Yesterday, I presented HB733- A bill which would require mandatory minimum sentence for all elected officials. I introduced this bill because members of the legislature,from both sides of the aisle and including leadership have expressed support for holding public officials to a higher standard. I heard from the public who want elected officials willing to hold themselves to a higher standard. Though the bill has obvious Constitutional conflicts, as evidenced by this letter of opposition by the Maryland Judicial Conference, I was hopeful that it would pass based on the Legislators willingness to to be held to a higher standard of the law.
The Gazette also ran a story, but it seems that the only thing newsworthy was the fact that the Chairman invited me to sit among my colleagues.
Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 4:24 pm | Updated: 9:44 am, Thu Feb 27, 2014.
By ALEX JACKSON email@example.com
It was just like old times.
There was Del. Don Dwyer, R-Pasadena, sitting with his old pals on the House Judiciary Committee, listening to testimony behind his “D. Dwyer” nametag.
As Dwyer waited to testify on a bill he introduced, he looked like a member of the Judiciary Committee.
Read the rest of the Gazette Article
There is no mention of the legislation at all, just a very kindergarten like complaint asserting that I sat in the wrong place and looked like I was… well a Delegate. I would have thought that the Gazette would be interested in the bill and where the lawmakers stand on it, but the Gazette is well known for simply attacking me, rather than focus on anything of substance, like my voting record.
I was grateful and honored to be invited to sit among my colleagues. I regret the effect that my personal issues have had on them and I am truly thankful for their kind treatment of me. While I was seated, I did not participate in hearings by asking any questions or or casting any votes.
Finally, I’d like to mention that I was surprised to have one supporter come to testify in favor. Megan Simonaire, the daughter of Senator Simonaire, who according to her website is a 20 something “lifelong conservative” said in committee that she was in favor of the bill, and then in actuality testified that the bill was so bad it needed an unknown amount of amendments to “make it good”. Megan is running to unseat me.
Nullification under the “Doctrine of Interposition”, is very simply the Legislatures of the individual States voting to not comply with Unconstitutional Acts by the Federal Government. The bills I have introduced last session and this session are considered Nullification Legislation, by which the State of Maryland would refuse to comply with Federal “laws” for which the Federal Government has no Constitutional authority to impose. The legislation also prohibits the State to use and resources to assist the Federal Government in taking action against Maryland Citizens who are not complying with any Unconstitutional Federal Act.
For Example, HB 1010 – Hemp Freedom would nullify the federal prohibition of growing and selling hemp withing the borders of Maryland. It also protects farmers who do so by Maryland’s refusing to assist any entity of the Federal Government in pursuing punitive or legal action against them.
Legislation such as this is necessary in the pursuit of liberty and freedom. We have given the Federal Government power outside of the Constitutional limitations. The Tenth Amendment says that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.
Does the Constitution give the power to the Federal Government to prohibit the production and sale of Hemp? Does it give the Federal Government the authority to indefinitely detain Citizens without due process under the law? Does it give the Federal Government the authority to ban certain firearms or impose a national registry of lawful gun owners? Does it give the Federal Government the authority to ban the use of marijuana? Does the Constitution grant authority to mandate healthcare, or education standards? The answer of course is no, it does not. The best example of this is from our own history. In 1920 The Federal Government desired to ban alcohol. Having no Constitutional authority to do so, Congress had to pass a Constitutional Amendment in order to lawfully ban the sale and consumption of alcohol, the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution (Prohibition) once so amended, it became, Constitutionally, the law of the land and when the policy failed it took another amendment, the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution to repeal prohibition. To date, there are no Amendments to the Constitution giving authority to ban hemp, marijuana, firearms or types of firearms or to mandate the purchase of health care, or to adopt indefinite detention under legislation such as the National Defense Authorization Act.
The rightful remedy to the ever increasing over reach of the Federal Government is nullification, under the “Doctrine of Interposition” whereby the States interpose between its citizens and the unlawful reach of the Federal Government.
