Oregon Hostage Taking- The Welfare State

Who’s Holding Whom Hostage?

| Feb 25, 2012 | 0 comments

GOVERNOR AND FELLOW DEMOCRATS STONEWALL REPUBLICANS’ JOBS INITIATIVE –

The Oregonian editorial board continues to pound away at Republican legislators and particularly House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna.  On Wednesday of this week the editorial board railed against Republican failure to rush through education and health care reforms pushed by the Governor.  Today the editorial board expresses astonishment and outrage that Republicans are demanding action on their jobs package in return for action on the Governor’s health care and education initiatives. “Even in politics, friends don’t take friends hostage,” they write.

oregon governor john kitzhaber 2012

Photo: Associated Press

OK.  Fair enough.  But who is holding whom hostage?  On Thursday the Governor “invited” business leaders to a press conference at which he plead for quick action by the legislature on health care and education.  Are those folks going to stiff the Governor?  Of course not.  They understand that they have to get along with the guy who happens to hold the office.  But let’s hope those who agreed to serve as props for the Governor’s show and tell have also picked up the phone and let the Governor know privately that there needs to be action on the jobs package as well.

The Oregonian describes GOP leaders as having “crashed Kitzhaber’s news conference.”  So were not all business leaders invited?   Bruce Hanna, Kevin Cameron and Tim Freeman are all successful businessmen and business leaders.  Dennis Richardson is a successful lawyer who represents businesses.  And these are business people who not only show up when the Governor calls a news conference or when they are looking for something from government, but also impose significant costs on their businesses by volunteering to serve in the Oregon Legislature.  Of course, they are all from outside the Portland-Salem-Eugene power center, so perhaps that explains why they weren’t invited.

And the fact that these individuals and most other Republicans represent rural and small town Oregon gets to the heart of the apparent stalemate in Salem.  The Oregonian expresses sympathy with Republican job initiatives, but says “it’s wrong and dangerous to pretend that this kind of legislation is of equal importance to creating a new accountability system for schools, or reforming an early childhood education system that every year leaves an estimated 18,000 Oregon kids unprepared to learn when they show up to kindergarten.”

Maybe it’s wrong if you live in the Valley and can’t see past the Cascades or the Coast Range.  But if you live in eastern or central or southern or coastal Oregon, a dozen jobs here and a hundred jobs there make an enormous difference to the future prospects of your community.  Although many urban Oregonians have persuaded themselves that rural Oregon can survive on tourism and the “new green economy,” the reality is that we live in a resource rich state and if we refuse to responsibly develop and use those resources we condemn many Oregon communities and Oregonians to continuing economic decline.

The effects of that decline are not confined to rural Oregon.  They slowly, but steadily, trickle over the mountains and into Salem.  Did anyone notice that the state economist’s revenue projections are consistently wrong on the high side?  That’s a sad commentary on the sorry condition of the economy of the entire state.

Rather than condemn Republicans for holding hostage the Governor’s health care and education reforms, The Oregonian might more reasonably have asked why the Governor and his fellow Democrats are holding the Republican jobs initiatives hostage.  Of course health care costs and education are important to the future of business in this state.  But so too are jobs in the near term which will result from making greater use of the resources of the state.  Oregon could be a national model for responsible development of state controlled resources – if only the Governor and Democrats were willing.

If the jobs package is of such limited importance relative to the health care and education reforms, why don’t Democrats happily accept them.  According to The Oregonian they would be getting a lot in return for giving up very little.  Though one has to wonder what it is they think they would be giving up by encouraging a little job growth.

So who’s holding whom hostage?

@COPYRIGHT Northwest Free Press 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Take Action: Support Local Job Creation

Let LOCAL Oregon comunities regain control over land use decisions – the State has destroyed jobs by dictating that local communities follow the narrow interests of Salem lobbyists!  Local communities deserve a chance to control their destiny.

I just took action on an issue that I consider very important. Please join me in this cause and help strengthen job creation and housing affordability in Oregon by supporting regional flexibility in our land use system.

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Obama “Jobs Bill” ends State sovereignty-creates defacto centralized dictatorship

Section 376 of Obama’s tax and spend “jobs” bill ends state sovereignty, turns our Republic into a dictatorship and destroys the foundation upon which our country was built. The fundamental transformation of America is almost complete.

 

When state receives ANY money from federal government, State is compelled to waive any and all sovereign immunity under 11th Ammendment.  Imagine how attorneys will use this perversion to bring immediate lawsuits on behalf of leftist’s who realize the ease of extracting money from taxpayers in any state.  Why would a “jobs bill” require immunity from an existing provision in our constitution, unless a plan was in place to use it to attack our free enterprise system from within, and to give massive central government complete control over all manner of activities within state borders? 

 

Read the bill. (Emphasis added)

“SEC. 376. FEDERAL AND STATE IMMUNITY.

(a) Abrogation of State Immunity- A State shall not be immune under the 11th Amendment to the Constitution from a suit brought in a Federal court of competent jurisdiction for a violation of this Act.

(b) Waiver of State Immunity-

(1) IN GENERAL-

(A) WAIVER- A State’s receipt or use of Federal financial assistance for any program or activity of a State shall constitute a waiver of sovereign immunity, under the 11th Amendment to the Constitution or otherwise, to a suit brought by an employee or applicant for employment of that program or activity under this Act for a remedy authorized under Section 375(c) of this Act.

(B) DEFINITION- In this paragraphthe term `program or activity’ has the meaning given the term in section 606 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d-4a).”

Here is the link to 42 USC 2000d-4a which defines “program or activity”:

“For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “program or activity” and the term “program” mean all of the operations of

(1)
(A) a department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or of a local government; or

(B) the entity of such State or local government that distributes such assistance and each such department or agency (and each other State or local government entity) to which the assistance is extended, in the case of assistance to a State or local government;”

Also…

any part of which is extended Federal financial assistance.”

The above is stated as an extension of the actual citation of the general section itself.

More from Section 376 (emphasis added):

“(2) EFFECTIVE DATE- With respect to a particular program or activity, paragraph (1) applies to conduct occurring on or after the dayafter the date of enactment of this Acton which a State first receives or uses Federal financial assistance for that program or activity.”

 

Relevant background: 

 

State sovereign immunity

In Hans v. Louisiana (1890), the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Eleventh Amendment (1795) re-affirms that states possess sovereign immunity and are therefore generally immune from being sued in federal court without their consent. In later cases, the Supreme Court has strengthened state sovereign immunity considerably. In Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak (1991), the court explained that

we have understood the Eleventh Amendment to stand not so much for what it says, but for the presupposition of our constitutional structure which it confirms: that the States entered the federal system with their sovereignty intact; that the judicial authority in Article III is limited by this sovereignty, and that a State will therefore not be subject to suit in federal court unless it has consented to suit, either expressly or in the “plan of the convention.” [Citations omitted.]

In Alden v. Maine (1999), the Court explained that while it has

sometimes referred to the States’ immunity from suit as “Eleventh Amendment immunity[,]” [that] phrase is [a] convenient shorthand but something of a misnomer, [because] the sovereign immunity of the States neither derives from nor is limited by the terms of the Eleventh Amendment. Rather, as the Constitution’s structure, and its history, and the authoritative interpretations by this Court make clear, the States’ immunity from suit is a fundamental aspect of the sovereignty which the States enjoyed before the ratification of the Constitution, and which they retain today (either literally or by virtue of their admission into the Union upon an equal footing with the other States) except as altered by the plan of the Convention or certain constitutional Amendments.

Writing for the court in Alden, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that in view of this, and given the limited nature of congressional power delegated by the original unamended Constitution, the court could not “conclude that the specific Article I powers delegated to Congress necessarily include, by virtue of the Necessary and Proper Clause or otherwise, the incidental authority to subject the States to private suits as a means of achieving objectives otherwise within the scope of the enumerated powers.”

However, a “consequence of [the] Court’s recognition of pre-ratification sovereignty as the source of immunity from suit is that only States and arms of the State possess immunity from suits authorized by federal law.” Northern Insurance Company of New York v. Chatham County (2006 emphases added). Thus, cities and municipalities lack sovereign immunity, Jinks v. Richland County (2003), and counties are not generally considered to have sovereign immunity, even when they “exercise a ‘slice of state power.'” Lake Country Estates, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (1979).