Santorum’s Tunnel and Federal Transportation Policy

If, like me, you’re a Pennsylvanian who wants a smaller federal government, you’ve probably been scratching your head at Rick Santorum’s success in the Republican primaries. An article in today’s Washington Times on the former Pennsylvania senator’s lack of popularity in the Keystone State is instructive.

The Times singles out Santorum’s leading role in getting federal taxpayers to foot 80 percent of the bill for a tunnel project in Pittsburgh that even former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell called “a tragic mistake.” (When “Fast Eddie” dings a government project, you know it’s bad.) Indeed, the North Shore Connector was originally projected to cost $350 million but the final price tag will be closer to $528 million. (The Obama administration kindly kicked in $63 million in stimulus funds to help get the over-budget project finished.) As one local critic notes, that’s a lot of money to provide “cheap public transportation” for “Steeler and Pirates fans too lazy to walk across one of four bridges that already connect downtown and the ballparks.”

According to the Times, Santorum’s zeal for the project stemmed from a “deal” he struck with the local trade unions that would benefit from its construction:

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Sheriffs First/NDAA Nullification Moving in Tennessee This Week!

HB2619 has been calendared for review on Wednesday, March 14 by the General Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. This is a good step forward in that the bill is back on the calendar for the subcommittee.  But all indications are that there are amendments coming, so we need to be especially watchful of any modifications they may try to make the bill.

This past week, one of TN-TAC’s Facebook members posted a response he received from Speaker Harwell that seems to indicate amendments are forthcoming.

Thank you for your email regarding House Bill 2619. At present, the bill is in the Judiciary Subcommittee. I have spoken to the sponsor of the legislation, and he is working diligently on the bill to find language that will give the state standing when the federal government overreaches its authority when dealing with Tennessee citizens.

I know this issue is important to many Tennesseans, and I am a strong supporter of the 10th Amendment. The federal government often oversteps its bounds and we must be vigilant to ensure our rights as a state and our principles as Tennesseans are protected.

I will continue discussions with the sponsor of the legislation, and I am supportive of his efforts. Again, thank you for your thoughts on this issue, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of service to you in the future.

Thank you,

Speaker Beth Harwell

So far, no amendments to the bill have been posted on the Tennessee General Assembly’s web site.  This is still not a good sign.  In an e-mail sent to Tennessee Firearms Association members regarding the Employee Safe Commute Bill currently pending in the House, the TFA stated:

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ACTION ALERT: Missouri Nullification Bill SB819 (NDAA) needs your help today!

As of February 23, 2012 – SB819 in Missouri (which would prohibit state enforcement of provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012) had been given a second read, and referred to General Laws Committee. Because of this recent action, we now urge you to contact the individual leaders of the General Laws Committee, and politely explain why you are serious about the protection of our Constitutional rights. Remember – If this should pass in Missouri, it will help serve as an example for other states in the adoption of their own NDAA nullification efforts.

So what exactly will SB 819 do? This act creates the Missouri Liberty Preservation Act. The state of Missouri will be prohibited from participating or providing material support for the implementation of sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The Department of Public Safety is to report to the Governor and General Assembly attempts by the United States government to implement the specified sections through any Missouri state department. Any indefinite detention, prosecution under the law or war, or transfer to a foreign jurisdiction under the specified sections are deemed illegal in Missouri.

A violation of this act by any public officers, employees, or agents of the state of Missouri or employee providing services to the state of Missouri will be a Class B misdemeanor. A violation of this act by any official, agent, or employee of the United States government or employee of a corporation providing services to the United States government will be deemed a Class A misdemeanor.

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Pitching the Tenth or promoting the Tenth? Clear Choice

In reviewing Charles P. Pierce’s “Pitching the Tenth” article which recently appeared on Esquire.com, it is always amazing to me when those of the left, tell us exactly who they are by projecting their values, or lack of values, upon their perceived enemies.

Mr. Pierce bases much of his article on Kenneth Stern the author of The Force Upon the Plain, who is preoccupied with ‘Politics of Hate,’ along with armed citizens. Also quoted is a former Colorado State Senator, Charlie Duke, who has fallen on hard times and who has been discredited by some on the left. The article, not showing the skill set of a journalist of 36 years, attempts to credit the ‘militia movement’ as the driving force behind the ‘Tenther movement’ and also the driving force behind “Tenth Amendment Resolutions” in numerous states. Oh, and the militias are forcing the establishment Republican candidates to join in so they can be elected. The militias are also causing State governments to be corrupt. Seriously, is there anyone or thing that the militias don’t influence?

Wow, I don’t know what to say. Well, let’s see, maybe,” The militias are coming , the militias coming.”

But wait a minute; the use of force is exactly what the left does. Maybe that’s why they’re so paranoid over the militias. They don’t call their troops militias, but they have and are using force in groups such as Acorn, SEIU, and other unions to move their progressive agenda. It will happen in Obama ‘s proposed mandatory civilian service corps if it is ever formed.

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Utah legislature unanimously passes anti-NDAA detention resolution

After some back-and-forth, and give-and-take, both the Utah House and Senate unanimously passed a compromise resolution addressing the detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act.

SCR11 “expresses concern” over the indefinite detainment in the NDAA and “urges the United States Congress to clarify, or repeal if found necessary, Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA to ensure protection of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Utah Constitution.”

The resolution also reaffirms the right to due process under both the U.S. and state constitutions.

WHEREAS, the indefinite military detention of a citizen in the United States without charge or trial violates the right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law guaranteed by the United States Constitution, Amendment V and Utah Constitution, Article I, Section 14.

The final version of the resolution was not as strongly worded as the bill passed by the House, which expressed “disapproval of” sections 1021 and 1022, included more emphatic language describing the intent of those sections and called for outright repeal. But the compromise resolution was much stronger than the tepid bill first passed by the Senate. (Read about the legislative wrangling HERE.)

Ultimately, lawmakers hammered out differences in a conference committee. The final resolution passed the House 71-0 (with four not voting) and sailed through the Senate 26-0 (with three not voting).

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Missouri Nullification Bill HB1534 makes progress, but action still needed

On March 6, 2012, the Public Hearing portion was completed on HB1534.

The Jeffersonian style nullification bill declares the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as unauthorized by the United States Constitution, and creates criminal penalties for persons enforcing or attempting to enforce the act. While the bill has been promised a prompt reporting following the public hearing, Spring Break will likely slow down the progress of this important act.

What we need to do now is to encourage the Missouri Speaker of the House, Rep. Steven Tilley, and Rep. John Diehl (Chairman of Rules Committee) to keep HB 1534 in the forefront. Politely explain why you are serious about the protection of you and your children’s healthcare freedom. And don’t forget to send a short thank-you to Rep. Kurt Bahr (bill sponsor), and Rep. Ward Franz (Chairman of General Laws Committee), and let them know you appreciate their work in protecting your freedoms through HB1534. Remember – If this should pass in Missouri, it will help serve as an example of how to preserve freedom in those states where  Federal nullification efforts are under way.
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