“…but where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that without this right they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them”- Thomas Jefferson
Nullification is not an act whereby a state simply refuses to comply with a Federal law it does not like, it is the claim that the law is not a law at all because it is unconstitutional.
To read more about Nullification and Interposition
I oppose the common core standards that are now being imposed on students and families in Maryland. Common core is the new standardized public school curriculum proposed by the Federal Government. Based on the fact that the Federal Government has no authority to dictate or control school curriculum- this needs to be done at the local level, district by district based on the needs of the children. Currently, participation of states is voluntary, but the ultimate goal is for all states to adopt common core standards, giving the Federal Government unprecedented control over education, and effectively cutting parents out of the equation. Of course Maryland has already hopped on board.
At at recent presentation for common core, Dr. Jack Smith, representing the State Department of Education told the joint House and Senate Republican Caucus, that under common core standards, a student does not have to understand that 2+2 equals 4. The statement stunned me. Essentially, common core standards take into account the work that the student did to arrive at their answer, even if mathematically incorrect.
Common core also requires that by grade 12, students’ reading of classic literature is cut to 30% with 70% of the reading being informational text. This means that your child may not have the opportunity in school to read the works of Shakespeare, Salinger or Steinbeck.
There are serious concerns being raised by both parents and educators all over the country that believe that this curriculum may be detrimental to the education of America’s children.
There are a few bills being considered in Maryland during this Legislative Session.
HB 76 – Delegate Smigiel -Prohibition on the implementation of Common Core
The bill was heard in Ways and Means and awaits a vote. You can contact the members of Ways and Means if you support this bill.
HB764- Delegate McDonough- Prohibition on the implementation of Common Core
This bill has a hearing tomorrow in Ways and Means at 1pm
CHARLESTON, W.Va., February 24, 2014– As first reported by BenSwann.com last month, West Virginia legislators introduced legislation to nullify the federal ban on hemp. Earlier this afternoon the West Virginia State House voted to approve the bill which authorized the production, distribution and sale of industrial hemp within the state. The final vote was 88-8.
All local bond bills are essentially the pet projects of your local Legislators. Regretfully, every bond bill starts with the opening line, “Authorizing the Creation of a State Debt, not to exceed $xxx.xxx”
In the 12 years that I have represented District 31, the State Budget has increased almost 1 billion dollars per year, yet we still operate in a deficit condition. I cannot with a clear conscience vote for any bill that starts with the admission that it is a creation of state debt.
Many of these projects are worthwhile, however at a time of deficit, unfettered government spending is an affront to all citizens who year after year pay their taxes and continue to make do with less for their own families and needs.
Below I will highlight just some of the many bills introduced this year for feel good projects all around the state. There will be many many more which the public will never really see unless they look for them,. Keep in mind this is an election year, so the pressure is on to “bring home the bacon”.
Below are just a bakers dozen of the total bond bills introduced this year. The total dollar amount for just these 13 come to-$3,230,000.00
HB1470-$150,000 for Bestgate Park in Anne Arundel County
HB 901- $200,000. for a monument to Sparrows Point Steel Mill in Baltimore County
HB750- $200,000 for an HVAC system for a Community Theater in Montgomery County
HB1095- $100,00 for an Indian Heritage Museum in Charles County
HB752- $300,00 for improvements of a YMCA in Wicomico County
HB1455-$130,00 for improvements to a Town Hall in Prince Georges County
HB1468 $250,000 for improvements to a Boys and Girls Club in Washington County
HB505 $100,000 for a playground in Prince Georges County
HB504 $500,00 for the Potomac Community Resource Home in Montgomery County
HB497 $150,000 for a skatepark in Baltimore City
HB470 $200,00 to build shaded structures for a playground in Howard County
HB267 $375,000 for a stormwater management project in Fredrick County
HB466 $575,000 for improvements to the Day Resource Center in Howard County
This bill would have exempted Anne Arundel County from the rain tax requirement, but was unfortunately defeated in Delegation this morning, essentially killing the bill.
