Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob


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 Lion of Woodinville

Mike Dunmire passed away last weekend. Mike helped me form the Liberty Initiative Fund, serving as an original board member. But he was best known as a key funder of Tim Eyman’s Washington State ballot initiatives. Indeed, Eyman’s incredible success at the ballot box — I once called him “America’s

The Initiative Initiative

This morning I’ll stand in Washington State’s capitol in Olympia to turn in more than 340,000 voter signatures on petitions — enough to place Initiative 517 on the ballot next November. I’ll be there representing Citizens in Charge, the major funder of the initiative, joined by Eddie Agazarm, former head

Put Federalism In Your Pipe

Though centralized power, coalescing in Washington, D.C., has increased in recent years as a bipartisan effort to grow government, it’s worth noting that true federalism is not dead. Take one of America’s longest-running atrocities, the “War on Drugs.” The American people are rebelling, leaving their political representatives, state and national,

“Top Two” Goes South

Washington State has a long history of popular antagonism to political parties. For years, the state enforced an open primary, which meant that Republicans could vote in Democratic primaries and Democrats in Republican primaries. This was very popular, because it led to widespread strategic voting. Well, that’s a euphemism. In

Enemies, Bedfellows

The Ron Paul 2012 campaign’s caucus-state delegate strategy, discussed here before, aims to work around the candidate’s biggest hurdle: Republican voters. Though Ron Paul has a strong appeal to the young and to independents — constituencies needed to win against a sitting president — older, mainstream Republicans voters aren’t especially

Running Democracy’s Red Light

In the traffic snarl of political ideas, the liberating concept behind America seems as straightforward as the freeway: The people are the boss, with rights above government, and “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The people

Another Protected Incumbent

It’s an impasse worthy of Joseph Heller. The author of the comic novel Catch-22 provided us with the perfect term for a specific type of trap. In Heller’s story, you could only get out of the army if you were crazy — but if you asked to get out, that

A Fraudulent Anti-Fraud Bill

The theory behind Washington State’s Senate Bill 5297 — now worming its way through Olympia — seems to be that the people can’t be trusted to legislate, so the more hurdles thrown up at the initiative process, the better. But the bill itself shows just the opposite, revealing its legislative supporters


Persistence, Thy Name Is Eyman

We haven’t had enough Tim Eyman. I try to rotate the subjects of these Common Sense efforts, moving from freedom to democracy and back again, covering local and state issues as well as national and international ones. But certain topics make regular returns. Like Tim Eyman. In Washington State, he’s

The People Speak

Mainstream media often become so fixed on the major players in Washington, DC, that journalists miss the most telling democratic action: At state and local levels, regarding initiatives. Nicely, there are exceptions. An editorial, last week, in The Washington Times was subtitled “Ballot initiatives advance a limited government agenda in

Sore Winners?

In 2009, Washington state voters considered a ballot question, Referendum 71, on whether to uphold a new law expanding domestic partnership rights. The referendum was the work of opponents of the controversial law; supporters, obviously, would have been happy to see it enacted without challenge. Some 138,000 Washingtonians signed the

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