Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Our ability to vote directly on the chief issues of our time is a vital political power, a right. I think so, and most Americans agree.

But for some reason some of those elected to “represent” us don’t.

Last year, Missouri State Rep. Mike Parson introduced legislation to restrict petitioning to place initiatives on the ballot. Parson himself admitted that there might be unconstitutional parts to his bill. Thankfully, it failed.

Now, this year, he’s back. Parson wants to double the number of petition signatures citizens must gather to place an issue on the ballot. Presently, citizens turn in more than 200,000 signatures to meet the state’s requirement. Parson wants to make that 400,000.

Why? Did voters really elect Mike Parson to block them from having a say-so in their own government?

In Nebraska, Citizens in Charge is suing to overturn unconstitutional restrictions on the initiative process. Amy Miller with the ACLU, which is handling the case, said, “It’s hard not to see the restrictions as a deliberate effort on the part of legislators to keep independent candidates and grassroots initiatives off the ballot.”

Now Nebraska State Senator Bill Avery has introduced legislation to further increase the signature requirement for a constitutional amendment by 50 percent.

It all makes me realize how important it is to have a process whereby we citizens can overrule our so-called representatives.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Clayton Stanhope says:

    Because of ignorance of the U.S. Constitution WE-the-PEOPLE,are being socialized by both parties.
    ArtI Sec1 We the People elect the congress by electing the
    Congressional Representative
    from their district. Organize a
    majority or more of these Representatives and We the People
    control Congress. Then by the Impeachment process of ArtI Sec3,
    We the People can IMPEACH any elected or appointed person from
    the Federal Government to State and Local Governments. That’s

  2. Joel Glasser says:

    Have the people in these dictators districts considered (A RADICAL IDEA, I KNOW– THROWING THESE CREEPS OUT?



    I KNOW, I KNOW. The other guys have someone with seniority, so they get more pork- and we all get screwed.

  3. voxoreason says:

    >>Amy Miller with the ACLU, which is handling the case…

    The ACLU?

    I suppose one has to give credit where due. Thanks, Amy.

    Politics makes strange bedfellows?

    [Looked for an attribution, but it seems to be derived from a line in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” (2-2): “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”]

  4. voxoreason says:


    I appreciate the sentiment, but the average American may or may not know the name of the vice president, much less their DC reps in the House and Senate. Voting? I suspect that too many do as they’re told (or paid) to do.

    Remember the splash the guy made in one presidential election, when he complained, “I voted for number two!” I think Drudge covered this.

    Sadly, this isn’t so unusual that I would remember the year, but I suspect it was 2000, which featured the “butterfly ballot,” a secret republican plot to steal an election by using the confusing ballots designed by a democrat district big-wig lady. Apparently, the bucket of fried chicken and pack of smokes crowd couldn’t locate the number for the “correct” candidate.

    A box of fried chicken is a terrible thing to waste.

  5. Vic Justes says:

    Your openning line implies that you believe we live in a dmocracy. We do not, nor did our founding fathers intend for us to do so.
    We live in a representative republic.
    Most of the time, I wish we did live in a democracy; it would be ever more difficult than it is now to enact any legislation at all and I believe that would certainly be quite beneficial. But that is a discussion for another time.
    We do elect these people to represent us. Unfortunately, we seem to be unable or unwilling to recall them as they drift away from the committments they all make while begging for our votes. Too bad.

  6. Allen says:

    Paul – I read quite a few of your comments in a random sample of about half of your topics. And I have to say, I mostly agree with you. I hesitate, however, to agree with you about initiative and referendum. Your basic reasoning in other areas seems to arise out of or is consistent with our representative republic form of government (with strong limits on the central authority). Your argument supporting initiative and referendum, I’m sure, feels consistent with your basic philosophy, except you don’t take your I&R logic far enough. If you did, you would find yourself preferring a pure democracy over our republic. I don’t think that is your intended destination.

    Two hundred and thirty odd years ago, lack of information and poor transmission of what information could be collected was an impediment to the efficient and effective functioning of a sprawling, fast growing “pure democracy”. Representative government was the solution our Founders chose, a way to collect facts and ideas in a few principled men elected by the many to make decisions.

    Today, too much information and the ever growing number of modes of its transmission are, together, an impediment to the efficient and effective functioning of a sprawling, fast moving “pure democracy”. Again, representative government appears our best solution – electing a few good people of principle to distill the information overload into a workable set of policies and laws. Too much information distributed in too many channels to manage is also an impediment to I&R, at least on the state level. Maybe it would be workable on a county or city level. But in all cases in our modern society, I fear those who have the best marketing techniques, not necessarily the best ideas, will always prevail with I&R.

    So, be careful what you ask for. Do a little study. Have you taken inventory of the states that have an aggressive I&R option? Have you seen what some of the far left groups have been able to advance in those states? And there seems to be no limit to what they will attempt through I&R. Have you seen what’s happening in Ohio with animal rights? And why do you think the ACLU is in favor of I&R? If you think it’s because of the ACLU’s “principles”, well, good luck spitting out that bait with the hook in it.

    Bottom line – I&R on the state level just moves the battle from the politicians’ ballot box to the I&R ballot box. And that latter venue is probably even more susceptible to those who would make use of money and deceit. Our country is in the shape it’s in because people of common sense don’t have the time (or don’t take the time) to keep tabs on their politicians. There is even less time to learn the details of complex issues, but we can make the time to vote for politicians who, more or less, share our principles.

  7. […] and special interests. Legislators in Missouri and Nebraska have introduced legislation — now pending — to jack up the number of required petition signatures by as much as […]

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