Millinocket, Maine Passes 2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution

The Town Sovereignty movement continues in Maine, this time with the 2nd Amendment. The Town of Millinocket has passed a 2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution. The final Town Council vote was 5-2 in favor.

Town Councilor Jimmy Busque and Michelle Anderson both explained the importance of this Resolution to those present. Busque explained the importance of the resolution and why it’s passage was required, followed by Anderson discussing the history of nullification.

The successful passage vote followed.

The Resolution text reads:

WHEREAS, in the American system, sovereignty is defined as final authority, and the People, not government, are sovereign; and

WHEREAS, the people of the State of Maine are not united with the People of the other forty-nine states that comprise the United States of America on a principle of unlimited submission to their federal government; and

WHEREAS, all power not delegated by the people to government is retained; and

WHEREAS, the People of the several States comprising the United States of America created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes only; and

WHEREAS, the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people;” and

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Brooksville Joins Maine Food Sovereignty Movement

A growing movement over the last couple of years in Maine has just gained another member. Brooksville, by a vote of 112-64, has passed a Food Sovereignty Ordinance. The movement, which began with the Town of Sedgwick, has grown to nine with the latest addition.

The ordinance exempts “producers and processors” of local foods in town from state and federal licensure and inspection, so long as they leave the middleman out and sell their produce, baked goods, dairy and meat directly to customers.

As Brooksville joins a number of other Hancock County towns in passing an ordinance, the battle still continues on for Blue Hill farmer Dan Brown. The State of Maine went after Brown for selling raw milk. The sale was technically in violation of State laws currently in effect, but they were nullified when Blue Hill passed the same Food Sovereignty ordinance. The case still awaits a decision in Hancock County Superior Court.

Kaylene Waindle, special assistant to the Attorney General, weighed in with a predictable claim. Just as predecessor Bill Schneider believed, current Attorney General Janet Mills also believes that government supremacy is always valid.

“These ordinances are pre-empted by state law,” Waindle said, as reported by Bangor Daily News. “They do not offer protection under the law. So people who engage in a conduct that runs contrary to state law its requirements could be found in violation of the law.”

Brooksville citizens disagree.

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Maine’s Governor LePage Refuses To Implement Obamacare Exchanges

Maine Governor Paul LePage issued a letter yesterday to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, declaring that Maine will not implement the healthcare exchanges created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In the letter, Governor LePage stated:

Because the guidance issued in the August 13, 2012 request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is not legally binding, the State of Maine will not be submitting a Declaration Letter. Instead, this letter serves as the state’s position regarding this issue.

Since the ACA was signed into law, the State of Maine, along with several other states, has repeated on a number of occasions and we continue to believe that the law has severe legal problems, is bad policy, and overreaches into the lives and pocketbooks of fellow Americans.

This is not the first time that the Maine Governor has taken a stand against the federal legislation, better known as “Obamacare.” Back in July, he ignited a storm of controversy when he referred to the IRS as the “new Gestapo.” In addition to the remark, he also noted that the measure would “raises taxes, cuts Medicare for the elderly, gets between patients and their doctors, costs trillions of taxpayer dollars and kills jobs.”

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Open Letter to Your State Legislature

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a letter from Maine TAC coordinator, Chris Dixon, to the the Maine Legislature. You can use this as a template to send to YOUR state legislators too.

To all those who are elected to serve the people of Maine, under an oath to stand for the Constitution,

When the Constitution was young in 1798, the Alien and Sedition Acts was passed, which featured a provision that made speaking ill of the government a crime. Kentucky, led by Thomas Jefferson, and Virginia, led by James Madison, helped pass nullification resolutions in opposition of the  unconstitutional legislation.  Fast forward five decades and multiple northern states took a stand to nullify the pro-slavery fugitive slave laws, federal legislation that demanded runaway slaves be returned to their owners. Flashback to just six years ago, when Maine led a nullification movement that now includes over half of the states in the Union against the REAL ID act.

The extended history lesson will be spared further, but take note of this. Recently, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and defended the unconstitutional expansion of federal power. This came after multiple colleagues of yours indicated, while refusing to support Representative Aaron Libby’s Obamacare nullification bill, that it was not viable and that it was a better route to take this to the Supreme Court. This, while knowing that SCOTUS ‘ record on decreasing federal powers is terrible, became the dominant view.

The court, as history suggested it would, let the Constitution down and voted to uphold an expansion of federal powers. After all that wasted time and money, we now stand at a critical point. President Barack Obama was just delivered a victory and one he surely ride into November, and if his reelection stands, the court could swing more against the Constitution. Will the court save us then?

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Two states seek to protect local food commerce from federal regulation

New Hampshire and Utah lawmakers have introduced legislation that would protect local food commerce from unconstitutional federal regulation in their states. HB1650 and SB34, respectively, would protect agricultural products that never cross state lines, not legally subject to federal regulations.

New Hampshire HB1650, sponsored by Rep. Davenport, Rep. Manuse, Rep. Mauro, Rep. Terrio, Rep. Bowers, and Sen. Forsythe, would “allow for locally produced food products to be sold and consumed within New Hampshire and to encourage the expansion and accessibility of farmers’ markets, roadside stands, farm and home based sales, and producer to end consumer agricultural sale.” The New Hampshire Food Freedom Act would protect products labeled “Made In New Hampshire.” It would also make it a class B misdemeanor for State officials, and class A misdemeanor for Federal officials, to attempt to enforce a federal act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation upon labeled products.

