Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Trojan Horse Called TABOR

The disastrous so-called Tax Payers Bill of Rights (TABOR) initiative petition campaign challenge is winding down and if all goes as expected it will go the way of its companion eminent domain petition.

In a 6-3 opinion yesterday the state's Supreme Court struck down an initiative petition to protect landowners in eminent domain actions, saying it violates the constitution because it deals with more than one subject.

Both petitions were circulated by Oklahomans in Action. We've heard stories of out-of-state felons serving as petition circulators and that thousands of the signatures gathered were unverifiable --- which should sink this effort to destroy our state.

The Alliance for Oklahoma's Future is the watchdog for this "bill of goods" and if they are successful in stopping TABOR from being on the November ballot Oklahoma we will all be grateful.

Read more about this trojan horse and the Alliance read this at the Progressive States Network.

Oklahoma's Citizens Policy Center is also doing work to stop TABOR.

3 comments:

Aticus88 said...

Thanks for the TABOR update and the links. I’m glad to see that there is good discussion about the dangers of the TABOR initiative in Oklahoma.

Seems that Montana is having some difficulties with the issue of properly obtaining signatures on TABOR petitions and the story reminded me of the allegations that similar things were happening here. Here’s the Montana story: http://thinkprogress.org/2006/06/20/montana-tabor/. And here is the citizen’s response in Montana: http://www.notinmontana.org/index.php.

And of course, the TABOR law in Colorado has been disastrous (http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060605/OPINION04/606050312&SearchID=73246872956413) where it forced the legislature to cut higher education, public health and environmental protection. Citizens fought back and in a referendum, temporarily lifted the caps imposed by TABOR, and the battle continues.

So I’m very pleased to see several web sites with thoughtful, researched material dedicated to defeating the TABOR initiative here. Now we need volunteers to help with time and money to work to keep this travesty off the ballot.

There is an interesting book and web site that gets at the fundamental reasons why some want to force a TABOR on us all: http://www.noyoyoeconomics.com/. It outlines the YOYO economy – “you’re on your own” – that so many of the Republicans are trying to impose under the guise of cutting taxes.

Every time someone says they support TABOR, they should also indicate what they intend to cut in government services. Teachers pay? Foster care? Bridge and highway repair? Health services for the poor? Education? Law enforcement?

Support of any TABOR initiative or promise to cut more taxes appeals to a selfish side of the human nature and ultimately promotes the YOYO economic model. But in a democracy, there are things we all support through our taxes that serve the common good.

Susan Hardy Brooks said...

It is important for all of us to continue to educate folks about TABOR. Thanks for helping spread the word about the devastating impact it would have on Oklahoma.

Hearings on the legal challenge on the validity of TABOR petition signatures will continue next Tuesday, according to The Journal Record. Evidence shows that more than 120,000 of the almost 300,000 signatures on petitions seeking a vote on TABOR law are invalid and should be stricken, according to Kent Meyers, the protestants’ attorney. Meyers said that more than 50,000 signers were not registered to vote when they signed the petition. Opponents have to disqualify 79,466 signatures to keep the TABOR petition off the ballot. To be put to a vote of the people, a proposed constitutional amendment must garner at least 219,564 valid voter signatures. Meyers said thousands of signatures should be disqualified for the following reasons:
l 1,700 due to out-of-state circulator addresses on petitions.
l 13,306 due to out-of-state addresses on hotel registries.
l 24,023 because circulators listed Oklahoma hotels as addresses, but were not registered at the hotels.
l 8,857 due to out-of-state addresses in notary logs.
l 3,282 because of out-of-state IDs in notary logs.
l 17,162 due to out-of-state addresses on IRS 1099 forms.
l 7,267 due to invalid notarizations.

Lisa Pryor said...

A Supreme Court referee advised today that the petition should be thrown out. Too many signatures were invalid.