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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

Idaho, initiative, ballot, Senate Bill 1159, democracy, voting,

Holding All the Trumps

Last week, Idaho’s Senate Bill 1159 — “the bill to make it much harder to qualify a voter initiative or referendum for the Idaho ballot,” as the Idaho Press summarized it — passed the Senate on the narrowest 18–17 vote. Now headed to the House, the legislation would  nearly double

North Dakota, initiative, citizen initiative, ballot initiative, democracy, suppression

March Sanity

“A public debate on the merits of a measure can reveal its flaws,” the Bismarck Tribune calmly and reasonably editorialized yesterday, “and then we have to trust voters to do the right thing.” “Why are some legislators so afraid to allow North Dakota voters to decide what is in their

citizen's initiative, democracy, mob, North Dakota, initiative

Meet the Mob

North Dakota faces a serious problem: The Mob.  “The point of being a republic is so that Mob doesn’t rule,” warned Chris Berg, host of Point of View on Fargo, North Dakota’s Valley News Live. “If you live in a true democracy that’s where Mob can rule.” Berg called citizens

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

“One of the great myths in official Washington,” writes pollster and pundit Scott Rasmussen at Ballotpedia.org, “is that voters hate Congress but love their own representative.” Working for term limits, boy have I heard this assertion a lot. Oh, voters do hate Congress; this we know. Less than one in

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