25 September 2006

Unlimited Terms of Endearment Part XVIII: By Their Pigs Ye Shall Know Them

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
- George Orwell, Animal Farm
I'd like to thank the many bloggers out there who have written such kind words about my contribution to the PBS NOW program that aired on Friday. The interview with me that they posted generated an extremely spot-on posting on DailyKos that I'll address in a separate post. You can access the interview at:


Here's a snippet:

This week's show was inspired by a compelling blog series written by Hart Williams. Williams' research revealed some extraordinary truths about efforts to take the "local" out of local ballot initiatives and create them from afar.

Williams has written for a number of publications including The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Oregonian.

You can watch the show on streaming video at:


The tale resumes.

I've talked about the background and history of the group fronted by Howie Rich: a group of activists clustered around the Libertarian Party in the late 1970s and early 1980s, who left the party, en masse when their candidate for president was rejected at the National Libertarian Convention in the summer of 1983.

In 1973, at the founding convention of the New York Libertarian Party, Andrea Millen -- originally of Johnson City, Tennessee -- was elected as ChairPERSON. (At the time, this nomenclature -- as opposed to Chairman or Chairwoman -- was new and controversial.) Two Vice-Chairs were elected. One was Howard "Howie" Rich, who would soon marry the Chairperson, who would ever after be known as Andrea Millen Rich of Manhattan.

Andrea and Howie both came to the LP via the Nathaniel Brandon Institute, and both were devout admirers and followers of Ayn Rand, the author, whose lectures Ms. Rich often speaks of attending. Andrea Millen Rich was, until just a couple years ago, the owner of the "Lassaiz Faire Bookstore," in Manhattan, which was the pre-eminent Objectivist/Libertarian bookstore on the East Coast.

The Lassaiz-Faire Books website contains this fascinating webpage:
For more information or to place a nomination, send email to andrea.rich@lfb.com or write to:

Szasz Award Nominations
73 Spring St., Suite 507
New York, NY 10012
You might recall that address from the PBS NOW program last night (9-22-06) (streaming video at: http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/238/index.html ) There was reporter Maria Hinajosa out on the street, being fended off by the receptionist over the speaker outside of the building. Well, let me take you inside the Rich home, at least.

Andrea and Howard Rich host the Thomas Szasz Awards at their Manhattan home every year. Actually, they host them because Andrea founded them:

Andrea Millen Rich is President of Laissez Faire Books and the Center for Independent Thought in New York. She is also the creator of The Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, established in 1991.
Szasz believes that mental illness is a myth, and that modern psychiatry is a con. So this photograph isn't all that surprising:

You don't know about psychiatry

Here is a photo from the 2003 Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, et al, featuring founder and hostess Andrea Rich speaking to the assembled:

Welcome to Howie & Andrea's

The painting seems to be a portrait of a younger Mrs. Rich, done in the style of deco artist Tamara de Lempicka's (1898-1980) famous 1925 self-portrait.

(Ms. de Lempicka's early life eerily parallels Ayn Rand's by-the-by.)

The portrait dominates the living room and the awards photographs. Taken by Howie Rich? Probably. He's not visible in any of the awards photos, and source after source has explained that "Howie's very shy."

Here's another photo from that 2003 get-together in the Rich townhouse.

Welcome to Howie & Andrea's

And here's a wider angle view of their townhouse (that's Thomas Szasz unaccountably on the Far Left):

Welcome to Howie & Andrea's

The point is that they have an agenda, and it's not an agenda that particularly gibes with mainstream America. Fundamentally, they believe that only THEY know what is wrong with ALL government, and they have some very kinky ideas about how to fix it: term limits, flat taxes, abolition of all taxes; abolition of public schools, dismantling of all zoning and land use laws, deregulation of all businesses, the privatization and/or dismantling of social security, Medicare et al and, oh yes, the abolition of psychiatry and any concept of "mental illness."

That last may seem a little self-serving.

