Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland wrote a very pointed piece on mdpetitions.com and the upcoming attempts to put same-sex marriage on the ballot. Bottom line? Democrats in Maryland are scared and in their fear are trying to make petitioning in Maryland impossible to prevent the people from overturning our legislature when (not if) they make massive mistakes. Here’s an excerpt:
The Democrats hear our footsteps. And they’re scared to death….
After the successful 2011 petition drive to put the DREAM Act on the ballot, mdpetitions.com has been retooled to petition the Gay Marriage Bill to referendum as well. After surviving challenges to the legitimacy of the petition signature gathering process last year, I fully suspect that gay marriage will be petitioned to the ballot this fall to allow voters to have the opportunity to make their voices be heard on this issue as well.
That of course doesn’t sit well with the Maryland Democratic Party, particularly the urban liberals who think they know better than you.
Long-time readers will recognize the name of Eric Luedtke, who use to spew venom, hate speech, and generally a lack of understanding of the world around him on an old, failed lefty blog. For reasons that are beyond me, the people of Montgomery County decided they wanted this peddler of a failed ideology and a general incivility to represent them in the General Assembly. Luedtke also has a proud track record of believing that the people of Maryland are incapable of thinking for themselves, and that ergo the decisions of the General Assembly are beyond reproach. To that end, Luedtke has signed on as the lead sponsor of HB 127, the so-called “Maryland Referendum Integrity Act.” And what would that act do?
Requiring each individual who signs a petition to provide specified information on the petition printed in the individual’s own handwriting; requiring that an affidavit executed by a petition circulator on each signature page of a petition be notarized; prohibiting an individual who is convicted of specified election law violations from being a petition circulator; extending the period of time during which judicial review of a determination concerning a petition may be sought; etc.
That’s right, Luedtke wants to force each individual signature to be hand-written and be witnessed and signed before a notary public. This would be a barrier to entry which would of course shut down citizen-based efforts such as mdpetitions.com, and would certainly create an enormous barrier to entry for other petition drives as well.
To bottom line it, Eric Luedtke wants to effectively eliminate the right of citizens to petition acts of the General Assembly to referendum. Eric Luedtke believes that citizens should have no voice in their government. In an era when both sides of the aisle are trying to make government more responsive and more accessible, Luedtke wants to continue to ensure that the citizens of Maryland are subjects instead of citizens.
There are a lot of things Maryland does wrong – but the current petitioning system isn’t one of them. To throw a giant hurdle to the people’s check on our legislature is a serious and awful attempt to mute the voice of the people. Whether you support same-sex marriage or not, you should be willing to recognize attempts by the majority in charge to stamp out the voice of the people. The people should not be ignored.