Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

I’m traveling across California this week to raise awareness about a diaper load of legislation designed to restrict, thwart, inhibit, hamper, obstruct, impede, block and tackle California’s robust system of initiative and referendum.

Politicians know they cannot abolish voter initiatives outright. They’d need voter approval. Instead, they seek to rig the rules so that people are nonetheless prevented from exercising their rights.

At we’ve detailed the various legislative proposals, with one bill really standing out amidst the general stench: Senate Bill 448. Authored by State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, the bill has already passed the Senate and is pending in the State Assembly.

Sign of the Times

SB 448 would force any citizen gathering petitions to put an issue onto the ballot to wear a badge — really a small sign, with lettering the size I’m wearing in this picture. If the citizen petitions as a volunteer, the sign must read “VOLUNTEER SIGNATURE GATHERER”; if one is paid, then “PAID SIGNATURE GATHERER.”

The sign must also contain the California county in which one is registered, or read: “NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE.”

DeSaulnier touts his legislation as simply providing “a little transparency.” But for those in power to force citizens to wear a message that politicians dictate suggests that they think of petitioning government as a permitted privilege rather than an inalienable right.

Though it’s easy to bring up ugly historical parallels, that doesn’t make Sen. DeSaulnier and those supporting this bill redcoats or Nazis.

But they are petty, mean and unconstitutional.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Post-script: You can email Sen. DeSaulnier at:

By: Redactor


  1. Bill Crider says:

    Elected officials should wear badges that say “Paid Bureaucratic Parasite”

  2. Joe S says:

    How about a big sign that just reads .. CROOK …

  3. Drik says:

    The Constitution specifically prohibits the abridging of the people’s right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Most likely that Senator De Saulnier just doesn’t know what “abridging” means. And “redress”. There’s another funky term. How is anyone s’posed to understand what the Constitution means if they haven’t written it in English?

  4. Kenneth H. Fleischer says:

    Career politicians are motivated by two things: A desire for power and a desire to maintain their continuous employment. These are in conflict with their proper duties, to safeguard the rights of the citizenry. This is why strict term limits are needed, and best satisfied by limits to total time in government employment, not just to time in any one office.

    Comment to Drik: If you use the dictionary, you’ll find that the Constitution is written in English, and you should learn English, not just a small portion of it.

  5. Art says:

    I would love to think this is weirdest, worst, most deceitful, most incompetent and most illegal thing that has been done,BUT, then I remember that you are talking about California. The weirdest, worst, most deceitful……State in the United States of America. California is a loser and I am afraid you are wasting your time there. Even if the voters approve stopping this insanity, the California courts of corruption (including the 9th Circuit court of Appeals) will overturn it. Leave California.

  6. Drik says:

    comment to Kenneth: if you read this column regularly, you’ll find that my tongue is frequently firmly in cheek on my responses, and that my remark applies even if Senator DeSaulnier isn’t a product of public education.

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