- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 15, 2009



Court case aside, the events Paul Greenberg described in his Saturday Commentary column, “Free Paul Jacob,” are puzzling and troubling. One is left to wonder whether Mr. Jacob and the two persons from his organization who were gathering signatures on an Oklahoma state legislative matter were invited to Oklahoma by residents of that state or just showed up on their own. Hopefully, the proposal for which they were gathering signatures, at least, was the work of Oklahoma residents.

In any event, the participation of a group of outsiders, whether gratuitous or solicited, in the political affairs of a state in which they are not residents is inimical to the concept of federalism. These people do not get to enjoy the benefits, nor do they have to endure the consequences of the actions of the legislators whom they are attempting to influence. If these people came into my state and tried to do this, I would be incensed, whether I was for or against their proposal.

An organization like Citizens in Charge certainly should be able to petition our national leaders concerning any issue it likes. But its members should not actively participate in the implementation of the organization’s ideas or recommendations in a state of which they are not residents.



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