Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another blow to the right to bear arms - Ohio

In Montgomery County, Ohio, a man is facing felony gun possession charges after he purchased guns and didn't know that due to his 2006 misdemeanor conviction for possessing marijuana, Ohio law forbid him from owning. 

The county court had dismissed the charges, but the District Attorney appealed and the appellate court ruled against the man, Paul Stone. Can it get any worse?

Maine State Prison Warden caught!

I just learned that Maine's attorney general has held void a real estate deal which Patricia Barnhart, (the state of Maine's prison warden) and her partner are (or were) going to benefit substantially from. The two recently purchased Maine real estate for a fraction of what the town of Thomaston had it assessed at!

I bet she hasn't even been fired yet, and won't be. Barnhart lived in one of the houses on the property, which she was going to try to subdivide apparently. The $175,000 purchase price is $283,000 less than the town-assessed value! Governor John Baldacci was still in office when the real estate company which negotiated the sale stepped in to "help" the state; one thing is sure, it helped itself to a hefty commission, while never marketing the property to the public. Quoting from the headline story:
In September, CBRE Boulos won the job of helping the state sell its real estate. The company had a marketing plan for the property in Thomaston, but the state never marketed it to the public.
 And from another story:

But Betty Lamoreau, the acting director of the Bureau of General Services, defended the sale as proper and said her agency was under pressure from the Legislature to sell properties to raise $1.5 million needed help balance the state budget.
And in case you prefer to watch the news rather than read it, here's a video for you.

Americans for Fair Taxation!

Click on the headline to find the director in your state! If we can get Congress to pass fair tax legislation, the IRS will be abolished! 

I've added a link to the "Fair Tax" main website under National Grassroots Organizations.

"What Happened to the Constitution"

This video, by Mark Wasmuth, explains some of the fraud in government.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Maine Clean Elections Act - Suggestions being taken

In light of a recent Supreme Court ruling in Arizona, which I blogged about on July 21, 2011, the Maine Governmental Ethics and Elections Commission is taking suggestions on how to improve Maine's Clean Election Act... especially the matching funds portion; a similar provision was held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of AZ. At the Maine Commission's website, (at the top right of the opening page), you'll find the invitation to comment on the MCEA: however, it appears most of the links to information about the MCEA are broken. Here's a story with more information, and here's the email address to send your suggestions to the Commission:

and phone: 207 287-4179

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Felon in possession of firearms" update

Pete just got back from Superior Court, where this morning he plead "not guilty" to charges stemming from the search warrant at our home on April 28, 2011.

I suggested that Pete not enter any plea, as that's sort of an admission of jurisdiction over him... which the court actually lacks. However, he just informed me that the court-appointed attorney notified Pete that he would be held until he entered a plea. Well, according to Rule 11 (a) 1 of Maine's Rules of Criminal Procedure, if a defendant fails to enter a plea the judge will enter a "not guilty" plea for him. 

Pete told the attorney that he'd been without representation during his initial appearance; and according to Rule 5 (d) of the MRCP, if a person who requests counsel qualifies, counsel shall be assigned "not later than the initial appearance." Obviously Pete didn't have counsel for his initial appearance on May 19 - I later blogged about how I was handcuffed for trying to assist him, and according to Pete, Judge Hunter apparently banned me from the courtroom, unless I have charges pending against me! Oh, and I discovered the following in the Maine Rules of Criminal Procedure, under Rule 1 (b) Scope...

"These rules are not applicable to forfeiture of property for a violation of a statute of the State of Maine or the collection of fines and penalties."   
The courts use Black's Law Dictionary; so I googled Black's definition of "forfeiture." From the link, the term "forfeiture" is defined as "the loss of property or a privilege due to breaking a law."

MCEA "matching funds" case

A Republican serving in the Maine House of Representatives filed a lawsuit last August, which was ruled on yesterday. Andre Cushing had not taken advantage of Maine's Clean Elections funds in 2008 and 20010; and he felt that it was unfair to taxpayers, as well as a violation of his right to free speech, that - quoting from the story - "his opponents received extra public money based on how much he raised and spent." 

David Crocker was Cushing's attorney on the case. Crocker is the attorney for the Maine Heritage Policy Center, which last June filed a lawsuit against the Maine Municipal Association, "accusing it of illegally using taxpayer money to fund political campaigns." I just spoke with Dan Deveau, town manager of Cyr Plantation (a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit); and he tells me the case is pending. 

And from a story that was posted online virtually minutes ago:  
"The Legislature earlier this year ordered a process to fix the law, and it starts with a July 28 Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices session."
The Commission is taking suggestions on the "fix." I think there ought to be a limit on the number of roadsigns politicians can put up, as well as amount of advertising they can do. I like the idea of debates being held and broadcast over the radio, television, and internet. That allows the candidates to relay their positions on certain issues, with each getting an equal amount of coverage. I telephoned the Commission, and here's the email address where to send suggestions to: Jonathan.Wayne@maine.gov

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Clean Elections - Supreme Court ruling!

Finally, taxpayers may see some relief from a campaign-funding system which purports to allow financially-weak candidates an opportunity to compete with incumbents... who ironically (in Maine anyway) are also entitled to the money.  

The problem is with the matching funds provision. Political candidates in Arizona were evidently unable to utilize Clean Elections matching funds in 2010. From the story: 
The Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation represented John McComish, Nancy McLain, and Tony Bouie, candidates for the Arizona Legislature whose campaigns were funded by donations from citizens, not the government. Previously, the Institute secured three rulings from U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver that Arizona’s matching funds provision violated the First Amendment. Those rulings were overturned by the Ninth Circuit on May 21, 2010.
But on June 8, 2010, responding to an emergency request from the Goldwater Institute, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Ninth Circuit’s decision from taking effect and suspended Arizona’s use of matching funds for its 2010 election cycle.
The 5-4 decision by SCOTUS came on June 28, 2011.


Operation "Fast and Furious"

I've never been one for conspiracy theories. I prefer to concentrate on corruption (or stupidity) in government which cannot be denied, such as that connected to "Operation Fast and Furious." Click on the headline to read the story.

A Border Patrol agent was killed in December, 2010 in firefight between the Mexican cartel and U.S. agents; and assault rifles that ATF agents evidently allowed to "walk" into Mexico were found at the scene. From that story: 
The Fast and Furious case was one of the biggest gun trafficking cases since Project Gunrunner began in 2006. It was seen by the ATF as a response to criticism from the Justice Department's inspector general that the firearms bureau was bringing too many minor cases against straw purchasers, individuals who buy guns for others or traffickers.
Investigations in Washington are ongoing. In this CBS video, a senior special agent with the ATF explains how when he questioned a supervisor about the operation, he was basically told to get another job if he didn't want to follow orders.