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Seven Reasons to Vote for the Libertarian Party

From Reason:

1. The Libertarian Party supports all of your freedoms, all of the time
2. The Libertarian Party is consistent and principled
3. Voting for old party politicians tells them that you want to keep government big
4. Voting Libertarian is the only clear message you can send
5. Voting Libertarian forces the old parties to take the libertarian positions
6. Because the old parties don’t want you to
7. Voting Libertarian helps your favorite “libertarian-leaning old party politician


For great explanations to each of these reasons, click the link above or here.

 

Less transparency will benefit no one except ?

Resolution 14-10-004 (page 44) on the Commission Agenda tomorrow will shrink transparency of information available to the public and Commissioners.  Currently information is required to be in the Commission packet 5 working days prior to the Commission meeting.  The good ole’ boys want it to be 5 days, eliminating the word “working.”  There’s no good reason for this.

Last month I established that the Agenda Committee, which is the Committee that traditionally sets the Agenda for the Commission, is optional.  Additionally there is NO time requirement for anything that is placed in the Agenda Committee packet.  Frequently budget items are added the day of the Agenda Committee meeting.

Who will benefit from the proposed rule change?  Certainly not the public.

We need more transparency not less.  Please be present at the Commission meeting on Thursday at 7 PM and make your voice heard by speaking on the Agenda.

http://www.bcpublicrecord.com/?p=5786

Why is the Blount Partnership proudly supporting Amendment 2?

The Blount Partnership is proudly supporting Amendment 2, which attempts to legalizes the illegal judicial selection process that has violated the Tennessee Constitution since 1972.  This year the taxpayers of Blount County were forced to provide $848,021 to COST CENTER 58120: INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT for “CONTRACTS FOR DEVELOPMENT” (see page 125).

Earlier this year, I asked what the taxpayers get for this one line in the budget.  When I met with the Director of Finance and Budgets, Randy Vineyard, in September, I asked for a list of contractual obligations associated with the Industrial Development Board (IDB) and/or the Blount Partnership that we are obligated to pay.  To date, I haven’t received an answer.  Vineyard didn’t seem to know much about the County’s relationship with the Blount Partnership or IDB.

Twice I have spoke with Brian Daniels about my desire to learn more about the Blount Partnership and IDB, but my requests have been deferred and then never materialize.  I still don’t know what entity receives the $848,021 of taxpayer money.

With no transparency in this costly one line item in the County budget one can only hope that the Blount Partnership, and/or the associated entities receiving tax dollars isn’t/aren’t using any taxpayer money to promote Amendment 2.  Even if taxpayer money isn’t being used to support Amendment 2, any quasi-governmental entity receiving taxpayer money should stay out elections.

Vote NO on Amendment 2 because politicians need to change, not the State Constitution.

 

“We’ve never incarcerated anyone because everyone always complies”

Lenoir City  Those are the words of Lenoir City revenue agent Don White. Steven Powell of WVLT covered the story of Karen Holloway of Lenoir City and her imprisonment for not keeping her yard maintained. Judge Terry Vann sentenced her to five days in prison, then after a little sunshine was shed on the story, cut it to six hours. The City is claiming this is a 12-year problem to justify their actions. The citation shown in the video is dated July 28, 2014 and it is claimed a lot of yard work has been done since then. The citation states that she was warned on June 13 that her property was in violation of “the City of Lenoir City’s Propert (sic) Maintenance Code.” Out of curiosity, I located the property to see what it looked like in recent Google street views. The picture to the left was captured in March of 2014, just three months before the citation. Not well manicured, but certainly not Sanford and Son either.

Lenoir city 2Here’s the only other image available, from September 2007. Notice the cut grass. I guess those shrubs in front of the porch are just too offensive. Where is the “12-year” ongoing problem? Notice the second news report said neighbors “never even really paid any attention to it, never really even noticed it”. So just exactly who is the ‘brother offended’ here?

The news coverage only featured revenue agent Don White, but neglects to mention the codes enforcement officer Rondel Branam who issued the citation. A little research reveals that Rondel has only been on the job with Lenoir City about a year. This was after the Mike and Debbie Johnson family sued Lenoir City and Wardley Homes LLC for $500,000 in a claim related to faulty construction that was alleged to have been concealed by the contractor and not reported by the paid code enforcement inspectors of Lenoir City:

“Beth Collins, assistant codes inspector with Lenoir City, confirmed in August 2013 that former inspector Leslie Johnson — no relation to the Johnson couple — nor the interim inspector, David Denton, had kept formal inspection records. Previous inspectors were keeping inspection notes on the back of property folders.

Lenoir City has since begun the practice of keeping inspection records and added Rondel Branam as its full-time codes enforcement inspector in September. Branam previously served in that capacity with the city of Loudon.” (emphasis mine)

Interesting. I guess the same inspectors must have kept really meticulous records of their “property maintenance code” citations though – for at least the last 12 years….right?

