Arizona Action Alert: Final Push for Gold and Silver as Legal Tender

Arizona SB1439 – Gold and Silver Legal Tender, is moving forward! With the continued grassroots support, the bill was finally heard in the House Rules Committee.  It passed on Monday by a vote of 7-2! The bill has since been scheduled for a Minority/Majority Caucus. From there, the bill will have to go through the COW (Committee Of the Whole) before it receives a 3rd read/FULL House vote!  Since it already passed the Senate, that means there’s just a few final steps to get this bill to Jan Brewer’s desk.

Time is running out, please act NOW to support Constitutional Tender in the state of Arizona.

ACTION ITEMS for Arizona

1. Contact the Speaker of the House . Politely request that he schedule SB1439 for the Committee Of the Whole and a 3rd read/FULL House vote. While you’re in touch with him, thank him for voting YES on SB1439 in the rules committee and encourage the same on the floor of the house.

Representative Andy Tobin | (602) 926-5172

2. Contact  your state representative. Strongly, but politely, let him or her know you want them to vote YES on SB1439. Remind them that you expect them to support the Constitution, and that includes Article 1, Section 10 which says that the state needs to allow gold and silver to be used as legal tender. SB1439 will help facilitate this constitutional duty and you want a YES vote.

Contact info here:
http://www.azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp

3. Share this information widely. Please pass this along to your friends and family.

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Minnesota Bills Would Nullify Warrantless Drone Spying

Companion bills in the Minnesota State House and Senate aim to curtail potential abuses by law enforcement pertaining to predator drones.

HF 612 and SF 485 were both introduced last month and they hope to specify guidelines to protect the privacy rights of Minnesotans. HF 612 has been referred to the Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee while SF 485 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The bills state that “law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather evidence or other information on individuals.” This is meant to safeguard individual citizens from excessive spying by law enforcement. However, some exceptions are given for law enforcement personnel to use drones.

Such exceptions include if it is necessary “to counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security determines that credible intelligence indicates that there is this risk” or “if the law enforcement agency first obtains a search warrant authorizing its use” or “if the law enforcement agency possesses reasonable suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the
destruction of evidence.”

Although these exceptions may seem like they could be prone to abuse (ie. DHS fabricating evidence to show that a political dissident is involved in terrorism), Subsection 4 of the bill states that “A person aggrieved by a law enforcement agency’s violation of this section may bring a civil action against the agency.” This will hopefully give the public some recourse in fighting back against unlawful infringements on their rights if the bills are passed. The bills also make evidence collected in violation of these new rules inadmissible in the court of law.

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Does Ohio Health Care Freedom Act Violate Ohio’s Health Care Freedom Amendment?

Ohio Representatives Ron Young and Andy Thompson introduced HB91 (The Health Care Freedom Act) earlier this month in an effort to honor the will of Ohio voters, who in 2011 voted overwhelmingly in favor of a Health Care Freedom Amendment to the Ohio Constitution.  Imagine their surprise when HB91 was attacked – by a fellow Republican, no less – on the grounds that it…wait for it…violates the Health Care Freedom Amendment of the Ohio Constitution!?!

Of course anyone who is familiar with Ohio’s recently adopted Health Care Freedom Amendment knows that HB91 does no such thing.

Ohio Representative Matt Lynch, who has 30+ years of practicing law under his belt and is one of the 19 cosponsors of HB91,  is among those who are familiar with both the Health Care Freedom Amendment and the Health Care Freedom Act.  Rep. Lynch recently wrote a letter to Committee Chairman Wachtmann in which he accurately pointed out that HB91 does NOT  impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance nor does it prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance:

It is abundantly clear that HB91 does not impose any type of civil or criminal penalty.  It also does not assess and “fine”, “tax” or “fee”.  Further there is no “right” to sell insurance in Ohio.  On the contrary courts have long recognized that states may regulate the operation of insurance companies.  Accordingly no rights are “punished” or “discouraged” under the Bill.

