Maine Citizens Urge Governor: Veto Free Speech Restrictions

Wed, Mar 31 2010 by Anonymous

Citizens in Charge, a partner organization of Citizens in Charge Foundation, issued the following press release this morning:

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge, a transpartisan national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, urges Maine Governor John Baldacci to veto LD 1730, which passed the Maine House on Monday, and is currently on his desk. If signed into law, LD 1730 would require anyone who intends to pay campaign workers to collect signatures on a petition to register with the state.

“This bill means that in order for a citizen to exercise their First Amendment rights, they must register and get permission from the state,” said Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob. “This is simply one more burden placed on citizens petitioning their government, when government should be welcoming participation.”

Last week, several of Maine’s grassroots activists and community organizers united to protest this unconstitutional bill as it moved through the State Legislature. They released a statement calling on state representatives to vote against it and preserve Maine citizens’ constitutionally guaranteed right to initiative and referendum. Unfortunately, LD 1730 was passed by the House on Monday sending it to the Governor’s desk.

“No one should have to get permission from the state to exercise their First Amendment rights,” said Mary Adams, Maine Citizen State Coordinator for Citizens in Charge Foundation. “The Maine Supreme Court ruled in Allen v. Quinn that the right to enact legislation through the initiative process is absolute, it cannot be restricted by the Legislature. Passage of LD 1730 would violate that ruling.”

In order to preserve Maine’s citizen initiative and referendum process and protect the voice of all Mainers, we urge Governor Baldacci to veto this unconstitutional bill.

Mary Adams is the Maine Citizen State Coordinator for Citizens in Charge Foundation. For information on this or other initiative and referendum issues in the state you can contact her at: (207) 924-3835.

ABOUT CITIZENS IN CHARGE:
Citizens in Charge is a 501(c)(4) citizen-powered advocacy organization that works with activists, legislators, media, opinion leaders and voters to protect the initiative and referendum process where it exists in 26 states and to expand the process to the 24 states where voters currently lack that right. Citizens in Charge partners with the Citizens in Charge Foundation, which educates and litigates to protect First Amendment rights. The organizations are the only national transpartisan voter rights groups dedicated to protecting and expanding the ballot initiative and referendum process. We believe good government starts with the voter. For more information visit www.CitizensInChargeC4.org and www.CitizensInCharge.org.

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