I voted for this bill and have always held the belief that in Anne Arundel County, the bulk of pollution comes from pumping station overflows and wastewater treatment plant discharges. As I posted earlier, my claim is not being contradicted by Maryland BayStat.
You can see for yourself, using the interactive map and selecting Anne Arundel County, that BayStat reports wastewater treatment plants as the biggest source of pollution coming from our county- not stormwater runoff. In January of last year, a Federal Judge ruled that the EPA can not regulate stormwater as a pollutant.
The issue of stormwater runoff is an issue that needs to be addressed, however, to insist that it is the main cause of phosphorus and nitrogen pollution in the Bay is misleading to the public in order to place yet another onerous tax burden on the backs of the taxpayers. I find this to be unacceptable and will continue to support a repeal of this legislation.
To read my post on this tap here: The Real Pollution Problem in AA County
In The Law, Bastiat says “each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property”. The State is a “substitution of a common force for individual forces” to defend this right. The law becomes perverted when it is used to violate the rights of the individual, when it punishes one’s right to defend himself again a collective effort of others to legislatively enact laws which basically have the same effect of plundering.
The work has significance and importance today because the same situation that existed in the France of 1848, exists in practically every country today. The same socialist-communist ideas and plans that were then adopted in France are now sweeping the world. The explanations and arguments then advanced against socialism by Mr. Bastiat are equally valid today.
If you are interested in reading material which clearly and succinctly lays out the proper role of Government and Law, and how that law can be perverted to accomplish the exact opposite of what it was originally intended to do, this work is of great importance.
The Chairwoman of the Committee, Delegate Maggie McIntosh was supportive, stating that this is “an important issue that should be taken up this session”
Delegate Niemann (D)spoke in support of Hemp as a “formidable agricultural product” and recollected that Hemp was grown as a cash crop in Nebraska where he grew up before the second World War.
I came across this interesting and recent article regarding hemp as a means to remove toxins from the soil.
Hemp test proposed for Louisville industrial site cleanup
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – State agriculture officials announced plans to grow industrial hemp on an abandoned industrial site in Louisville to test its ability to remove toxins from the soil.
The initiative, announced Monday, is one of five pilot projects statewide, some of which would focus on growing hemp in Eastern Kentucky. Besides the environmental benefits, hemp supporters said the crop will create new jobs in the state because of its various industrial uses. Read Article
Olympia, Wa., February 17, 2014– State legislators in the Washington House of Representatives just voted unanimously (97:0) to approve HB1888, which effectively nullifies the federal ban on hemp within the state of Washington.
This legislation is very similar to my HB 1010, that will be heard tomorrow in Committee. I am hopeful that my legislation will be as successful as the bill just passed in Washington State. Will Maryland soon see the economic benefits of Industrial Hemp as other states have begun to see? If you would like to testify in support of HB 1010 please call my office at 410-841-3047. Hearing starts at 1pm in the Environmental Matters Committee Room. If you cannot make it to Annapolis, but support this bill I would encourage you to call or email the members of the Environmental Matters Committee.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling yesterday could have major implications on Maryland’s concealed carry law. The ruling opens the door for a potential Supreme Court Case regarding the Constitutionality of concealed carry permitting.
Last year, the 4th District Court of Appeals struck down a US District Court ruling that Maryland’s requirement to show “good and substantial” cause for a permit was unconstitutional.
California’s permitting requirements are similar to Maryland. It is a “may issue” state. Permitting depends on the local sheriff or police chief from county to county. The law says you have to show good moral character and in San Diego, you also have to show good cause to get one. As in Maryland, self defense is not considered “good and substantial” reason. In its ruling, the 9th circuit said the county’s narrow view of good cause violates the 2nd amendment right to bear arms for self defense. article
Gun Rights resources: