The political establishment resists reform. Voters have had to take their favorite causes – like term limits and tax limits – over the heads of politicians, directly to fellow voters.
And politicians don’t much like us voters having all that say-so.
That’s why they’ve tried to legislate the initiative process out of existence.
And that’s why three of us – Rick Carpenter, Susan Johnson, and I – are facing what the Wall Street Journal has called a “bizarre” criminal prosecution by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson.
Edmondson is trying to lock us up for ten years for supposedly violating the state’s residency law, even though those working on the petition followed the rules as explained to them by state officials . . . and even though the constitutionality of the law is currently being challenged in federal court.
Why the strange prosecution? To frighten folks from doing initiatives. Recently the state’s largest paper, The Oklahoman, decried how difficult the process has become, with the people getting to vote on only two of the 23 initiatives filed this decade.
We, the Oklahoma Three, face a preliminary hearing – and the wrath of a rogue attorney general – July 23rd. Scary? Yes. But we’ll prevail. And perhaps inspire more people to defend the initiative against its most insatiable enemy, the politicians.
And hey: Already a new group, Oklahomans for Initiative Rights, has launched its own citizen task force to study reforming the state’s initiative process.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.