restrictions

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.

California Assembly 76Last November we awarded California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger the John Lilburne Award for vetoing a series of bills that would have restricted petitioning rights in the state. Included among those bills was AB 436, sponsored by Assemblywoman Saldaña, that would have raised the filing fee for an initiative tenfold from $200 to $2000 over seven years.

Two controversial anti-initiative bills are about to be brought up once again in the Maine Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee. Both bills would chill petitioning in Maine, and lawmakers have been hearing from activists on the issue. Fireworks are expected, and you can listen in right now live via the Legislature’s website by clicking here.

Ballot Box

As I anticipated, yesterday’s work session in the Maine Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee discussion centered on Senator Seth Berry’s bill, the amended version of LD 1690 (LD 1690-A), that contains provisions meant to curtail the ballot initiative and People’s Veto referendum rights of Mainers. LD 1730, with similar provisions, was also slated to be discussed but was not.

Maine State CapitolToday, long time ballot initiative rights activist—and Citizens in Charge Foundation Maine Citizen State Coordinator—Mary Adams informed the Maine Legislature’s Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee of the harm posed to the citizen initiative process by a series of bills.

Seattle Times: "This is spite, codified."

Thu, Feb 4 2010 by Anonymous

“Spite, codified.” That was what Seattle Times columnist Bruce Ramsey recently called six bills in the Washington state legislature that aim to restrict the initiative process. All the bills would severely hamper Washingtonians’  constitutionally guaranteed right to put state laws on the ballot through petitioning. Ramsey says all the bills are sponsored by bitter legislators who want to take a slap at perennial initiative sponsor Tim Eyman.

Missouri State Rep. Mike ParsonMike Parson hates voters, that is the only thing we can conclude. Why else would he try year after year to gut Missouri voters’ ballot initiative process?

Nebraska resident Kent Bernbeck has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on paying campaign workers who circulate petitions by the signature and requirement that petition circulators be over the age of 18.

United States District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell has made Michigan the ninth state to see a requirement that campaign workers who circulate petitions be residents of the state struck down. In 2008 federal appeals courts struck down residency requirements in Ohio, Arizona and Oklahoma. Residency requirements of some kind have previously been ruled unconstitutional in California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, and New York.

Free Speech Writ LargeLast week, as I was writing about some of the ways the peoples’ voice is silenced, the St. Louis, Missouri police were busy silencing Gustavo Rendon by taking away his first amendment right to free speech.