By Elisha Dorfsmith
At a June 28, 2011 Flagstaff Unified School district truth in taxation hearing, Ken Garland, Director of Finance at FUSD informed the public that a property tax increase can be expected next year. While the number is not set in stone, the estimated figures given at the meeting show that the average $200,000 home should expect an increase of around $86.
Coconino County is also planning a 2% property tax increase next year and has a special public hearing planned on July 12 at 3:00 PM in the Administrative Center first floor meeting room at 219 East Cherry in Flagstaff.
Concerned Coconino County property owners have planned a protest against the proposed tax hike just before the July 12 public hearing. The protest starts at 2:30 PM outside the Coconino County Administrative Center (more information HERE ).
As financially strained citizens become increasingly fed up with government agencies who refuse to cut back in tough economic times, they are looking for ways to force government to spend wisely. The Prop 13 Arizona movement seeks to limit property taxes in Arizona and has been growing in popularity in recent years. Their Chairwoman Lynne Weaver recently filed paperwork to put a Prop 13 Arizona initiative on the ballot next year. They need 259,213 valid signatures by July 5, 2012. Anyone interested in signing the petition or collecting signatures should visit the Prop 13 Arizona website.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
In the coming months, Flagstaff liberty lovers should brace themselves for a massive smear campaign against liberty candidates and their supporters who are standing up for private property rights, personal freedom, and the responsible use of our tax dollars.
Even this early in the game, I am starting to see increased personal attacks against the few brave individuals in Flagstaff who are willing to stand up and defend the philosophy of liberty. The majority of these attacks are coming from a small group of environmental extremists who philosophically disagree with the liberty movement in just about every way. Freedom, liberty, free markets, private property, parental rights…ALL conflict with their vision for the world.
One of the individuals currently leading the charge against the liberty movement in Flagstaff is Stephen Knutson, local activist and former city council/mayoral candidate. Knutson has recently focused much of his energy traveling around facebook attacking Jeff Oravits who recently formed an exploratory committee to run for local office. Knutson offers few detailed reasons or facts as to why he doesn’t like Oravits. A typical drive by post on my facebook page by Knutson goes something like this:
“I am tired of trading one poser with another. If someone has a valid plan let him lay it all out so we can all see it then maybe whoever wins the race can use the ideas. Everything else is perpetuating the popularity contest for wannabees.”
Of course, Knutson knows very well that Jeff Oravits does in fact offer a plan and lots of solutions at his website. The problem is, it’s not the kind of solutions that Knutson approves of so in Knutson’s mind they don’t exist.
So what is an acceptable solution for Flagstaff? When Knutson ran for office he offered a plan that came straight out of the United Nation’s Agenda 21. (Spend 10 minutes researching Agenda 21 and you’ll see where this is going). Private property = bad. Private business = bad. Personal freedom = bad. I told Stephen that in the near future I would write a blog explaining the problems with the solutions he offers. I also told him that every time he attacks Jeff Oravits on my facebook page I will send Jeff’s website out to 5 people. At this rate, everybody in Flagstaff will get an email from me with a link to www.Jeff4Flagstaff.com before the month is over.
Jeff Oravits is not the only person being attacked for defending the philosophy of liberty in Flagstaff. In several different facebook forums I have recently seen local defenders of liberty portrayed as “radical nuts” and “heartless irrational people.” There is a lot of hate and anger out there.
Perhaps a sign of the times, the Progressive Democrats of Northern Arizona recently took things a step further than name calling at a PDNA meeting by encouraging their members to “Engage in direct action/confrontation” with those they disagree with. Not sure what their intent is but that statement could be interpreted many ways.
As we all know, personal attacks and name calling have always been a part of politics but I think we can expect to see a surprisingly vicious local campaign season this time around. I have a feeling that the local special interests, nanny staters, and big government defenders are starting to see cracks in their agenda and are responding by lashing out.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
When Ron Paul announced that he was officially seeking the presidency, I told myself that I would do my very best to keep the Ron Paul blog posts to a minimum. I know that I have a tendency to sound like a broken record when I am passionate about something and I didn’t want to focus all my attention on the presidential campaign. Unfortunately, keeping my mouth shut has been much harder than I thought it would be…especially since the establishment elite on both the left and right are increasing their attacks on Ron Paul and the liberty movement.
Last night, my wife and I spent the evening handing out Ron Paul literature at the biweekly Flagstaff Tea Party meeting. I was a little concerned at how the response would be since we had a bit of a negative experience at the previous meeting. Sadly, I was not at all prepared for exactly how negative the response was. A third of the attendees flat out refused to take the literature when they saw that it was for Ron Paul. Others hissed and growled anti Paul remarks and quickly handed the literature back. Even those who were polite and have a lot of respect for my wife and I said that in all honesty they would not be voting for Dr. Paul. When asked why, most would only give a vague answer like “I didn’t like his answers in the debates” or “I just can’t vote for that man.” My favorite response of the night was “our military bases around the world ensure that America is respected.” I was like excuse me, did you ever stop and think that they may have the opposite effect?
