The Establishment: Missing in Action on State Sovereignty

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September 08,2010

“..Millhiser and other progressives have dubbed conservative supporters of the Tenth Amendment “tenthers,” in order to delegitimize their interpretation of the Tenth Amendment. It’s a play on the term “birthers” which refers to those who believe Obama wasn’t born in America. Millhiser calls conservatives’ interpretations of the Tenth Amendment “no less radical [than the birthers] but infinitely more dangerous….But conservatives wouldn’t necessarily be the only ones to benefit from the “tenther” interpretation of the Tenth Amendment. Strict enforcement of the Tenth Amendment could be a boon to many progressive issues as well, from ending the drug war to abolishing the Patriot Act. Already, many localities have protested federal immigration laws through the establishment of sanctuary cities, which don’t deport illegal immigrants.Earlier this month, a Massachusetts judge struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as solely between a man and woman, on Tenth Amendment grounds…”   Read more:

Viewing state sovereignty through the questionable paradigm of left vs. right, it should surprise no one that the Founder’s federalism is repugnant to Democrats. Invitations to every available email address at to attend Nullify Now! at the Champions Gate Omni on 10/10/10 yielded only one response. That was an irate Dem who said we were too stupid to realize that Barack Hussein Obama would go down in history as one of America’s greatest presidents.  Scratch one potential vendor!

The exact same experiment to all RPOF email addresses also brought about no response.  These invitations do not include the local Republican or Democratic “clubs”. Only addresses published on their official sites were contacted as listed county by county. Less than a dozen were returned as no longer valid.

Of course, these folks are probably to busy to read the email. After all, it is election season.  And what is this word “nullify?”  We’ll pass on a sponsorship-delete,next!

 Neither of the two main parties have any thing to gain in stopping the growth of the general government. Sure, there is lip service here and there, but on the whole, talk of the tenth is just that, talk. Both parties share at the trough and they are not willing to shut that trough down over some technicality called the constitution.

The much vaunted GOP 10th Amendment Task Force pronounced in a very noble press release( that “…As tea parties and conservative attorneys general cry louder about the intrusion of the federal government, ten conservative House members, led by Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, have formed a “Tenth Amendment Task Force” to promote federalism and give more power to state governments.Their mission? To “disperse power from Washington and restore the Constitutional balance of power through liberty-enhancing federalism….We’re trying to educate Congress,” Bishop spokesman Cody Stewart told TPM. Federalism, he said, has fallen out of focus — out of focus with Republicans, who often only use states’ rights as a talking point, and out of focus with the voting public, who often have no idea what the concept is…”

Do we hear anything on nullification from this “task force?” Not yet. All attempts to open a dialogue on the subject with them have failed.

Surely though, the legislature that passed the currently invalid Florida Health Care Freedom Act would be interested in the subject. After all, it is something they have an interest in by virtue of their responsibility to protect the state from the central government.

Sadly, some members  fear the very word nullification and are staying away from it on every level.  While I understand their apprehension, on another level I am disappointed they would stay away  if for nothing else than to learn what it is and how to use it. Come anonymously like everyone else.

 They would be in a stronger position to take on their detractors while at the same time educating the voter.

There are other snares lurking on the path of the grass roots Tenth Amendment movement. Very large and very well funded establishment groups in addition to the Tenth Amendment Task Force are out there distracting people. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) purports to “…….to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public.

 …to promote these principles by developing policies that ensure the powers of government are derived from, and assigned to, first the People, then the States, and finally, the Federal Government.

 …to enlist state legislators from all parties and members of the private sector who share ALEC’s mission.

 …to conduct a policy making program that unites members of the public and private sectors in a dynamic partnership to support research, policy development, and dissemination activities.

 …to prepare the next generation of political leadership through educational programs that promote the principles of Jeffersonian democracy, which are necessary for a free society.

Boil that down and one can infer that their mission is to use corporate donations to maintain things the way they are. Their board is just a who’s who of grass roots activists:

 National Chairman 
Mr. Jim Epperson, Jr., AT&T Services, Inc.
 First Vice Chairman       Second Vice Chairman
Mr. W. Preston Baldwin, centerpoint360 Mr. Pat Thomas, UPS
 Treasurer    Secretary
Ms. Sandy Oliver, Bayer Corporation Mr. John Del Giorno, GlaxoSmithKline
  Immediate Past Chairman
Mr. Jerry Watson, American Bail Coalition

  Board Members

Ms. Sano Blocker, Energy Future Holdings
Mr. Don Bohn, Johnson & Johnson
Mr. Jeff Bond, PhRMA
Mr. Derek Crawford, Kraft Foods, Inc.
Mr. Matt Echols, The Coca-Cola Company
Mr. Michael Hubert, Pfizer Inc
Mr. Ken Lane, DIAGEO
Mr. Kelly Mader, Peabody Energy
Mr. Bernie McKay, Intuit, Inc.
Mr. Mike Morgan, Koch Industries, Inc.
Mr. Kevin Murphy, ExxonMobil
Mr. David Powers, Reynolds American Inc.
Ms. Maggie Sans, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Mr. Ron Scheberle, Chairman Emeritus
Mr. Russell Smoldon, Salt River Project
Mr. Toby Spangler, Altria Client Services, Inc.
Mr. Roland Spies, State Farm Insurance Co.

Indeed, stalwarts all of taking on the central government! Fighting the central government over the true meaning of the Commerce Clause is certainly high on their list of priorities.

In short, the grassroots fight for Tenth Amendment Liberty will be just that-grass roots. Dont look for help from parties-their words are carried in the direction of the blowing wind. Don’t expect big monied think tanks to come to the rescue…their job is to increase their endowments while appearing to be interested. Talk radio? Seriously now.

To borrow from the Great Usurper, when it comes to state sovereignty, we must be the ones we have been waiting for. No one in Washington D.C. will help, no one in Tallahassee will help unless we make them do it.

If you want to learn more, join us on 10/10/10 at the Champions Gate Omni.

Andrew Nappi is the State Coordinator for the Florida Tenth Amendment Center. He lives in the Tampa Bay Area with wife Tammy and dogs Emma and Bud Lite.

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One Response to “The Establishment: Missing in Action on State Sovereignty”

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