By Elisha Dorfsmith
Living up to their “business friendly” reputation, the Flagstaff City Council will be holding a final vote on their second hand ordinance this Tuesday, May 1st at the 12:00 noon Council meeting (a time when most of the business owners affected by the ordinance will find it hard to break away from work to protest).
What started as an attempt to crack down on out of town gold buyers turned into what some local business owners are calling an “absolute nightmare”. The ordinance will force all second hand businesses, including bookstores, to pay a fee to the City and report what they purchase to the police every time they buy an item from the public.
I recently had a conversation with the manager of a well known second hand store in Flagstaff. He told me that the City never contacted them to get their input on the ordinance.
He said his business found out about the ordinance in the Arizona Daily Sun. Then they received a call from Flagstaff PD telling them to prepare to comply. He said that the cost of complying with the ordinance will be passed on to their customers and everyone involved will be hurt.
“It’s funny how the City pretends to be so environmentally conscious and then they turn around and pass an ordinance that punishes recyclers.” He said.
Click HERE to contact the Flagstaff City Council and let them know how you feel about this ordinance.
The May 1st noon meeting will be held in the Council Chambers and there will be opportunity for public comment.
May 1, 2012 UPDATE: I attended the 12:00 noon council meeting today where the second hand ordinance passed unanimously. Woodson and Presler were absent. Evans defended this item being on the noon agenda saying that the public had been given plenty of time for input. Kevin Burke (city manager) said that they’ve been discussing this for 2 1/2 years and the public had lots of time to respond. What they didn’t say was that until a month or so ago this ordinance was ONLY supposed to affect out of town gold buyers. Then they broadened it to cover bookstores, antique stores and every other business who buys from the public.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
This week the House of Representatives will be taking up another vaguely worded liberty trampling bill known as CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act). This bill bypasses the Fourth Amendment and encourages the government and corporations to share your search and download history and other personal information all in the name of cyber security.
You can read the text of the bill HERE.
For further reading, see:
Please contact Congressman Gosar and tell him to vote NO. You can find his contact information HERE.
4-23-2012 UPDATE: Ron Paul weighs in:
4-26-2012 UPDATE: This afternoon CISPA passed the House. Congressman Gosar voted NO. Thanks to everyone who called his office. The bill now goes to the Senate. Time to start calling Senator Kyl and Senator McCain.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
As many of my readers know, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the biggest violation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights since the Patriot Act! The Arizona house and senate have just passed a bill (SB1182) that says Arizona will NOT enforce this unconstitutional law. The bill is now being sent to Governor Brewer.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
I always find it refreshing when I come across a new book that clearly and adequately explains the positions and principles that those of us in the liberty movement work so hard to promote and defend. With publishers releasing one shallow political title after another, it is a rare experience when I actually find a book that deserves an endorsement on my blog.
Red And Blue And Broke All Over by Arizona’s own Charles Goyette is the most recent must read addition to my collection. While many of the topics are very familiar to the seasoned liberty activist, Goyette approaches them at different angles and sprinkles in lots of fresh insight and a writing style that keeps the pages turning.
The end result is an intelligent, easy to understand primer on personal and economic freedom and the basics of what the philosophy of liberty is all about. Goyette puts particular emphasis on private property rights, fascism and crony capitalism, the blessings of liberty, and (one of my favorite topics) the broken window fallacy.
Those who appreciate the writings of Thomas E. Woods Jr., Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Peter Schiff and Ron Paul will definitely want to add this important work to their library.
Order Red And Blue And Broke All Over at Amazon HERE.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
In March, 2011 I wrote an article explaining that the Flagstaff City Council would soon be using their time and energy to push for a Constitutional Amendment that would nullify the controversial Supreme Court decision on Citizens United. At that time it was expected that the council would take the issue up within a few months. For some reason, action was delayed for over a year.
Tonight the Council finally addressed the issue and agreed to move ahead with a resolution created by progressive groups saying that money is not speech and calling for the Citizens United ruling to be overturned. More information on the resolution can be found here:
The progressive argument seems to have been made to the Council at an inopportune time for local Democrats. Democrats often claim that Republican candidates are the bad guys who raise the most special interest money from outsiders. Today’s edition of the Arizona Daily Sun contains an eye opening article on Congressional candidate fundraising in CD-1. It tells a different story.
Progressive darling Wenona Benally Baldenegro received most of her funding from outside the district with the majority of the funds coming from Phoenix and Tucson.
