Last Minute Reminder - Self Governance Class is this Sat. Nov. 9th
There are still a few slots open for the Level 1 Self Governance Class we are hosting in the Schoolhouse (Building G) at the Ward Ag Center, tomorrow, November 9th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Level 1 Class is the first in a series of five classes designed to educate students about how to become effective at applying the principles of self-governance to the legislative process at the city, county and state level. Fully exercised, the knowledge learned in this series will give the student the option of running for public office or becoming a professional lobbyist.
Click here to register or just sign up and pay at the door. The cost of the course is $40.
Lessons on Liberty - Tennessee Demonstrates State's Rightsby Menda Holmes, Chairman
With all the chaos in the out of control Federal Government it's great to know that our state legislature is working hard to protect us from it. Amidst growing concern about Federal Actions which could potentially threaten the freedom of Tennesseans, Representative Judd Matheny, Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee, came up with a timely solution.
Representative Matheny and Senator Mike Bell, Chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee, secured approval from both House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey to establish a subcommittee of the Joint Government Operations Committee to review Federal legislation, rules, regulations and executive orders and report any concerns to the speakers, General Assembly and congressional members. Then, collectively, they will determine the most appropriate action to take. The committee members have been appointed and are starting to hold meetings.
This isn't the first time Tennessee has taken the lead by providing a blueprint for state's rights. Earlier this year representatives Joe Carr and Judd Matheny founded the 10th Amendment Caucus which is a group of Tennessee legislators who write, propose and pass legislation that protects the liberty of Tennesseans.
Representative Matheny is also calling for a Bilateral Session in which the entire state legislature would meet with the Tennessee Congressional delegation and two U.S. Senators. This would encourage the Congressman and Senators to be more accountable to the state legislators who are closer to the citizenry. The proposal calls for a list of three to five issues to be submitted to the federal delegation at least 60 days in advance of the session. The session would be open to the public. It would encourage communication and cooperation between the state and federal government and attempt to restore public confidence.
As Representative Carr so eloquently stated at our October 11th dinner, "There is a wind blowing across Tennessee. A constitutional revival is emerging." We must also do our part. We need to learn how to be effective citizen activists.
To help make this happen the Wilson County Tea Party is teaming up with the Tennessee Center for Self Governance to present their Level 1 course on self-governance in the Schoolhouse (Building G) at the Ward Ag Center this Saturday, November 9th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Class details and links to register are in the reminder above.
Who Really Shut Down the Government?by Howard Holmes, Media Editor
Lots of blame has been flying around in the aftermath of last month's government shutdown over who was really responsible? I contend it was the American people who took the stand to support defunding Obama Care were the ones responsible. Their action triggered the chain of events that led to the government shutdown. This is a good thing because it demonstrates that if enough Americans stand up and unite behind an important issue, we can make a difference.
Credit must be given to Senators Ted Cruz of TX and Mike Lee of UT for organizing the Defund Obama Care effort through the on line petition they set up. It provided a vehicle for over 2 million Americans to express their dissatisfaction with Congress funding the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care. When these huge numbers were presented to House leadership, it placed Speaker John Boehner in a position where he had to listen to the people even though he knew the political gamesmanship odds were not in his favor.
Speaker Boehner and the House tried to negotiate with the Senate in good faith but were continuously stone-walled by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid set up a cloture vote on the House proposal which required the approval of 60 Senators before the bill could move forward to an actual vote. This deceptive tactic gave mainstream Republicans an avenue to avoid the shutdown by approving cloture, while allowing them to vote against funding Obama Care for the record. Once cloture passed, the majority of Democrats in the Senate voted the funding of Obama Care into law leaving Republican senators helpless to do anything about it.
What if Senators Cruz and Lee had not set up the Defund Obama Care petition and encouraged millions of Americans to state their distain with the funding of such legislation? They would not have been able to garnish any significant Republican support because their case would have been too feeble for Speaker Boehner and House leadership to stand behind. The funding for Obama Care would have been in the original version of the bill that was sent to the Senate and it would have been approved, with or without cloture, before October 1 avoiding any shutdown.
So what have we gained from this? Wouldn't we have just been better off to capitulate and avoid the shutdown? Either way, we would have still ended up in the same place. Right?
Wrong! Enough Americans spoke up and did make a difference. The people forced the House to take a stand against the issue, even though the odds of winning were low. As a result, House members supporting the effort demonstrated their obligation to their constituents. This reassures us that the representative process still works in this country - if enough people get involved. It also sends a clear message about who we should and should not support in the 2014 mid-term elections.
Was the strategy sound? No, because it was too little too late. Why? Too many people have waited too long to take a stand. Now that we see existing health insurance plans being cancelled on a massive scale and our health care premiums skyrocket, people want to do something because their wallet has been penetrated, but it is too late. If those 2 million signatures had been delivered prior to the original House and Senate votes on Obama Care, would it have made a difference? How would Supreme Court Justice John Roberts have ruled on the constitutionality of the law last year had he received 2 million emails opposing it?
This is just one of many battles yet to come over the Obama Care issue. As its initial website launch has proved to be a total fiasco, temporary stop gap measures are likely to be deployed. However, these measures will only postpone the inevitable damage this juggernaut will do to our country unless the American people take a stand. Apathy is our greatest enemy as we have all grown accustomed to taking our freedoms for granted. Once freedom is lost, it is very difficult to get it back.