Seattle Times on paid-per-signature ban

I’m a big fan of Rep. Sherry Appleton’s ban on paid-per-signature, but I also agree with the Seattle Times in their assesment of the bill:

Oregon already has such a ban. According to Michael Arno, who runs a California signature-gathering firm, the cost of getting a measure on Oregon’s ballot jumped from $175,000 to more than $500,000. In other words, money still talks. You just need more of it.

Which has generally been the logic of initiative reforms recently, lock down the system, and you have fewer people using it. Of course, if you make it more expensive, you also make it so only people who can afford to participate, participating.

It would be better to include in Appleton’s reform a change that would further encourage volunteer particiaption in the initiative process.


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