In my frustration, I posted the following on the Flagstaff Tea Party website before I went to bed:
Cindy and I got a lot of hate from the Flagstaff Tea Party tonight for supporting Ron Paul
If the Republican party does not elect a candidate who supports TRUE freedom and liberty and the Constitution, we will vote third party in 2012. The only thing worse than Obama is a Republican who disrespects the Constitution the way Obama does but lulls the tea party back to sleep.
I really don’t care which candidates individual tea party members support but seeing so much animosity toward Ron Paul makes we wonder what the tea party really stands for. I would respect any number of reasons why people would not vote for Ron Paul but what I cannot accept is the way people look at him like he is a villain rather than a tea party hero. I find it disturbing that the biggest defender of freedom and the Constitution is loathed by so many in the Flagstaff Tea Party. It’s a bit shocking because in the past 3 years so many in the group told me that they loved Ron Paul. Now that there is an election, true colors show.
I also posted the above on the Flagstaff Tea Party facebook page and was instantly attacked. I was told that I must vote Republican at all costs no matter who is elected. Ross Perot was brought up as an example of how evil third party voting is.
Obviously, many in the tea party movement have lost their supposed principles and if you don’t stand for your principles what do you stand for? NOTHING!
Should I be surprised? Not really. After all, members of the Flagstaff Tea Party had no problem throwing constitutional senate candidate Jim Deakin under the bus in their hurry to jump on the J.D. Hayworth bandwagon. Smooth talkin’ is always more important than substance. More proof that Americans have zero depth. Appearance holds more weight than defending freedom and liberty and standing up for the Constitution.
Now, I do want to be clear and say that not everybody was against Ron Paul at last night’s meeting. There were a hand full of Paul supporters there that I know of. One saw me complaining on my Facebook page and made sure to let me know that there are other Ron Paul supporters in the group. Another exchanged contact info with me and said it was his first Flagstaff tea party meeting and when he looked at the tea party lending library and saw more Sean Hannity than Ludwig von Mises he knew that the group wasn’t for him.
I have decided that I will continue attending tea party meetings so I can try to explain what true freedom and liberty is and what the Constitutional role of government is. That said, I took the Flagstaff Tea Party bumper sticker off my car today because it is becoming more and more obvious that the group is spending more time attacking liberty than standing up for their supposed principles.
Ron Paul supporters gather at Flagstaff City Hall.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The following letter was sent to the Flag Liberty email list. If you would like to receive email updates, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the mailing list.
I want to take a moment to share some thoughts on the police state and update you on a couple events planned for tomorrow.
The ever expanding police state has been getting a lot of attention in recent months as the American people are waking up and realizing that our freedom is slowly but surely being whittled away. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:
More people arrested in Orlando for feeding the hungry without a permit:
FBI agents are being encouraged to dig through your trash without a warrant:
Public Schools Are Being Turned Into Prisons:
The “Patriot Act” was recently extended by congress and signed by President Obama:
Our freedom and liberty is being trampled at an increasing rate and it’s time we take a stand and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! America has become a police state that can hardly be recognized as the land of the free that it once was.
Speaking of the “Patriot Act”, local Constitution shredder: Congressman Paul Gosar will be in Flagstaff tomorrow addressing a Republican meeting (details below). Congressman Gosar resents me for exposing him for his unconstitutional votes so he won’t listen to what I have to say. Hopefully others will show up and express their concerns and let him know that we will remember his votes on election day.
I had a talk with someone last week who hinted that he may run against Gosar in the Republican Primary. Exciting news and I will keep you all updated if it materializes.
One thing is for sure, I will actively campaign against Congressman Gosar, Michelle Bachmann, President Obama and any other candidate who supports the “Patriot Act” and the trampling of our Fourth Amendment rights!
For this blog post, I wanted to close with a powerful and emotional video I recently came across:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Campaigning, work, liberty activism and summer activities with my son have been keeping me incredibly busy these days but I wanted to take a few minutes and update readers of this blog on what’s been happening locally and how you can get involved.
Jeff Oravits Campaign
Local liberty candidate Jeff Oravits has been busy raising money and reaching out to voters as he prepares for the campaign season which will be heating up soon. If you would like to see positive change at Flagstaff City Hall, please consider getting involved with the campaign and sharing Jeff’s website with your friends and family. You can find out more about Jeff Oravits at the following links:
FUSD Board Meeting
Due to scheduling conflicts I was unable to make it to the June 14 Flagstaff Unified School District Board Meeting. I know many look forward to my FUSD blogs so I apologize for not being able to keep up.
I want to use this opportunity to underscore the importance of having a network of bloggers attending City Council, School Board, County and other local political meetings and reporting what goes on. We need all the help we can get. If you are interested in being part of our network of local bloggers, please let me know and I would be happy to add your blog to the list on the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance website.
