Tag Archives: Grassroots

Petitions are a dime a dozen

Petitions…Effective? Yes, and No…Depends Upon What You're After…


Originally posted in May 2009, but the phenomenon is only increasing.

There are petitions as far as the eye can see these days. At least floating around the community of the “Silent No More”.

Rarely a day goes by that I don’t receive some kind of petition appeal from some online group I belong to or have one forwarded to me via email.

I used to think that petitions were a good idea. After all, some of the very people I thought were actually trying to do something in their endeavors were conducting drives for them.

And, as noted there has been a recent blizzard of one kind or another.

The question: Are petitions effective?

The answer: For the most part, yes, if you are attempting to build a database of contact information.

But one answer is really a question. How many different kinds of petitions have there been throughout history? Answer: Skads, and here we are. (Where is here? As a country, in big trouble!)

The only petitions truly worth doing, aren’t really petitions at all. They are actually called ballot initiatives, those measures that actually get something (or someone, a candidate) put on a ballot. These measure have real teeth.

All of the rest are data gathering, list-building measures, that are very often used to solicit funds later.

online-petitionsThe best explanation for the purpose of petitions which I can summon is one of those prize drawings, like at a home show expo. or a grocery store. Businesses don’t do these drawings out of the goodness of their hearts.

And neither do political organizations.

Prize drawings and petitions have the same general purpose: to obtain contact information of interested parties and market to them. Garage door companies at a home show expo. market garage doors, political organizations appeal for funds, push their agenda, and often, put forward candidates.

Often, use of data goes beyond the obvious. Many organizations (as in 501cs) who use petition drives for list building, will automatically add signers’ names to their member data base. The number of members is often quoted by such groups when they are pushing their agenda. In other words, Group X says to Senator Slick , ” We have 10,000 members who are behind us on this bill, or that bill.” A good chunk of those “members” may not necessarily agree with the particular measure Group X is supporting (or opposing).

So, there are clearly some obvious problems with petitions pushed by many groups and organizations.

But what about when genuinely passionate citizens wanting to do a petition drive to either effect some action that is to be taken or send a message to a politician? They are clearly not out to use a list for their own agenda. They really are trying to do something good.

This well-intentioned attempt to have an impact, when it involves turning over a petition to “the opposition”, though, can have some undesirable effects. The opposing group now has an entire list of names at its disposal…to do with it as it sees fit.

In the information age, where amassing databases seems to be the gold standard, petitions potentially do nothing more than provide someone with just that, ready made. Those who understand the problems with petitions should not perpetuate the notion that they are a good idea, and so should avoid encouraging the practice of carrying them out.

In the very rare cases where a petition of a symbolic nature (not a ballot measure) seems important, it’s necessary to proceed with caution. After signatures are collected, the results should be reported to the target, without actually handing over the petitions themselves. An opportunity of supervised examination by the the target or his representatives should be offered. This way, the point can be made, which is a number of citizens are thinking alike on a certain issue, without handing over the contact information.

But again, this should only be done rarely.

CLC – Archives on Blog Talk Radio with links and summaries

Just click on the image above to listen to the show
Just click on the image above to listen to the show

Constitutional Liberty Coalition

Gets Grizzly

Archives on

Blog Talk Radio

Shelli @stubborn_facts & Sandra @scrosnoe

Call us! 646-915-9997

Tuesday nights at 8PM EDT * 7PM CDT *6PM MDT * 5PM PDT

(listen live on Tuesday nights * call in * or listen in archives any time)

Dates of show are most recent on top:

(updated weekly for your convenience if you missed the live show – don’t forget we often go into archives and continue visiting with our special guests / the only way for you to hear that is to check the archives)


08/04/09 a little about DC (Shelli’s monologue)

Special guest Amanda Teegarden (OK-safe) tells us about Freedom21 Conference in OKC area August 13-15

——> link for show here (Note: we continued visiting in the archives with Amanda and links promised will be added later)

WH mentions Facts are Stubborn Things

I’m a Pepper Piece (actual title was  “I’m a Christian, They’re a Christian, Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Christian, Too?”}


07/28/09 The President’s boo-boo (Shelli’s monologue)

Special guest RJ Harris candidate for CD04 Congressional seat in Oklahoma (will be replacing bailout voter Tom Cole but will need your help to do so!)

——> link for show here (Note: we continued visiting with RJ in archives about the length of bills and just say NO!)


07/21/09 (grassroots coalitions – the next phase – WOW!)

Special Guests Bryan Thome (Texas), Chris Comeaus (Louisiana), and an update from Michael Maresco as nears Alcatraz!

—–> link for show here


07/16/09  (outstanding interview – don’t miss this one!)

SPECIAL EPISODE: Interview with Gun Owners of America Executive Director, Larry Pratt co-hosts Shelli Dawdy and Sandra Crosnoe will discuss the efforts of GOA to protect Americans’ Second Amendment and other rights.  Conversation will focus particularly Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and what approving her to this lifetime seat on the Court would mean to our Second Amendment and other rights. The Constitutional Liberty Coalition is dedicated to supporting grassroots efforts that encourage personal responsibility, limited government , and free markets. Shelli Dawdy and Sandra Crosnoe are grassroots activists in their states of Nebraska, and Oklahoma, respectively, and network with other grassroots leaders in many states. The CLC Gets Grizzly can be heard regularly each week at 7pm central.

—–> link for show here



Status of the Sotomayor hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee and proposal to consider a Strikeday from Robert Drobot of San Jose

—–> link for show here



Teaparties and Cap and Trade Bill, 10th Amendment (Balloon release),  State Sovereignty then we hear more details about some of the Independence Day Tea Parties that occurred across the country:

1) Brian Campbell of Colorado on his way to the Young Republican meeting

2) Joan Fabiano (CLC) at state capitol in Lansing MI July 4 Tea Party (Success story keeping it grassroots!)

—–> Link for show here



cute commercial with Shelli’s husband at opening!  Cap and Trade Bill (how far off the reservation we’ve come or how to ‘sneak’ bad bills through Congress with the help of MSM / death of a pedophile covered over and above bad legislation)

—–> Link for show here



cute commercial opening with monologue on Why NOT a march on DC! (Shelli) – keep it local and in your state!

Featuring Kaye Beach – Grassroots Lobbying in Oklahoma

—–> Link for show here



$135 billion Treasury bond seizure on the Italian border and the lack of coverage (Shelli)

Liberty Rider Reaches Oklahoma and we get an update from Michael Maresco on his journey across the state. RJ Harris candidate for Congress in Oklahoma also updates everyone on his race

—–> Link for show here



Ducks and Websites – Teaparty Grassroots

—–> Link for show here


06/02/09 What is the Grassroots?

—–> Link for show here



Michael Maresco the Liberty Rider – update from Pennsylvania

Teaparty Grassroots update and Kaye Beach (@Axxiom) update on grassroots lobby efforts in Oklahoma

—–> Link for show here



Constitutional Liberty Coalition formation and goals – came basically out of our of need to protect the grassroots

Eric – Temerity Magazine

Michael Maresco – Liberty Rider

Joan Fabiano – Teaparty Grassroots

—–> Link for show here


originally published 07/21/09 republished weekly as updated