By Elisha Dorfsmith
Nearly 150 people turned out at McCoy Motors in Flagstaff tonight for a Tea Party Express Romney / Ryan 2012 rally. This event was sponsored by the Flagstaff Tea Party and The Coconino County Get Out The Vote Committee.
(Tea Party members wave Romney signs at tonight’s tea party express rally)
Compared to previous Tea Party Express events in Flagstaff, tonight’s rally was sparsely attended. In 2009 over 1,000 people rallied at a Tea Party Express bus stop at the old Honda dealership on Route 66. The Arizona Daily Sun even ran a headline Tea Party Rally Draws 1,000 saying that “more than a thousand people turned out”.
(10-01-12 EDIT: The Flagstaff Tea Party says 300 people were at the Tea Party Romney rally this week. I made several counts throughout the evening and never saw more than 150 people there. I may be off a little but I think 300 is wishful thinking on their part.)
Tonight proved that the early tea party energy and creativity has largely subsided.
At the 2009 rally handmade grassroots signs were seen in every direction. Tonight, only three handmade signs were visible. In their place were dozens of Romney 2012 signs and “The Tea Party Is Alive” signs which were provided by the Tea Party Express team.
(Coconino County Republican Chairperson Diana Arendt reminds tea party members that a third party protest vote is a vote for Obama)
(Two of the homemade signs at tonight’s rally)
I spoke with one attendee who said that he had to keep reminding himself that he was at a tea party event because the atmosphere felt like he was at a standard Republican rally. He was expecting more…especially in an important election year.
What happened to the grassroots energy and feeling of an uprising by the people that had been prevalent at so many past tea party events?
“Just goes to show how much things can change in a few months.” Another man said. “I never thought I would vote for Romney.”
Earlier this year, Romney was near the bottom of the list of candidates the Tea Party was willing to vote for.
(America’s Comeback Team)
In January, the Flagstaff Tea Party surveyed their members with the question:
“If the primary were held today, which of the following Republican presidential candidates would you support? ”
This was the response:
Newt Gingrich 30%
Rick Santorum 20%
Rick Perry 16%
Ron Paul 13%
Michele Bachmann 11%
Mitt Romney 8%
Jon Huntsman 1%
8% could hardly be considered a shining tea party endorsement of Romney 2012.
(Romney sign outside tonight’s tea party event)
But things change fast in politics. These days it seems “In Romney We Trust” could easily be the new tea party slogan.
“Romney is the last hope to save the country.” A woman from the Tea Party Express team yelled into the microphone. The crowd responded with cheers. Clearly, the tea party holds Romney in much higher esteem now than they did a few months ago.
The Tea Party Express even wrote a little song praising Romney /Ryan. It goes like this:
If anything can be taken from tonight’s Tea Party Express rally in Flagstaff it’s that the tea party movement has chosen to put all of their eggs in the Romney basket. On November 6th we’ll see if this strategy pays off for them or not.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson spoke about his campaign issues and record as Governor of New Mexico to a very enthusiastic crowd of students and supporters at ASU today.
The crowd, many wearing Ron Paul shirts and other gear, cheered and applauded as Johnson promised that if elected he would end the wars and bring the troops home, end the drug war, and fight for marriage equality. All very popular topics on a college campus.
“I’m the only candidate who does NOT want to bomb Iran!” he explained to thunderous applause. “And I believe we should get out of Afghanistan tomorrow.”
Some of his words were especially critical of President Obama and former President Bush. “I would have vetoed the Patriot Act and would never have signed the NDAA.” He said. “Obama is a great speaker but his actions do not match his words.” He added, as he named off the President’s broken promises.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also received his share of criticism as Johnson reminded the crowd of Romney’s support for bailouts, debt ceiling hikes and increased military spending. “The math does not add up. We have to cut spending.” He said.
Not surprisingly, the biggest applause line came when Johnson said he would fight to abolish the Federal Reserve. “End the Fed, End the Fed!” The Crowd chanted in traditional Ron Paul rally fashion.
As he concluded, Johnson summed up his political philosophy with the following: “Let’s believe that less government is better.”
“Live Free!” the crowed yelled.
“Live Free” is the slogan of the Gary Johnson Campaign.
Gary Johnson addresses the enthusiastic crowd.
