How difficult should it be for citizens to change their state constitution? They’ll be deciding that question in Colorado, where the state Senate is considering Concurrent Resolution 1, which would raise the threshold for constitutional referenda to 60 percent. The measure is supported by both political parties — it is co-sponsored by six of 15 GOP senators and 16 of 33 GOP representatives — but Paul Jacob, president of the Citizens in Charge Foundation, denounces it as an anti-democratic measure which “places the Colorado Constitution in the hands of a minority of voters.”
A ccording to Jon Caldara, initiative rights in Colorado are now dead. As voters, many of us find state-wide citizen initiatives to be wanting, at least if election results matter. Caldara, of the Independence Institute, was a petition proponent for Amendment 63, the health care initiative that appeared on last November`s ballot. That ballot measure failed. Now Caldara is being sued personally for fraud supposedly committed by petition circulators. “It doesn`t matter if you love or hate my initiative,” says Caldera. State law killing is your initiative rights.
Two conservative groups with a libertarian bent hope a poll they released this fall seemingly showing support for statewide initiatives and popular referendums in election ballots will spark conversation among Wisconsinites.
New polling shows that West Virginia citizens wish for a ballot initiative and referendum process in the state. Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, released the results of an opinion poll conducted in the West Virginia on voter support for initiative and referendum rights. With 66 percent of voters supporting, 13 percent opposing, and 21 percent unsure, a majority of West Virginians want statewide initiative and referendum rights.
In Washington, they’re arguing about taxing rich people. Much like the debate in Congress about extending the so-called Bush tax cuts, a ballot initiative in Washington state comes down to the question of whether top earners should pay more in taxes. The initiative would create the state’s first personal income tax since the 1930s. It would apply only to individuals who make more than $200,000 a year, or couples making at least $400,000.
Fort Hays State University political science professor Chapman Rackaway is entitled to his opinion that “Voter initiative sounds good but is bad idea” (Sept. 14 Opinion) but not to make up his own facts to buttress this viewpoint. Rackaway used inaccurate claims about California’s initiative process to argue against Republican secretary of state candidate Kris Kobach’s proposal to allow Kansans to petition issues onto the ballot for a statewide vote.
Should Connecticut voters have the right to vote up or down on major public issues? Half the states in the country have a referendum process, but not Connecticut and a group has been formed to change that. Maybe it’s prompted by the Tea Party’ movement, or maybe it’s just general voter discontent but it appears more and more people like the idea.
An unlikely coalition of Independent, Green and Republican party candidates are trying to revive a proposal rejected by voters two years ago: Amend the state constitution to allow ballot initiatives. In a press conference Wednesday, they presented a survey conducted by Pulse Opinion Research that found 65 percent of the 500 state voters surveyed favor allowing ballot initiatives, with 14 percent opposed and 20 percent are not sure.
Buoyed by a poll that says 65 percent of Connecticut voters support initiative and referendum a group of advocates and candidates in favor of the concept met at the state Capitol Wednesday to promote the idea.
America’s ideological warriors, ranging from Ralph Nader on the left to Grover Norquist on the right, will take part, beginning Friday, in a five-day conference in San Francisco on global trends in direct democracy.