To add to the frustration, I tried to imagine myself being a resident of Lenoir City and wondering what else I could be imprisoned for related to landscape maintenance and tried to find this “Propert (sic) Maintenance Code”. After all, Ted Hall said “It’s interesting, you know the ordinances are there, you know the laws are there…”. I have searched the city website and tried the pages that might intuitively make sense: Codes EnforcementCity Documents, but to no avail. Only a selection of amendments are there. Has the city made a serious error here in imprisoning Mrs. Holloway and hidden their related code documents that might reveal that, or do they just inform residents of the code one citation at a time?

Vote NO on 2 – Why can’t we just obey the law instead?

by Eric Holcombe

Following is a letter to the editor I composed in opposition to the avalanche of attorney editorials the Kingsport Times News has produced in support of continuing to let trial lawyers give a list of attorneys to the governor to select our judges from – rather than letting the people elect them according to our supreme law. It didn’t even garner a phone call to verify the authorship. I wonder why?

 

Article 6 Section 3 of the Tennessee State Constitution states: “The judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state.” These judges have not been elected in Tennessee since 1972, when the so-called “Tennessee Plan” was put into practice by the state legislature allowing the Judicial branch of government to be “selected” by the Executive branch rather than elected by the voters as required by our Constitution. This practice is unconstitutional and therefore illegal. The proposed constitutional Amendment #2 would create a similar selection process including the legislative branch with the executive branch in the process for selecting judges – eliminating the voter’s currently violated constitutional right to elect the judicial branch. Various legislator/attorneys argue that they have the “legislative authority” to determine whom the qualified voters of the state are and it is not the registered voters of the state, but the legislators themselves (and this is agreed to by the illegally-selected judges and their appointed attorney general). The legislator/attorneys’ proposed amendment also states that the planned judicial “retention elections” are open to the “qualified voters of the state”. I presume that if they continue to hold their current definition of whom is qualified (only themselves), that the voters are then completely removed from the process. The other argument made by proponents is that contested elections of judges would require campaigns and the judicial candidates would be “corrupted” by them. Therefore, we should give up the right to vote to people who also campaigned in elections (but somehow are immune to corruption) to select judges for us. It doesn’t take an attorney to see the loss of checks and balances and the ease of corrupting one executive or a few legislators rather than millions of voters that Amendment 2 would bring.

Responsible spending and fixed rate finacing are the solutions to Co. debt, not raising taxes

A big thanks to Nancy McEntee for her letter to the editor about the County debt. It’s always wonderful to see citizens take an interest in important issues.

http://www.thedailytimes.com/opinion/your_voice/regularly-published-figures-surprise-reader/article_349bb33a-e6f6-5653-a646-cf989f181f48.html

There’s no need to raise taxes any further to pay down the debt. The local option sales tax was already increased. Responsible spending and fixed rate financing are the solutions, not draining your wallets.

Last Tuesday the Blount County Commission voted in favor of seeking fixed rate financing with no balloon payment for the Series E-3-B debt. This is a turning point in the County debt that will result in saving millions on interest costs and achieve some stability in a market that could become volatile. It’s one of the major reasons that I ran and I am ecstatic to be off to such a good start.

When They Came for Me…

“In May, Houston’s City Council passed an ordinance that extended anti-discrimination laws to gay and transgender residents.”

Now if you preach against homosexuality in Houston, you could be in trouble: “…City attorneys issued subpoenas last month…seeking, among other communications, “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to [the Equal Rights Ordinance], the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.” The subpoenas were issued to pastors and religious leaders who have been vocal in opposing the ordinance…”

More here.

When they came for the Muslims, I didn’t speak up because I am not a Muslim.
When they came for the drug users, I didn’t speak up because I am not a drug user.
When they came for the homosexuals, I didn’t speak up because I am not a homosexual.
Then they came for me, but there was no one left to speak for me.

License Plate Readers

The Daily Times has recently run a couple of puff pieces on automated license plate readers, including the lead/main story featured today.  There is a more nefarious side to consider about constant surveillance.  The matter has been discussed several times before here on BC Public Record and throughout the internet.

Setting the record straight on DHS and license plate tracking

90 Day License Plate Storage Bill Signed by TN Governor

California Court Denies Sampling Of License Plate Information
California Superior Court judge refuses access to license plate camera data.
http://thenewspaper.com/news/45/4505.asp

Virginia: Cops Spied On Motorists At Political Rallies
Virginia State Police plate reader cameras record the identity of participants at Republican and Democratic political events.
http://thenewspaper.com/news/42/4232.asp

ACLU Report Exposes Extent Of License Plate Surveillance
Report documents police use of automated license plate recognition technology.
http://thenewspaper.com/news/41/4155.asp

Federal Agencies Trade Motorist Data to Insurance Companies
Department of Homeland Security agrees to track motorists using a database built by the insurance industry.
http://thenewspaper.com/news/38/3877.asp