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Ohio, initiative, lawmakers, congress, pay,

Four Powers on the Chopping Block

A group of Ohio citizens isn’t leaving the maintenance of ethical standards in government to the politicians. Smart. Forming a political committee, “Ethics First — You Decide Ohio,” the group filed an initiative to amend the state constitution unsurprisingly called, “Ethics First.” What does the ballot measure do? “Ethics proposal






politics, immaturity, tug of war, adult, illustration

Adults for America

The answer to what ails us is . . . us. Oh, we can say it is the fault of politicians — and we’re not wrong — but turning to the cause of a problem for its solution is . . . problematic at best. Our politics is a tug-of-war,






initiative, legislature, Colorado, Oregon, emergency, emergency clause

Fake Emergencies & Genuine Democracy

Legislators aren’t honest. Or maybe in Colorado and Oregon they just don’t understand the meaning of words . . . like “safety” and “emergency.” (Heck, there was once a politician unsure of what the meaning of the word “is” is.) “The state constitution gives Coloradans the power to challenge news






government, cronyism, crony, trust, worry, Common Sense, illustration

Ethics First

The biggest problem facing Americans? According to a Gallup poll, for the second year in a row, it’s our government. Maybe I should say “the government.” Few think it represents us. Which is sort of a big problem for a representative government. Presidential candidate Donald Trump says our leaders are






Tim Jacob, Arkansas, term limits, Common Sense, illustration

In-Nate Problem

My brother, Tim Jacob, blames me for sucking him into politics. And I have reason to feel guilt, for politics is filled with — ugh — politicians. Back in 1992, I urged Tim to join Steve Munn and Lance Curtis, who were launching a petition drive to put term limits






thanksgiving, Common Sense

Compatriots, We — For Liberty!

Thank you. It’s Thanksgiving, a good day to say so. What a great idea for a holiday — a thoroughly American one, unpretentious and unspoiled. Centered on family and friends, the day may be the most important of the year, something we all share, in no small part because it






Arkansas State Senator, Jon Woods, term limits, Arkansas, pay raise, disgrace, election, illustration

Cheaters Never Prosper

“I want to go home,” Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods whimpered. The poor, pitiful politician — announcing he would not seek election to another legislative term — cried that he had not “been fishing with [his] brother in a year.” “I have friends in my district who I miss,” he






Citizens for Responsible Government, CAVE, CAVES , Mayor Sly James , Dan Coffey, Kansas City, JGill, Paul Jacob, Common Sense, collage, photomontage

Democracy on the Sly

Mayor Sly James loves his city: Kansas City, Missouri. He dreams of a shining new airport on a hill, a land of milk and honey with a new, luxurious, taxpayer-financed downtown hotel. He envisions it as a harmonious hub in which the thrill of . . . waiting for a






Ron Calzone, Missouri, citizenship, freedom, lobbyists

Citizen Registration Fee

It’s not about the ten bucks — or the thousand. An important principle is involved. Professional lobbyists in Missouri are legally required to submit reports about the corporations, local governments, industries, associations, and special interests for whom they lobby, how much they are paid, and the goodies they bestow upon






Stubborn Beast

Evergreen Eyman

“Initiative 1366 is blackmail,” one plaintiff charged. No; it’s just political hardball. Washington State voters have cast their ballots five times (by initiative measure) to require a two-thirds vote of both houses of the state legislature, or a vote of the people, to increase taxes. Though the rule is neither






Government Scold, collage, montage, Paul Jacob, Jim Gill

Rich Mischief

The SFGate.com headline was clear: “State ballot initiative fee raised to $2,000 to prevent mischief.” It just wasn’t accurate. Assembly Bill 1100, introduced by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), passed by Democrats in the legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, doesn’t do anything to address “mischief.” Which, incidentally, abounds in






In Disguise

Conflicts Perplexing Prominent Politicians

When does the same old song-and-dance, performed by yet another self-selected committee of the political elite, become “a unique process” that “Nobody’s ever done . . .”? When the much-liberal Denver Post reports the “much-respected” Daniel Ritchie saying so. Every election cycle for a decade, it seems, a cabal of






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