By Elisha Dorfsmith
A large cross section of concerned Coconino County residents plan to attend tonight’s Coconino County Board of Supervisors meeting to call for more local food sources and local food freedom. The motivation for people to attend the meeting stems from Coconino Game Processing attempting to become USDA certified and running into roadblocks.
Supporters of local food freedom have been posting information on facebook this week including a paragraph suggesting that this is just the first battle in a long fight for more local food sources:
“Dennis (of Coconino Game Processing) has allowed himself to become the hinge pin in the gate to legal local meat processing for our community. He needs 1 hr of your time to come to the Supervisors meeting tomorrow night.”
The meeting starts at 5:30 pm today (July 31st) and will be held in the supervisor chambers in Flagstaff at 219 E. Cherry.
Many in Flagstaff have been calling for more food freedom for years. One group that I work with, Flagstaff Liberty Alliance, recently expressed support for some kind of local food freedom ordinance. Possibly modeled after food freedom ordinances passed by small towns in Maine.
The simple concept of “food sovereignty” is gaining lots of momentum around the country as people across the political spectrum look for ways to gain more control over what they eat, grow and sell. If we don’t have control over our food can we really claim to live in a free society?
Now is the time to break free from those who wish to use government force to control our food supply and what we choose to put into our bodies. Please watch the video below to see just how bad things have become:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
With many Libertarian Ron Paul supporters switching to the Republican party, the Libertarian Party here in Northern Arizona is slightly smaller and more ideologically knit than it has been in recent years.
It could be said that the party is now largely made up of loyalists, purists and those dedicated to Libertarian candidates who hold only the truest libertarian values. Candidates who run on the Libertarian ticket may be more scrutinized and held to an even higher Libertarian standard than usual this year.
This could make it tough for Libertarians to accept candidates who use the party as a platform for ballot access. It also makes the upcoming Coconino County Superior Court Division 5 race a very interesting race to follow.
Current Superior Court Division 5 Judge Joe Lodge was a registered Democrat who was appointed by Governor Brewer to Division 5 in 2010. His name was recently kicked off the primary ballot due to a technicality and he has switched to the Libertarian Party as a write in candidate.
Many local Libertarians have reacted to the news of the switch with skepticism and reservations. I was recently contacted by several concerned Libertarians asking if Judge Lodge could be trusted to be a true Libertarian candidate. At a time when libertarian concepts like Jury Nullification are gaining steam it’s tough for many libertarians to get behind the idea of supporting a former Federal Prosecutor.
Judge Lodge stresses that he is a strong supporter of personal freedom and believes in personal responsibility which are key principles of libertarianism. While he does not have roots in the Libertarian party he says that he truly believes in individual rights and much of the Libertarian platform.
But he also concedes that as a Judge he must uphold the law because that is his job. While judges certainly have the ability to use discretion in many of their rulings, they ultimately have to enforce the law as it is written.
At this point it’s hard to tell if Libertarians will support his campaign and write his name in on the primary ballot.
Making things even more interesting, a second candidate has entered the Division 5 race as a Libertarian. Steve Hauser, a Coconino County public defender recently threw his hat into the ring. Hauser also has no previous ties to the Libertarian party.
The Libertarian candidates will need at least 15 write in votes in the August 28th election to qualify for the November ballot. The candidate with the highest number of write in votes will be the primary winner and move on to the general election ballot.
Of course, that’s assuming things go as planned for the candidates. It is very likely Lodge’s Libertarian campaign will be challenged by his Democratic opponent based on Arizona’s “Sore Loser Law”. Most people familiar with the case agree that Lodge is facing an uphill battle.
Lodge still plans to be prepared. He admits that some of his supporters are switching to the Libertarian Party in order to be able to write his name in and make sure he at least receives the required 15 write in votes.
If he overcomes his legal challenge and faces Hauser, it will likely be the traditional Libertarians who ultimately decide the race and that’s who Lodge would like to appeal to.
Then again, the possibility exists that Libertarians will skip the race altogether. More and more Libertarians are expressing concern that the secret of easy ballot access is out and that candidates across the political spectrum will start abusing the system. This could have them leaving that section blank on election day.
As Coconino County speculates about the outcome, a dark cloud is quietly forming over the very idea of third parties in Arizona. The Top Two primary system will be up for voter approval on the November 6th ballot. Proponents of Top Two admit that if it passes, the chances of third party candidates advancing to a general election ballot ever again are pretty much nonexistent.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Before I get started, let me make a very clear distinction between Chester Crandell who is running for State Senator in LD-6 and State Senator Rich Crandall who is currently embroiled in an ethics scandal in LD-16. The similarity of their names has caused much confusion on the AZ campaign trail.
This post is an endorsement of Chester Crandell for State Senate LD-6.
Over the past year or so I have spent a lot of time getting to know Crandell and his Democratic rival Tom Chabin as well as their voting records and it is very clear to me that Crandell is miles ahead of Chabin on the issues.
Crandell clearly understands the 9th and 10th Amendments in the Bill of Rights, strongly supports the 2nd Amendment and takes his oath to uphold the Constitution very seriously.
Chabin, on the other hand, is a huge proponent of gun control (NRA gives him and F), helped write the Top Two election law which destroys third parties and thinks the 10th Amendment is a joke. In fact, Chabin calls anyone who even mentions the 10th Amendment a “kook” on his Facebook page.
A closer look at some specific issues:
National Defense Authorization Act
On December 31, 2011 President Obama signed the Constitution shredding National Defense Authorization Act. Outrage from people across the political spectrum followed as they realized that this act authorized the arrest and indefinite detention of any American citizen on American soil without a trial. Goodbye Bill of Rights.
On April 19, 2012 Crandell and Chabin had the opportunity to vote for the Liberty Preservation Act SB1182, a bill which made a stand against the NDAA and protected the citizens of Arizona. The bill passed easily as many Arizona state representatives and senators realized that the NDAA was the biggest violation of the Constitution since the “Patriot Act.”
Chester Crandell voted for SB1182 and for the freedom and safety of the people of Arizona. Tom Chabin voted against the bill. Chabin later found an ally in Governor Brewer who turned her back on the Constitution and the people of Arizona and vetoed the bill on May 14, 2012.
Most Arizonans know that Top Two will be on the Arizona ballot but what they don’t know is that Tom Chabin has been pushing this bill for years in the Arizona house with little support.
When I first found this out I thought Chabin may be a bit confused about the consequences of this bill and how it will obliterate third parties in Arizona. When I brought up the issue to Chabin on his Facebook page I was immediately blocked and my posts were deleted. Later Chabin wrote the following:
“I sponsored and support the Top Two primary that was put in place by the voters in Calif and will be on the ballot to approve or reject this fall. It will be different, and Dorfsmith will point out–if you want to vote for a Green or Libertarian candidate–because you believe in their cause or want a protest vote–you will not be able to do it. In addition, the organized parties can make some mischief no doubt. But all in all, the benefit is that all voters would be given a chance would be able to vote for more moderation in a race with would could include a conservative Republican against Joe Apraio–a Jerry Lewis against Russell Pierce–I just think it would be a better system.”
Chester Crandell is opposed to Top Two and understands that voters need more than two choices on a general election ballot.
Chester Crandell understands the 9th and 10th Amendments and is a strong supporter of States’ rights. In fact, Crandell helped write Proposition 120, a true states’ rights bill which will be on the November 6, 2012 ballot.
Tom Chabin does not believe in the 10th Amendment. He openly calls anyone who mentions it a “kook”. This leads me to question if Tom Chabin has ever actually read the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Every indication points to no.
Time and time again, Tom Chabin has failed to defend the Constitution and stand up for freedom and liberty in Arizona. Chester Crandell has a much stronger Constitutional record and has voted to protect the rights of the people he represents.
The choice is obvious. Chester Crandell has my vote in November.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that Flagstaff Liberty Alliance and other organizations I work with do not endorse candidates. This endorsement is mine and mine alone.
Chester Crandell stood up to the Federal Government and said that Arizona will NOT allow the Constitution trampling NDAA to be implemented here. For this and similar actions, Tom Chabin has called Crandell a “kook”.
This common 25 round .22 magazine would be illegal if Tom Chabin had his way (Chabin has called for the ban of any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds).
Crandell discussing limited Constitutional government at a recent event in Flagstaff.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The Flagstaff City Council postponed a final decision on a controversial proposed snow park on McMillan Mesa at tonight’s meeting. The issue will be placed back on the council agenda on September 4th. While a final lease agreement was not voted on, two amendments to the lease did receive council approval. These included adding a one time lease fee of $75,000 and making changes to the lease renewal process so that the council could have a say when the lease comes up again for renewal. Amendments to allow lighting at the snow park failed.
Several times during the council discussion process the council received jeers and heckling from the audience of mostly Friends of Flagstaff’s Future members and their supporters. Friends of Flagstaff’s Future is strongly opposed to the snow park and tonight they delivered a petition with 500 signatures asking the council to reject the lease agreement.
During the roughly 90 minutes of public comment, only a handful of speakers voiced support for the snow play area.
Those opposed expressed concerns about everything from the loss of open space to the possibility that some kids could not afford the cost of admission
One member of the public asked why the City was allowing someone to open a snow play area as a business rather than letting children sled for free on the hills and mountains.
Mayor Nabours responded with a reference to action taken by former councils,
“We as a City have fenced off every known sledding area. There is nowhere to sled. ”
By Elisha Dorfsmith
When Congressman Paul Gosar was first elected in CD-1, he told me that he was very disappointed with my blog for criticizing his vote to extend the Patriot Act and other unconstitutional positions he had taken.
I tried to explain to him that he was expected by those who voted for him to uphold the Constitution. After all, at every speech he gave on the campaign trail he would hold up a pocket Constitution and promise to consult it before every vote. And of course, once elected he took an oath to uphold the Constitution.
Today I came across a very telling video where Congressman Gosar really lets his true colors show. The video speaks volumes and all I have to say is that Gosar will not be missed in CD-1. Hopefully CD-4 (where he is now running) rejects him and replaces him with a true Constitutional candidate.
Watch and see for yourself:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
In a 5-2 vote the Flagstaff City Council decided tonight to increase the primary property tax rate but by less than the originally proposed 2% (the maximum allowed by law). The two dissenting votes were from Mayor Nabours and Councilmember Oravits who insisted that the tax rate should be kept flat.
The compromise tax rate increase was proposed by Councilmember Overton and it instantly received support from the majority of the Council. Overton’s proposal will increase the tax rate from 0.6917% to 0.7131%.
Councilmember Brewster argued for the tax rate increase insisting that she is a fiscal Conservative but suggesting that the City could not afford to not increase the tax rate at this time.
“The City has been very fiscally conservative.” She said. “If not, we’d be like Stockton, California filing bankruptcy.”
Mayor Nabours disagreed saying that when property values were rising the City never reduced the tax rate but they always want to increase it when the property values go down.
“The City Should have put some money away when times were good.” He said. Adding, “The City does not have very good credibility right now in the way it taxes and spends.”
The meeting was well attended with six members of the public speaking against the tax rate increase and one person speaking in support.