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Reclaiming State Sovereignty- How It’s Done!

This entry is part 27 of 28 in the series Freedom 21 Conference

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As this article and the attached video (see below) demonstrate, the Oklahoma Legislature continues to run an impromptu class on the “How-To’s” of reclaiming state sovereignty. And while they’re at it, they’re also giving an unsolicited (and probably unwelcome) advanced level seminar on long-term political strategy and tactics. What have they done?

Once again, Oklahoma has passed a state sovereignty resolution. The previous one was passed in both the Oklahoma House and Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry whose best excuse was to claim that it would require the “return of federal tax money,” thus proving that the Governor either completely failed to grasp the point of the resolution or grasped and rejected it.

What’s interesting here is that the Oklahoma House has come up with a parliamentary method to bypass the Governor who has proven himself to be a federal lick-spittle. Oklahoma House members led by Charles Key (R- Oklahoma City) has made the new resolution a House Concurrent Resolution which can be passed by both houses of the legislature and does not require the signature of the governor. The Oklahoma House passed it last Monday May 4, 2009.

But why is this bypass such a political coup, when the concurrent resolution really doesn’t have any legal punch?

The strategic reasons:

  1. Once state sovereignty begins to be discussed seriously, it means that discussion of the repeal of the 17th amendment, the amendment that requires Senators to be elected by popular vote rather than appointed as state government representatives to the federal legislature, can begin

  2. True federalism, i.e., Madison’s “divided sovereignty,” with true sovereignty of the states will only be returned through the repeal of the 17th amendment

  3. Repeal of the 17th amendment would make repeal of the 16th amendment, the amendment that allows the federal government to engage in direct taxation, far easier. This would be another step towards the re-establishment of true federalism. Direct taxation authority belongs only to the states in the original federalist design

  4. Once the federal leviathan is put on a strict forced tax diet, its unnecessary fat necessarily shrinks and falls away. The surest way to reduce the size, cost and intrusiveness of government is to reduce the revenue available to it.

  5. Repeal of the 17th would also make it possible to repeal of the Federal Reserve Act, which would go a long way to reducing the revenue available to grow government. It could be replaced with the old Independent Treasury System, often called the “most stable banking system of the 19th century”

  6. One state doing re-declaring its 10th amendment sovereignty is cause for derision from the “federal supremacy in all things” camp, 5 states is a cause for concern there, 10 states is reason for panic, 25 or more means that some form of completely irrational response would be forthcoming from those in the power centers which tends to awaken the sleeping populace.

The tactical reasons:

  1. Oklahoma Republicans now have their governor, a Democrat, on record as being against their state’s sovereignty. He has, in effect, said to them “We have to live with the federal boot on our necks to keep our own tax money coming back to us.”

  2. The Republican legislators now have a basis to work to expose an extremely popular governor of the other party who has clearly flouted the will of the electorate (this measure is quite popular in Oklahoma) who has now been show to be more interested in pleasing his federal overseers than protecting the constitutional guarantees of the rights of the citizens of his own state

  3. Republican legislators have demonstrated that they are willing to proactively go toe-to-toe with a popular governor in order to protect those same constitutional guarantees in spite of his efforts

  4. Republican legislators have demonstrated that they are willing to go toe-to-toe with the federal playground bully who has, up to now, had no qualms about whose lunch money it would steal

  5. Republican legislators have maneuvered Democratic legislators into demonstrating that they will do “whatever it takes” to protect a Democrat governor who kow-tows to the federal leviathan and disparages state sovereignty (thus exposing their own positions) from the political fallout of the resolution’s passage while Republicans have shown they’re willing to do “whatever it takes” to protect Oklahoma voters from federal usurpation

  6. A few state legislators working within the bounds of their authority in their own state legislature have made the now astronomically expanding federal leviathan begin to look over its shoulder to see the specter of the Constitution beginning to haunt its attempts to assume all authority and make the states an anachronism

The real question here is will other state legislatures, it really doesn’t matter what their party affiliation, recognize that there is a Constitution, that it sets boundaries and limits to federal authority and gives the states wide latitude to interpose on behalf of its citizens.

Frankly, that’s an open question in Ohio. If state leadership like the feckless Kevin DeWine have their way, Republican legislators would run screaming from the room if this type of legislation were to be mentioned. But it seems that there are some of that party who understand the two-fold utility of this type of resolution. It both alerts federal usurpers that Ohio will no longer stand idly by while the 9th and 10th amendments (not to mention article IV) are simply ignored by Congress and the Executive branch and it exposes those members of both parties who oppose Ohio’s move to protect its citizens from federal over-stepping of authority as despots or the toadys of despots. Thus, these resolutions HCR 11 in the Ohio House and the new resolution in the Ohio Senate (to be introduced today) are the tools Ohioans need to dig out from the avalanche of federal laws, rules, regulations and resolutions that are burying them in taxes and the fetters of government restriction.

What can be done?

Part of this article contains a promotion of a conference where you can learn how Oklahoma is getting the job done. Freedom21 is a grassroots coalition of state and national groups banded together to protect life, liberty and property from both federal and international assault. At its core, Freedom21 exists to oppose the UN’s laughably misnamed Agenda21 sustainable development power grab.

Oklahoma Rep. Charles Key is a headline speaker there and was last year as well. Last year Key, an aptly named key player, came to the Freedom21 conference and explained how he and other Oklahoma legislators stopped the NAFTA super-hiway (remember? It’s the road project that the federal government claimed never existed) from passing through Oklahoma.

Texas activists also did their part to stop the corridor using local planning commissions. They were so effective that Gov. Rick Perry (who appears to have gotten the message if his latest statements at a Texas TEA Party is any indication) came out and announced that the road project that didn’t exist was now officially canceled in Texas. These folks were at Freedom21’s conference last year as well to explain how they did it.

Will you be there this year to find out how to do it? Come out to Freedom21 in August and learn how to re-take your state’s sovereignty- proactively.

In the meantime, contact your state Senators and Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor and vote for the state sovereignty resolutions.


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Posted in Commentary, Public Policy Principles News, Public Policy Radar.