You can look at the photos of their townhouse at:


Pay particular attention to the pictures of John Stossel, Thomas Szasz, and Andrea Rich, and the photo of Thomas Szasz and Ward Connerly.

Ward Connerly? That sounds familiar to me. Oh! He's caught up in a petition drive scandal that paralleled the "SOS Michigan" drive by Howard Rich's ALG that was unanimously rejected by the Michigan canvassing board, and refused review by the Michigan Supreme Court last week. See if any of this pattern sounds familiar:
Affirmative action battle brews anew in Michigan
By Mary Wiltenburg - staff writer
The Christian Science Monitor

January 20, 2004

It's a cold time of year to be out collecting signatures. But as Michigan's affirmative action debate heats up once again, that's exactly what opponents of racial preferences in hiring and school admissions are doing.

Last week, the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) launched a petition drive to let voters decide whether to ban such preferences by state institutions. If the group gathers 317,757 signatures by July 6, its proposed amendment to the state constitution will appear on November's ballot...

MCRI's campaign is bankrolled and advised by Ward Connerly, a familiar figure in affirmative action cases nationwide. In 1996, Mr. Connerly, chairman of the Sacramento-based American Civil Rights Coalition, sponsored California's Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action programs in hiring, contracting, and public school admissions. Two years later, Connerly successfully promoted Initiative 200 in Washington State to similar effect.
Tue, Sep. 19, 2006
Michigan vote to end preferential treatment could sway other states
By Steven Thomma
McClatchy Newspapers

... said Dave Waymire, a spokesman for One United Michigan, a coalition opposing the proposal[:]"This is not about Michigan. It's not about civil rights," Waymire said. "It's all about Ward Connerly."

Connerly is the former University of California regent who led the successful 1996 ballot initiative to ban preferences in that state. He's been pushing to repeat the success in Michigan.

Waymire said Connerly bankrolled efforts to put the Michigan initiative on the ballot... [Connerly] dismissed as politics a charge from Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., that Connerly's $1 million in salary and expenses from the nonprofit American Civil Rights Institute might violate tax law.
We will meet Mr. Connerly again, before all of this is over.

But, while we're on the subject of party guests, it would be rude not to mention our hostess. In 2002, she was giving cover to her husband's contributions in the California Term Limits fight (they were against amending the term limits law that they'd passed several years earlier.)

Davis, CA -- Research compiled by the California Voter Foundation shows that campaigns for and against the six propositions on tomorrow's primary election ballot raised nearly $20 million through February 16th, the end of the last full campaign finance reporting period.

Proposition 45, which would amend California's term limit law, is the most expensive statewide measure on the ballot so far ...


Total amount raised as of 2/16/02: $ 1,039,500
Total amount spent as of 2/16/02: $ 71,733

Top contributors as of 3/1/02:

1. Americans for Limited Terms
Spring Green, WI 53588

2. Council for Responsible Government
Burke, VA 22015

3. Andrea Rich
President, Center for Independent Thought
New York, NY 10012
Gosh. I wonder why this all sounds so familiar?

Well, first you will note that these three organizations have donated every penny of the $1,039,500 for the Term Limits defense. At the time, Eric O'Keefe was President of ALT and Howie was a board member. ALT funded the "NO" side of modifying the draconian Term Limits law they'd shoved through a few years earlier, this time to the tune of 99 percent of the total. But two other groups jump in to pick up that remaining 1 percent. One is run by Andrea Rich, coincidentally enough.

