Paul Jacob, a leading national figure in the pro initiative, referendum and recall process and is a board member of Citizens in Charge Foundation. The Foundation, and its partner organization, Citizens in Charge, are the only national organizations dedicated to protecting and expanding the initiative and referendum rights of every American without regard to partisanship or politics.
A multi-media commentator, Jacob hosts an online and print opinion program, Common Sense, which reaches a growing list of nearly 20,000 e-mail subscribers.
Paul is an activist and defender of citizen rights, having been involved in more citizen initiative campaigns than anyone in U.S. history. He has helped organize over 150 state-wide petition drives in 47 states on various issues. He has also been a party to dozens of lawsuits defending citizens’ rights to petition their government.
In 2005, Jacob assisted Oklahoma residents with a ballot initiative to cap state spending. In 2007, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmonson charged Paul and two fellow activists (The Oklahoma Three) with a felony for allegedly hiring out-of-state petitioners, even though Oklahoma leadership of the initiative had consulted with state officials and followed their advice.
Facing a possibility of 10 years in prison, and against the advice of attorneys, Paul did not remain silent. Instead, he spoke out strongly against the AG’s “politically-motivated” prosecution, rallying Oklahomans and citizens nationwide against the increasing criminalization of the political process. Paul launched a website - FreePaulJacob.com - to chronicle the case, receiving wide-spread support.
In January 2009, the charges against Paul and The Oklahoma Three were finally dropped. Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Paul Greenburg wrote, “The best way to assure freedom of expression, no matter where it may be threatened, would be to have an army of utterly determined Paul Jacobs fighting for it.” Also in 2009, Paul was awarded the “Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award” from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for his commitment to citizen-led reform and his fight to uphold initiative rights in Oklahoma. The award is presented to an individual who has stood for principle even
when doing so puts them at risk physically, politically or economically.
Paul has been named “a rising star in politics” by Campaigns & Elections magazine, received the Society for Individual Liberty’s “Phoenix Award” for “contributions to the advancement of liberty in America,” and was dubbed one of “The Best and the Rightest” by National Journal.
Paul currently writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. In addition, Paul’s writing has been featured in USA Today, New York Daily News, Roll Call, The Washington Times and The Chicago Tribune. His political work has been the focus of articles in the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes Magazine and New York Times. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and has made appearances on all the major television networks.
For more than a decade, Paul was the term limits movement’s leading voice, running U.S. Term Limits, the nation’s largest term limits group. For his work on the issue, columnist Robert Novak good-naturedly called Jacob “the most hated man in Washington.”
In the 1980s, Paul started a pro-volunteer military, anti-draft group called Volunteers for America and served jail time for refusing to register for the draft as a matter of conscience.
Paul also serves as a member of the board at the Center for Independent Thought, the advisory board of the Initiative and Referendum Institute and on the National Advisory Board of Save Our Secret Ballot.
He lives with his wife Rhonda and their three children in Woodbridge, Virginia.