Get Ready for the “Save the Initiative Blog Tour” (updated 1/29 with video)

by JennSierra on January 29, 2008

in Jenn Sierra, KLA/UCK

UPDATE: Here’s video of the press conference immediately prior to the arraignment on Monday, thanks to OkieCampaigns.

ayatollah_edmundson.jpgWhat initiative?

Any initiative that citizens want to put on the ballots in their states. This process is not allowed in some states, and where it is allowed, it requires numerous requirements of signatures, notaries, red-tape, residency requirements, filing fees, procedures, red-tape, etc., etc., etc., making very difficult, indeed for a citizen to petition his own government.

Paul Jacob, Susan Johnson, and Rick Carpenter (the “Oklahoma 3”) are citizen activists who found out the process can be even more costly if you happen to cross the Attorney General in Oklahoma (Drew Edmondson). They are now facing the possibility of up to ten years in prison and a large fine, because of a dispute over whether or not they, as signature-gatherers, met the six-month residency requirement in Oklahoma prior to collecting signatures on a petition in the state (Hint: They DID meet the requirements as they are normally interpreted, but the attorney general is now trying to retroactively re-interpret the residency requirements to state that petition signature gathers must declare permanent residency in addition to living in the state for six months prior to collecting signatures on a petition.)

Paul Jacob, one of the three is determined not to let this situation become a deterrent to citizens who want to start initiatives in the future. I spoke to him on Monday, right after his arraignment, and he explained that the process is costly and intimidating enough without throwing in the added element of “fear” of retaliation by local government officials toward the initiative creators, their supporters, their volunteers, and sometimes even their donors. He and his attorneys believe the legal process on his case will be approximately one year, and during that year, he’s going to be on the “Save the Initiative Blog Tour.”

More information about that will be posted here as it becomes available. Meanwhile, here is some additional information about this case:

 

(Also on the JennSierra and GrizzlyGroundswell)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 1389 January 30, 2008 at 5:40 pm

I’m not a lawyer, but it sure looks to me as though the AG is trying to create what amounts to an ex post facto law by putting a new, onerous, and completely unjustified interpretation on an existing law. Such shenanigans are intolerable.

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