored Common Sense, a daily radio commentary.

A development tax that Washington County voters overwhelmingly approved in November might fall victim — temporarily — to the economic downturn.

The tax would pay for road and transit improvements around the county, aiming to relieve congestion caused by new development. Currently developers pay a traffic-impact fee that covers 14percent of those costs, while the public covers the rest. Under the new transportation-development tax, developers would pay roughly 28percent of future costs.

Speed cameras on U.S. highways?

Thu, Jun 4 2009 — Source: CNN

Lawmakers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Montana and Mississippi failed to get a freeway speed camera measure onto a ballot, but points to Maryland as an example of lawmakers’ success. He says 13 states have specific laws banning freeway cameras, but he sees a natural progression from states using red-light cameras to using freeway speed cameras.

Read the story from CNN