The TAC: DOING Stuff for Seven Years

A rainy April day in downtown Lexington, Ky. changed the trajectory of my life.

It was 2009, and I stood with several hundred people at one of the early Tax-Day protests that ultimately sparked the “Tea Party” movement. I don’t really remember specifics, although I do recall some fiery speeches and some pretty clever signs.

But I do vividly remember looking out over that crowd and thinking, “Wow, this is all well and good, but I need to DO something. Standing in the rain holding a sign just isn’t going to get it.”

I went home that afternoon and I simply couldn’t escape this deepening sense that it was imperative that I get personally involved in the political system. I didn’t want my kids or grandkids to ask me one day, “Daddy, what did you do when America was in the middle of its collapse?” and find that the only answer I had was “I stood in a park and then I voted.”

That day put me on a path that ultimately led me to the Tenth Amendment Center. I started out as the state chapter coordinator in Kentucky and eventually moved on to take the role of national communications director.

I’m thrilled to say, I found a place that DOES something and an organization that affords me the opportunity to DO stuff.

Today marks the Tenth Amendment Center’s seventh anniversary and I am simply awed at how far the organization has come in the three years I’ve been part of it. When I first started working for the TAC, we were pushing a few Tenth Amendment resolutions and trying to convince newspaper reporters we weren’t a bunch of racists. Today, as the AP recently reported “about four-fifths of the states now have enacted local laws that directly reject or ignore federal laws on marijuana use, gun control, health insurance requirements and identification standards for driver’s licenses.”

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Pennsylvania Town Makes First Move To Preserve The Second Amendment

Local resistance to unconstitutional violations of the Second Amendment continues to grow with the Mt. Holly Springs, Pa. council passing a resolution declaring that its citizens have the right to own firearms “free of unreasonable restraint and regulation.”

Council members voted unanimously May 14 to pass a resolution affirming the rights of its citizens to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment Preservation Resolution was based upon the Tenth Amendment Center’s model legislation and was proposed by resident Chris Rietmann. As reported in an article the Cumberland Sentinel, Reitmann explained why he proposed the bill saying, “I believe that the Framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully and, for the most part, it has worked very well for us for the last 200-plus years. I don’t believe you can legislate natural rights.”

The resolution is non-binding, and the city council chose to set aside a proposed Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance that would have nullified any federal gun control laws within city limits. The council sent the ordinance its legislative council for review.

Rietmann said the goal of the ordinance was to forbid borough officials, including the police, from assisting the federal government in carrying out what he called “acts that deny local residents their Second Amendment rights.”

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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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Texas Senate Passes Bill to Nullify Warrantless Drone Spying, 29-1

A bill has passed through the Texas State Senate that aims to protect the privacy of their residents from the police state by instituting strict limitations on the use of unmanned drones in surveillance by law enforcement.

Dubbed the ‘Texas Privacy Act’, H.B. 912 is an attempt to rein in potential abuses related to the rapidly-developing drone technology that has made its hands into the hands of government at the state and federal levels. The bill was originally authored by Rep. Gooden (R-District 4) and has amassed over 100 co-sponsors since it was introduced Feb. 1, showing vast and bipartisan support for stopping the government’s Orwellian takeover of our skies.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 128-11 on May 10th. (roll call here)  And last Friday the Senate passed a slightly amended version of the bill by a vote of 29-1. (roll call here).  HB912 will now go back to the State House to either concur on the amendments or form a conference committee to approve a final version acceptable to both the House and Senate.  Then it’s off to Governor Perry’s desk for a signature.

BILL INFORMATION

The bill states that “a person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image.” The offender would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if they were caught violating this part of the law.

Data gathered by law enforcement illegally ‘may not be used as evidence in any criminal or juvenile proceeding, civil action, or administrative proceeding’ according to the bill and ‘is not subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for its release.’ This incentivizes police to not misuse the drone technology unless they wish to risk jeopardizing their entire investigation.

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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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Understanding The 10th Amendment

The “winners” write the history, and always in favor of their side of the “argument”.

Government’s job is to “control” the people. Control takes power and power comes at a price: the people’s liberty. In a nutshell, government power  stands as the enemy of liberty. And when it comes to the war between power and liberty, power generally triumphs.

Government wins.

And government writes our history.

Most people allow the government to educate their children and that means they learn the approved government version of history. Sadly, it is totally corrupt. Few Americans realize it and can’t, or wont, correct the mistake.

I will try to help correct a piece of the disinformation surrounding the 10th Amendment and put it all into the correct perspective for you.

We’ve  watched government trample on the  Constitution throughout most of our recent history. We do not have to look very far to see examples. President Bush’s Administration created the The Patriot Act, anything but patriotic. Throughout his terms in office, Bush completely disregarded what the Constitution said and wielded the arms of war with wanton disregard.

President Obama continues in the same vein with more anti-constitutional measures. When Congress does not do what Obama wants he creates Executive Orders with the force of law. Effectively legislating from the White House and overstepping his constitutional boundaries without any regard to the laws our country.

Our Constitution is a document designed to LIMIT the power of the federal government. It enumerates the exact duties, responsibilities and powers of each branch of the federal government. In other words, the federal government ONLY has the powers over things that are specifically spelled out in the Constitution. ALL OTHER POWERS are reserved for the states and people. This is succinctly spelled out in the 10th Amendment.

“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.”

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Missouri 2nd Amendment Preservation Act One Step Away from the Governor’s Desk

“The Second Amendment Preservation Act” successfully made its way through a Missouri State Senate Committee on Wednesday, bringing the state ever closer to protecting the natural rights of their citizens.

HB 436 was passed by a Senate Committee on a 4-1 vote. The bill was already passed by a strong veto-proof majority in the State House. It now awaits a full vote in the State Senate before it is fully passed and sent to the governor.

UPDATED 04-26 We’ve been informed that the Senate committee removed an unrelated amendment that the house inserted, so after passing the full senate it will first go back to the House for concurrence, then to the governor’s desk.

If passed into law, HB436 would nullify virtually every federal gun control measure on the books – or planned for the future.   It reads, in part:

All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

(2) Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:
(a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;
(b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
(c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
(g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

The bill also does a service of providing the State Legislature and the public-at-large with a history lesson that is particularly appreciated by Tenthers, saying, “The limitation of the federal government’s power is affirmed under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all power not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States is reserved to the states respectively, or to the people themselves.”

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Nullifying Obamacare in Texas

HB 3785, authored by Rep. Charles Perry (HD 83), has been referred to the Federalism & Fiscal Responsibility Committee. This bill nullifies Obamacare in Texas and interposes against taxes created or increased by it. It’s not captioned as such, but those of us who worked on this bill call it the “Texas Taxpayer Protection Act”.

Part of the bill states:

The assumption of power that the federal government has made by enacting the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) interferes with the right of the people of the State of Texas to regulate health care as they see fit.

Also, the bill states the United States Supreme Court decision upholding the PPACA as a tax is invalid.  One of the reasons stated was:

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