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Monday, March 26, 2012
California Republicans Twart Grassroots Input
Assemblywoman Beth Gaines
Is the Republican Party, a grassroots organization or a top-down one? This essay is a brief look at the current direction of California’s GOP.
I once had a college professor—who was also an elected official—say that “the chief job of a politician is to get re-elected.” Those in power not only want to stay in power but they also wish to prevent any challengers from threatening their power. Both Parties are afflicted with this problem. Democrats tend to deal with this in private whereas Republicans do it more publicly and less deftly. The only thing that helps Republicans avoid publicity is that the media usually pays less attention.
Recently, I am aware of two incidents indicative of the decline of the Republican Party in California. Ironically, the death spiral of the party is nearly complete at the time that the state needs a principled conservative leader the most. My only question is will the Republican Party linger and continue to putrefy like a zombie from The Walking Dead or die swiftly and be replaced by a new one?
Both incidents that I discuss below illustrate erecting a wall of separation between the Party leadership and the rank and file people who self identify as Republicans. In short, the leadership wants to dictate what the Party should do and the less input from the public, the better.
Here in Sacramento County, the Republican Central Committee held its first ever endorsement vote for partisan office holders. This was a result of the elimination of the primary system because of the passage of proposition 14 a few years ago. Under the new system that governs elections beginning this year, only the top two candidates in June go to the November election regardless of the party preference listed on the ballot.
Sacramento’s Central Committee decided it was time to enforce its Bylaw provision that dues are required to be paid to vote. This “Pole Tax” was copied from the bylaws of San Diego County. The decision to enforce the requirement that dues be paid as a condition to vote was directed primarily at me. Throughout this term I have been allowed to vote and make motions or second them from the floor. The endorsement vote at this meeting is the first potentially meaningful vote the Committee has held since the officers were elected and the Bylaws approved. This is because the Bylaws vested all power in the Executive Board of the Committee. This draconian system has been in place for over a year.
At the endorsement meeting I was told that I was the only member who had not paid dues and I was singled out at the meeting for that reason by the Chair. (In fact several members have not paid the “tax” and some that had said they were doing so under duress. Other paid for their friends so they could vote. My source says at least three members have not paid).
I am on the Committee as an ex officio alternate for an Assembly candidate from the 2010 cycle. In effect, I represent the candidate elected by the Republicans in his district. Prior to the endorsement meeting, the candidate contacted me and told me that he would pay the dues so that I could vote. He has a friend who wanted an endorsement and felt he would need my vote. This is the only thing he has ever asked of me in my two years as his representative on the Committee. Out of respect for him I agreed to pay the $35 minimum. Dues are $100 annually unless members volunteer to work at party events and then they can pay $35. I put in my share of volunteer time, but it does not count toward their total because only their events count and not the work I do for candidates or Republican groups in the County. My Assembly candidate also spoke to the Chair prior to the meeting and thought they had an agreement.
At the meeting when the Chair singled me out for not paying dues, I talked with her and said that I had spoken to the candidate and was instructed to pay the $35 so that I could vote. Her response was that my dues were now $200. I said, “What?” “Oh, you owe $100 for last year and $100 for this year.” She said that dues were annual and I was in arrears. Then she countered with the offer that I could pay $135 and work off the rest. I again offered to pay $35 and was told “No.” When it was time to vote, I was sent to the back of the room.
I could vent on many facets of this event but I will limit comments to the best two arguments. First; members of this committee either directly or indirectly are elected by the people as their representatives. Requiring a “pole tax” is contrary to both the spirit and letter of the law in a representative republic. No barriers should be placed between people and their representatives. Second, the current leadership of the Committee is hypocritical on the issue of dues. These are the same folks that protested and did not pay dues to a previous Committee leadership for the same reasons that I have stated both here and in previous blogs. Clearly their position is not one of principle—in the past the wrong people were in charge but now the right people are in charge—so dues should be paid.
I was relegated to the back of the room and became an observer to the events that followed. As it turned-out, none of the votes were close so had I voted it would not make a difference. The consultants in the group made sure that their clients were endorsed.
This endorsement dance was played-out in many counties of California prior to the State Republican Party weighing-in on CRP endorsed candidates.
The California Republican Party has had several years to decide what should be done now that traditional party primaries are abolished. They have done next to nothing about it. As a stop-gap measure, they voted a year ago to adopt the “McClintock Plan.” This was a compromise between the “Nehring Plan” and the “Legislative Plan.” It was spearheaded by Mike Spence and subsequently endorsed by Congressman Tom McClintock. The McClintock Plan—which was adopted by the CRP—is this: each partisan legislative race was to be treated like a Special Election. Each county central committee in the district would have to endorse the same candidate by a 2/3 majority for that candidate to secure the official endorsement of the CRP. This would give the candidate—in theory anyway—access to money from the CRP and inclusion in any slates sent to voters in the state.
