Paul Jacob

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Paul Jacob
National Director
Libertarian Party
1987—1988
Predecessor: Unknown
Successor: Unknown
Personal Details
Birth: 1960
Party: Libertarian Party

Paul Jacob (born 1960) is an activist, organizer, and advocate for legislative term limits, initiative and referendum rights, and limited government. He has held positions with the Libertarian Party, U.S. Term Limits, Americans for Limited Government, Citizens in Charge, Citizens in Charge Foundation and the Sam Adams Foundation. In 1987 and 1988, Jacob was the Libertarian Party's national director. In 1988, he worked to put Ron Paul on the ballot for president as a Libertarian, winning ballot access in 47 states. Jacob is currently President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge.

Draft Resistance

Jacob first came to political prominence in the early 1980s as a draft registration resister. His crusade against forced military service and for the all-volunteer army was featured in Rolling Stone magazine. In 1985, after being convicted of violating the Selective Service Act, he served five and a half months in federal prison, longer than any American draft resister since the Vietnam War. During the trial, Congressman Ron Paul testified on his behalf.

Citizens in Charge & Citizens in Charge Foundation

In 2001, Jacob started Citizens in Charge, a group dedicated to protecting the voter initiative process where it exists and expanding it to more states and localities. Between 2002 and 2004, CIC worked closely with Let Minnesota Vote in an unsuccessful effort to bring statewide initiative & referendum to Minnesota. CIC provided much of the funding for voter issue education in the state’s 2002 legislative elections, through direct mail, television ads and radio spots. In those elections, five incumbent state senators were defeated by pro-initiative challengers, but the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party retained control of the state senate and continued to block a vote of the people on statewide initiative. CIC also led a 2004 lobbying effort against restrictions on the initiative in Florida, working with the Florida Initiative League and later with Hands Off Florida. In 2005, Citizens in Charge was instrumental in blocking a number of proposed legislative restrictions to the initiative process in Nevada. Jacob serves as president of the organization.

Jacob is also founder and President of the Citizens in Charge Foundation, which works to educate the public, opinion leaders, and elected officials on the initiative and referendum process. The Foundation currently produces his radio and Internet commentary program Common Sense.


Oklahoma Persecution & Free Paul Jacob Campaign

On October 2, 2007, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson announced that a multi-county grand jury had issued a criminal indictment against Jacob and two others for their role in a 2005 Oklahoma petition drive. In November 2007, the indictment was dismissed. It is believed that the Attorney General's office will re-issue it directly from their office.

Had that petition drive succeeded, it would have placed a Taxpayer Bill of Rights spending-limitation ballot measure on the 2006 Oklahoma ballot. The charges against Jacob and the other two are that they "willfully, corruptly, deceitfully, fraudulently and feloniously" conspired to defraud Oklahoma."Petition Backers Indicted On Felony Charges"

In a prepared statement released upon indictment, Paul Jacob wrote that the prosecution was "not about the law, but rather 100 percent politically motivated. This is politics – very ugly politics." As well as challenging the motives of the prosecution, Jacob noted the many troubles of the constitutionality of the laws upon which the prosecution is based, adding that "constitutional or not, we obeyed the statute.""Statement of Paul Jacob",

The charges revolve around the fact that petitioners came into Oklahoma from out-of-state to collect signatures on the petition. Oklahoma has a law saying that signatures may only be collected by residents of the state. Legal issues in the case surround whether such residency requirements are constitutional, and the claim of those indicted that they followed the state's laws because petitioners who came into the state registered, as required, as state residents.

Prosecution Compared to Pakistan, North Korea

A November 19 editorial in the Wall Street Journal compared the prosecution to what one might expect from the Pakistan government.Oklahoma's Most Wanted; The latest thing in political felonies: a petition drive Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, asked in an editorial in the November 26, 2007 issue of that magazine, "Has North Korea annexed Oklahoma?"Has North Korea Annexed Oklahoma?

Support of Paul Jacob

R-Randy Brogdon, Oklahoma Senator Randy Brogdon released a public statement on October 5, 2007 in support of Jacob, saying, "It appears Drew Edmondson is more concerned with protecting his own political power than he is with preserving, protecting, and defending the right of Oklahomans to free speech,” Brogdon said. “This is nothing less than an attack on our Republican form of government.”Sen. Brogdon says Oklahomans Should be Dismayed by Politically Motivated Indictment of Citizen Activists, Oklahoma State Senate, Oct 5th, 2007

Law Struck Down and Charges Dropped

On December 18th, 2008 the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the underlying Oklahoma law that barred out of state petition circulators, noting that it was in violation of the First Amendment .[1]. Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson appealed the decision on behalf of Secretary of State Susan Savage. On January 21, 2009 the Tenth Circuit court denied the state's appeal, effectively ending the case.[2]. The Attorney General's office dismissed the charges against Jacob and the other defendants, with Edmondson saying "The statute under which these defendants were charged has been declared unconstitutional, and the appellate process is complete...The statute is no longer enforceable."[3] on January 22, 2009. Jacob released the following statement in response to the charges being dropped:[4]

"Today is a great day for justice, for freedom of speech and the right to petition one’s government. It is a great day for Rick Carpenter, Susan Johnson, and me—now known as the Oklahoma Three.

The charges brought against us by the attorney general have now been dismissed. They should never have been brought in the first place. We did not break the law and, as we all now know, the law itself is unconstitutional.

Our prosecution has sadly had a chilling effect on Oklahomans, who want to reform their government and to hold it accountable through the petition process. My goal throughout this ordeal has been to encourage Oklahomans and Americans everywhere not to let their rights be eroded through fear and intimidation. Today we have won a victory.

But the battle to protect citizen rights is far from over."

Draft Resistance

Jacob first came to political prominence in the early 1980s as a draft registration resister. His crusade against forced military service and for the all-volunteer army was featured in Rolling Stone magazine. In 1985, after being convicted of violating the Selective Service Act, he served five and a half months in federal prison, longer than any American draft resister since the Vietnam War. During the trial, Congressman Ron Paul testified on his behalf.

GFDL

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Preceded by:
Honey Lanham
Libertarian Party Executive Director
1987-1988
Succeeded by:
Nick Dunbar



See Also

External Links

  • "10th Circuit Court Overturns Okla. Residency Restrictions", City Sentinel, December 23, 2008
  • [1], "Statement from Tenth Circuit Court"]
  • [2], Daily Oklahoman, January 22, 2009
  • "Oklahoma 3 Are Free! AG Dismisses Charges"