Initiative and referendum

Kansas and Colorado, compared

Kansas and Colorado, compared

News that a Wichita-based company is moving to Colorado sparked a round of Kansas-bashing, most not based on facts. When a Kansas company announced moving its headquarters to Denver, comments left to a newspaper article made several statements that deserve closer examination.[8. Carrie Rengers. Viega to move corporate headquarters and 113 jobs to Denver. Wichita Eagle, March 18, 2016. Available at: http://www.kansas.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/carrie-rengers/article66851717.html.] One reader wrote "Yup another example that the tax relief for businesses is working in Kansas." Another wrote "The biggest takeaway here is that then didn't bother to mention the benefits of lower taxes meaning the tax policy…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Initiative and referendum

WichitaLiberty.TV: Initiative and referendum

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: What recourse do citizens have when elected officials are not responsive? Initiative and referendum are two possibilities. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Originally broadcast May 3, 2015. For more about this issue, see Wichita has examples of initiative and referendum and Initiative and referendum.
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas revenue and spending, initiative and referendum, and rebuliding liberty

WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas revenue and spending, initiative and referendum, and rebuliding liberty

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The Kansas Legislature appears ready to raise taxes instead of reforming spending. Wichita voters have used initiative and referendum, but voters can’t use it at the state level. A look at a new book “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission.” View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 83, broadcast May 3, 2015.
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Wichita has examples of initiative and referendum

Wichita has examples of initiative and referendum

Citizens in Wichita have been busy exercising their rights of initiative and referendum at the municipal level. The Kansas Legislature should grant the same rights to citizens at the state level. What recourse do citizens have when elected officials are not responsive? Initiative and referendum are two possibilities. Citizens in Wichita have exercised these rights, but Kansans are not able to do this at the state level. Initiative is when citizens propose a new law, and then gather signatures on petitions. If a successful petition is filed, the matter is (generally) placed on a ballot for the electorate to decide…
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WichitaLiberty.TV February 16, 2014

WichitaLiberty.TV February 16, 2014

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The controversy surrounding the residence of a long-time senator from Kansas raises issues of term limits and the ability of citizens to exercise the power of initiative and referendum. Then, the seen and the unseen applied to economic development in Wichita, and why do we rely on certain experts. Episode 31, broadcast February 16, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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Stopping crony capitalism

Paul Jacob of Common Sense with Paul Jacob and Citizens in Charge has been at the forefront of promoting citizen-powered democracy for many years. I happened to meet him a few years ago and started following his work. The initiative and referendum process is not common in Kansas, as there aren't many opportunities for citizens to petition their government. So when I became involved in a referendum petition in Wichita last fall, I called Paul and sought advice. Without his helpful advice, I don't know if we could have filed the successful petition that led to the election in Wichita…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday November 29, 2010

Louisville success factor may be gone. The secret sauce behind redevelopment of downtown Louisville, Kentucky may no longer be available to cities attempting to replicate Louisville's success, such as it is. The Washington Post reports in the article Sen. Mitch McConnell's earmark power credited for revitalizing Louisville: "The once grand downtown of this city on the Ohio River is shabby, as the nation's old downtowns tend to be. Magnificent tall cast-iron-fronted buildings sit empty. So do historic brick tobacco warehouses, surrounded in razor wire, tagged with graffiti. But the downtown of Kentucky's largest city also has a spectacular redeveloped waterfront…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday October 11, 2010

Moran at Wichita Pachyderm: This Friday's speaker at the Wichita Pachyderm Club is current United States Representative and Republican Party Senate nominee Jerry Moran. As a large audience is expected, please arrive by 11:45 to get your buffet lunch in time for the noon start (the larger meeting room will be used). Cost is $10, which includes lunch. Wichita, get control of incentives: Rhonda Holman's lead editorial in yesterday's Wichita Eagle urged caution and restraint in Wichita's use of tax incentives -- a welcome message not expected from the Eagle. One conservative wrote to me: "I am stunned to find…
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Kansas needs citizen-powered democracy

Following is an op-ed by Paul Jacob that recently appeared in the Wichita Eagle, although this is the version he sent to me. Jacob is president of Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national organization that promotes the rights of initiative and referendum. The citizens of Kansas enjoy neither of these. Fort Hays State University Professor Chapman Rackaway is entitled to his opinion that “Voter initiative sounds good but is bad idea” (September 14 Wichita Eagle), but not to make up his own facts to buttress this viewpoint. Rackaway uses inaccurate claims about California’s initiative process to argue against Republican Secretary…
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Kansas scores poorly in initiative and referendum rights

Citizens in Charge Foundation -- a transpartisan national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process -- has released its 2010 Report Card on Statewide Voter Initiative Rights. Those familiar with Kansas will not be surprised to learn that our state scores poorly, as do many other states. Why are initiative and referendum rights important? The report's introduction tell us: As governments have grown at local, metropolitan, state, and federal levels, the power of entrenched factions has also grown, vis-à-vis the citizenry. Traditional representative government has proven unreliable in restraining itself constitutionally, often to the point of…
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Oklahoma tinkers with petition law; Kansas has none

Sometimes we in Kansas like to poke fun at our neighbors to the south in Oklahoma. I'm sure they do the same to us. But one way in which Oklahoma has Kansas beat is in Oklahoma citizens' ability to petition their government through the process of initiative and referendum. It's not possible to do this in Kansas, at least for our state government. And Oklahomans have to be vigilant to make sure the right to petition isn't taken away from them. It's a continual effort. Paul Jacob, president of the Citizens in Charge Foundation summarizes the legislative action in Oklahoma…
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Democracy thrives as Ballotpedia surpasses the 10 million page views milestone

From the Sam Adams Alliance. Chicago, June 8 -- When Americans went to the polls in November and continued casting ballots during the 2009 off-year elections, they turned to Ballotpedia (www.ballotpedia.org) to get objective information about candidates and ballot initiatives. The California pages pertaining to Proposition 8 and the more recent ballot measures alone garnered more than 1.3 million page views. That is why the Ballotpedia community is celebrating its 10 millionth page view. "During the November election as well as the current off-year elections that feature many local races as well as ballot initiatives, Ballotpedia became the source used…
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Still Oklahoma’s most wanted

A Wall Street Journal editorial explains the recent development in the case of Paul Jacob and two others in Oklahoma. This case is of interest for a few reasons. First, I know and like Paul Jacob. He's been at the forefront of the fight for term limits. The Oklahoma case stems from his advocacy of initiative and referendum, something we don't have in Kansas. Second, this case illustrates how government officials, in this case the attorney general of Oklahoma, can misuse their office and power for political gain. We in Kansas can only hope that our good neighbors to our…
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Kansas Lags in Initiative and Referendum

On Saturday I traveled to Oklahoma City to attend "Reforming the Reform Process: How to Restore Oklahoma's Initiative." What I learned is that Oklahomans are concerned with reforming a valuable citizen right that doesn't exist at all in Kansas. The initiative process allows citizens to place a question on a ballot to be voted on by the people. This is helpful when the legislature or governor refuse to pass laws that the people want. Referendum allows for laws that have been passed to be revoked. In both cases, citizens usually have to gather a large number of signatures in order…
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