Citizens In Charge Foundation Names Paul Weyrich January Lilburne Award Winner

Mon, Jan 26 2009

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) - Citizens in Charge Foundation (CICF) has posthumously awarded Paul Weyrich with the January “Lilburne Award” in honor of a life committed to strengthening citizens’ rights and individual liberties.

“Ensuring individual rights was a fight near and dear to the hearts of both John Lilburne and Paul Weyrich. Both shall be remembered for their foresight in recognizing the importance of the peoples’ right to petition their government,” said Paul Jacob, President of Citizens In Charge Foundation.

Weyrich was a major proponent of the ballot initiative and referendum process and prominent leader of the conservative movement. He died in December 2008.

“Paul Weyrich was one of the first conservatives to realize the significance of the voter initiative process. Paul never traded principle for political expedience. He believed that the silent majority shouldn’t be silent and that the country would be better off if citizens could check politicians at the ballot box,” said Jacob.

A proponent of grass roots activism and direct democracy, Weyrich believed in the use of ballot initiatives and referenda as mechanisms of popular democracy that help in cutting corruption in politics. He founded various think tanks and organizations such as the Heritage Foundation, Free Congress Foundation and the American Legislative Council.
“Restoring the Republic requires breaking the monopoly of professional politicians and two parties that are for the most part one party – the Party of I’ve Got Mine,” Weyrich once wrote.

“The next conservatism should promote increased use of ballot initiatives and referenda, term limits, putting ‘none of the above’ on the ballot…and ending legalized bribery under the name of campaign contributions. Yes, they sell their votes. The two-party monopoly has generated a vast culture of corruption in Washington, and corruption is any republic’s deadliest enemy,” stated Weyrich.

The John Lilburne Award is given monthly by Citizens in Charge Foundation in honor of 17th Century English pamphleteer, political activist, and champion of individual rights John Lilburne, who advocated constitutional government and pioneered the use of petitioning and referenda for redress against government power and abuse.