Archive for October, 2019

Education of an Activist

October 24, 2019

American documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore suggested that a key to making our democracy vibrant and returning our government to the people might be to put initiatives on the ballot that would inspire a lot of people to come out to vote who might not otherwise have bothered.

My impulsive nature had me leap into the fray, creating an organization called Make a Difference (MAD) Ohio; whereupon I immediately created two Go Fund Me projects.

I learned a great deal about what it takes to put an initiative for constitutional amendment on the ballot in the State of Ohio. You can see some of those details here:

I shared a link to the blog on several Facebook sites, including sites that purport to be concerned about the upcoming election and call themselves “activists”. Somewhat naively I felt that the post would be shared in impressive numbers, creating a bit of a meme. But I think activist Facebook pages don’t really inspire activism. They are more forums for complaining and expressions of dread.

My post was shared maybe five times… and one of those by my sister-in-law. So much for the meme.

Undaunted, I jumped off to create a targeted ad on Facebook, all prepared to invests $500 of my own money to spawn some enthusiasm.

Keep in mind that I had about a month to raise $5,000 or more to write the ballot initiative, collect 1000 signatures and submit to the Secretary of State by November 1 (the absolute deadline for getting anything on the 2020 election ballot).


I was immediately stymied by Facebook. Because the ad was of a “political” nature. I had to prove my identity, so I jumped through a variety of hoops, including scanning and uploading both sides of my driver’s license.

Then, Facebook declined my ad (pointing to the GoFundMe for “Simply Legal Marijuana”) because the ad promoted the use of recreational drugs.

I appealed several times, finally winning the argument by explaining that the initiative did NOT promote the use of recreational drugs. What the initiative actually does is promote a ballot initiative that will result in a law that will prevent young people from going to jail because they use, possess, or cultivate a plant that occurs in nature.

As a final obstacle Facebook is sending me a letter by postal mail with a code that will verify that I am an actual person. I have not yet received the postal mail.

To be fair to Facebook, this is clearly a proactive measure on their part to prevent the advertising investment by individuals and foreign governments to dump poisonous propaganda onto Facebook and influence the outcome of democratic elections in the U.S., as they did in 2016.

Going Forward

MAD Ohio will not have any initiative on the ballot in 2020. No miracle can make it happen.

Now we look at 2022. The mid-terms are very important. Given plenty of time we can have two or more initiatives on the ballot for that important election.

The most important lesson I’ve learned here is that the game is stacked for the filthy rich. It is an incredibly formidable, complicated, and expensive task to introduce new law. Consequently, new laws very seldom benefit the average citizen.

MAD Ohio will become an organization that serves as a conduit for putting laws on the ballot that serve the working man, family farms, first-responders, veterans for foreign wars, and the declining American middle class.


BLOG1453 MADOhio

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston