Archive for the ‘Paul Jacobs TABOR’ Category

Reynolds Questions Edmondson’s Double Standard in Death Penalty and Citizen Initiative Cases

October 9, 2007

By Rep. Mike Reynolds

Attorney General Drew Edmondson has adopted an apparently schizophrenic approach to enforcing Oklahoma law based on his actions in two very similar cases, state Rep. Mike Reynolds said today.

Reynolds noted that Edmondson has taken opposite stances when it comes to issues involving the death penalty and the initiative petition process.

“Where is this attorney general coming from?” asked Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. “Is he following a discernible legal principle, or just his political preferences?”

On the issue of the death penalty, Reynolds noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the use of lethal injection in executions, which opponents argue amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. In response, Edmondson has asked the state Court of Criminal Appeals to defer executions until the high court has ruled.

But in a similar case pertaining to a state statute requiring petition circulators to be residents of Oklahoma, Edmondson has not adopted the same standard. The organization Yes on Term Limits is appealing a recent ruling and the case is now in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nevertheless, on Oct. 2, Edmondson indicted three persons involved in last year’s ballot initiative to limit state spending, also known as a Taxpayer Bill of Rights or TABOR. Read more…

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Losing Our Initiative: When Ballot Petitioning Becomes a Crime

October 5, 2007

reasononline.com:

Brian Doherty

On Tuesday, longtime libertarian political activist Paul Jacob was indicted on felony charges in

Oklahoma for conspiracy to defraud the state, along with Susan Johnson of National Voter Outreach and Rick Carpenter of Oklahomans in Action.

It isn’t Jacob’s first time with the guns of the state aimed at him. He served five months in jail in 1984, after a year on the run, for refusal to register for the draft.

I interviewed him by phone Thursday morning about his legal troubles and the threat they pose to citizen power over their government.

reason: What happened to you Tuesday?

Jacob: I was named along with two other people in an indictment brought by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson.

The background: In 2005, Oklahomans in Action launched an initiative campaign to bring two measures to the ballot in Oklahoma, one of them a taxpayer bill of rights (TABOR) that puts a cap on the rate by which state government spending can increase and only allows that cap to be overridden by a vote of the people.

I worked at the time for Americans for Limited Government and we were making significant contributions to that campaign. My job was to help the campaign get on the ballot and help them find a petition company. I helped Rick Carpenter decide on National Voter Outreach, who had done successful initiatives in Oklahoma 10 or 15 times over the past 10-15 years.

As this campaign unfolded, it met with ferocious opposition. Tactics included hiring “blockers” at $100 a day who admitted going into stores and lying to managers that a petitioner had cursed them out or treated them rudely and urging the manager to throw them out. As someone would talk to the petitioner, these folks would come around and begin yelling and be abusive. People trying to get groceries are doing petitioners a favor to stop as it is; they don’t want to be involved in a street fight.

reason: Is this common when interests are opposed to the content of a petition drive?
Read more…

Related:

“Free Paul Jacob” website

Statement of Paul Jacob

October 3, 2007


What Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is trying to do to me is wrong.

In America, we cherish the right to engage in politics, to speak our minds, to promote our candidate, to work to pass a voter initiative, without fear of reprisal.

That is why today is such a sad day, not only for me, but for all of us who love the initiative process and the right of citizens to control their government.

This indictment unsealed today is not about the law, but rather 100 percent politically motivated. This is politics – very ugly politics.

The highest legal office in the state of Oklahoma seems bent on silencing citizens through harassment and intimidation, threats and coercion. The goal is to silence me, and to frighten you, from petitioning our government.

Those who attempt to put citizens in charge of government spending decisions, through initiatives like the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or any other issue that rankles the powerful political forces of a state, can expect to face an onslaught by the full powers of the government.This is yet another round in the age-old attempt to stop ideas by force, by harassment, by imprisonment, by anything except a better idea. Oklahomans, your attorney general is not practicing democracy. He is practicing the politics of destruction.

It won’t work.

This indictment will not stand. I will fight it with every fiber of my being. And I know that, in the end, those who misuse the power of their office for political advantage, employing ugly and un-democratic tactics, will ultimately face an indictment of their own.

My life, my family, my children are being threatened here…for what? For what?

I have committed no crime. Unless the heartfelt desire to place government under the control of its citizens is now illegal. But this cannot be so. There is much bluster in this indictment. Yet what is my actual offense but that of daring to help Oklahoma voters hold an election to decide an issue?

No, I don’t deserve to go to prison for being politically active. I know that. You know that. Mr. Edmondson should know that, too.

The State of Oklahoma threatens me and others with prison to prevent our involvement in political life and to chill the speech and assembly of others who might wish to become involved. Involved in working to hold an election. To give Oklahomans a vote on an issue.

One might expect this kind of repression in Egypt or Iran or China. But not Oklahoma.

We the People will not be intimidated. We will keep fighting to turn out-of-control government into government that is under citizen control. We will defeat this vicious attempt to criminalize honest political activity. And in the end, we will win. Read more…

Related:

Statement by Sam Adams Alliance: http://www.samadamsalliance.org/

Statement by U.S. Term Limits: http://termlimits.org/

For more information on the federal lawsuit against Oklahoma’s residency requirement: http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php?title=Yes_on_Term_Limits_v_Savage – 30 —