We already know that Spring Green, Wisconsin is the hometown of the married Eric O'Keefe and Leslie Graves. And there is Howie's wife, donating $2,500 through a foundation that she controls, and the Council for Responsible Government has Bill Wilson listed "as agent, Council for Responsible Government, a 527 active in GOP primaries." (as "William Wilson," as noted in this series several times before. For some of Wilson's connections as a friend of Howie Rich, see: http://howierichexposed.com/players.php )

But, in considering Wilson and the "Council for Responsible Government" -- which sounds eerily similar to the Rich/Cranberg maybe-funded group (they won't reveal their backers, even though state law requires it) in South Carolina, South Carolinians for Responsible Government, SCRG -- we need to take a short derail through Kafka country, specifically, THE TRIAL:

Feb 15, 2005 -- Judge Returns Key 527 Decision to FEC for Fast Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2005
Press Contact: Mark Glaze , 202-271-0982

The [Kean for Congress Committee v. FEC]case arises from a complaint filed by the Kean for Congress Committee in 2000 alleging that [the Council for Responsible Government, Inc.] spent around $200,000 on communications expressly advocating Kean's defeat without properly registering with the FEC as a political committee and making the necessary disclosure of its activities....

On January 26, 2005 the judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge John Bates, refused an FEC motion to dismiss the case.
The official Federal Election Commission website notes:

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission has recently made public its final action on a matter previously under review (MUR). This release contains only disposition information.

1.MUR 5024R


(a) Council for Responsible Government, Inc. and its Accountability Project

(b) Gary Glenn, Corporate Officer
(c) William "Bill" Wilson, Corporate Officer

Anthony S. Cicatiello and Kean for Congress

Corporate independent expenditure; disclaimer

DISPOSITION: (a-c) Conciliation Agreement: $5,500 civil penalty*

The complainant alleged that the Council made prohibited corporate contributions which were coordinated with Kean's opponent and that the Council should be registered and reporting as a political committee. The complainant, to support the allegations, attached two brochures financed and distributed by the Council which criticize Kean's fitness for federal office. In response to the complaint, the Council denied being a political committee and argued that the brochures constituted protected issue advocacy, not express advocacy. The Commission first considered this matter on November 4, 2003, but was evenly divided on whether the respondents violated the Act, and subsequently voted to dismiss the complaint and close the file ...
The Kean committee sued to force the FEC to obey the law. The FEC valiantly argued:
The Commission moved to dismiss the case for lack of standing, but the court denied the motion, allowing the case to proceed on the Kean Committee's previously filed motion for summary judgment on the merits.
The FEC immediately fought to avoid a making a decision:
In lieu of filing an immediate response to Complainant's motion for summary judgment, the Commission sought a remand from the district court to reconsider its decision in light of the McConnell decision (See McConnell v. FEC, No. 02-1674, Supreme Court of the United States). The court granted this request on February 15, 2005.
The court agreed to allow the FEC to make a less than immediate decision, the court agreed and the FEC decided, at long last, nearly five years after the smear campaign by the CRG:
In considering this matter on remand, the Commission concluded that there was reason to believe a violation occurred because the brochures distributed by the Council contain express advocacy, and that the Council made a prohibited corporate independent expenditure and failed to provide a proper disclaimer on the brochures. The Commission also found reason to believe against the two officers of the Council for having consented to the prohibited expenditures. The Commission conciliated with the respondents. Statement of Reasons was issued by Commission Smith.


Documents from this matter are available from the Commission's web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5024R under case number in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC's Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.
Listen to that last line from the Federal Election Commission: "The Commission conciliated with the respondents." It sounds dirty, and it probably is, but it probably isn't the fun kind of dirty.

Yeah, for $5500 worth. Hell, the Phillips Foundation's annual "Fellow" dinner at the Washington D.C. Press Club costs $99,000. That $5500 was sure a heck of a fine for attacking a Republican primary opponent with anonymous smear tactics back in 2000. That's right:


The case arises from a complaint filed by the Kean for Congress Committee in 2000 alleging that CRG spent around $200,000 on communications expressly advocating Kean's defeat without properly registering with the FEC as a political committee and making the necessary disclosure of its activities.

In spending $200,000 on smear tactics, and following its six-year battle with the FEC and the Kean Campaign, the spineless FEC finally FOUND that election law had been violated.

Gee. Ya THINK?

And they fined them $5500.

Well, that'll teach the mysterious "Council for Responsible Government, Inc." not to do bad things in the future.

And who ARE the "Council for Responsible Government, Inc."?

