Sunday, December 15, 2002
Legislature targets for kill citizens' last chance
It's time to sit up and pay very serious attention.
Very serious attention.
It's true that the Legislature over the past few years has attempted to kill the citizens
initiative and referendum process, virtually. You merely have to look at the
voter-approved Clean Elections Law, our income tax rollback, or the charitable deductions
law for obvious evidence. They simply ignore it, or overrule it.
And it's also true that the Legislature has learned how to
get what they want by putting a dubiously-phrased question on the ballot that benefits legislators themselves ... like their
constitutional amendment guaranteeing them perpetual pay raises (1998), untouchable by
their employers, us taxpayers.
But, never have they been so emboldened as to attempt to
eviscerate the right of the citizens to petition their government, guaranteed under Article 48 of the state
constitution adopted in 1918.
Methinks that Carla Howell's ballot question to eliminate
the state income tax -- and the 46 percent approval it received -- scared them down to their socks and then some.
So now a constitutional amendment has been proposed by state
Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) to literally kill the initiative petition process by making the task so onerous as
to discourage undertaking, to make a successful signature drive practicably impossible.
The actual death of the initiative petition process, the
only real voice of democracy left to we the people of Massachusetts.
CLT's "Saving Democracy Project" has begun. We will be joined in this effort, for the
potential of this abominable usurpation of our rights affects every organization, every
individual who has ever resorted to the I&R process over its near-century's history --
liberal, conservative, libertarian, or whatever -- or ever will. This is a long-term battle, but
as all-powerful and iron-fisted as they've become, the Beacon Hill pols will not steal this
right forever from the people without the biggest, bloodiest war they've ever instigated against
CLT's "Save Democracy Project"
If we lose this right too it's all over ... and the Beacon
Hill pols recognize it as well, and they're moving in for the kill.
As Revolutionary War naval war John Paul Jones asserted, "We have not yet begun to fight!"
To paraphrase the group Bachman-Turner Overdrive (or Al
Jolson, I'm told) , they ain't
seen nothing yet!