Thursday, March 23, 2006

Leffingwell: Put your money where your mouth is.

Something Leffingwell said yesterday kinda bothered me. Well okay, more than one thing bothered me, but one thing in particular bothered me as the kind of thing that politicians use as an argument but rarely follow through with their position to its logical conclusion.

Lee Leffingwell, Council Member for Place 1, spoke out against the Open Government Online amendment. One of his main criticisms all along has been aimed at the Initiative and Referendum process whereby Austin citizens get to directly participate in City government by having enough registered voters (here, 20,000) sign a petition asking for their issues to go to the ballot. He thinks this process is flawed because the amendments are not subjected to the same process as City Ordinances.

So Council Member Leffingwell, I will expect you to lead the charge on an amendment to the City of Austin Charter striking Article IV out of our charter. And I will expect to see you down at the Texas Legislature fighting Initiative for Texas in their efforts to bring I & R to Texas. And finally, I suppose that you will have to lead a charge to amend the Texas Constitution, Article XI Section 5, which reads "Cities having more than five thousand (5000) inhabitants may, by a majority vote of the qualified voters of said city, at an election held for that purpose, adopt or amend their charters."

That is, if you really mean it about Initiative and Referendum.


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