Sorry, they're not telling. And there is no telltale pig here, and therefore we can make no guesses as to who was behind the CRG's Term Limits donation in California in 2002.

So, after all that, the only real connection we have to Howie Rich is William "Bill" Wilson. But that connection is pretty sound:
William A. Wilson, NAWER treasurer, is the owner of Associated Public Affairs Professionals, a consulting firm which was paid $15k by Gary Bauer's campaign in 2000. Wilson is associated with numerous conservative organizations. Here's a partial list:

US Term Limits
US Term Limits Foundation
Term Limits America PAC
America At Its Best
Council For Responsible Government
Parents In Charge (formerly Legislative Action Drive)
SocialSecurityChoice.org Foundation
NAWER? Oh yeah. ANOTHER mystery organization: the National Alliance For Worker and Employer Rights.
Grover Norquist's $650k Grant to the "National Alliance"
By mrs panstreppon

reprinted from tpm cafe at:

According to its 2004 990 filed with the IRS, Grover Norquist's Americans For Tax Reform (ATR) made a $650k grant to the "National Alliance" at 10424 Woodbury Woods Court, Fairfax, VA. Total ATR grants in 2004 were $820k so the National Alliance one was a big deal.

I first wrote about Grover Norquist, ATR and the ATR Foundation in the TPM Cafe in November 2005. A glaring error in ATR's 990 is a reported $6.5 million receivable due from the ATR Foundation. The ATR Foundation does not have wherewithal to pay the debt so the receivable is worthless. I assume Grover Norquist benefits financially from this screwy accounting in some way.

I learned that William A. Wilson, a conservative activist, lives at 10424 Woodbury Woods Court in Fairfax but I did not find an organization named the "National Alliance". Recently, another member of the TPM Cafe wrote to me and identified the National Alliance For Worker and Employer Rights (NAWER) as the probable recipient of the $650k grant.

NAWER was registered in Virginia in September 2004. Richard Quinn Jr. is the chairman and William A. Wilson is the treasurer. The NAWER Foundation was registered in December 2005.

NAWER is intent on "bringing dignity and the promise of freedom back to the Workers and Employers by ending the tyranny of the Unions by protecting Business growth and Employee rights" i.e. unionbusting. A specific goal is the passage of the "Secret Ballot Election Act" which would end open enrollment by unions.

No one would be surprised that Grover Norquist is anti-union but ATR maintains the Alliance For Workers Freedom, ATR's anti-union special project, so why did Norquist fund NAWER to the tune of $650k?
(from the same TPM Cafe report. "mrs panstreppon" further noted in correspondence with me this week:
Wilson is listed as the owner of Associated Public Affairs Professionals, a management consulting firm, in Fairfax business directories. Associated Professionals was listed as a vendor of the Gary Bauer 2000 presidential campaign and was paid $15k for direct marketing services ... Wilson's wife, Judith T. "Tessie" Wilson, ran as a candidate for the local school board. Don't know if she won.
And, of course, we can't entirely ignore the only other named human being associated with CRG: Gary Glenn. In addition to his CRG assignment he "is President of the American Family Association of Michigan. Here's the sort of thing that AFA-Mich engages in:
AFA-Michigan joins leaders urging Ford to stop funding homosexual activist groups
January 17, 2006
For Immediate Release: 1/11/2006

44 pro-family groups ask Ford to honor commitment, stop funding either side in cultural war

(Tupelo, MS) - American Family Association (AFA), along with 43 other pro-family groups, has asked Ford Motor Company Chairman Bill Ford to honor Ford's commitment to stop supporting homosexual groups. The organizations also requested that Ford stop supporting any group involved in the current cultural war.

AFA began a boycott of Ford last spring. At the request of several Ford dealers, the boycott was suspended for six months while the two sides tried to work out a compromise.

In a letter to Ford, AFA Chairman Donald E. Wildmon said Ford, after a meeting with homosexual groups, reneged on a representation of action they told AFA Ford would take... Wildmon said[:] "Ford's support for these groups pushing homosexual marriage can only hurt dealers across the country. Why would Ford put the interests of seven homosexual groups ahead of the interests of all their dealers? Simply because Ford considers seven homosexual leaders more important than thousands of their dealers."
Isn't THAT special?

Which brings us back to Andrea Rich and her seemingly-Howieless Szasz soiree in 2003.

I just wanted you to see these people together. And here, from the Thomas Szasz birthday party are many of the friends of Howie Rich, including Howie Rich himself.

Here's Ed Crane, Howie's boss back in the early Libertarian Party days (before they literally walked out in 1983), and associated with Rich ever since. Howard Rich currently sits on the Cato Foundation Board. Ed Crane was one of three founders of the Cato Foundation, and remains Cato's President.


And here is Howard Rich and his wife, Andrea, eating.


Howard is the bald fellow, third from the left. This is quite a different fellow from the "smiling Howie" presented on the Americans for Limited Government website.

And here is Howie Rich, on the far left: http://www.szasz.com/sheldon1.JPG

That's Nick Gillespie, Editor of REASON magazine -- the Master of Ceremonies -- leaning against the wall directly above Mr. Rich.

And here is Howard Rich, Nick Gillespie and Andrea Rich, whose choice of a three-piece black leather suit for the occasion seems a questionable fashion choice, to be charitable.


The expression on the unnamed woman second from the left seems to indicate that it was not an night that would be eternally etched in oratorical history.

Follow the Piggy
click on picture for 1024 x 558 full size version

The get-together was oddly anti-climactic, however. The photos page notes: http://www.szasz.com/reasonbanquet.html
Pictures from the REASON dinner honoring Thomas Szasz
on the occasion of his 85th birthday, April 15, 2005
I Ricchi restaurant, Washington, DC
[Tom Szasz was unable to attend.]
Szasz was sick and couldn't attend the birthday party. Neither could Tom Cruise. We move forward to the present...

As noted in Part V., "The Locusts," and Part IX, Howie Rich likes his pig.

I've been holding off on this part of the story -- as a couple of prominent bloggers could tell you -- because I haven't been able to connect that last link between the pig that was parked outside the courthouse where a Judge threw out three mysterious ballot measures that were financed with mystery money in Montana.

It looked like Howard Rich, it smelled like Howard Rich, and it quacked like Howard Rich, but the 'Montanans in Action' head, Trevis Butcher has been -- as we've seen on the PBS show -- swearing that his contributors were a "private" list and he couldn't tell anyone WHO was actually financing the ballot initiatives.

So, jeepers. Who do you suppose is funding "Montanans in Action"? You might not be able to take this to court, but you don't have to. To follow the money, follow Willie the Pig.

And I have to THANK the "NOW" show gang for nailing down the identity of the pigs. Here are the pictures that I've been sitting on ever since the Montana hearing:

Follow the Piggy
click for 1024 x 558 full version

Howie's pig was featured on the PBS NOW show Friday, and VOILA! there is now The Pig on the ALG website!


Here's the page: http://www.getliberty.org/whoweare.php

Which is really kind of funny when you consider that fellow PBS interviewed in Montana. I've been covering him for a few months now.

Trevis Butcher is the homespun Montanan. A farmer/rancher from Winifred, Montana, he's the leader of Montanans in Action. His father, Ed Butcher, is a well-known GOP state legislator. Oddly enough, Trevis -- who can't even afford a driver, it seems, since he has been driving that pig around Montana for a month since Scott Tillman in Michigan loaned it to him, well, Trevis had been swearing up and down that the "grassroots" Montana financers of his petition drives -- Stop OverSpending, Eminent Domain and a bill to make it easier to remove "activist" judges -- well, Trevis swears that he doesn't know Howie Rich.