Former Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, who is attempting to regain her seat, received funding from a variety of outside sources and special interests including pro abortion groups, mail carriers, and various organizations sympathetic to the Democratic Party. To date, she has raised close to $1 Million.
As for the GOP candidates, Jonathan Paton received the most funding (about $200,000).
Most other Candidates, including Doug Wade (the candidate I hear talked about the most in Flagstaff), reported raising no money.
Photo: Progressive Democrats of Northern Arizona protest Citizens United in Flagstaff.
Allegiance To Who?
Speaking of Doug Wade, I received his campaign literature in the mail today and found the National Security section at the bottom very troubling. It says:
“National Security: This veteran is committed to Ronald Reagan’s concept of Peace Through Strength. Our retired military and their families have earned, and deserve, our unconditional support. In peace and in conflict, I stand firmly with Israel.”
Stand firmly with Israel? When Doug joined the military he took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America but rather than mention the Constitution or the security of our own country in his literature, he pledges his allegiance to Israel. How could any serious candidate pledge blind allegiance to any foreign country and expect to be trusted and respected? Imagine a candidate who said “I stand firmly with China” or “I stand firmly with Canada” (Wade’s supporters would probably be outraged).
Bottom line, how can we be sure that China or Canada or Israel will always make the right choices and deserve our support? Some might call pledging allegiance to a foreign nation treasonous or anti-American. It’s certainly not something I want my Congressperson doing.
Doug Wade won’t be getting my vote.
4-20-2012 UPDATE: Well kids, the blaring hypocrisy rears it’s ugly head once again in the Flagstaff City Council. Today’s edition of the Daily Sun has an article showing how much money candidates received and where it came from. Al White (who supports the Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United) was the only candidate to receive money from a PAC. Coral Evans (who also supports the Constitutional amendment) received money from several businesses. This is what the Daily Sun had to say about it:
“Evans reported she took in several small donations from local businesses during the last campaign donation cycle, some of the first since the Citizens United decision allowed private corporations and unions to make donations.
Evans, who supports a resolution seeking a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court decision, said she is just following the state guidelines for contributions which require her to report the name on the checks she receives.”
5-1-2012 UPDATE: Resolution passed 4-1 with Overton voting no. Presler and Woodson were absent. Read the resolution HERE.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Today’s edition of the Arizona Daily Sun has a print only article about Flagstaff’s proposed Property Maintenance Ordinance titled The Neighborhood Eyesore (along with a couple supplemental articles).
The Daily Sun has always seemed to lean toward supporting this ordinance and it’s no surprise that today’s article is one sided and refuses to tell the whole truth. For starters, it leaves out the comments from City staff who repeatedly said during Thursday’s public meeting that the PMO should not be taken literally and that we should trust City code enforcement to enforce it properly.
The article also leaves out the countless comments from the Public explaining exactly how the wording of the proposed PMO would affect them. Zoning Code Administrator Roger Eastman was often left stammering without an answer when pressed on the text of the proposed PMO.
Most importantly, the article fails to mention that even those who fought for this PMO are upset with the proposed PMO as it stands now. One PMO advocate even called the current version a “Bastardized piece of paper”.
Watch The April 5th Public PMO Meeting For Yourself
Last Thursday’s public PMO meeting was recorded and is available here:
What Does The PMO Actually Say?
The Daily Sun chooses to print a few extreme pictures of run down houses but what they never address is the fact that the PMO as it currently stands will affect just about every home and business in Flagstaff. Zoning Code Administrator Roger Eastman claims that staff will be trained using guidelines from the International Property Maintenance Code and that we can trust them to use their good judgement and “reasonableness”. Knowing how irrational and unreasonable the City of Flagstaff is, I don’t trust them for a second.
Here are a few quotes from the actual PMO:
D. Fences, screen walls, and retaining walls.
All fences, screen walls, and retaining walls on the premises shall be in a safe and sound
condition, properly anchored so as not to be in danger of failure or collapse, and
uniform in color and structure, and shall be maintained so that they do not constitute a
hazard, blight, or condition of disrepair. Examples of hazards, blight or conditions of
disrepair are inclusive of, but not limited to;
1. Leaning fences or walls to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the
center of gravity does not fall inside the middle one-third of the width of the wall
or fence at its base.