The CRP had decreed that all endorsement votes were to be completed on or before March 8, 2012. Please note that the filing period for these offices did not close until close of business the following day. (I really dislike taking such votes before all candidates have even entered the race).
For example Beth Gaines—a first term Assemblywoman—is running in a district that includes portions of Placer and Sacramento Counties. Under the existing rules of the CRP—the McClintock Plan—she needed to be endorsed by both county central committees to secure the CRP. Her opponent in Placer was endorsed on a Wednesday (3/7) and the next night she was endorsed by the Sacramento committee. Under the CRP rules, there can be no endorsement by the CRP in this race.
However, when the CRP Board met to review the various local endorsements, a curious thing occurred. In race after race, the results of the various committees were nullified or ignored and current office holders were given the CRP endorsement even when they did not qualify under the rules adopted by the CRP. Even the aforementioned Mrs. Gaines was endorsed by the CRP—even though she was not entitled. (Entitled? That’s irony!)
The CRP Board went even further in their “star chamber” tactics. Before a single vote was ever cast, they winnowed a field of about 12 Republican candidates for US Senate to one with another wave of their magic wands. A vote of no more than 24 political elites on the CRP Board purported to speak for more than five million republicans without any of them being allowed to vote. Talk about disenfranchisement!
Do you see the theme here? To paraphrase a book by Laura Ingraham, the Republican motto in California seems to be “Shut-up and Vote How You’re Told.” The CRP wants your campaign contribution not your opinion. My reaction to this is if I wanted to be told what to do by a bunch of elites that decide what is best then I could always join the other party. Ronald Reagan once said that he didn’t leave the Democrat Party, they left him. I seem to be in the other political party that has now left Reagan. Oh well, I’ve always been a Conservative first and a Republican second.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
California’s Economy in One Photo
High tech jobs going out of state as this vacant Intel facilty near Sacramento illustrates.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
The genius of Barack Obama
No, really. By sending all the job opportunities to other countries he is not only diminishing the superiority of America and making us a socialist country but he is solving the immigration problem without bothering to secure our borders. In fact he is making us into such an unattractive place that soon our own people will be going elsewhere to seek opportunity and freedom. Maybe ABC got it wrong on how we become Amerika.
Friday, December 16, 2011
US Out of Iraq
This week, Barry Obama was claiming mission accomplished. From his perspective, we are out of that unpopular war in Iraq.
Since when is unilateral surrender and retreat considered victory?
Jerry Ford made a similar claim when I was in elementary school. Millions died or were enslaved as a result this retreat of America military power. I fear Obama is following the same path. Only this time, the combatants have access to thermonuclear weapons.
Barry’s Mission Accomplished is really Mission Aborted.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Eugenics in California Briefly Spotlighted by KOVR TV
KOVR TV in Sacramento ran a story about the State of California and their taxpayer funded eugenics program. According to the story, tens of thousands of people were involuntarily sterilized between 1909 and 1964. http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2011/11/10/the-life-penalty-sterilizing-california/
Of particular interest to me was this portion of the segment:
The state issued a resolution (Senate Resolution No. 20) in 2003 apologizing to victims of the program called eugenics. The proclamation acknowledged that the goal was “racial betterment through the elimination of hereditary disorders or genetic defects by mean of sterilization…”
Eugenics is now history, but it’s a chapter of California’s past that’s uncomfortable for many to discuss.
Eugenics is now history! Oh really? Have you never heard of the State funded Office of Family Planning? Their goal is to eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor. They take credit for aborting 100,000 children each year.
Oh, the limit on state funded abortions is one every two months. This by the way is a biological impossibility. While abortions usually take place between 8 to 12 weeks from conception, they are legal thru all nine months of the pregnancy. If you include the time needed for ovulation and conception, once a quarter would still be too frequent. Also, due to “privacy concerns” the state keeps no actual records on who gets abortions or how many. In fact, some abortion providers have admitted to doing the procedure on women who were not even pregnant.
If you are interested in the subject, try finding George Grant’s book, Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood. This book was first published in 1988—many years before the reporter of this story was likely even born.
Oh, if you think abortion is the only eugenics program running now you would be wrong. We have several in our country that are gaining in popularity every year. A major component of the “Obamacare” law is rationing of care and an unelected panel of bureaucrats deciding who lives and who dies. Then there is assisted suicide and euthanasia.
The Bible says “the compassion of the wicked is cruelty.” Clearly these real world applications of “social Darwinism” are evil and barbaric. However, if man is truly the result of random chance and natural selection then eugenics is the natural result of such reasoning. Using such logic, slavery and genocide are necessary to make the world a better place.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Attached are a few photos of the Occupy Sacramento protest. This group is conveniently located across from my employer so I get to see them in action.
The way this protest works is that a handful of people arrive each morning and set-up their operation.
This truck is the core support vehicle for the protest.
