A key rule for political reform is that it should be as neutral as possible. Think of it in terms of a football game. It may be wise to add a penalty to, say, better protect quarterbacks, but such a change should not be done to help a particular team with a shoddy front line. The rules should be adjusted only if it’s better for the game.

Californians need to keep that in mind as they face renewed efforts to revamp the state’s 102-year-old experiment in direct democracy — the initiative, referendum and recall. Gov. Hiram Johnson and the Progressives ushered in these far-reaching reforms to check the power of corrupt political machines and corporate interests. Progressives had deep faith in the ability of average citizens to vote for the “public interest.”

Today, St. Louis activists who have regularly protested Peabody Energy with high-profile rallies are pushing forward with a new kind of action against the corporation — one that they say has not been tried before in the city.

In the State of Washington, citizens can take two initiative routes to the ballot. The direct initiative is for putting measures directly to a public vote after submitting the required voter signatures and having those signatures verified.  There is also the indirect initiative, whereby after signature submission and verification, the initiative instead goes to the Washington Legislature. The legislature can then (a) adopt the measure “as is,” (b) place the measure “as is” on the ballot in addition to an alternative measure drawn up by legislators, thus letting the voters decide which they prefer, or (c) do nothing and let the initiative go directly on the ballot for a vote.

Washington: Gun-Rights Initiative Planned

Mon, Jun 24 2013 — Source: NBC

Facing a multimillion-dollar initiative campaign to expand background checks for gun sales, Second Amendment activists are responding with their own ballot measure.

A coalition of gun-rights groups on Wednesday unveiled Initiative 591, which would prevent Washington state from adopting background-check laws more restrictive than the federal standard.

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