Regnat Populus has issued a rallying cry for good government advocates to fight Sen. Keith Ingram’s bill to make it far more difficult to qualify popular initiatives for the ballot.
Paul Spencer, chair of the good government group, sees the fine hand of lawyers for the state’s casino monopolies — at Oaklawn and Southland — in the measure. Hard to quarrel. It’d be cheaper for them to never have to face casino proposals than to have to spend on lawyers to fight them when they surface, as happened last year.
Making the initiative process difficult can cut both ways, however. Sometimes, the fat cats have initiated acts and constitutional amendments they’d like to float, though they can usually count on a compliant legislature to put them on the ballot without messy petition drives. Grassroots efforts, such as Regnat Populus’ hoped-for ethics reform and the medical marijuana movement, would be severaly hampered by Ingram’s legislation.
Spencer comments on the bill, which could come up tomorrow: