Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Hometown Democracy" Terrifies Big Business & Big Business is Fighting Back with GOP Consultant Randy Nielsen

Hometown Democracy is the ultimate citizen revolt. It would take power away from Florida's city and county elected officials, and give that power directly to local voters.--Howard Troxler.

Supported by the Sierra Club.

STEVE BOUSQUET, Tallahassee bureau chief, of the St. Petersburg Times writes:

Big business seems truly terrified of the Florida Hometown Democracy ballot initiative that may be headed to voters in November 2008.

Simply put, Hometown Democracy is a proposed constitutional amendment that would require a vote on any land-use changes that conflict with a local government's plan for growth. If a developer wanted to put a Wal-Mart Supercenter in a spot designated for agriculture, it would be the voters - not local officials - who would have to okay it.

Builders, developers and their allies know that the antidevelopment push will be unstoppable if it gets to the ballot, so their mission is to stop Hometown Democracy.

Here's how: by persuading people who have signed Hometown Democracy's petitions to change their minds.

Business lobbying helped persuade the Legislature to pass a bill this spring that, for the first time, allows voters to revoke signatures on initiative petitions. Several other states have similar laws.

Hometown Democracy this week filed a lawsuit in state court challenging the constitutionality of the revocation provision. But the law, signed by Gov. Charlie Crist on May 21, is already having an effect.

Associated Industries of Florida has birthed a political committee called Save Our Constitution, which will soon start handing out Florida's first state-approved petition revocation form.

Also, it has hired Randy Nielsen, a West Palm Beach political consultant, to run the revocation effort - proving, as some predicted, that petition revocation will become a cottage industry for consultants. Nielsen founder of Public Concenpts runs smear campaigns (see what he did in Vero Beach)

Florida Hometown Democracy
Download the petition.

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