The Los Angeles Times reports there will be far fewer initiatives on the ballot to excite and entice Republican voters this November.
Why? The Times suggests one big reason is that Yours Truly hasn’t worked on initiatives this year.
True, I’ve been involved in many initiatives in years past. Likewise, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s politically-motivated prosecution of Rick Carpenter, Susan Johnson and me, for helping a 2005 petition drive, is distracting. (The whole story is at freepauljacob.com.)
But the Times story is off in several respects.
First, use of the initiative goes up and down without much regard to my personal involvement.
Second, I’m not a partisan Republican. The issues I’ve worked for — term limits, tax and spending limits, property rights — have never been very popular with politicians of either party.
Unlike partisans, I don’t use initiatives to mobilize voters for a candidate or party. Instead, I like such measures because they allow citizens to actually set policy.
Sadly, though, the Times is onto something. There has been a concerted campaign by the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center and other groups to block conservative or libertarian ideas from the ballot. They’ve even hired “blockers” to harass citizens engaged in the democratic process.
And the Oklahoma prosecution has created a chill. Not a single initiative has qualified there. A recent editorial in the Oklahoman called this November’s ballot “blander than dry toast.”
Some people like it that way. I don’t.
This is Common sense. I’m Paul Jacob.