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Sneaky Democracy

Temporal Redistricting

They must be proud of themselves, the Little Rock insiders who pushed through a vote on a bond measure in hot-as-Hades mid-July. Less than 4 percent of eligible voters turned out for the off-cycle exercise in 100-degree democracy. The measure, which refinances previous library bonds and puts an influx of






Dr. Bosworth

No Part Justice

Dr. Annette Bosworth was convicted last week on twelve felony counts. She now faces as many as 24 years in prison, $48,000 in fines . . . and the likely loss of her medical license. Her crime? She circulated six nominating petitions to get on the South Dakota ballot in






2 Party Lockout

Anti-Democratic Republicans?

The Republican Party of Ohio paid lawyers $300,000 to keep a competitor off the ballot. Typical two-party corruption. We can blame the party, yes — but also blame the system. A “two-party system” is, mathematicians tell us, the logical result of simple plurality/winner-takes-all elections. That is, when the first candidate






Nebraska Win

Finished Business

The civil war is over! I mean Nebraska’s civil war, a 23-year schism between its unicameral legislature and what’s known as the state’s “second house” — that is, the people, acting through the initiative and referendum process, often checking the power of the first house. Hero of the day? State






hustedBusted

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






Arkansas Tricksters

Stop Phony Crony Pay Grab

Are people in Arkansas as stupid as their legislators think? Last November, legislators tricked enough voters to narrowly pass Issue 3. I’ve addressed before the measure’s dishonest ballot language, mis-identifying a doubling of allowed terms as the “setting of term limits.” And about a much-ballyhooed gift ban that has proven






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






Two-Thirds to Raise Taxes

You can’t keep a good Eyman down. “Who says politicians don’t listen?” asked Tim Eyman in a recent email to his Washington State supporters. “OK, you got me: we normally do. 😉  But not today.” Pleased as punch, Eyman announced the resurrection of the two-thirds requirement for legislators to raise taxes.






The Year You Made Us More Free

More important than which party controls the U.S. Senate, or which nine people don Supreme Court robes, or even who will be elected president of these United States come 2016, is something much more within our individual and collective control: what you and I do to protect and advance liberty.






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






Automatic Tax Hike Nixed

The contest? Uneven, in a sense. My side was outspent more than 17 to one. But, in another sense, the odds were closer, maybe even on my side. Well, our side. That is, Liberty Initiative Fund, my 501(c)(4) outfit, was the largest contributor to a referendum campaign in Massachusetts. In






Burkina Faso and Arkansas

Maybe Burkina Faso, in northwest Africa between Mali and Niger, isn’t the easiest “Jeopardy” question for most of us in the U.S. But any place that’s seen massive protests because the head of state tried to escape term limits becomes pretty memorable to me. In fact, the first region that






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