A “hearing” without ears

Post mortem on the Pro Tempore hearing

OK, so “hearing” is the wrong word, because they voted to not hear me at all.

I gave them written copies of the 10-point argument below, but they were handed back, saying it would be “inappropriate” for them to read it.  Of course, the State’s attorney did hand me nine-thousand pages of their arguments*…about why I should shut up and go away, as it turned out.

After spending ten minutes going over the rules (including how I’d get ten minutes to make my case) and other niceties of procedure, the State moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that whatever I’d have to say should’ve been said in July, and they’re sure that what I’d say would be the same as what was already said anyway…AndyTriesAgain

…Even though I wasn’t there in July, and it wasn’t the same argument.  And I was there to represent another person’s CAN-1 challenge (Ben Tackitt) who couldn’t make it to this hearing.

You see, the state arranges these meetings at inconvenient times in places with exotically expensive parking for a reason

And so, the State (everyone of authority in the hearing was paid as an administrative judge working as an agent/employee of Connie Lawson with a built-in and unconstitutional conflict of interest…whatta surprise) voted to reject CAUSE NUMBER 2018-124.  They wouldn’t give me even my ten minutes.  Not even two.

Even as they tried to shush me, I asked, “Does this exhaust my administrative remedy?

If they answered no, then I should’ve been allowed to speak.  If they answered yes, then it’d be clear that I’ve got a court case with no administrative remedy (helping me ascend to that diaphanous, magical and nearly unattainable quality of “standing” before the court).

So attorney Brad King told them not to answer me.

I was railroaded.  Again.

I really didn’t expect better.  I mean, how weird would be for the state’s cronies to vote against themselves?

HeroIt’s voters who’re supposed to vote against such corruption and entrenchment of power.  If I’ve done anything at all with my efforts over the decades, I have proven (over and over and over and…) that I can’t fly onto the scene with my ray-gun and save the day, dang it.

I’d like to, of course.  But I can’t.  It takes numbers.

My hope all along was that ordinary folks would hear about this case, and DO SOMETHING about it!

PoliticsMonsterThat’s my hope (not my expectation…but I do hope).

This cause was only one example of the continuous expansion of political powers and reduction of citizen powers and rights by unconstitutional legislation, and evermore-damaging constitutional amendments, which have spawned a culture of political cronyism that foils the purpose of term limits, democratic elections, and constitutional rule of law. 

cropped-youSo I’m posting this for you, in the hopes that you’ll read it, agree that injustice is being done, and tell others about it.

Of course I hope you’ll do even more than that (write letters to the editor, call-in to radio shows, start a lawsuit, organize protest marches, foment revolution…).  But even if telling others is all you do, I’d be delighted, and grateful.

Anyway, here’s pretty much what I would’ve said today, if given the chance; it’s what I tried to hand them on paper at the hearing.  But none of this was heard, or read:

  1. Article I, Section 25 of the Indiana Constitution makes plain that there is no legal state authority except by specific provision in the constitution. Indiana Code does not create authority; all legal authority rests only upon the Indiana Constitution. All officeholders are required by oath of office to uphold this fundamental rule of law.  The state’s case rests entirely upon Indiana Code which contradicts and violates the state constitution.

  2. As of today, there are only two constitutionally clear ways to empower a Secretary of State; election by the voters of the state (Article 6, Section 1), and by gubernatorial appointment (Article 5 Section 18).

  3. Constitutional provisions in Article 5, Section 18 and Article 15, Section 3 ensure that no Indiana office is left vacated, yet make no special or extra-ordinary definition of pro tempore.  The specific constitutional authority to issue writs of election was repealed in 1984 (Article 5, Section 19), making it less constitutionally clear when, how, and by whom, special elections are to be called.  But the definition of pro tempore has always been known to be transitory and provisional.

  4. The original 1851 Article 6, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution mandated: “There shall be elected, by the voters of the State, a Secretary, and Auditor and a Treasurer of State, who shall, severally, hold their offices for two years. They shall perform such duties as may be enjoined by law; and no person shall be eligible to either (sic) of said offices, more than four years in any period of six years.”  The original wording makes evident the erosion of constitutional protections as demonstrated by the doubling of term limits in 1970.  Article 2 Section 11, unchanged from 1851, made more sense in the context of short term limits: “… an appointment pro tempore shall not be reckoned a part of that term.”  Lawson’s first term as SOS was longer than the 1851 full term of elected office, and was over half the entire 1851 term limit.

  5. On February 4, 2012, former Secretary of State Charlie White was removed from office, and Jerold A. Bonnet was made the temporary, interim, pro tempore Secretary of State of Indiana.  This appointment was unquestionably pro tempore because there was a legal challenge to White’s 2010 ballot eligibility, throwing into question how the SOS office would be filled, though by original constitutional design and one judge’s ruling, either Democrat Vop Osili should have confirmed, or been a special election should have been called.

  6. On March 16, 2012, Mitch Daniels named Connie Lawson the new Secretary of State. There was no contingency or compromise to this appointment. Connie Lawson’s unconditional replacement of Charlie White and Jerold Bonnet was not pro tempore by any definition of pro tempore (proxy, locum tenens or conditional officeholder – e.g., the President pro tempore of the Senate, who stands-in for the Lt. Governor’s role as President of the Senate, or Judge Pro Tem who stands in for another judge). Jerold A. Bonnet was unquestionably the only pro tempore Secretary of State.

  7. The intent of the term limitation, even as of 1970, was to limit the power and electoral advantage of incumbency, limit the entrenchment of factions, and inhibit politics as a lifetime career.

  8. The purpose of democratic elections is to both thwart crony entrenchment, and to give equal opportunity for all people, without any special classes of citizen powers, privileges or immunities, an equal chance to serve their society.

  9. Precedent” is not law.  Only legislators can make law.  While this is most plainly stated in the federal constitution, the state constitution follows the same form of separation of powers.  And Article I, Section 25 of the Indiana Constitution does indeed forbid law by precedent, as it is rule-making without constitutional provision, process or authority.

  10. SUMMARY: Connie Lawson’s first term of office was not pro tempore.  And as per arguments previously submitted for Indiana Election Commission CAUSE NUMBER 2018-12, she is not eligible for election to a term of office she cannot lawfully complete.  At best, Lawson’s candidacy strains electoral propriety, and taints the credibility of Indiana’s chief election officer.  But more seriously, to allow this candidacy to go forward presents an abuse of public trust, as well as an egregious violation of Indiana’s governing authority – the Indiana Constitution.

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So, what comes next?

Plan B

Will the GOP get away with this obvious scheme to simply appoint cronies who can then run in the next election with all the advantages of incumbency?  Are they going to kick out Curtis Hill so they can appoint a more insider-friendly replacement?  Is this whole democratic process and term-limits thing kaput?

Well, that’s up to you.

 

 

 

 

*Lawyers like to intimidate people with piles of paper and ink.  In fact it came up in the hearing how much time and money in billable hours were wasted on my futile attempts at justice.

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