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Petition backers indicted on felony charges

downloads.newsok.com Modified: October 2, 2007 at 4:09 pm •  Published: October 2, 2007
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Indictments unsealed in district court Tuesday accused three people of fraudulent activity linked to a failed petition drive in 2006 for a so-called "taxpayer bill of rights."

Those indicted are Susan Elizabeth Johnson of Michigan, president of National Voters Outreach; Paul Jacob of Virginia, an official with Citizens In Charge; and Richard Merrill Carpenter of Tulsa, head of Oklahomans In Action.

All three were charged with conspiracy to defraud the state, a felony. Carpenter also was charged with violating the state's initiative petition act.

The three were handcuffed together after they either pleaded not guilty or had a not guilty entered for them by District Judge Bryan Dixon and led out of the courtroom by sheriff's deputies.

Jacob, a national advocate for legislative term limits, protested loudly as the three were escorted for booking.

"Is this what happens when people petition their government? Is this America? What is going on?" Jacobs stated. "This is an attack on our right to petition our government."

Related document: Indictment