HB91 also does not “prohibit” the sale of insurance.  Rather HB91 merely adds a requirement that those selling healthcare insurance in Ohio refrain from accepting any “remuneration, credit or subsidy” as defined in the Bill.  Such a requirement is not unlike the many regulations already found in Chapter 39 of the Ohio Revised Code that must be met by an insurance company doing business in Ohio.

Representative Lynch concludes his letter with his professional opinion that “HB91 does not violate the Ohio Constitution by establishing a sanction in the form of a suspension or forfeiture of a  license to sell health insurance in Ohio.” 

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Pearland, Texas Passes 2nd Amendment Resolution

The tenacity of the early settlers that formed the backbone of a thriving Texas community continues to echo the call for liberty today.

Dating back to around 1528, Pearland Texas inhabitants etched a place in history showing courage and resolve by welcoming all who stood for freedom, and their legacy lives on.

Mayor Tom Reid, with the help of council members  Greg Hill and Keith Ordeneaux, brought forward resolution 2013-47; A resolution of the city council and the city of Pearland, Texas encouraging the federal government to protect and defend the rights of the citizens to keep and bear arms.

The resolution fortifies Article 1 Section 23 of the Texas Constitution

Whereas; RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

Councilman Owens and councilwoman Sherrouse showed their integrity and resolve, joining Hill, Ordeneaux and Mayor Reid to pass the resolution.

Councilman Scott Sherman declined to stand with the historic tradition of defending the rights of Pearlman residents and openly opposed the resolution.

Nearly everyone that has spoken on the matter concur that this small step at the local level is a giant step towards holding an overzealous federal government at bay. The City of Pearland calls on other communities and jurisdictions to join with them in this action by passing similar resolutions. As the every growing chorus increases lawmakers at the state level to take action.

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On Spending Cuts, Politicians Prefer Gimmicks

The latest report by the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold on Beltway tomfoolery tells of what happened when both Democrats and Republicans asked government workers and the public for suggestions on how to reduce government spending. Apparently neither party had much interest in the responses.

Fahrenthold first looks at the Obama White House’s effort:

After President Obama set up a national online suggestion box asking federal workers for new ways to cut the budget, 86,000 ideas came in Some, inevitably, were a little odd.

…But many others were more serious, sent in by people who had seen real government waste close up: stop the “use it or lose it” budgeting policy, which leads agencies to blow taxpayer money at year’s end; stop giving paper calendars to workers who already have online calendars; stop letting every armed service design its own camouflage.

In the end, none of those things happened. Instead, those suggestions became a little-known part of the maddening story of Washington’s budget wars.

…Obama, for instance, chose 67 suggestions out of those 86,000. While some produced results, many seemed unambitious. Often, the administration picked ideas that applauded what it was already doing, instead of forcing it to start new reforms. Still, the White House considers that a win.

Of course it does.

Fahrenthold then turns his attention to the GOP’s “YouCut” website. Created in 2010 and run by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, regular Americans were to be given menus of potential spending cuts, and they were asked to vote for one. Winning ideas were then supposed to go to the House floor for a vote. In the end, only two of the 36 winning ideas became law. No bill was introduced for nine of the winning ideas, and 12 were “introduced only,” which means that they never even made it to the floor for a vote.

Like the administration and its online suggestion box, Cantor’s office claims that YouCut was a success:

“The purpose of the YouCut program was to change the culture of Washington,” Rory Cooper, a spokesman for Cantor, said in an e-mail. “Today, as is evident to anyone paying attention, that culture has been changed.”

Of course it has.

And now that the “culture has been changed,” it appears that the people’s input on spending cuts is no longer needed:

YouCut appears to be dead. No new votes have been held in the current Congress. Cantor’s spokespeople did not respond to questions about the program’s status this week.

Note: For more on the awesomeness of the GOP’s YouCut endeavor, see commentary from Chris Edwards and me hereherehere, and here

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