In recent days, supporters of Initiative 517 in Washington state are making their voices heard on the editorial pages of the state’s newspapers.  A recent op-ed article State Senator Ann Rivers of Washington’s 18th District was published in the Columbian is one of a number of opinion pieces endorsing I-517.

Sen. Rivers praised the positive effects the initiative would have on protecting the process from obstructionist legal battles as well as making petitioning safer and allowing more time for signature collection.

MississippiClarion Ledger Editorial Director David Hampton argues in a recent editorial, ”It would be pretty easy to stand in front of a Wal-Mart and gather signatures on a petition to repeal or lower property taxes, or any taxes for that matter, in just about any city in Mississippi.” Clearly Hampton has never tried it before: the fact is that most attempts to qualify for the ballot fail for lack of signatures.

AZ ConstitutionArizona’s largest newspaper has joined the growing number of voices urging voters to reject Proposition 109 - which would enshrine hunting and fishing rights into the state constitution and bar the people from using their petition rights to make or change wildlife laws - this November.

HijackWhile the Monterey Herald’s clam in an editorial Thursday that companies have hijacked California’s ballot initiative process might make for a catchy headline, the  facts just don’t back it up.

The following appeared as an op-ed in Monday’s Connecticut Post:

Last Sunday the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran an editorial blatantly attacking the citizens and their powers of local direct initiative and recall. My response, which is copied below to the ridiculous claims of the Journal-Sentinel were published in today’s edition.


Recalls, Direct Legislation Are Vital

An editorial in today’s Sacramento Bee indicates that it is California’s irresponsible lawmakers that are to blame for the state’s budget woes. Critics are often quick to blame Proposition 13, the historic property tax limitation, for budget problems. As Dan Walters points out, property tax revenues have risen 800 percent since the passage of Prop 13.

Critics of a ballot initiative aimed at making changes to California’s auto insurance regulations say that the initiative would result in higher rates for drivers. The initiative would change part of the regulations set by Proposition 103 in 1988 to allow companies to charge fees to drivers who are not continuously covered. After passage of Prop 103 California insurance rates fell from being 30% higher than the national average to even with it.

Read the story from the Los Angeles Times

A ballot measure that would create a commission to study the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrials is gaining steam in Colorado.

Read the story from the Washington Examiner

Critics of a ballot measure being pushed by Pacifig Gas & Electric say that it could kill government-run power systems. The measure, which is collecting petition signatures, would require a 2/3 majority vote before a community choice aggregation power system could be set up or extended to new customers.

Read the story from the San Francisco Bay Guardian

In an op-ed in today’s Daily Oklahoman—the state’s largest newspaper—Oklahomans for Responsible Government Executive Director Brian Downs calls on Governor Brad Henry to sign two bills aimed at opening up the state’s initiative process.

Californians went to the polls yesterday in a special election which featured six statewide ballot measures placed on the ballot by the governor.  An op-ed in today’s LA Times proposes ending the frequent special elections in the state by moving to a system of four quarterly elections each year.

A Florida newspaper has criticized a bill that would require signature collectors in the state to submit personal information to the supervisor of elections and push activists even farther away from polls.

Thanks to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News.