Gary Johnson discusses the issues he is concerned about with the media.
I had the opportunity to listen in as Gary Johnson answered questions from reporters before the event.
Shane F. Krauser Director, American Academy for Constitutional Education speaks about the philosophy of liberty.
Barry Goldwater Jr. speaks before Gary Johnson takes the stage at ASU.
Carlos Alfaro of Students For Liberty at ASU addresses the crowd. He has a new article in The State Press today:
This is the closest I got to my picture with Gary Johnson. Got to shake his hand and thank him for a great speech but his tight schedule kept him from hanging around to pose for pictures. I did get an autographed book though (thanks Astrid!!!).
By Elisha Dorfsmith
If you would like to sign the petition or if you represent a local group who would like to join the local food freedom effort please send an email to:email@example.com
Below is the text of the City of Flagstaff sample ordinance:
AN ORDINANCE TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND INTEGRITY OF THE LOCAL
FOOD SYSTEM IN THE CITY OF FLAGSTAFF, COCONINO COUNTY, ARIZONA
The City Council of Flagstaff believe residents have the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, gift, donate, and consume local foods thus promoting self-reliance, the preservation of family farms, and local food traditions. The City Council recognizes that family farms, sustainable agricultural practices, and food processing by individuals, families and non-corporate entities offers stability to our rural way of life by enhancing the economic, environmental and social wealth of our community. As such, our right to a local food system requires us to assert our inherent right to self-government. We recognize the authority to protect that right as belonging to the City of Flagstaff.
The City Council of Flagstaff has faith in its citizens’ ability to educate themselves and make informed decisions. They hold that federal regulations impede local food production and constitute a usurpation of our citizens’ right to foods of their choice. They support food that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, nourishes individuals and the community, and sustains producers, processors and the environment. They are therefore duty bound under the Constitution of the State of Arizona to protect and promote unimpeded access to local foods. The purpose of the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance is to:
i. Provide citizens with unimpeded access to local food;
ii. Enhance the local economy by promoting the production and purchase of local agricultural products;
iii. Protect access to farmers’ markets, roadside stands, farm based sales and direct producer to patron sales;
iv. Support the economic viability of local food producers and processors;
v. Preserve community social events where local foods are served or sold;
vi. Preserve local knowledge and traditional foodways.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council of Flagstaff, Arizona:
Section 1. Name. This Ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the “Local Food
and Community Self-Governance Ordinance.”
Section 2. Definitions. As used in this ordinance:
a) “Patron” means an individual who is the last person to purchase any product or preparation directly from a processor or producer and who does not resell the product or preparation.
b) “Home consumption” means consumed within a private home.
c) “Local Foods” means any food or food product that is grown, produced, or processed by individuals who sell directly to their patrons through farm-based sales or buying clubs, at farmers markets, roadside stands, fundraisers or at community social events.
d) “Processor” means any individual who processes or prepares products of the soil or animals for food or drink.
e) “Producer” means any farmer or gardener who grows any plant or animal for food or drink.
f) “Community social event” means an event where people gather as part of a community for the benefit of those gathering, or for the community, including but not limited to a church or religious social, school event, potluck, neighborhood gathering, library meeting, traveling food sale, fund raiser, craft fair, farmers market and other public events.
Section 3. Authority. This Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the inherent, inalienable, and fundamental right of the citizens of the City of Flagstaff to self government, and under the authority recognized as belonging to the people of the City by all relevant state and federal laws including, but not limited to the following:
The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, which declares that governments are instituted to secure peoples’ rights, and that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.
Article II, § II of the Arizona Constitution, which declares: “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.”
Section 4. Statements of Law.
Section 4.1. Licensure/Inspection Exemption. Producers or processors of local foods in the City of Flagstaff are exempt from federal licensure and inspection requirements provided that the transaction is only between the producer or processor and a patron when the food is sold for home consumption or freely donated. This includes any producer or processor who sells his or her products at farmers’ markets or roadside stands; sells his or her products through farm-based sales directly to a patron; or delivers his or her products directly to patrons.
Section 4.1.a. Licensure/Inspection Exemption. Producers or processors of local foods in the City of Flagstaff are exempt from federal licensure and inspection requirements provided that their products are prepared for, consumed, or sold at a community social event.
