Under intense pressure from both sides in the debate over same-sex marriage, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday on the ballot initiative passed by voters last November that outlawed such unions.

For opponents of the measure, Proposition 8, the three-hour hearing is a critical legal test. But it is also, they say, a prime moment to rally their forces and demonstrate resilience after a stinging election loss that many among them believe could have been avoided.

With a primary election three months away, campaign politics flared Tuesday at Scranton City Council. Unhappy speakers took shots at the lawmakers running for re-election, then lawmakers took shots at each other.

Council bickered as it chose not to endorse changes to state law sought by state Rep. Kevin Murphy, D113, Scranton. The plan would alter state home-rule charter law to require a voter referendum for “excessive” tax increases by Lackawanna County. It would not directly affect the city.

The Washington County Board of Elections met on Tuesday morning to certify candidate petitions before an upcoming May 5 primary election.

Up for reelection in 2009 are al eight seats on Marietta City Council and the Marietta City Treasurer, but none of the seats will be contested until the general election in November.

The only city-wide issue on the May 5 primary ballot in Marietta will be a referendum on the Marietta Municipal Court moratorium that voters passed by ballot initiative in November 2006.

LOS ANGELES — A motion introduced Friday by a Los Angeles councilman urges the city to support any state initiative that would reduce the two-thirds threshold to pass a budget in California.

The state’s budget, approved Thursday by the Legislature, was 105 days late and led to the depletion of state accounts, causing $3.3 billion in payments to local governments, state contractors and taxpayers to be deferred.

A powerful tool for all Americans to create citizen led reform is the ballot initiative and referendum (I&R) process.

Used by citizens from all ideological points of view across the nation, I&R, empowers the voters to improve their community.

Opponents of a new tougher anti-smoking ordinance for the city of Salina have begun a petition drive aimed at repealing the measure before it takes effect.

But if the petition drive succeeds in bringing the measure to a vote in April, and a repeal is approved, the current ordinance restricting restaurant smoking to between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. would remain in effect. The current ordinance doesn’t apply to bars.

Paul JacobEmpowering citizen activism is at the core of what Citizens in Charge Foundation is trying to do.

Oklahoma’s “Reforming the Reform Process” event is only one example of how Oklahomans are rolling up their sleeves to protect the once vibrant state initiative process. Oklahomans clearly see that the initiative process is the best tool available for reforming government and holding it accountable.

The Common Sense Initiative

Thu, Jan 22 2009 by Staff

Most would agree that the government is no longer of the people, for the people and by the people. The citizen-led reform process of initiative and referendum is the best tool that Americans have to allow their voices to be heard and thus remains overwhelmingly popular.

No National Trend In Voter’ Decisions

In recent election cycles, initiatives have been perceived to seriously impact the presidential contest or congressional races. The marriage amendments or same-sex marriage bans passed in a number of states in 2004 were believed to have assisted President Bush in winning the critical state of Ohio, for instance. Victories for term limits initiatives in 1992 and 1994 no doubt also helped Republicans sweep into Congress, then for the first time in 40 years.

Has North Korea Annexed Oklahoma?

Wed, Nov 26 2008 — Source: Forbes Magazine

An extraordinary incident unfolded in the state of Oklahoma on Oct. 2. Three individuals were arrested, shackled and arraigned. Their crime: trying to curb the spending excesses of Sooner State politicians. They were accused of violating an arcane and certainly unconstitutional law that imposes restrictions on who can circulate petitions in the state.