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Now that the legal mumbo jumbo is outta the way...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chuck Donovan, Libertarian Candidate for U.S. Senate, Georgia *** UPDATE

UPDATE: Tea Party Endorsement! For a libertarian? YES

Getting close, and here's another great choice for Tuesday.

"The mission is liberty.
The vision is now."

LW: As of 9/21 you are still the only candidate to sign the No Pork Pledge. However, some would argue that part of a Senator’s job is to attract jobs and business to their state. What is your plan for increasing jobs availability, and enabling businesses to do what they do best in Georgia?

CDonovan: First of all, Pork is not a way of bringing jobs or prosperity into the State. It might appear to be a winning deal when money comes in from Washington, but that overlooks two things. First some of that money comes from other States. There is no reason why taxpayers in Kansas for example, should pay for a project in Georgia, especially after their money passes through Washington. Secondly and more importantly, Federal money also comes from Georgians.

The current game is the Federal government plunders the states and heaps the money up in Washington, D.C. Then Senators, Representatives, and Governors fight their way to the money and return to their electorate displaying what they got for us. They didn’t get anything. They got back only some of what was plundered from us after the Federal government took its cut. Even worse, the money comes back to the state with a big Federal string attached.

This has to stop, and I am drawing the line. The Federal government has nothing it hasn’t taken from others. It is time the states kept their production and made their own economic decisions. There is no authorization for earmarks or Pork in the Constitution and it is about time the practice stopped.

Pork, subsidies, stimulus and bailouts pick winners and losers in the economy. It is not government’s job to pick the winners and losers. Government is supposed to be making the United States the most business friendly country in the world, and by doing so we will expand prosperity in an economically sustainable way.

LW: I’ve been seeing ads on TV from Ontario, Canada enticing business to relocate there due to their tax structure. Of all things, Canada is now becoming a tax haven!! What would you do to enable business to stay here? How can we stop the loss of business from American shores?

CDonovan: As long as our government continues to pick the winners and losers via special deals, special interest tax breaks, subsidy, stimulus, bailouts and intervention, entrepreneurs who lose in the deal will look for another place to do business. In addition, every business in America has to run a gauntlet of regulations. A small businessman recently told me he is not afraid of competition. His main fear is the EPA, OSHA, the IRS, and the Georgia Department of Revenue.

We have to concentrate on making the United States the most business friendly country in the world. Simplified tax law, tort reform, reduced regulations, and most importantly a better understanding among Americans about what an honestly free market would look like, would all stop the loss of American businesses and jobs.
To begin with, we should eliminate the EPA, OSHA, FDA, FCC, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce. We have to shrink the tax code to less than 100 pages, and we have to bring the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world down from 35% to 25% or less.

LW: What are your three top priorities for action in the Senate and what do you see as your main impediment to accomplishing these priorities.

CDonovan: My top three priorities are to: 1. Cut “discretionary” and “mandatory” spending2. Shrink the size and scope of government 3. Stop inflation

There are two main impediments to achieving these priorities. The first is the lack of leadership in Washington, D.C. coupled with a lack of understanding as to the magnitude of these problems. The second impediment is the misunderstanding by Americans about what government is, and what it should be doing. To paraphrase Orwell, the “proles” have realized how powerful they are, but they are choosing to use that power to expand, government instead of shrinking it.

LW: Federal Reserve – audit or eliminate?

CDonovan: The Fed is the blank check written on the backs of working Americans and working American businesses. It is the source of our bubble economy. It is at the heart of the current housing crisis. There is no other government function that has failed so completely. The Fed was supposed to smooth out the economy and eliminate bubbles. There have been about 63 bubbles since its inception; all caused by the fake credit the Fed pumps into the economy. The Fed was supposed to stabilize the Dollar, but the Dollar is now worth about 5 cents compared to what it was worth when the Fed was put in place, and the Dollar continues to decline in buying power.

Auditing the Fed is not enough. Listen closely to those in favor of the audit. Most of them are just looking to change the management of the Fed.

If there was only one thing I was allowed to change in the Federal government, I will immediately, totally, and forever eliminate the Federal Reserve Bank and all centralized banking from our government.

