Indictment Hits Out-Of-State Petition Effort

Saturday, October 6th 2007, 7:13 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Using out-of-state residents to circulate initiative petitions in Oklahoma can be risky. Three people were indicted this week on felony charges.

Paul Jacob of Virginia, Susan Johnson of Michigan and Rick Carpenter of Tulsa were led out of an Oklahoma County district court in handcuffs. They're charged with conspiracy by using petition circulators who are not state residents to collect signatures for the so-called taxpayer bill of rights.

TABOR seeks to limit the growth of government.

Republican state Senator Randy Brogdon supports TABOR and issued a statement through the media division of the state Senate calling the indictments an outrage and ``shameful.''

Attorney General Drew Edmondson says he's only following state law. He says the initiative petition process has been in place since statehood and there have been several changes to state law and the state Constitution without using out-of-state groups who ignore the law.

And Edmondson says it's ``irresponsible'' for a lawmaker to ask law enforcement to ignore state laws.

A group wanting to use out-of-state circulators for a petition drive to limit the terms of several state officials says it will appeal a recent federal district court decision upholding the Oklahoma law.