Section 4.2. Right to Access and Produce Food. Flagstaff citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.
Section 4.3. Right to Self-Governance. All citizens of Flagstaff possess the right to a form of governance which recognizes that all power is inherent in the people, that all free governments are founded on the people’s authority and consent.
Section 4.4. Right to Enforce. Flagstaff citizens possess the right to adopt measures which prevent the violation of the rights enumerated in this Ordinance.
Section 5. Statement of Law. Implementation. The following restrictions and provisions serve to implement the preceding statements of law.
Section 5.1. Federal Law. It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance. It shall be unlawful for any corporation to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance. The term “corporation” shall mean any business entity organized under the laws of any state or country.
Section 5.2. Patron Liability Protection. Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from federal licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect.
Section 6. Civil Enforcement. The City of Flagstaff may enforce the provisions of this Ordinance through seeking equitable relief from a court of competent jurisdiction. Any individual citizen of the City of Flagstaff shall have standing to vindicate any rights secured by this ordinance which have been violated or which are threatened with violation, and may seek relief both in the form of injunctive and compensatory relief from a court of competent jurisdiction.
Section 7. City Action against Pre-emption. The foundation for making and adoption of this law is the peoples’ fundamental and inalienable right to govern themselves, and thereby secure their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Any attempt to use other units and levels of government to preempt, amend, alter or overturn this Ordinance or parts of this Ordinance shall require the City to hold public meetings that explore the adoption of other measures that expand local control and the ability of citizens to protect their fundamental and inalienable right to self-government.
Section 8. Effect. This Ordinance shall be effective immediately upon its enactment.
Section 9. Severability Clause. To the extent any provision of this Ordinance is deemed invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such provision will be removed from the Ordinance, and the balance of the Ordinance shall remain valid.
Section 10. Repealer. All inconsistent provisions of prior Ordinances adopted by the
City of Flagstaff are hereby repealed, but only to the extent necessary to remedy the inconsistency.
Section 11. This ordinance shall take effect upon its first posting or publication.
ADOPTED by, this _______day of ________, 2012.
______________, City Recorder
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Flagstaff Liberty Alliance member Joanna Estes recently designed some beautiful t-shirts and bumper stickers for the group and we’re making these available to anyone interested.
These high quality items are an excellent way to spread the message of freedom and let people know about Flagstaff Liberty Alliance.
For prices and order information please contact Travis Estes at:
The Flagstaff Liberty Alliance website also got a facelift with the new design:
Front of t-shirt.
Back of t-shirt.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Tonight Flagstaff Liberty Alliance voted to approve a mission statement to go along with a list of “core values” agreed to at last month’s meeting. The mission statement and core values are as follows:
Strengthening community values of liberty and self sustainability through the promotion of Constitutional foundations in government.
Adherence To The Constitution
Protecting Civil Liberties
A Constitutional Approach To National Defense
True Free Market Principles
The group also decided to move forward with a push for a food freedom ordinance at both the County and City levels. Stay tuned for more details.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
I have written several articles on my blog over the past couple years explaining how Top Two will be a nightmare for Arizona and how we must defeat it if it makes it’s way to the ballot.
Well, here we are, Top Two has cleared the hurdles and will be on the ballot in November. Time to step up and aggressively start fighting this monster.
I strongly encourage my readers to check out and share www.notoptwo.com with every voter you know in Arizona. There is a lot of false information out there and many people actually think Top Two will lead to more voter choice. It’s up to us to educate people with the facts.
Click HERE for an overview of Top Two. A couple key points to keep in mind:
The facts speak for themselves – states that have moved to this system are seeing less voter engagement, not more. Perhaps that is because they realize that under Top Two, their vote has been hijacked by whoever can best work the system, not represent the values of the community.
For instance, California experienced the second lowest voter turnout in the last 100 years in June 2012 after moving to Top Two – a mere 31% of voters turned out.
An analysis of states that have moved to Top Two confirms many voters’ fears: Independent and third party candidates never have a shot at winning. While proponents of Top Two claim it will diminish the power of the parties, in reality, it only diminishes the influence of the voters.
As the analysis states “All 81 instances at which minor party candidates have run for federal or state office in “top-two” election systems… in no case did any of these minor party candidates ever place first or second.”
For further reading see: