Some people don’t get something that is going on right in front of them until it does something for them.

John Carlson, KVI 570 host and no new gas tax fan and contributor, finally gets that grassroots activism is helped, yes indeed, helped by the internet. That revelation came to John after No New Roads in Eastern Washington Gas Tax turned in their wad of signatures on Friday.

I wish I had the direct quote, but John said something like: I really thought grassroots politics was gone for good, that we had really moved on, that our society wasn’t like that any more.

In regards to the power of the internet, his minds has been changed. Well, thank God. What took him so long probably has a lot to do with his view on Howard Dean and that Dean and deanforamerica.com probably pissed him off and that he couldn’t see beyond that to appreciate the good work done by Dean folks to improve the Democratic process.

That said, I think No New Gas Tax is a really bad idea, a boner if you will. But, I’m not going to let that get in the way of appreciating what they did. If you take out what would turn out to be some necessary promoting by KVI, No New Gas Tax showed how in a short time to get petitions out there, filled out a returned with no paid gatherers.

Recently I’ve been reading about how individual contributions to initiative campaigns can’t be limited, under the logic that limiting contributions to initiative campaigns would also be limiting speech (contributions can be capped to candidates because candidates, not ideas or laws, can be bought). Anyway, the idea was to eventually file an initiative to put a cap on individual contributions, thereby opening up the initiative process to “the people” and take it away from initiative pros like Tim Eyman and their hordes of paid signature gatherers.

But, now I’m on another kick, to open up the initiative process. If we can’t limit access to big money guys, or if you follow the logic that big money guys will always find a way into the initiative process no matter what kind of road blocks we put up, the only way to open up the process for you and me is to just open it up.

One of those ways is inspired by the NoNewGasTax.com folks:

Reduce the size of an initiative petition from 8.5×17 to 8.5×11

One of the speed bumps that NoNewGasTax.com has to deal with was how to distribute the petitions and, they suggested to supporters to go to Kinkos or wherever they could print out on legal sized paper, because not everyone has a stack of legal just sitting around.

By having legal petitions be the size that most people have in their home printer, internet centered campaigns wouldn’t have to worry about mailing or sending their supporters across town. Download, print, mail.

While you’re chewing this over, go to Keep Washington Rolling.