2. Fences and walls that are missing slats or blocks, or that have rot or damage;
4. Peeling paint; and
5. Deteriorated paint or materials
A. Accumulation of vegetation prohibited.
1. All land within the City, except for unimproved land, shall be maintained so it is
free of the accumulation or untended growth of vegetation, the presence of
which creates a safety, fire, or health hazard, or that attracts vermin either on the
property, on neighboring properties, or on both, and includes but is not limited
a. Any lawn grass that exceeds twelve (12) inches in height.
b. All weeds that exceed twelve (12) inches in height.
c. Dead plants or dead parts of plants of any kind.
C. Doors, windows, and skylights.
1. Every door, window, skylight, door and frame (including insect screens) shall be
kept in sound condition, good repair, and weather tight.
2. All windows, skylights, and other glazing materials shall be maintained free
from cracks and holes.
3. Every basement window that is openable shall be supplied with rodent shields,
storm windows, or other approved protection against infestation.
Here is the full text of Flagstaff’s proposed PMO:
Who Is Opposed To The PMO?
While today’s Daily Sun article spent most of it’s time focusing on supporters of the PMO, last Thursday’s PMO meeting and the general consensus around town is that the majority of Flagstaff is strongly opposed to any PMO and especially one that goes beyond health and safety concerns.
As usual, the Daily Sun and the Flagstaff City Council believe their agenda is more important than the will of the people. It’s kind of the same tactic Roger Eastman used at the April 5th meeting where he said he was getting the impression that people at the meeting wanted a PMO but wanted some changes. Fortunately, Joy Staveley (a concerned member of the public), was keeping score. She explained to Eastman that out of all the people who spoke, only one wanted the PMO as written, three wanted a different PMO and EVERYBODY else was completely opposed to any version of a PMO.
The Daily Sun wraps up their article with a somewhat underhanded and disingenuous comment suggesting that the PMO Review Group meeting was packed largely due to it being promoted by Republican and Tea Party groups. The Daily Sun knows full well that there was a very diverse group at the meeting including Democrats, Independents, everyday business owners and property owners. In fact, large ads were even running in the Daily Sun promoting the PMO meeting!!!
Since most people in Flagstaff will automatically take the opposite side of any issue the Tea Party or the Republican Party opposes or supports, I don’t think it was an accident that the Daily Sun tried to tie the PMO protest to these two unpopular groups.
For those following along at home, let me make something very very clear. The PMO opposition is not about left vs. right in any way. It is about the people of Flagstaff vs. the City of Flagstaff who is trying to trample our freedom and private property rights.
Don’t let the Daily Sun or any City Council member try to fool you into giving up your freedom and liberty.
There will be a PMO work session at City hall this Tuesday, April 10th at 5:30 pm. Please come and make your voice heard either verbally or through written comment. Tuesday’s agenda can be found here:
PMO Violation: “4. Peeling paint; and
5. Deteriorated paint or materials”
PMO Violation: “Fences and walls that are missing slats or blocks, or that have rot or damage;”
PMO Violation: “b. All weeds that exceed twelve (12) inches in height.
c. Dead plants or dead parts of plants of any kind.”
PMO Violation: “Every door, window, skylight, door and frame (including insect screens) shall be kept in sound condition, good repair, and weather tight.”
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Last week Governor Brewer signed HB 2677 which is a first step in allowing drivers to hand their cell phone over to a cop rather than the traditional license, insurance and registration when pulled over for a traffic violation.
On February 11th, the Arizona Daily Sun published a very interesting article explaining the thought process behind this and similar Arizona bills and what lawmakers are hoping to accomplish.
Forget your wallet or driver’s license? Lose your insurance card? No problem. If there is one thing people always have with them, it’s their cell phone. Hand it over and everything will be fine.
The concept is being sold to the public in the name of convenience but reading between the lines, I get the impression that lawmakers and law enforcement are giddy at the idea of people handing their cell phones over to the police to be checked without a warrant.
Cops will instantly have access to your internet search history, contacts, and messages while you smile and willfully waive your Fourth Amendment rights.
“Thank you sir, I’m going to take your phone back to my patrol car and punch in your information. Be right back.”
“Awesome! Getting a ticket has never been so easy!”
Some of my readers are probably thinking that I’m overreacting and that police are here to protect us and would never abuse their power or overstep their authority. Here is an article from yesterday’s New York Times explaining just how far law enforcement is willing to go to get your personal information. You be the judge: