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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I left a store the other day and was accosted by one of those signature gatherers trying to get some initiatives on the November ballot. This one was a little unusual in that he had nearly a dozen petitions for me to sign. I asked what they were because I ain't signing squat without knowing.

He breezed through them stating the position of each: prescription medicine plan, banning payday loans, lowering taxes on new home sales, and some others that I can't remember. I suggested that I'd be willing to sign for the tax decrease but that I didn't agree with the others. He was dumbfounded and said that I wasn't voting on any of them just enabling them to be on the ballot. I again said that I'll sign one but none of the rest. He shrugged and said that I couldn't sign any of them then.

If I wasn't in a hurry, I would have explained to him that there are things that don't belong on the ballot. I don't want them to be put to a vote because they're restrictive and infringe on our liberties—the initiative process should not be an end run around individual rights. I would have analogized it to signing a petition to enslave illegal immigrants: it would likely be defeated at the polls but it should never get that far. I'm certain that it would have been entirely lost on the guy.