Why Your Representatives are Not Representing You

In the time I have spent in the field of public policy, I’ve noticed people  like to post on social media platforms, talk about, or blog about how their representatives do not represent them, or do not wish to hear their concerns and suggestions. It also seems many people generally treat public policy with great distaste. They make it their objective to deter people from voting, from “working within the system”, and from attempting to “change things from within.”

These folks are understandably angry because of a perceived lack of representation and diminishing faith in the constitutional system.

They may have a point. But how many times do you think those individuals have actually gone out of their way to communicate with their local or state representatives? How many people actually spend time working to direct change? How many people, out of the millions in our republic, actually spend time talking about solutions with their representatives?

Maybe part of the problem is that we aren’t proactive enough.

Our elected officials pack their days with committee hearings, floor sessions, speaking engagements, radio/television interviews, and press conferences. It’s reasonable to assume that their time is at a premium. So, if you want good representation, you need take the time to schedule a meeting. Then show up prepared with an objective, a solution, and a positive attitude. This will go a long way toward developing a strong two-way relationship with your representative. They aren’t used to this kind of effort, and it WILL have an impact.

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Liberty Preservation: A Defense Against NDAA “Indefinite Detention”

On May 15, 2013, I served as Assemblyman Tim Donnelly’s witness for his bill A.B. 351,  the Liberty Preservation Act. A.B. 351 would, if signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown (D), establish a non-compliance framework with regard to Sections 1021 and 1022 (indefinite detention provisions) of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Testimony

A.B. 351 full hearing  

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North Carolina Introduces Bill to Regulate Usage of Drones

The Preserving Privacy Act of 2013, introduced into the North Carolina General Assembly by Representative Setzer, regulates the usage of drones strictly for the purpose of conducting warranted searches.

The introduction of this bill is rather timely in light of the increased scrutiny on drones after Rand Paul’s Senate filibuster.

“It shall be unlawful for any person or municipal, county, or State law enforcement agency to use a drone for the purpose of gathering evidence or other information or data pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a statute or rule,” subsection (b) of the bill reads. “A person or municipal, county, or State law enforcement agency may use a drone for purposes other than gathering evidence or other information or data pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a statute or rule, but any information or data acquired from the use of the drone shall not be disclosed and shall be inadmissible in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding.”

If a drone is needed to prevent imminent harm to life, serious damage to property, or the imminent escape of a suspect, H.B. 312 exempts from regulation any municipal, county, or state law enforcement agency with authorization from a search warrant.

The bill requires that:

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Maine Bill would nullify indefinite detention under the NDAA

The nationwide fight to nullify the indefinite detention provisions (Sections 1021 and 1022) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 carries on as localities, counties, and states introduce and pass resolutions against the detention powers the federal government has delegated itself.

Maine has now joined the ranks of states willing to challenge the federal government’s over-zealousness.

LD1054, introduced by Representative Libby, prohibits the enforcement of the NDAA for FY 2012 in the State of Maine.

The bill both prohibits and requires the following:

  1. Prohibits within the State the activities authorized by the Act that the Legislature finds unconstitutional;
  2. Prohibits the State from providing material support to or participating in the implementation of provisions of the Act that the Legislature finds unconstitutional;
  3. Requires the Department of Public Safety to report to the Governor and Legislature any attempt by an agency or agent of the Federal Government to implement the Act through the operation of any state department or agency;
  4. Makes a federal official or employee of a corporation doing business with the Federal Government who enforces or attempts

“Finally politicians acting on their duty to interpose when the federal government acts outside its Constitutional realm. Until this bill becomes law, all Mainers and persons in Maine should take action to preserve liberty for themselves and their community,” said Nick Hankoff, a member of the Tenth Amendment Center’s outreach team.

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