Local Ron Paul 2012 Grassroots Campaign
My wife, son, and I were recently kicked out of Heritage Square by private security for handing out Ron Paul literature during Movies At The Square. One security guard told us that while Heritage Square is a public square paid for by tax dollars, during movie nights he has the right to run anybody off for any reason. He pointed to the “Preacher Man” holding his sign on the sidewalk and said “if I let you in I have to let him in.” He went on to say that while my tax dollars do pay for Heritage Square, they don’t pay for it on movie nights. My wife wondered later if taxpayers could get a refund.
After contacting the City (and even talking to Mayor Presler about it) it was confirmed that security did in fact have the authority to make us leave:
We ended up standing just outside the square and handed out quite a few Ron Paul 2012 bumper stickers to enthusiastic passersby while security glared at us and made sure our toes didn’t cross the line.
Last Saturday we had a grassroots Ron Paul 2012 organizational meeting followed by a sign wave. The response was amazing and very encouraging! We’re all used to college students supporting Ron Paul so it was very exciting for me to see lots of older voters joining the younger voters in giving Ron Paul the thumbs up and showing some love.
Right now we’re in the early stages of our canvassing campaign for Ron Paul. If you are interested in knocking on doors or would like a walking list for your precinct please let me know (email@example.com). Reaching out to all potential voters in the Republican Primary will be key to winning.
Speaking of the primary, we recently contacted the AZ Secretary Of State to clarify the open primary rules. We were told that Arizona has a semi open primary which means independents can vote in the primary of their choice in most elections but NOT in presidential elections. According to the Secretary Of State office you MUST be registered as a Republican if you want to vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primary.
I am now registered as a Republican. It’s quick and easy to do online. Here’s the link:
Upcoming Grassroots Ron Paul 2012 Events
Please share these events with everyone you know. The more involvement, the bigger impact we will have. We especially need people to join us in the Flagstaff July 4th Parade!
Lots of fun events planned:
Keep up to date on local Ron Paul 2012 events and activities by joining the Flagstaff Ron Paul 2012 Facebook Page.
Ron Paul Revolution at Flagstaff City Hall.
My son helps hand out Ron Paul literature near Heritage Square.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
A small group of Ron Paul supporters attended the June 7, 2011 Flagstaff Tea Party meeting to hand out literature and bumper stickers. For the most part, the response from the tea party was friendly and positive and most attendees were very receptive. I noticed a couple people wearing Ron Paul buttons as they walked out and others left with Ron Paul 2012 bumper stickers.
At the end of the meeting I was handed a handwritten note in response to our literature from one of the tea party members. It said:
“Ron Paul also:
Supports legalizing drugs.
Supports delegalizing marriage.
I support states’ rights–but these things need to be national laws for consistency between states. I find Ron Paul immoral. Our founders would roll over in their graves to see these supported.”
Obviously, this person does not understand states’ rights, the Constitution, the philosophy of liberty or the positions of Ron Paul. I hate to say it but this is the mentality we’re up against.
We’re going to need all the help we can get combating the lies, smears and attacks from those who hate liberty. I hope readers of this blog will join the Flagstaff Ron Paul 2012 Facebook page and get involved in the local grassroots Ron Paul campaign.
Ron Paul bumper stickers and literature at the Flagstaff Tea Party.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Blogging can be a very self indulgent exercise so please forgive me for taking a break from the usual activism and going in a completely different direction. This post is full of memories and history, nostalgia and inside jokes.
In 2003 when my wife and I were recording the above album we were also publishing an independent compilation CD of homemade recordings called Sediment. The purpose of Sediment was to encourage people to throw caution to the wind and try their hand at homemade recording experiments. We considered it a musical form of anarchy because no rules applied. We published five issues and over 100 songs before we decided to retire the project.
One of the biggest highlights of Sediment was when our local paper in Big Bear, CA asked if they could do a story on our compilation for their weekend edition. Somewhere I still have a copy with me on the front page smiling and holding Sediment 2.
Over the three or so years that we published Sediment it featured everyone from Jerry Davison of the Christian band Jacob’s Trouble to the ever mysterious Philip Stranger (who ended up living with my wife and I in Flagstaff for over a year and a half).
While submissions came in from all over, there was one location that seemed to have a huge concentration of aspiring artists…a message board for a band called Daniel Amos. DA fans affectionately called it the DAmb and I was one of the top posters there (this was before Facebook ate everybody’s time).
It was on that message board (in a password protected area called the argument dump) where I argued and debated politics and theology and slowly came to the realization that I clearly identified with libertarianism and the philosophy of liberty.
I have since been banned from that board which is a long story that involves the financing of a Swirling Eddies project that went bad and lots of disgruntled fans including myself.
Moral of that story: even lost hungry dogs can end up biting the hand that feeds them.
My wife and I have not recorded anything since 2009 but my son has recently shown in interest in the recording process. We just might sit down and make some noise again in the near future.
You can find hours of our recordings HERE.
“Have fun and never take yourself too seriously!” –Platyhelminth