Update on important initiative rights trial of Paul Jacob

[From Free Paul Jacob.com]

On July 23, the Oklahoma Three””Paul and his two co-defendants, Rick Carpenter and Susan Johnson””will have a preliminary hearing in Oklahoma City. At the hearing, the government must establish enough evidence to convince a judge to schedule a trial. Theoretically, at least. In reality, it is exceedingly rare for a judge to dismiss a case at this stage no matter how skimpy the evidence or twisted the logic of the charge. Still, at least this is some progress toward Paul eventually getting his day in court.

A number of citizens and groups in Oklahoma as well as from neighboring states will be attending the hearing, which begins at 9:00 am on Wednesday, July 23. If you’d like to attend the hearing or events the day before, or have any questions regarding it, please contact Brandon Holmes at 703-586-7088.

Paul has been inspired by the work of pro-initiative citizens in Oklahoma, working to reform the petition process. During the recently completed legislative session, Attorney General Drew Edmondson actively lobbied Senate Democrats to block a bill that would have simply created a task force to study the state’s troubled initiative process. But the issue isn’t going away.

Two weeks ago, the state’s largest newspaper declared the process all but dead. An incredible 92 percent of Oklahomans support the initiative process according to a 2007 poll, and yet, due to adverse court rulings or the sheer difficulty of the process, voters have only been able to cast ballots on two of 23 citizen initiatives filed this decade. Read the article here.

Now Oklahomans for Initiative Rights is doing what the legislature wouldn’t””launching its own citizen task force to study the state’s petition process and to make recommendations for needed reforms. Read about it here.

The Attorney General’s assault against the Oklahoma Three is outrageous and vindictive. But it may also be the impetus for some much needed change. Stay tuned as the legal and political stories unfolds.