Paul Jacob, President of Citizens in Charge Foundation, was presented with the “Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award” from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Jacob was honored by CPAC for his commitment to citizen-led reform and his recent fight to uphold initiative rights in Oklahoma, where he had been indicted for helping citizens gather signatures for a state spending cap measure.
Frequent readers of this blog will know that the president of Citizens in Charge Foundation, Paul Jacob, was the leader of the movement for legislative term limits in the 1990s. What you may not be aware of, however, is the story of how Paul got into politics in the first place.
Last Saturday tens of thousands of Americans from every part of the country gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC to protest recent and proposed massve increases in the power of the federal government. Among those who came to Washington to make their voices heard were Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians and folks from all other political stripes.
Nearly twice as many efforts to recall public officials are underway this year than last, according to Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. In his daily Common Sense commentary, Paul points out several of the recall efforts from around the country, many of which have been mentioned on this site.
The Citizens in Charge Foundation page on the history of ballot initiative & referendum in New Jersey begins:
It is ironic that New Jersey, the state where the national initiative and
referendum movement originated, never adopted provisions for I&R.
Certainly it was not for lack of enthusiasm among New Jersey’s I&R
Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob has some harsh words in the New York Times for new Oregon restrictions on the ballot initiative process:
This weekened millions of Americans celebrated the 4th of July, America’s Indpendence Day. Paul Jacob took a look at the significance of the holiday in his weekly column called “Freedom Never Takes A Holiday”. Celebrating over 200 years of freedom in the U.S.A., he also looks at freedom around in the U.S. and world. He writes:
Reason Magazine’s May issue highlights Citizens in Charge Foundation’s President Paul Jacob. In an article entitled “List: Citizen Empowerment” it asks what are the “three barriers to citizen participation in politics.”
Jacob provides three basic challenges activists have encountered and how to overcome them.
He describes the first barrier as:
Paul Jacob, president of the Citizens in Charge Foundation, did jail time in the 1980s for refusing to register for the draft. Since then he’s been working to curb politicians’ power via term limits. Last year he was indicted for allegedly violating Oklahoma rules barring nonresidents from circulating ballot petitions. A federal appeals court struck down those rules in December. In February reason asked Jacob to list three barriers to citizen participation in politics.
1.) Initiatives, referenda, and recalls ar…
Citizens in Charge Foundation is looking for leaders to become Citizen State Coordinators to help organize grassroots activists in their state. http://www.CitizensInCharge.org
As a Citizen State Coordinator you will engage in activities at the local and state level to protect and defend ballot initiative and referendum (I&R), the process which allows citizens to hold government accountable and reform it when necessary.