Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob


Tim Eyman, Senate Bill 5224, taxes, vote, democracy,

The Legislature That Couldn’t Tax Straight

“If you lost count of how many new and higher taxes state lawmakers passed this year,” begins Jerry Cornfield’s recent column in the Everett Herald, “it was 12.” Cornfield doesn’t appear too distressed about the tax hikes, however, worrying instead that Evergreen State voters will be “awash in tax advisory

Ohio, referendum, control, stop, emergency button,

Subsidizers May Be Checked

“FirstEnergy Solutions might not want to spend its bailout money just yet,” warns a story in Crain’s Cleveland Business.  At issue? A possible statewide referendum on House Bill 6. HB6 would, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “gut Ohio’s green-energy mandates and set up customer-funded subsidies to nuclear and coal

US, United States, national referendum, initiative, voting, democracy, elections,

Democratic Dreams

On Wednesday, I said we should, to borrow the vernacular, “have a conversation” about a national referendum. Billionaire investor, environmentalist, and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer proposed the idea, which I’ve loved conceptually since my friend, former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel (also a Democratic presidential candidate), first advocated it decades

billionaire, Tom Steyer, candidate, president, election, campaign,

A Different Conversation

“Here’s the difference between me and the other candidates,” says billionaire investor-turned-presidential aspirant Tom Steyer. “I don’t think we can fix our democracy from the inside. I don’t believe Washington politicians and big corporations will let that happen.” Of course, if this Democrat becomes president of these United States, that’s

Earl G. Jaques

Taxing Panicsville

There is a big problem with Delaware school districts asking voters for additional tax money via ballot referendums. You see, sometimes the people don’t vote the way school officials and politicians want. Have no fear: Rep. Earl Jaques (D-Glasgow) has authored House Bill 129 to solve this thorny problem.  “This

big brother, Barnie Fife, surveillance, face recognition,

Big Brother or Barney Fife?

Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Hampshire — these are the states that have shouted a big NO to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s citizen scanning agenda and its database of 640 million faces.  “As the FBI amasses hundreds of millions of photos for its facial recognition program

lorida Rep. Jamie Grant (R-Tampa Bay)

The Man Who Had No Idea

“I have no idea.”  So responded Florida Rep. Jamie Grant (R-Tampa Bay) to a question about how petition circulators on 2018 ballot initiative campaigns were paid.  “Is there evidence that signatures collected by a person . . . paid per hour or paid per signature are more fraudulent?” asked Rep.

North Dakota, State Auditor,

Representative or Reprehensible?

Seventy-seven million.  That is the dollar amount of “financial errors” that North Dakota State Auditor Joshua Gallion discovered in the last year, after launching performance audits at twice the rate of his predecessor.*  So, uncork the champagne! Huzzahs all around! Back slaps. But the back-slappers in the state legislature took

Florida, Governor, Ron DeSantis, initiative, referendum,

Swampy Moves

Late Friday, in the closing hours of Florida’s legislative session, an amendment “was thrown onto the lifeboat of a different, unrelated bill in a last-ditch effort,” reported the Miami Herald, “to limit citizen-driven ballot initiatives.”  With poisonous provisions appended, House Bill 5 rushed through both chambers in mere hours with

slavery, reparations, blacks, guilt, white

The Cost of Reparations

Nearly 180 years ago, the Jesuits who ran Georgetown University sold 272 enslaved persons to save the institution from insolvency. In a non-binding referendum earlier this month, the university’s undergraduate students voted to impose a student fee of $27.20 per semester to fund reparations for the descendants of those slaves.

Matt Pitsch, Arkansas, initiative, citizen, ballot,

The Rest of the News

Reid Wilson’s very welcome reporting in The Hill, recently, was headlined, “GOP legislators clamping down on voter initiatives.”  This disrespect for the people and their basic, democratic check on legislative power is far too common, and something about which people need to know. For instance, ballot measures in Florida already

Alan Clark, Arkansas, term limits,

Catnip for Arrogant Politicians

Arkansas Sen. Alan Clark pretends that his bill, Senate Joint Resolution 15, would toughen the term limits that apply to him. Clark’s masterpiece, which sailed through the Senate 27–3 on Tuesday, most certainly does not. While it purports to toughen term limits from 16 years to 12 years, read the

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