In the early afternoon, a trickle of people begins to arrive. The crowds build as the television news trucks begin to arrive around 4 pm. Once the news crews get their obligatory live-shots for the 5 & 6 pm news, the protesters can go home.
This arrangement allows the media to perpetuate the lie that this is a widespread movement when they know it’s a staged event. They get ratings and the protesters get millions in free propaganda. So much for death to corporate greed.
This brings me to my other point which is if corporations are so evil, why do these folks use the Internet, wear clothing made for corporations by folks paid what many of their ilk call slave wages and coordinate via Smartphones designed and built by other evil conglomerates of business monopolies?
They are in reality just spoiled and ungrateful children. They are full of envy and jealously.
This is just an independent expenditure campaign to help re-elect Barack Obama. Barry Obama was a community organizer and so are they. What do you think Obama was doing before he entered politics?
The photos attached are of some of the core support vehicles that are running the occupy Sacramento protests. Read the stickers and you know everything that you need to about these people.
Occupy has traded the old white truck for a U-Haul rental. This vehicle is parked on the perimeter of the park. By using a blue handicapped placard presumably they no longer need to pay for parking.
Today as I walked around the park, on the ground I saw a publication from the Watchtower proclaiming the end of poverty. Ironically it was not far from the tree where the homeless often nap.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
This photo is from a make-shift memorial created after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
Location: Sweetbriar Camp near Dusmuir, CA
This email was circulated in the wake of the 9-11 attacks.
What a difference a Day makes….
On Monday we emailed jokes.
On Tuesday we did not.
On Monday we thought that we were secure.
On Tuesday we learned better.
On Monday we were talking about heroes as being athletes .
On Tuesday we relearned who our heroes are.
On Monday we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived.
On Tuesday we gave money away to people we had never met.
On Monday there were people fighting against praying in schools.
On Tuesday you would have been hard pressed to find a school where someone was not praying.
On Monday people argued with their kids about picking up their room.
On Tuesday the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids.
On Monday people were upset that they had to wait 6 minutes in a fast food drive through line.
On Tuesday people didn’t care about waiting up to 6 hours to give blood for the dying.
On Monday we waved our flags signifying our cultural diversity.
On Tuesday we waved only the American flag.
On Monday there were people trying to separate each other by race, sex, color and creed.
On Tuesday they were all holding hands.
On Monday we men or women, black or white, old or young, rich or poor, gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian.
On Tuesday we were Americans.
On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses.
On Tuesday grief stricken they sang “God Bless America.”
On Monday the President was going to Florida to read to children.
On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children.
On Monday we had families.
On Tuesday we had orphans.
On Monday people went to work as usual.
On Tuesday they died.
On Monday people were fighting the 10 commandments on government property.
On Tuesday the same people all said ‘God help us all’ while thinking ‘Thou shall not kill’.
It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place
things into perspective, but it has. The lessons learned this
week, the things we have taken for granted, the things that have been
forgotten or overlooked, hopefully will never be forgotten again.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Why HP is really Selling the Computer Unit
Many media stories this week have reported that HP is planning to sell their PC division. Their excuse is that sales are sluggish and the computer division has a low profit margin. This is not the real reason. Clearly their bean-counters realize that Obama-care and and promises of higher taxes will kill the PC division so they are having the firesale now. The economic excuse is not present conditions but future ones that have prompted this pre-emptive fire sale.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
California Republican Platform Committee Rejects Conservatism
The California Republican Party is going through the process of looking at the Party Platform. This ritual—which occurs every four years—has seen a marked change from previous meetings of the Platform Committee. This year, the “moderates” briefly succeeded in stripping all references to social issues from the platform. Some were subsequently re-inserted in generic ways while some are no longer in the draft constructed by a sub-committee of the Platform Committee. Abortion and marriage went from an entire section for each issue to one sentence in the new draft while opposition to euthanasia has been completely deleted.
Here are the parts of the platform document that reference abortion, guns and marriage. The underline means that text was added after being removed in the original draft. (Abortion and gun ownership are never mentioned in the new proposal. Marriage is no longer defined as being between one man and one woman.)
We believe in the sanctity of human life; therefore, we believe in the protection of all innocent human life.
The Republican Party supports traditional marriage as the foundational unit for our society and key for the future of our children.
We support our Constitutional Second Amendment rights.
Here are portions of a recent news account of the changes.
A proposed rewrite of the California Republican Party platform retreats from opposition to same-sex adoption, domestic partner benefits and child custody, avoids any mention of overturning Roe v. Wade and drops a demand to end virtually all federal and state benefits for illegal immigrants…
…The current platform, adopted in 2008, says state guns laws “disarm law-abiding citizens” and calls for the end to waiting periods to purchase firearms and inclusion of a right to carry concealed weapons in the state constitution. In the proposed version, a single sentence is included on gun ownership, saying the party supports Second Amendment rights.