LW: Talk to us some more about your idea of eliminating the “Certificate of Need” for medical facilities. For those who don’t know, also explain what those are.

CDonovan: The Certificate of Need (CON) is issued by a federal or state regulatory agencies to ensure planned medical facilities are required to fulfill the needs of a community. So, the government decides if a medical facility should actually be built. The decision is not in the hands of entrepreneurs in the health care industry. In this arrangement, government and the medical cartels connected to the government are the winners, and patients and health care consumers are the losers. Supply is restricted and prices increase as a result.

Through the CON, the government imposes a one-size-fits-all approach to medical care, saying that it is applying a consistent standard to hospitals in all states. It sounds good when stated that way however, it amounts to centralized control. Two things are consistent. One, centralized control increases government power not consumer power. It allows the government to pick winners and losers in health care, both on the provider side and the patient side. Second, centralized control drives up prices.

Increased prices are the last thing we need in health care. There is no other sector of the economy that has consistently grown in price faster that inflation.

We are stifling the health care industry and driving up prices with all this government interference. Instead we have to open up opportunity for innovation and competition. If you really care about people in need, you will release the medical industry from the control of centralized government. Abolishing the CON is a step in the correct direction.

Friday, October 29, 2010

NPR Analysis from Sarge

Show your ID to vote

Why is this even an issue? Do we really want non-citizens being able to vote? How do you stop it? SHOW YOUR ID.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned Arizona’s requirement that people show proof of citizenship to register to vote.

The split decision by a three-judge panel determined that the requirement to show proof of citizenship — passed by voters in 2004 — is not consistent with the National Voter Registration Act.

But at least this was AFTER the registration deadline passed. So the only problem is if you go to vote and they tell you that you have ALREADY voted!

Georgia you show to register and you show to vote.


Your Choice, Your Vote


While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator was tragically

hit by a car and died. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems

there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts,

you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll

do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can

choose where to spend eternity."

"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the


"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down,

down, down to hell.

The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf

course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his

friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him,

shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while

getting rich at the expense of the people. They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes.

They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes

it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator


The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St.

Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven...”

So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented

souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They

have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by

and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven.

Now choose your eternity."

The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would

never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I

think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down

to hell...

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren

land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed

in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more

trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and

there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar,

drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a

wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What


The devil smiles at him and says,

"Yesterday we were campaigning, Today, you voted."

Vote wisely on November 2, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shane Bruce, Georgia Insurance Commissioner

Did you ever think insurance would become such a high priority subject in our lives? Who does not talk about "Obamacare" or "insurance mandates" these days?

Well we have a race in Georgia with NO incumbent! So pay attention.

Our Libertarian pick is Shane Bruce and here is my "bloggerview" with him:

  1. LW: Health Insurance is probably the biggest subject discussed in any of your interviews. About the only question I can’t find is: would you support across the state line competition?

SBruce: Of course. I’d support buying insurance across national boundaries if I thought the contract was enforceable. There are a number of impediments standing in the way of purchasing coverage across state lines, most of which are barriers erected by our legislature to preserve the profit margins of the insurance companies domiciled here in Georgia. Did you know we have a “Retaliatory Tax” built into our system to make sure that an economic advantage an insurance provider in another state may enjoy due to lower taxes is wiped out by requiring the company to pay the highest rate from either state.

LW: Hmmmm can we say "Atlas Shrugged" anyone?

  1. LW: Explain to the less educated among us the relationship between the commissioner and underwriters. Would you have any influence with them? Their purpose and “power” has always confused me (please tell me I’m not the only one).

SBruce: The main gig at the Commissioner’s Office is to regulate the practices of companies that sell insurance in Georgia. Those practices have to comply with Georgia Code and it is the job of the Commissioner to ensure that they do. Ideally, the Commissioner should be an impartial judge, uninfluenced by those he regulates. In reality, the office of Commissioner has been used by past administrations to sock away campaign cash in exchange for “favors”. If elected, that will not happen on my watch.

  1. LW: You’ve said one of your goals would be to drag it (commissioner’s office) kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Would that include digitizing our personal health records? Many of us say UGH no!

