Friday, June 03, 2011

Indiana Example

If there was some concern about conflict with the federal government if Tennessee defunds Planned Parenthood, why can't we follow Indiana?:

Are we afraid of federal threats? The State of Indiana is clearly not, as it is prepared to fight the federal government in court in order to de-fund the world's largest abortion provider. Indianapolis has said that it will openly act in defiance of the Obama Administration and enforce the law that it has passed and that Indiana's Republican Governor Mitch Daniels has signed. If conflict with the federal government is the prime concern over the Campfield amendment, that issue won't go away either this year or next, and Indiana is showing the nation that they are ready to take on the challenge. If Governor Haslam uses the line-item veto to negate the altering language and thereby enforce the Campfield amendment, Tennessee will enter the fray immediately. If Republican leaders do not push for a line-item veto now, but then do as promised and pass the de-funding law in full as part of next year's session, the spat with Washington will only be delayed, but will almost certainly come-and in a Presidential election year. We should not be afraid to fight the federal power when Tennessee is fighting for what we know to be right. If the General Assembly intends to defund Planned Parenthood, why delay the inevitable?

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Thursday, June 02, 2011

A Death Blow to States' Rights?

The group "National Popular Vote" wants to undermine States' rights and federalism in our country:

The electoral college is not designed to reflect the national popular vote, but the will of the people within each respective State. The institution is to be found in the federal Constitution, and it does predate the period in which a popular vote was held for the presidency. Since the 1820's, the votes in the electoral college have largely reflected the composition of the popular vote within a particular State, and most States now have laws requiring that their electors cast their votes for the plurality popular winner within their State, or in Nebraska and Maine, within each congressional district, and in most cases when voters cast a vote for President, they are voting for that candidate's slate of electoral college electors.

The electoral college is one of our country's last real vestiges of active and functioning constitutional federalism, the kind of federalism that respects States' rights and local control over national power and Washington influence. Because of this, no respectable conservative who truly believes in federalism would likely consider its effective abolition.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Live Horse

According to one source in the Legislature, we aren't just beating a dead horse:

According to a legislator who contacted The Examiner yesterday on the condition of anonymity, many members of the Tennessee General Assembly have expressed extreme concern over allegations that the wording of amendments to the forthcoming Tennessee budget were altered without their knowledge. "Many members have let leadership know of their anger over this situation," our source said "and some were threatening to demand answers in a more public way, and nearly all who were angry demanded to know who was responsible for making the changes after the wording which would have negated Campfield's amendment was initially removed and then mysteriously re-inserted." Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) sponsored an amendment to the State budget which passed both Houses that was intended to deny Planned Parenthood, the world's largest practitioner of abortion, State funding in the coming fiscal year.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Rule of Law

The affair over the Campfield Amendment is now no longer about State funding to Planned Parenthood, but about the rule of law and whether we hold to that rule in Tennessee:

The reader may say "now Oatney, why are you beating a dead horse, aren't you happy that Speaker Harwell and Lieutenant Governor Ramsey are going to help push permanent legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood next year." While that is truly wonderful news from a conservative perspective, what is at stake now is no longer the issue Planned Parenthood's State funding. If legislation can be changed after it is passed to alter it's legislative intent on any issue, the very rule of law itself is in jeopardy. The system of trust that our legislators rely on, through their colleagues and legislative staff, wherein the intent of our legislative bodies will be trusted to be reflected in the final drafts of amended bills of any kind might be said to have broken down in a very public way. The entire affair surrounding the Campfield amendment raises questions about whether the actions of our General Assembly can be invalidated by a select few based on their own legal opinions, not based on the intent of the Legislature in which they serve.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Brought To You By...

If you enjoy reading my columns every day, thank the men and women who make them possible:

This column is brought to you by the men and women, past and present, of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, Reserves, and Merchant Marine. If you enjoy reading it regularly, thank a few of them for it. If you are a veteran, thank you for your service to all of us.

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