A detailed section titled “The Right to Life” vanishes, including a call to reverse the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. It would be replaced with a single sentence on the protection of innocent human life, and the word “abortion” never appears.
The proposed platform states the party “supports traditional marriage,” a significant rewrite from 2008, when the platform said marriage should be defined as between a man and woman, and schools should not teach homosexuality as an “acceptable … lifestyle.” Californians have twice voted to outlaw same-sex marriage, but a federal judge last year declared the latest ban, known as Proposition 8, unconstitutional. The ruling is being contested in court.
It also drops a sentence opposing assisted suicide, as well as a line saying the party supports stem-cell research “that focuses on cures, not destroying innocent human life.”
The Party has been moving in this direction for many years but it appears that the Party is close to abandoning any mention of social issues. Ironically, party affiliation has become a distinction without meaning under the open primary rules that voters will be under in 2012. By eliminating one of the cornerstones of conservatism in the platform, people are now offered even less reasons to identify themselves as Republicans. Due to stalling and lack of vision, the Party has virtually assured themselves that few if any endorsements will be had during the next cycle. (They have no effective plan to function in the “Open Primary” environment and keep deferring the issue to future conventions.)
These trends plus the proposed reapportionment maps insure that the Republican brand will further erode and become literally a third party in California. Decline-to-State will soon pass the Republicans as the second largest party in California.
Lastly, who do Conservatives have to thank for their declining influence in the Platform Committee? Karen England. The week-end when she, Mike Spence, Ron Givens and the gang were trying their hostile takeover of CRA was the same week-end when elections were held by delegated to the California Republican Party to select members to represent them on the Platform Committee. Once again the circular firing squad turns victory into an opportunity for self-immolation.
I have been reading Exodus to my six year old son and it reinforces the idea that we Republicans will be wandering in the wilderness until this corrupt generation passes away. Perhaps by then the “Promised Land” will just be a mirage in our rear-view mirror. Our momentum now is to return to Egypt. If “moderate” Republicans get their way, they will be walking arm-in-arm with the Democrats as they lead us down the road to serfdom.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Karen England Responds with CRC
In response to being booted from the CRA, Karen England and company have embarked on a venture to establish a competing organization. They are the Conservative Republicans of California. http://calconservatives.com/
I missed where the rule is that any splinter group from the CRA must use the letters “CCR”. In 1989, it was the California Congress of Republicans and now we get the CRC. At least when I Google them I don’t get more hits for a 1960’s rock band than I do for them.
Most of the web content is boiler plate from other places. One of the few nuggets of original content is a meeting during the next California Republican Party Convention. The big question is will they take their battle with the CRA to the next level or channel their energy into getting recognition of their new group?
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Borders Fire Sale
A few days ago I went to Border’s Books to browse their remaining inventory during their going out of business sale. I had a feeling that sections would be somewhat disorganized. The attached photo is one such example. Since there were several pre-season football games on the TV at the time of my visit, I thought maybe this was a commentary on fantasy football. The photo below is not staged, just strangely random.
Also, I found Charles Dickens classic “A Tale of Two Cities” in the Science Fiction section.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Summer 2011 Board Meeting of CRA
The California Republican Assembly (CRA) held a Board meeting on July 23rd. Much of the meeting was devoted to “Disciplinary Hearings” Related to 17 questionable units and eight members.
I attended the Fresno meeting and sat at one of the front tables. I had no vote in the proceedings and left the room only at the lunch break. Board members had to pay $35 to register for the event. This fee included some breakfast rolls and a box lunch. Any funds collected beyond the actual costs are normally split between the hosting unit and the state organization.
The meeting began shortly after 9 am. After the usual opening of such meetings (Pledge, invocation, etc.) some ground rules for debate were set and President Celeste Greig came to the podium. She began by describing the stream of emails that had been sent to her. Then she called Steve Frank to the front. Frank walked up to the podium carrying a large spool of string and some scissors. He was instructed to tie the string to Greig’s wrists and arms; since supporters of Karen England has apparently called her Frank’s puppet. After some laughter and applause Frank returned to his seat. Greig mentioned a raffle at the back of the room and then made appointments to several committees. Cliff Wagoner was made chair of the Charter Review Committee. Other members were appointed to this committee. Site Selection appointments were made and, Publication and Technology were combined into one committee and members were named. Some members previously asked to be part of these committees were replaced by others. Whether this was purposeful or due to a communications snafu is not known.
A report on the legal wrangling related to the TRO was made by Tom Hudson and Craig Alexander. The report was chronological from the first legal filing by Restore the CRA to the order to seek relief from the California Republican Party (CRP) via arbitration.
At this point the meeting was turned over to George Park for the disciplinary portion of the agenda. Park made some preliminary remarks to frame the issue that was before the Board. Most of these remarks centered on the actions of the former Membership Secretary, Peggy Mew.
I received the membership records from the former membership secretary some fifty odd days after the last convention. So that was about the beginning of June…What I received, I don’t even know how to explain in nice terms. It was a disaster. It is a disaster…But, as a result of reviewing the records, and the very lack of records that I received, it seems to me, based on what seems to be in the CRA treasury, and based on the dues that should have been reported from our units, and based on what I imaging, our best guess is on membership, we are short some ten thousand plus dollars in dues.
The simplest explanation for this is that Peggy Mew showed more members on the books than CRA appears to have received in dues. This is due to a combination of two issues.
The CRA Bylaws include the following passage: “Section 4.08. Remittance of Dues to Chartered Republican Assemblies. Each chartered Republican Assembly shall receive forty percent of the membership dues collected from members assigned to it.” Since the stock dues are $25, sixty percent or $15 goes to the state organization for the first member in each household. My chapter collects $15 for each additional member of the household. Sixty percent of $15 is $9. Given these rates per member and the $10K shortage, Mew appears to be carrying about 700 deadbeat members. Given the membership inflation that CRA is known for, this is not unexpected.
However, part of the discrepancy may be the result of how Mew would calculate the date dues of members were paid. Supposed you joined a chapter in June. Sometime in August, your unit treasurer sent a check for new members to the Membership Secretary. She might hold the check for a period of time before it was deposited. Next year a newly elected office in your unit might ask her when your dues expired. If she responded to your inquiry—which was a less than 50/50 proposition—you could easily be told your dues were up in October. You just got five free months of membership! I won’t say this always happened but I know that it did occur. Now amplify this one example over a few thousand members and the result is a chaotic mess.
I imaging the record dump that Park received from Mew was not much different than the old story of the CPA that got a shoebox full of receipts from some shopkeeper in the town square just days before the filing deadline. I have no reason to believe this problem is the result of fraud, I just think Mew did not pay attention to detail. In her defense, this is a voluntary position but a critical one.
Park then went on to deal with the rogue units—many of which were the dreaded “paper clubs.” Park reported that each unit was contacted via telephone, certified mail, snail mail and email—if the contact information was available. He stuck primarily to the officers listed on the information that he had. If the contact information was bad then the unit was in danger of being dechartered. If contact was made and the membership and other information was not provided or did not prove accurate the unit was also in danger.
Park made it known that he did change some of the recommendations that were on the written report that was circulated. Further modification was made as the process was rolled-out. Many units whose charters were revoked would be assigned to a CRA vice-president in their area along with Charter Review oversight to see about reconstituting the unit.
One member of the audience argued against dechartering units as follows,
“This is a self correcting problem. If these people really are paper units then they’re gonna disappear…As a general principle, I don’t think we need to be evicting units left and right. I think we should let is self correct, correct itself. If they really are a paper unit they’re gonna go away, expire. If they’re not, they’re gonna renew and then we’ll know…”
Shortly after this statement Tom Hudson replied,
I want to make sure we are all clear on what we are doing here. Don make a very important point that I think is true. In saying that if something is a paper club, that it will go way on its own. Well I agree with him but this is that process. There is no process in the Bylaws that says things just disappear into thin air…This is the process for how that happens.
It was announced that members on the rolls of dechartered units will be sent a letter notifying them that they are now members at large and encouraging them to either join another chapter or form a new unit in their area. Such members have all the rights of CRA membership except to be delegates to the state convention.
Of the seventeen units in the report, only two responded to the proposed actions of the board. Here is the disposition of the seventeen units.
• Alpine Heights, Camp Pendleton, San Diego, Stanton were the first four units discussed. They were all dechartered.
• Next eight chapters in the Corona area were all dechartered. These units were: Citrus, Circle City, Corona Hills, Kinesco Valley, Norco, Rimpau, South Corona, and West Corona. It was hoped that the area vice-president and the Charter review Committee could encourage members to reconstitute one or more units in the area.
• Mid-empire—a plaintiff in the ongoing litigation—was dechartered.
• South Butte and Ladero Ranch units were put on probation. The term used at the meeting was “Jeopardy”. If corrective actions were taken, they could be restored to full status.
• Yuba was dechartered.
• Lastly, Yolo County was dechartered. This should have happened in 1999 but the Board at that time refused to act.
Yuba and Yolo were dismissed in the course of the noon meal. Then the issue of removal of individual members was addressed. This portion of the meeting was begun with the intent to ban some members for life. However, comments by Norm Reece had a significant impact on this portion of the meeting.
I frankly think the CRA is made up of a lot of godly people. You know I just think that is a given. I think forgiveness and repentance is part of our Christian principles. I really feel as a Christian; for life? I just have a problem with that…That changes my vote.
As a result of Reece’s comments, no one was given a lifetime ban. The individuals listed below that were banned can re-apply to the Board for membership when their suspension is completed. Here are the results:
• Paul Dillon 5 years
• Karen England 10 years
• Tim Lefever 10 years
• David Reed 10 years
• Tom Rogers 10 years
• Mark Spanigal 5 years
• Scott Voigts 1 year
• Rick Marshal No action
Voigts, almost got off scot-free. He was part of the litigation but has done some positive things for CRA. The Board was reluctant to find agreement on his fate. This was due to comments made by Craig Alexander.
Conspicuously absent from the list was former Membership Secretary, Peggy Mew. Much of the chaos at the last convention was enabled by her obstruction and manipulation of club data in her possession.
My final comments on the meeting are related to what I believe is a flawed legal theory put forward by Tom Hudson and Craig Alexander several times over the course of the meeting. This involves the legal concept of “standing.”
The legally protectible stake or interest that an individual has in a dispute that entitles him to bring the controversy before the court to obtain judicial relief.
Standing, sometimes referred to as standing to sue, is the name of the federal law doctrine that focuses on whether a prospective plaintiff can show that some personal legal interest has been invaded by the defendant. It is not enough that a person is merely interested as a member of the general public in the resolution of the dispute. The person must have a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy.
Hudson and Alexander both expressed the belief that removing the Mid-Empire Republican Assembly and the individuals named in the complaint against the CRA as members of the organization would somehow result in them losing standing for both the current legal challenge as well as any future challenges that they might make. Since no one disputes that they were members at the time of the April convention, I think this is wishful thinking and has no practical effect on anything. Quite the opposite, I think it gives England more ammunition to use when she and the others in Restore the CRA take their case to arbitration at the California Republican Party.
Did CRA win the battle in such a way that they may ultimately lose the war? Not likely but you never know.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
CRA Summer Bout on Saturday
Round two of the dust-up in the California Republican Assembly is scheduled for this Saturday. Rumors of “scorched-earth” retribution are circulating among both camps of the current dispute. The only written account that I have seen is from the Restore the CRA faction lead by Capitol Research Institute President Karen England. The email is short on facts and overflowing with sarcasm and disinformation; however, I have heard that some claims in their email are being considered by the newly elected board. Possibly on the agenda are plans de-chartering several units and then having trials of certain members that could face expulsion from the organization.
De-chartering some CRA units is based on their compliance with Restore the CRA’s request that local units withhold membership information for the Credentials Committee headed by George Park prior to the April convention. As far as I can ascertain, former Membership Secretary Peggy Mew has never turned her records over to the new Board or her replacement George Park. As a result, Park has no information that documents the existence of these rogue units. Since no records exists that prove these non-complying groups are legitimate, they will be deemed to not exist. If they wish recognition then they will have to go thru the chartering process—which is expected to be revised at the Saturday meeting.
If such an action were to happen, it should be done in an affirmative manner that says these are legitimate units in our records, any groups not on this list must submit themselves to the chartering process since the Board has no record of their existence and they refused multiple attempts requesting the information. However, the rumor is that each group in danger of losing their charter will be tried individually in front of the whole Board. A separate vote will then be taken to remove each chapter. I really hope the folks in charge have more sense than to adopt such a vindictive and time consuming strategy.
The other rumored agenda item is the trial and expulsion of several members that were leaders involved in Restore the CRA—including Karen England. I think such a move is beyond the legitimate boundaries of action that should be considered or taken by the Board. Such a move would be a sign of weakness by the current leadership and proof that England was correct in her diagnosis of the state of the CRA.
A friend tried to explain the current situation to me this way. Two factions in Placer County are fighting among themselves and this has spilled over into the CRA. Simultaneously, at least two factions in Orange County are also at war with each other. Many involved on opposing sides are CRA members. It just so happens that the two groups on the losing side in Placer and Orange have united to challenge the side in power in CRA. Whether this explanation adequately captures the outlines of the conflict, clearly folks from Placer and the O.C. are the focal points of the current controversy.
Lastly, since the CRA conflict is pending arbitration by the California Republican Party, it seems reasonable to think any heavy-handed retribution by the current CRA leadership against England and the Restore the CRA folks could turn into a suicide pact for the group. England has a lot more friends in the CRP and than in CRA leadership. CRA should tread lightly or there may be hell to pay.
I can see it now on Saturday morning…
The command is given to form the circular firing squad. Then as the Republicans face each other across the circle the order is given, “Ready, Fire, Aim.” Yep, just another day of Party politics.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Amazon Tax to the Ballot
Yeah. Amazon.com is taking the newly imposed tax to the ballot. The California legislature is willing to take a one billion loss just to say they tax Internet sales. California has no way to track these sales taxes except to have complete access to all sales records of Amazon and their California affiliates. Amazon and other online retailers can’t be compelled to give these records to the government. California would lose this fight in Federal Court but it would take years and they would have to go thru the Ninth Circuit to win. The ballot is a better place to start and they have the funds to see this thru to the end.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Kenneth C Davis another History Revisionist
My wife ran across an article that appeared on the Des Moines Register website. It was called “Historian: Why U.S. is not a Christian nation” by Kenneth C Davis.
The author “cherry picks” a few historical references—mostly related to Thomas Jefferson—and his letter to the Danbury Baptist association to try to prove the “wall of separation between church and state” is the original intent of the Founders. It is his contention that the belief that America was founded as a “Christian nation” was an invention of the 20th century.
The Constitution and the views of these founding fathers trump all arguments about references to God in presidential speeches (permitted under the First Amendment), on money (not introduced until the Civil War), the Pledge of Allegiance (“under God” added in 1954) and in the national motto “In God We Trust” (adopted by law in 1956).
And those contentious monuments to the Ten Commandments found around the country and occasionally challenged in court? Many of them were installed as a publicity stunt for Cecile B. DeMille’s 1956 Hollywood spectacle, “The Ten Commandments.” http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110715/OPINION01/107150352/1001/NEWS/?odyssey=nav|head
This is dishonest history disguised as scholarship. Please note that he does not quote anything prior to 1954 that references God to try to prove his argument. Were he an honest historian, Davis would give the reason that God was added to the Pledge and our Motto was a reaction to the rise of the Soviet Union and their official doctrine of a secular, atheistic empire. No one that knows history would use these things as the only proof that America was founded as a Christian Nation. This is a simple misdirection on his part.
His claim about the Ten Commandments is even more bogus. The Bible including the Ten Commandments has been the core of school curriculum in the West since the Reformation. The Bible and Shakespeare were the primary books that Abraham Lincoln used to educate himself. Only since the rise of Darwin, Marx and other secularists has this changed.
As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now the rest of the story.”
The Washington Monument
When the monument was under construction in 1854, the Washington National Monument Society ran out of money and the project ground to a halt. Twenty-five years later, the U.S. Government took over and completed the upper two-thirds of the structure by 1884 using marble from a different quarry. http://www.nps.gov/wamo/faqs.htm
On the 140-foot landing of the monument, a memorial stone is inscribed with a prayer from the city of Baltimore. It reads “May Heaven to this union continue its beneficence; may brotherly affection with union be perpetual; may the free constitution which is the work of our ancestors be sacredly maintained and its administration be stamped with wisdom and with virtue.”
On the 260-foot landing of the Washington Monument memorial stones quote Proverbs 10:7, Proverb 22:6, and Luke 17:6. These stones were presented by Sunday school children from New York and Philadelphia…
The cornerstone for the monument was laid on July 4, 1848, within the cornerstone rests the Holy Bible, presented by the Bible Society. The monument was opened to the public on October 9, 1888. In total, there are 36,491 stones. Inserted into the interior walls of the monument are 188 carved stones presented by individuals, societies, cities, states, and nations of the world. http://www.just4kidsmagazine.com/beacon4god/lausdeo.html
Few people know that engraved on the metal cap to the monument, towering 555 feet above the ground are the words, “Praise be to God.” In addition, several tribute blocks line the staircase, and they are inscribed with Bible verses: “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not; for such is the Kingdom of God (Luke 18:16),” “Search the Scriptures (John 5:39; Acts 17:11),” and “Holiness unto the Lord (Exodus 28:36); 39:30; Zechariah 14:20).” http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080607153549AAOCTIc
In addition, the following Scriptures appear on the Washington Monument. Below I quote the King James because this is likely the version that was used.
The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot. Proverb 10:7
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverb 22:6
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Luke 17:6
Other taxpayer funded monuments include references to God and the Bible.
Further east, along the Mall’s north side, stands the National Archives. No building in Washington, save perhaps the Library of Congress, is more emblematic of this nation’s desire to preserve its history as the key to a secure future. Carved in stone adjacent to the entrance of the Archives are the words “What is past is prologue,” appropriately introducing the original parchment of the United States Constitution inside. Inlaid at the Archives’ entrance is a bronze medallion of the Ten Commandments, surrounded by four winged figures representing Legislation, Justice, History, and War and Defense, a testament to the Archives’ architects’ bold witness to the centrality of biblical truth to the American experience.
Still further east, the level expanse of the Mall gives way to the gentle rise of Jenkins’ Hill, known by its more political name, Capitol Hill. Below the west front of the Capitol, where our presidents take their inaugural oaths, lay gardens planted with the offerings of people and organizations from around the world. One such planting is a group of five crabapple trees, donated by the people of Iowa in memory of the five Sullivan brothers, sons of the Hawkeye State, who served and died together aboard the U.S.S. Juneau in World War II. This living monument, eloquent beyond words, reminds Americans of the “costly sacrifice” so many families have laid, in Lincoln’s words, “on the altar of freedom.”
