A national organization opposed to new restrictions on the citizen’s initiative process today gave Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger kudos for vetoing four bills that would have, among other things, banned the use of paid signature-gatherers.
The Virginia-based Citizens in Charge Foundation awarded the governor with the November 2009 John Lilburne Award, so-named after a 17th Century pamphleteer and political activist.
Schwarzenegger helped coin the term post-partisanship. But Citizens in Charge describes itself as a transpartisan organization.
Uh, what’s a transpartisan?
I asked and the organization directed me to the Transpartisan Alliance’s Web site, where it says:
Transpartisanship acknowledges the validity of truths across a range of political perspectives and seeks to synthesize them into an inclusive, pragmatic whole beyond typical political dualities. In practice, transpartisan solutions emerge out of a new kind of public conversation that moves beyond polarization by applying proven methods of facilitated dialogue, deliberation and conflict resolution. In this way it is possible to achieve the ideal of a democratic republic by integrating the values of a democracy — freedom, equality, and a regard for the common good, with the values of a republic — order, responsibility and security.
Okay. That all sounds good, although I’m still trying to get my mind around the fact that there is such a thing as a Transpartisan Alliance.
Read on for the full press release.
Governor Schwarzenegger Terminates Bills That Would Restrict Initiative Process
Honored with November 2009 John Lilburne Award
(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a transpartisan national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with the November 2009 John Lilburne Award. Governor Schwarzenegger is being honored for vetoing four bills from the California Assembly and Senate during the 2009 session that would have restricted the initiative process in the state.
“The initiative process in California regularly comes under attack by the political bureaucracy, special interests and a misinformed media; but 2009 has seen a marked increase in these attacks.” said Paul Jacob, president of Citizens in Charge Foundation. “Despite the attacks and attempts by politicians to restrict the initiative process, Governor Schwarzenegger defended the rights of those who elected him to serve them- the citizens of California.”
The bills that Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed were Assembly Bills 6, 436, and 1068, as well as Senate Bill 34. Each bill represented a different restriction on the initiative process.
The three Assembly bills Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed would have made the initiative process in California much more difficult through additional fees and regulation. The Senate bill he vetoed was a ban on paying signature gatherers per signature, which would have made the process of getting a measure on the statewide ballot more difficult for the average citizen.
“It is important to have leaders like Governor Schwarzenegger who defend the initiative process,” adds Jacob. “Attempts to restrict the process will continue, and it’s good to know the people of California have a Governor willing to protect their right to an open and accessible process to petition their government.”
Each month, Citizens in Charge Foundation presents the John Lilburne Award to a citizen, or citizens, working to protect and defend the First Amendment petition rights of Americans. John Lilburne was a 17th Century English pamphleteer, political activist, and champion of individual rights who advocated constitutional government and pioneered the use of petitioning and referenda for redress against government power and abuse.
About Citizens In Charge Foundation:
Citizens in Charge Foundation is a national transpartisan voter rights group dedicated to protecting and expanding the ballot initiative and referendum process. We believe good government starts with the voter. For more information visit us www.CitizensInCharge.org.