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Ron Paul for President 2012 - Pittsburgh Message Board › Harrisburg 10th Amendment Rally Report

Harrisburg 10th Amendment Rally Report

Gary D
garyden
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 434
On Monday, March 16, the Main Rotunda of the Capitol Harrisburg was host to a “State of Independence” rally organized by Pennsylvania State Representative Sam Rohrer (R-128) in support of his PA House Resolution, H.R. 95, reaffirming the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's sovereignty over the federal government under the authority of the U.S. Constitution's 10th Amendment, which reads: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Rep. Rohrer's resolution and its PA Senate complement, S. 51, introduced by Senator Mike Folmer (R-48), are part of a nationwide movement to resist the ever-encroaching power of the federal government over the sovereign authority of state governments. It scolds federal lawmakers for overstepping their constitutional limits on authority and urges them to “cease and desist” with any future federal mandates or funding enticements that are inconsistent with their powers as enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

The rotunda was packed with participants, the vast majority of which were Campaign For Liberty members from all corners of the commonwealth (10 from the Pittsburgh area) who made sure that everyone who was not a member became aware of C4L and was given a flier on HR1207 and the main C4L handout. Standing with Rep.Rohrer were co-sponsors of HR 95, Reps.Matt Gabler (R-75), Todd Rock (R-90), Jim Cox (R-129), Rob Kauffman (R-89), Will Tallman (R-193), Gordon Denlinger (R-99), Mike Fleck (R-81), Brad Roae (R-6), and Daryl Metcalfe (R-12). Also present were Sen. Folmer and S. 51 co-sponsors Sens. Jane Orie (R-40), Richard Alloway, II (R-33), and Kim Ward (R-39) as was Mr. Rohrer's good friend Oklahoma State Senator Randy Brogdon, who had introduced a similar measure in the Oklahoma Legislature.

When Rep.Rohrer opened the event by welcoming members of the press, fellow lawmakers, and citizen participants, the crowd immediately responded with at least 30 seconds of cheering and hootin' and hollerin' its approval, and chants of "10th". The lawmakers were clearly pleased, and some seemed at least a bit surprised, by the level of support and enthusiasm thus displayed. Similar displays occurred frequently throughout the approx. 45 minutes of the proceedings.

Mr. Rohrer stated that “the quiet consolidation of power by the federal government is a threat to all citizens, because too much power in too few hands ends in tyranny" and “the days of federal politicians taking credit for bold initiatives while silently shifting the costs to state treasuries must come to an end.” He took issue with federal funding schemes that “bribe” state lawmakers by encouraging them to expand government programs in exchange for increased federal funding. "Basically, you have a taxpayer in Pennsylvania who sends their tax dollar to Washington, D.C., and the federal government uses that tax dollar to bribe state lawmakers to expand a program in their state that otherwise would be too costly to operate," he said. Rohrer also took issue with those governors and legislative leaders who become "willing partners" in these schemes by accepting the funding. As a result of having "taken advantage of" these incentives to spend instead of exercising fiscal discipline, many states are now overspent and facing budgetary problems. Additionally, these public officials have violated the constitutional rights of their citizens and have violated their oaths of office.

For the 2008-09 fiscal year that will end in June, the federal government provided approximately $18.6 billion in funding to Pennsylvania’s state government. That money does not include any additional funding that may be forthcoming under the recently enacted federal “stimulus” plan. Every dollar in federal funding has some form of restrictions – or “strings attached” – that limits that state’s freedom to spend it in the areas deemed most appropriate by state lawmakers.“We have federal lawmakers in Washington, D.C., telling Pennsylvania what its priorities ought to be,” Rohrer said. “That means you have federal lawmakers from San Francisco and New York City setting priorities for Pennsylvania. That shouldn’t be happening.”

In addition to the funding issue, Rohrer pointed to other policies enacted by the federal government, which he argued go beyond its authority as outlined in the U. S. Constitution, specifically:

• A federal law (Real ID) requiring states to create new, intrusive personal identification cards. (This is also one of those unfunded mandates, meaning the state of Pennsylvania is required to fund it's implementation despite the fact that it's a federal law. Thus far, the pricetag is $45.5 million!)

• The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, which pressures states and local school districts to conform to federally mandated education policies.

• Federal programs and regulations that intervene in the private health care market and place undue restrictions and burdens on doctors and patients.

“As time goes on, the federal government has become more involved in areas where it has no constitutional authority to do so,” Rohrer said. “We’re at a breaking point. If states don’t start to push back and hold federal politicians accountable under the Constitution, we could very easily lose the republic that our Founding Fathers fought so hard to create.”

Next to speak was Oklahoma Sen. Randy Brogdon, whose states rights resolution in the OK legislature has drawn national attention. He further encouraged Pennsylvanians to take this stand and assured us of his support. Then Sen. Folmer spoke, followed by a recorded message from New Hampshire Rep. Dan Itse, a supporter of NH House Concurrent Resolution 6 calling for states’ rights “based on Jeffersonian principles.”

Dr. Paul Gottfried, author, educator, and adjunct professor of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a right libertarian organization engaged in research and scholarship in the fields of economy, philosophy and political economy spoke next. Following him were recorded messages from South Carolina Rep. Michael Pitts who led the movement for the introduction of H. 3509, a concurrent resolution that reaffirms SC's belief in states’ rights, and Arizona Rep. Judy Burgis who noted that no less than 34 states had now submitted or were considering 10th Amendment resolutions. She also tied the movement into the battle to secure our southern border.

Next appeared Mr. Kim Stolfer, head of Firearms Owners Against Crime, who made the case for H.R. 95 from a Second Amendment perspective. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12) quoted Thomas Jefferson, reminding us about the two enemies of the people: criminals and government. He noted that to keep the latter from becoming an officially sanctioned form of the former, it was necessary, as Jefferson said, to bind the government with the chains of the Constitution.

Gary D
garyden
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 435
Lastly, Rep. Rohrer made some closing remarks. Among them, he demanded that Congress cease and desist offering to the states what is not theirs to offer and stated that governors and legislators must refuse to accept bailouts and pork. He also noted that he believed the people were finally beginning to awake in our Republic.

Before dismissing the people assembled, he encouraged everyone to fill out petitions available in the rotunda and personally deliver them to their representative’s and senator’s offices to encourage them to support the resolution. By the end of the day, it appeared that an overwhelming number of attendees had made the time to do so.

Complete list of H.R. 95 co-sponsors as of March 23, 2009:
Reps. ROHRER, COX, DENLINGER, FLECK, GABLER, KAUFFMAN, METCALFE, ROAE, ROCK, TALLMAN, LISA BAKER (R-20), STEVEN BARRAR (R-160), JOHN BEAR (R-97), KERRY BENNINGHOFF (R-171), SCOTT BOYD (R-43), MICHELE BROOKS (R-17), PAUL CLYMER (R-145), TOM CREIGHTON (R-37), BRYAN CUTLER (R-100), BRIAN ELLIS (R-11), WILL GABIG (R-199), RICHARD GEIST (R-79), JARET GIBBONS (D-10), MAUREE GINGRICH (R-101), NEAL GOODMAN (D-123), GLEN GRELL (R-87), SETH GROVE (R-196), ADAM HARRIS (R-82), SCOTT HUTCHINSON (R-64), RON MARSICO (R-105), CARL METZGAR (R-69), NICHOLAS MICOZZIE (R-163), RON MILLER (R-93), DAN MOUL (R-91), MARK MUSTIO (R-44), DONNA OBERLANDER (R-63), JOHN PAYNE (R-106), SCOTT PERRY (R-92), MERLE PHILLIPS (R-108), JEFFREY PYLE (R-60), THOMAS QUIGLEY (R-146), KATHY RAPP (R-65), MIKE REESE (R-59), DOUGLAS REICHLEY (R-134), STAN SAYLOR (R-94), CURT SCHRODER (R-155), CURTIS SONNEY (R-4), JERRY STERN (R-80), RICHARD STEVENSON (R-8), ROSEMARIE SWANGER (R-102), KATIE TRUE (R-41) AND MIKE TURZAI (R-28)

Complete list of S. 51 co-sponsors as of March 19, 2009:
Sens. FOLMER, ORIE, ALLOWAY, WARD, MICHAEL BRUBAKER (R-36), EDWIN ERICKSON (R-26), JEFFREY PICCOLA (R-15), MICHAEL STACK (D-5), JANE EARLL (R-49), ROBERT ROBBINS (R-50) AND ROBERT WONDERLING (R-24)

*The following is an update and a "thank you" from Rep Rohrer, 4/2/09:


*Dear Friends of Liberty,

It’s now been over two weeks since our 10th Amendment – “State of Independence”- rally in the State Capitol. I still recall the excitement of everyone who attended. This had to be one of the best rallies I remember in the State Capitol. In fact, nearly everyone with whom I have spoken, including members of the Press commented on the deep level of passion and fervor exhibited by everyone who was there. Like all gatherings, the estimates of attendance vary from a few hundred to 800. I think we realistically had about 650. That is a great number.

I wish to thank everyone who adjusted your schedules and attended. We had men and women who came from all sides of the Commonwealth. Some of you even brought your children. What a great way to teach civics and to live history.
As to the next steps, our resolution has now been officially introduced in the House (HR 95). It was assigned this past week to the State Government Committee. We must now try to get this resolution out of committee and to the floor. If any of you have a relationship with Rep. Babette Josephs (D) Philadelphia, feel free to urge her to bring the resolution up for a vote. Even though Rep. Josephs is known as one of the most liberal members of the House, she did work closely with me last term in our effort to reject REAL ID. Constitutional violations of personal freedoms is an issue of concern to most people regardless of party affiliation and this issue of the 10th Amendment must be viewed as the best way to protect our freedoms from increasing efforts by the federal government to compromise those freedoms.

Beyond needing to move HR 95 from committee to the floor of the House, I believe much more needs to be done here in Pa and across the nation. Remember, even if the 10th Amendment Resolutions were passed in every state, they have no force of law. Ultimately, the force of Law is the people. People, in whom individual unalienable rights are granted, must exercise their rights according to the provisions of the Constitution which is the Contract of Freedom between the People and Government. The struggle in which we are now involved is the reclaiming of what has been incrementally given up over the last decades and is now being taken from us by out of control people within the federal government – and at lightening speed. We do not seek to create some new law or to amend some existing law. Our need is to understand what freedom and liberty is all about and then to renew our commitment to the Rule of Law embodied within our Constitution.

However, forcing a discussion of issues of freedom by focusing on the 10th Amendment accomplishes two critical things: 1) it provides the opportunity from which to educate the public, the Press, and elected leaders; 2) it creates the opportunity for legitimate and measurable accountability to every Members of the Legislature and the Governor by connecting votes and decisions to the lawful obligation to uphold their Constitutional oath.

The actual next steps I believe will require definitive action taken by Members of the Legislature- and the
People.
For the moment, I would encourage each of you to attend and support the various efforts underway that support the foundational elements of the 10th Amendment efforts. There are “Tea Parties” being scheduled across the state and nation. (I will be speaking at the one in Harrisburg on the front steps of the Capitol on April 15.) There is a 2nd Amendment Rally at the State Capitol on April 21st. Be aware of Glenn Beck’s efforts he has entitled the 9-12 Project. Meet with your neighbors to discuss common concerns and how you can work together to keep each other informed on the changes coming our way. Above all, be alert. Be alert to the news. Be alert to international happenings. Be alert to the needs of your family, friends and neighbors and prepare so that you can help meet those needs. Be alert to the dramatic changes coming out of Washington on a nearly daily basis and how they may affect our freedoms. In other words, we must do just what our Founders did and what every person throughout the history of this world has done when confronted with attacks on their freedoms, Kneel down, Plead for God’s wisdom and assistance, and then Stand up.

In the next updates, I will provide further comment as to the unfolding Washington subversion, and our daunting challenges and looming battles in Harrisburg and more specifically what we can do.

For the Cause of Liberty,
State Representative Sam Rohrer
District 128 – Berks County *

This page provides links to the rally video, press release, the history behind the 10th Amendment Resolution, a pdf file of H.R. 95, a bio of Sen. Brogdon, and a pdf file of the petition.

Gary D
garyden
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 436
**H.R. 95 was sent to the HOUSE STATE GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE on March 23rd. S. 51 was sent to the SENATE STATE GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE on March 19. Please focus on lobbying these committees' members (excluding Sen. Folmer, S. 51's primary sponsor) to bring the resolutions up for a vote to move them out of committee and onto the House and Senate floors for debate**

**Also, please continue to strongly urge your representative and senator to sign on as co-sponsors of the resolutions. They may sign on at any point in the resolutions' progress throughout the legislative process. If they already have, thank them and urge their continued support for the resolutions as long as their language is not weakened. Call, email, fax, send them copies of the petition**

*Thanks to Michael Harrison, Luzerne County C4L Meetup, and Robert Pope, C4L Precinct Leader, for providing some of this information

--Gary D

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