In Michigan last month, the same pig was making headlines. (I can't find a picture. If you have a picture of Willie the Michigan Pig, by all means send it):


A man, a pig, and a plan: How one taxpayer defender got the word out on Prop. 6

08/30/06: Scott Tillman wants to get the word out about a ballot proposal to limit the amount of taxpayer money Michigan's government is allowed to spend. So, the Fremont man did what anyone would do: He built a 10-by-16-foot pig, put it on a trailer and used his van to haul it to the Michigan Republican Party convention this past weekend in Novi. MORE
And ...
For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Tillman
August 25, 2006

Ten-foot pink pig pushes pachyderms to prohibit politicians' personal pensions

[Note: They seem to have an atavistic and avaricious affection for the affectation of alliteration -- HW]

08/25/06: Members of the Michigan Stop OverSpending (SOS) campaign Friday towed a ten-foot high pink pig - constructed of spray foam on a steel frame -- to the convention site in Novi, where it towered over the convention parking lot with the message, "Stop the Pork!"

Scott Tillman of Fremont, builder and official campaign spokesman for the pig, said its intended message won't be lost on Republican convention delegates...
And, here's Willie the TABOR Pig yet again:

Associated Press

Thu, Aug. 31, 2006

LANSING, Mich. - Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit state government spending said Thursday the measure's backers did not gather enough valid signatures for the November ballot... To combat opponents' challenge of the signatures, [Stop OverSpending Michigan Spokesman Scott]Tillman, of Fremont, brought to Lansing a 10-by-16-foot pig he constructed. It says "Stop the Pork" and has a sticker supporting the spending limit measure.

[Construction and grammar is sic]
Compare this with the ALG website "Meet Our Staff" pig.

And spot at the pig in Colorado:

Budget Watch
May 3, 2006 Vol. 4, No. 5

By Laurie Hirschfeld Zeller
Senior Policy Advisor

TABOR-like constitutional amendments are headed for the ballots in at least five states in fall 2006. The campaigns organizing around them are being coordinated by conservative anti-tax activist organizations such as Americans for Limited Government, the Cato Institute, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, these groups are paying petition gatherers and even supplying the pink pig float many Coloradans will remember from on C campaign here last fall....
So, pigspotting has been quite the exercise this year -- including the Pig parked at the courthouse. While Trevis Butcher was inside refusing to reveal where he got the pig or the rest of the money he's been spreading around (including sending $600,000 to California -- and when was the last time you heard of Montana helping out needy Californians?), well, he was illegally parked. He picked up several tickets, but he got "signage."

It is a perfect metaphor. Do we doubt that he has the money for the parking tickets? Do they care about the parking tickets any more than CRG cared about their $5500 FEC fine?

They want to make laws but they don't feel like obeying laws.

This is what Howard Rich and Trevis Butcher say:

September 9, 2006
Judge hopes to make decision on initiative signatures next week
Associated Press Writer

... "Local groups are working hard to put the voters and taxpayers back in charge in Montana, and Montana voters will have the final say on these issues in the fall," [Howard] Rich wrote.

[Trevis] Butcher, a Winifred rancher and political activist, said he has not seen donations directly from Rich come to his group.

"I would personally challenge the governor to a debate on the issue. The governor does need to be publicly debated on this issue," Butcher said. "He needs to debate someone in Montana, and I propose that person be me."
He has not seen donations DIRECTLY from Rich. Well, jeepers. NOBODY has seen donations directly from Howie Rich. That's the whole problem.

But do we doubt for a moment where Willie the TABOR pig came from? And do we doubt where the money came from?

But Butcher modified his comments in the courtroom that day when Willie the TABOR Pig was running up the parking tickets:

Groups' initiatives have been skewered in courts elsewhere
[Helena, MT] Tribune Capitol Bureau
September 10, 2006

About a quarter of the 63 citizen-initiated measures that have qualified around the country this year concern those same three subjects, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Many of those efforts have gotten money from a Libertarian group in Illinois, Americans for Limited Government, said Heather Wilhelm, the group's spokesman. She wouldn't say how much that support amounted to.

That fact forms the basis of the opposition to the measures.