The U.S. Capitol also bears public witness to the legacy of biblically inspired faith that Americans have passed on from generation to generation. New England statesman and orator Daniel Webster was voted by the United States Senate in the 1980s as one of the five greatest senators ever to serve in that chamber. In 1851, when the new House and Senate wings of the Capitol were begun, Webster gave a speech that was deposited in the cornerstone. Its final words are these:
If, therefore, it shall hereafter be the will of God that this structure should fall from the base, that its foundations be upturned, and this deposit brought to the eyes of men, be it then known, that on this day the Union of the United States of America stands firm, that their constitution still exists unimpaired, and with all of its original usefulness and glory, growing every day stronger and stronger in the affection of the great body of the American people, and attracting more and more the admiration of the world. And all here assembled, whether belonging to public life or to private life, with hearts devotedly thankful to Almighty God for the preservation of the liberty and happiness of the country, unite in sincere and fervent prayers that this deposit, and the walls and arches, the domes and towers, the columns and the entablatures, now to be erected over it, may endure forever. http://www.religiousliberty.com/article-washington-dc-monuments.htm
Lincoln Memorial Commissioned 1910 Dedicated 1922
National Archives opened in 1935
US Capitol Building was built in 1793 and continued to grow periodically.
The whole Washington Mall was purposely designed as a crucifix. Google “Laus Deo” and see http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/monument.asp for more information.
You may ask what about the contemporaries of Thomas Jefferson. Davis don’t go into that issue on purpose and neither did he explain what a test oath is or how it related to Article VI of the US Constitution. Why because it proves the falsehood of his claims.
Most states had a state sponsored church at the time that the US Constitution was ratified. http://undergod.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=69 No States saw a conflict between having a State sponsored church and the First Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment only restricts the national government from establishing one Church for all of the United States. We often forget that the States created the national government and not the other way around. Many States did sponsor churches of one denomination or another.
The last part of Article VI of the US Constitution reads:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
What is a test oath? It is an oath of adherence to certain beliefs in God and was often required in States as a condition of holding public office. It is consistent with the First Amendment that no national church be established. This keeps America from being just like England where the monarch was both head of state and head of the church.
In the Middle Ages, kings, princes, and feudal lords demanded oaths of loyalty from their vassals. Not just to the prince, but to his religion as well. After the Reformation, if a prince became a Lutheran, everyone in his realm became a Lutheran. By law. Anyone accepting a political office or public trust took an oath of loyalty to the prince and to the Catholic (or Lutheran, or whatever) faith.
In America, many of the colonies limited political offices to members of the Church of England, or other denominations. After the Revolution against Britain, very few people wanted their tax dollars to pay the salaries of the clergy for the Church of England (no surprise). But which denomination would be supported by taxes and oaths? The colonists decided to eliminate taxes and oaths which favored any particular denomination. Before the Constitution was written, every state had eliminated the requirement that public office holders be members of a particular denomination. The Revolution (not the First Amendment) effectively marked the end of test oaths and “established churches.”
But every state still required that politicians believe in God. Atheists could not take an oath of any kind. An oath was a declaration of belief in God. That’s what an oath is: The oath taker declares that he believes in God and that he is fully aware that God will judge him if what he says is false or if what he promises is not fulfilled.
At the time the Constitution was ratified, these two points were universally understood:
• An oath could be taken only by someone who believed in God.
• An oath of office could be taken by anyone who believed in God, regardless of denominational affiliation. In short, no other “religious test” would be required.
Both before and after the Constitution was ratified, the states required candidates to be Biblically qualified to take the oath of office. They were not required to affirm their membership in a particular denomination, but they were required to swear that they were Christians. If you were not a Christian, you could not hold office. http://vftonline.org/TestOath/WhatIs.htm
If memory serves correctly, Georgia was the last state to drop the requirement that a person had to believe in God in order to testify in a court of law. This was in the 1980’s. It makes sense; if you don’t believe that God will punish you for bearing false witness (violating one of the Ten Commandments) for lying on the witness stand then what compels you to tell the truth?
This is just a brief survey of the material that proves that the author, Kenneth C Davis is a liar. Properly understood, Jefferson’s wall only protects the Church from the State. http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html The Founders never envisioned that the State should be free from the influence of Christianity. Quite the opposite, our Founders assume that a Christian people are necessary for freedom and liberty. Davis isn’t interested in religious liberty; he is really advocating freedom from religion not of religion. Davis dare not cite the Mayflower Compact or other documents that came from the colonial period because none support his claim.
Jefferson’s letter to the Newbury Baptists was just an obscure document until the Supreme Court elevated it as the basis of a decision issued in 1947. So why is Davis so upset that “under God” was added to the Pledge just seven short years after has precious “wall of separation” was created by the Supreme Court? Jefferson’s wall doesn’t even mean what the Court said it did in 1947. It was just a tool to get them the outcome that they wanted; a “fig leaf” to give them political cover for their decision. It’s no different than the current Court quoting European law as precedent when no such case can be cited within our own court system. It is a device for the Court to legislate from the bench. Talk about violating original intent!