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Really Protecting Our Rights

Incentives matter. Which is why Ohioans have much to celebratethis week. Federal District Judge Michael Watson turned his previous temporary injunction against enforcement of Senate Bill 47 into a permanent injunction. That statue outlawed non-residents from helping Buckeye State residents by gathering petition signatures for an initiative or referendum. The

Jerry Gibbs

Pierce Petition Power

Pierce County, Washington, Executive Pat McCarthy charges that “a majority of the County Council bowed to political pressure, even though this could set a terrible precedent that the most basic administrative actions of government can be derailed by the simple act of signing a piece of paper.” Yeah, right. At

Black Mark for Brown

“The outrage over the Brown Bill, and it is outrage,” wrote The Argus Leader’s Jonathan Ellis, “is being voiced across the political spectrum.” The Brown Bill, Senate Bill 166, is legislation introduced by South Dakota State Sen. Corey Brown (R-Gettysburg) to nearly double the number of signatures citizens must gather

Bailing Out Topeka

Back in August, the city council in Topeka, Kansas, voted to expand a redevelopment district and purchase Heartland Park Topeka, a “multi-purpose motorsports facility” featuring drag racing, dirt racing and more. Chris Imming wasn’t keen on the notion. He put together an initiative petition calling for a public vote. Topeka

Instead of Spoilers

Last night on Stossel, the show’s eponymous host reminded his panel that Ann Coulter wanted to drown folks who vote for Libertarian candidates in close races where the Republican victory could be hurt. Deroy Murdock came down on Coulter’s side, saying that Libertarian votes did sometimes harm Republican candidates, as

Once Around

State election laws don’t always make it easy for candidates, particularly challengers. Many of these laws are unduly restrictive, especially regarding ballot access. But some “restrictions” are just what the people want. Just ask Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul seems to have his sights set on the White House.

Getting to Ballot in Illinois

My business is citizen initiatives. So I notice when courts — at the behest of corrupt politicians like hyper-incumbent Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan — block a popular initiative to limit the power of corrupt politicians. Politicians like, say, Mike Madigan. The initiative would have forced state lawmakers to step

The Logic of the Instant Runoff

Reid Wilson, at the Washington Post, regales us with seven U.S. senatorial races where Libertarian Party candidates could swing elections, and thus control of the Senate. Last weekend at Townhall, I exhorted readers to work for transpartisan reforms “like term limits . . . and other measures aimed at greater

Politicians Need Petition Experience

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the 49-year, 25-term congressman representing bankrupt Detroit, made big news. According to the Wayne County clerk, Conyers failed to gather enough voter signatures to earn a spot on the Democratic Party Primary ballot this Fifth of August. Still, I stand by my Townhall

King Kevin and Company

Oh, how the other half lives! And lies. By “other half,” I don’t mean “the wealthy.” They’re as honest as any other group. No, I’m talking about those with their hands on the levers of government power . . . along with their subsidy-seeking cronies. Mayor Kevin Johnson, an all-star

Too Sneaky by Half

A funny thing happened on the way to reform. The freshly minted Republican-dominated Arksansas State Assumbly put up three constitutional amendments for next November’s ballot. Secretly, they are likely proudest of one of them, “The Arkansas Elected Officials Ethics, Transparency, and Financial Reform Act.” For, snuck into the amendment, is

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