"These guys are spending their money in our state, fraudulently claiming that this is what Montanans want. I just don't believe Montanans are going to buy it," Feaver said.

Butcher attributed opponents' focus on out-of-state funding as "really trying to avoid dealing with the matters at hand. Montanans in Action will accept donations from anybody," he said. He estimated the three sub-groups have collected nearly $1 million.

In court Friday, he said that the bulk of the money came from out-of-state organizations and foundations.
But, of course, Butcher has not seen donations DIRECTLY from Rich. And Brutus is an honorable man.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities [http://www.cbpp.org/6-1-05tabor.pdf, updated 9-13-06], 16 states have had TABOR-style legislation introduced this year, 2006. Had so many not done so badly, it might have been an incredibly busy year for Willie the TABOR Pig.

It was nearly as busy as 2005 had been for The Trojan Horse that seems to have previously occupied Scott Tillman's trailer frame. In February, Tillman and the horse were in Nebraska. By mid-March, they were in Florida:


free registration required or, click here


Feb 8, 2005: Grand Island Nebraska

CAPTION: Tuesday morning at Stuhr Museum, Scott Tillman of U.S. Term Limits stands next to the 12-foot wooden horse he is hauling around Nebraska to campaign against bills that would put the issue of term limits for state legislators before voters once again.

March 15, 2005: Okeechobee, Florida

CAPTION: Scott Tillman, of "Don't Touch Term Limits" was in Okeechobee Monday afternoon with this wooden horse. His organization thinks the term limits issue is a Trojan horse. Mr. Tillman has been traveling around Florida with this horse to publicize the issue. Staff photo/Pete Gawda
What became of the Trojan horse, we do not know. Seemingly, he was sacrificed so that Willie the Pig might live.

So, where did the money in Montana come from? And why does Trevis Butcher refuse to reveal WHO put up the money for THREE Montana ballot measures? Well, the media will be dropping this one entirely, now that they've been thrown out. But the Montana Supreme Court could still reinstate them, and Willie the TABOR pig might well have more work to do this year. A giant styrofoam pig's work is never done. Or ...

By their pigs ye shall know them, or

Cast not your swine before pearls.


The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
- George Orwell, Animal Farm


Anonymous Sean said...

As I nervously await yet another general election in California with its slew of local and state propositions that many won't read all the way through, I have to say the biggest problem here, and this is no defense of the wing nuts who are abusing the system, is the initiative process itself. Sure, some questions should be put before voters, but the threshold for ballot qualification needs to be much higher and the mandate requirements more limited in scope. Whatever happened to representative government? (other than it's been sold, of course).

But folks, most people are simply not able to make proper decisions when forced to read even simple legalise. And if they don't read the papers (which many don't), their biggest source of info is distorted ads and the first couple of sentences in any given proposition. The Western states, Cali in particular, have gone off the handle with referendums. My state of origin (MA) has a referedum process too, but the ballot threshold is higher, and no, you cannot change the state constitution with a simple majority vote (MA requires two popular votes two years apart and a legislative approval in between). The thought is just crackpot, yet in California, we allow just that, littering our constitution with a lot of special interest nonsense that locks up a major portion of the state budget and limits governments ability to govern. Talk about trivializing what is supposed to be the supreme document of state government. Thanks Jarvis.

The good news is Mr. Rich is trying to fly beneath the radar with 90, knowing full well that any ad blitz will bring more scrutiny. Opposition is starting to mount as well; I've never seen such strange bedfellows in opposition to a ballot question, it covers the whole political spectrum. And if there's a bright spot, it's the fact that if passed, 90, unlike its highly destructive forebearer, Prop. 13, will not create a vicious circle where people would love to repeal it but can't afford to. 90 would at least be easier to repeal once the damage starts.

Yet I will continue to worry until the poll numbers for 90 start to slip; awareness among the general public is still low and a weak Dem candidate for governor will probably reduce voter turnout among those know how to read and not to greed.

9/27/2006 06:16:00 PM  

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