Utah SB34, sponsored by Sen. Casey Anderson (R- Cedar City) would also allow for locally produced food products to be sold and consumed within Utah, while providing legal protections for consumers and producers and imposing penalties for officials who attempt to interfere. It would also make it a class A misdemeanor for anyone attempting to enforce a federal regulation upon agricultural products indicating that they are “Made in Utah,” “Grown in Utah,” or “Produced in Utah.”

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The Answer To The NDAA: Nullification

cross-posted from the Maine Tenth Amendment Center

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been a heated topic of discussion across the Internet, while an ongoing media blackout continues. To their credit however, Fox News asked a question regarding the law at a recent Republican Presidential Debate. While former Senator Rick Santorum noted that U.S. citizens detained do have a right to have their day in court and Congressman Ron Paul stated the legislation was a breach of the judicial system, former Governor Mitt Romney gave President Barack Obama an endorsement of faith. Stating that he doesn’t think President Obama “will abuse this power,” he also said he would’ve signed the law.

And there were boos. But why? Shouldn’t all Americans favor locking up terrorists who wish to do harm to us?

If only the answer that simple. The trouble that arises for any member of the U.S. Government is that inconvenient thing called the law, which is supposed to be made pursuant to the Constitution. Article 6 clearly states that this document and all pursuant laws will be “supreme law of the land,” thus implying laws that are made in direct contradiction are null and void. Under the Constitution, citizens are granted the right to due process of law and cannot be stripped of that right without going to trial.

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Maine’s Food Turf War

cross posted from the Maine Tenth amendment Center

As reported yesterday by the Maine Tenth Amendment Center, the State has made good on its April 6th promise to prosecute farmers in towns that have passed a Food Sovereignty Ordinance. Walter Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, has not backed down.

“It was not done as a statement. There were people who contacted our inspectors from that area, believe it or not, who were concerned that this might be a potential health problem,” Whitcomb told the Bangor Daily News. To his credit however, according to the same article, he acknowledges this is viewed as a larger “turf war.” No matter how many times Whitcomb stands by the summons against Brown, the fact still remains that this is a “turf war.” If it were not, then the letter would’ve never been sent to the municipalities who have passed or who were actively considering the ordinance.

A food safety risk? The summons lists some issues relating to Brown’s operations, based off of government tests of the product. The fact still remains however, that there are no cases of illnesses linked to the products, we just have the government’s word. And for those of you keeping score, the bigger corporations have developed an immunity to intervention from our great defenders in government. While many people get sick from E. Coli and Salmonella every year from disgusting factory conditions or general neglect in operations, the outrage seems to be calmed by a simple recall. And yet, nobody has become sick from Brown’s raw products, and he’s the next big threat.

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Maine Nullification 2012

cross-posted from the Maine Tenth Amendment Center

Maine has a strong tradition of nullification in recent years. Despite the Controlled Substances Act being on the books, the people of Maine nullified this unconstitutional law by allowing for the use of medical marijuana in 1999. Medical marijuana was again voted on a couple of years ago and passed, in clear violation of the Federal legislation. Although it has become a popular movement over the last decade, in the beginning, it started small with California leading the push.

Just several years later, Maine would again lead the nation against unjust Federal legislation, when Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005. The legislation, which created a national identification card, was opposed by many groups on both sides of the fence as unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy. Maine passed a Resolution opposing the law, which led to over half of the States in the Union passing legislation directly resisting the bill or defunding compliance measures, which were left to the States. In the most recent session of the legislature, State Representative Ben Chipman (U-Portland), again led Maine in standing up for the rights of the Maine people, with LD 1068 (See “Bill Challenging REAL ID Gains Bipartisan Support“).

State Representative Richard Cebra (R-Naples), who is now running for the State Senate, has also been a strong supporter of the Tenth Amendment, introducing Tenth Amendment resolutions and regularly supporting measures in defense of limited government. State Representative Aaron Libby (R-Waterboro) introduced the Defend The Guard Act, which would return control of the National Guard to the Governor, as required by the U.S. Constitution. He also introduced legislation to nullify the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare” by opponents, and infamous for it’s insurance mandate imposed upon American citizens. State Representative Mel Newendyke (R-Litchfield) introduced the Intrastate Commerce Act, which would nullify all unconstitutional Federal laws affecting in-state commerce. Various measures, especially the opposition to REAL ID, gained bipartisan support. The Constitution is not a political issue, nor is it a divisive one. We are all united behind the idea of a prosperous and free State for all Mainers to live in.

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Understanding Nullification

cross-posted from the Maine Tenth Amendment Center

When nullification is discussed, there is a misconception that never seems to go away: why the anarchy? Nullification and the Tenth Amendment is not a topic discussed often. States’ Rights has been discussed by Mitt Romney and his supporters when defending the Massachusetts healthcare law, a controversial program often compared to Democratic President Barack Obama’s law. Newt Gingrich has begun using the message, along with the libertarian topic “End The Fed” often associated with Congressman Ron Paul. Congressman Paul is one of only two candidates for the Republican Presidential Nomination (the other being former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson) who have actually voiced their support for nullification. That is it.

Conservatives and liberals have both often refuted the idea of nullification, claiming it would lead to lawlessness and anarchy. Some libertarians have even dismissed the idea as a fascinating political theory, but something with no actual grounding in reality.

Now odds are, if you’ve been following the Tenth Amendment Center or authors such as Thomas Woods or Kevin Gutzman, you’ve heard about the idea and know the history lesson associated with it. If you haven’t, then some links at the end of this article will provide you with some background on the topic. This will not be repeated; the aim of the article is to understand nullification, not justify it.

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