It’s not everyday that you find your name in lights on the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Although I guess it’s a little different when you’re an international superstar like myself. This weekend’s WSJ featured an article by ultimate insider and all around great guy John Fund about the assaults on the citizen initiative process. Sound familiar? It should. We held an event just a few weeks ago that featured John Fund and a great panel on this exact subject. In case you missed the event, you can listen to the whole thing here. In the article, John talks about how state courts and legislatures in some states with a robust initiative process have gone on the offensive and taken measures against citizens petitioning their governments. Measures like those taken by Colorado in the last few years.
Last month, the California state Senate passed a bill requiring those collecting signatures to wear large badges indicating whether they are volunteers or paid workers, whether they are registered to vote, and if so, where. A second bill has passed the Senate that would ban paying workers per signature, forcing them to be paid by the hour instead.
Again I ask: sound familiar? It should, we’ve endured some of the same treatment here. In fact, we had to sue in order to get an injunction against the whole anti-pay-per-signature thing. John then sums it all up in the following sentence,
But in no state has the assault on the initiative process been more relentless and sustained than in Colorado.
Damn right. He goes on to mention that both Linda Gorman and I were very close to facing bankruptcy because of state laws that allow private parties to financially go after petition sponsors. Being the reckless, “let Colorado citizens vote on stuff” kinda guy, I was a target. Thankfully our names were removed from the case and we no longer face financial ruin… for wanting citizens to vote on ballot measures!
If you’re like me and you can’t get quite enough of John Fund, check him out on this past week’s Devils Advocate show. We don’t talk about the initiative process but we do talk about the upcoming presidential election in 2012. John gracefully opens up his box of inside info and shares who he believes will run, won’t run, has no chance, has some chance, and might just beat Obama next year.