SBruce: I am a Libertarian. I concur with your apprehension about digitizing medical records and making them available across the hugely integrated data networks that serve the health care infrastructure. Keep in mind that the Office of the Commissioner does not handle health records, just records of insurance providers, complaints by consumers and a host of other data points to comply with the Georgia Code. That needs to be modernized. I am also in favor of decentralizing the office from one location in Atlanta to as many a 6 regional offices through out the state. The entire state pays for the Office, mayhap some regional offices would provide a better level of service, not to mention bringing some stable jobs to distressed areas.

LW: See, I AM getting an education.

  1. LW: I have to take you back in time to when you first filed your intent and the battle that ensued over party designation. You said: “I call on the head of the State Ethics Commission to change this process to allow third party candidates to be listed by their political affiliation instead of lumping all of us together under the generic, mundane and boring label of “other party”. I’ll be on the ballot this fall as a Libertarian, not as a member of some “other party”. This is a simple request with a simple solution, responding with “That’s the way we do it” ain’t gonna get it. If you’re not able to to make this simple administrative change, I want to know why.” My question is, can we count on this same fire and determination in all your efforts on behalf of Georgians?

SBruce: Certainly. Hopefully with better results than my o-so-brief run in with the State Ethics Commission. They stood by their flawed decision and I was not able to move them. It was a stark lesson in governmental relations for me, I had no champion in government to make my case so the bureaucracy won with disdain. If elected, I will not allow that to happen to Georgia citizens with a complaint over insurance matters.

  1. LW: Industrial Small Loans, or Payday loans as some call it. From a free market perspective, how do you keep them performing their service and yet protect (as some would have government do) Georgia’s citizens from the more unscrupulous lenders.

SBruce: The solution to Georgia’s Pay Day Loan operators can be found in a program running successfully in North Carolina where one the state’s Credit Unions starting offering short term (2 weeks) small cap loans ($500 or less) at 12% interest rates. That Credit Union now has a majority of the market share in that kind of lending in North Carolina and it is big business with a percentage of the loan deposited into the borrower’s credit union savings account. I would like to see similar competition here in Georgia to provide another choice for our hard pressed citizenry in these horrendous economic times.

LW: That's certainly better than the 25% title loans here!!

  1. LW: Would you support a 10th amendment style nullification of Obamacare.

SBruce: I’m pleased that the court challenge has passed phase 1. The 10th amendment is the 10th amendment and certainly outlined the do’s and don’ts. The real question is, would a republican or democrat state house have the courage to use it?

  1. LW: Let’s set the record straight on the premium tax, is it $6 million or $600??? And how does that work?

SBruce: The number for 2006 was $630,000,000. In suspect it’s a little less in 2010 due to less business. Here’s a link to the report by Georgia State University on the arcane nature of the tax and how’s it’s split between the general fund and various and sundry municipalities in Georgia. It is astonishing that the city of Waycross or Lilburn or Hahira and others can elect to help themselves to your insurance payment courtesy of the state.

Thanks Shane! Hey Georgia, 15 days.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Update on Oath Keeper Dad

The baby Cheyenne has been returned to her parents and no further actions have been filed - by child protective services anyway!

My original post here.

In a statement from Oath Keepers:

"This poorly conducted investigation used unsubstantiated and unsupported information regarding our organization. A journey to our website, and a reading of our bylaws, could have easily confirmed what we are and are not," said the Oath Keepers letter, delivered today to state officials.

"We are an association of currently serving and retired police, military, and emergency personnel. We are not a militia. Our goal is simply to educate all current service personnel on their obligations under the law and in particular our Constitution."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Taylor Bryant, Candidate Richmond County School Board District 6

As a libertarian, I have been trying to get the word out on candidates running for local office. I've been very pleased there are so many this election cycle. And very high quality candidates at that!

Many of you Georgians I've talked into voting for John Monds as Governor, Chuck Donovan for US Senate. Now I'd like you to check out Taylor Bryant, Richmond County School Board District 6.

Taylor and I have been "chatting" back and forth on facebook and email and he has agreed to a blog interview. Enjoy!

