Paul Jacob

My car died this week. It needs a new motor. Unfortunately, that costs more than the car is worth. But I don't really even care.

You see, as this week's bad news goes, that's nothing. I'm much more focused on my felony indictment in Oklahoma.

On the one hand, my car misses pretty badly and could cook an omelette on the hood.

On the other, I was placed in hand-cuffs and leg-irons before my release on bond, and am threatened with a ten-year prison term for that oh-so-violent crime of helping others petition their government.

I wasn't alone. I was cuffed to the other two bewildered citizens that make up The Oklahoma Three, my alleged co-conspirators, Susan Johnson and Rick Carpenter.

Susan is a mother and grandmother who lives in Michigan. She's also the president of a petition management firm called National Voter Outreach. She started on the streets as a petitioner many years ago, learned the business and is now at the top.

Seeing this sweet lady (and I mean "lady") in leg-irons as we were being processed is something I'll long remember — whenever I think I've had enough, whenever I doubt that my extra effort is needed or wonder if freedom can be guarded without personal sacrifice.

Rick Carpenter of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the head of Oklahomans in Action. He was the legal proponent of two Oklahoma initiative campaigns launched back in 2005, neither of which amused the political elite. One was designed to end eminent domain and regulatory abuse by governments and the other measure would have capped the rate of government spending growth, allowing greater spending only with voter approval — a measure similar to Colorado's Taxpayers Bill of Rights.


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.