LW We've all seen how throwing money at education nets us zero result in increased test scores and ss someone with an education background and a libertarian, what do you plan to do in order to A) improve education in Georgia and B) keep the costs down?

TBryant Money is not the answer. We just received $16.7 million from the "race to the top" fiasco for the next four years. Sounds great, right? That is only $126 per student per year. Many programs will be started with this money, and then it will dry up, leaving unfunded programs four years later.

We are top heavy in administration, paying millions in salary for personnel with no direct contact or advantage to children. We are wasting resources in an antiquated bidding process fraught with corruption. Taxes are rising, class sizes are exploding, and all the BOE can discuss is who is going to get a new gym or stadium. I understand strong athletics can get our kids to colleges, but I'd rather them not fail when they show up there.

I have plans to replace school buses with ones that will operate on natural gas provided at no cost by the local landfill. This would be a joint effort with the city to defray start up costs. As a side effect, we would reduce the diesel particulate emissions keeping Augusta free of EPA sanctions. We would still use diesel buses for field trips out of town, keeping a mixed fleet. Studies show within 5 years we could save $6 million dollars, eliminating the need for half of our furlough days.

LW: Citizens of Georgia and the nation have all either suffered setbacks in salaries, outright loss of jobs or have family members in that situation. Will you ask the same of state law makers in their attempts to play to special interest groups with their hands out?

TBryant: Special interest do not outnumber the individual of Richmond County, and it's about time people around here start recognizing that. The problem is that most people turn a blind eye to such transactions, thinking there is no stopping them. I will always default to my libertarian position of taxpayer and citizen protection.
LW: An issue of increasing interest in the Augusta area is the "Nuisance Ordinance". Do you view this as a means to clean up Augusta or as an assault on personal property rights? Is there a balance to be found?

TBryant: I have spoken to Butch Palmer and Lori Davis in the beginning about the CNPO, advising them that the constitutionality may be in question, and was ignored mostly. I was not surprised that it was struck down. I don't think what they are asking is out of the question and is tantamount to proper landlord responsibility. I think a licensing agreement per residence with the city would be a proper compromise.

LW: How would you implement a transparent and responsible government?

TBryant: The short answer, I'm a blabbermouth! Unfortunately, I am only one vote on a panel of ten. Citizen involvement is also key. I would like to start a "parent union" to try to get parents involved. Think of a system wide PTA, with parents from all different schools getting together sharing ideas and solutions. I cannot do this alone!

LW: JOBS is Job One, I think you would agree. What are your plans and mostly importantly what would be your time table to accomplish?

TBryant: Vocational training is the way to go with getting more industry into the CSRA. This has worked in Greenville, SC and my hometown of North Charleston, SC. An aircraft plant broke ground there bringing 6,000 jobs with it. We have the cheap real estate and a willing local government. We are missing a tax break structure and skilled employees. I can help with one out of two.

Augusta gets most of it's jobs from the taxpayers. We, as libertarians, know this is a perfect example of Bastiat's "Broken Window Fallacy." Private organizations have to start setting up shop or we are in trouble.

LW: So there you have it Georgia. 19 days, what are you going to do?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oath Keeper Member Targeted: Child Taken From Home

So now our associations will be used against us and as an excuse to charge a family with child abuse.

There may have been other reasons for child services to remove the child from the home, but to list his membership in Oath-Keepers and being a gun owner as part of the reason is condemning to all of us.

How many associations or membership do you have or take part in right now that some government bureaucrat might find offensive? Careful, you could lose your children!

What if you are not an actual member, but just post on the forum!

Think about it. This is too far.

There is a rally planned, see site for details.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What does a Civilian Security Force have to do with Health Care?

This ticks me off big time. The force is supposedly to assist during times of emergency? Again, I ask, what does this have to do with health care? How does it help cover people with insurance? If this "emergency" is health based, isn't that what the CDC and each states Reserves are for, in addition to other duties? And this group is answerable to ..... Obama?

Before we get TOO far along the high blood pressure hill, this is supposedly for the student loan repayment program. Finally found a copy of the bill and it's in this section: a lot of boring reading there.