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.

###

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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We were railroaded.

Indiana Election Board CAUSE NUMBER: 2018-12 was dismissed on the grounds that Connie Lawson’s appointed term of office as Secretary of State was pro tempore.

But the state and anyone who follows such things would know that’s not true at all.

Because there was an actual pro tempore appointment before Connie Lawson.

Jerold A. Bonnet

While Wikipedia is not a final authority on such matters, this is a good summary of the case: “A lawyer by profession, Bonnet was the deputy Secretary when his superior Charlie White lost his position after being convicted of voter fraud, leading Governor Mitch Daniels on February 4, 2012, to appoint Bonnet until a permanent successor could be chosen. Holding the office for an uneventful term of over a month, Bonnet was succeeded by Connie Lawson on March 16. Currently, Bonnet serves as the chief legal counsel in Lawson’s administration.”

Note the wording, “…appoint Bonnet until,” and “until a permanent successor could be chosen.”  That is how pro tempore works.

tenorOf course Lawson’s defenders also cited case law to weaponize their attack on The People, constitutional rule of law, decency, truth, honor and all that’s good and wholesome.  But as I’m sure YOU know, case law cannot be law!

Now, as an ordinary citizen who doesn’t have the mean$ to fight this, and without any apparent public interest in the matter, I am forced to just walk away from this example of ungoverned government.

But for anyone paying attention, you’ve been railroaded too.

It’s up to US to drain the swamp!

If there are flaws in our state and federal constitutions, they are these:

  1. There are no specified remedies for violating them. Our founders assumed we’d know (i.e., nullification, impeachment, and …quit reelecting them!), but we clearly do not know!  Not surprising, after a couple hundred years of politicians’ lies.

  2. Seemingly equivocal prohibitions against the “whispering down the lane” or “telephone game” judicial/ legislative/bureaucratic corruption of our constitutions by incrementally perverted interpretation.  While the constitutions do clearly say what they say, it’s obvious that with every new case, every new law, every legal argument, there are new divergences from core principles and fundamental laws.  It’s gotten so bad through the past century that instead of consulting the actual words of our constitutions, we now consider previous court decrees as the authoritative law.

So now, politicians assert in court and in practice, that whatever’s not specifically prohibited from politicians, is within their authority.BWLadyLib

That is of course opposite of the whole point of constitutions.

Constitutions are to restrain politicians, not citizens.

Despots have for millennia gained power without elections, and made their own rules as they wished.  The USA was supposed to be better than that.

hand-coming-up-from-the-swamp-554x350

Instead, we’re drowning in corruption.  It’s been too long since there’s been any organized attempt to legitimize and govern our government by the actual words of our federal and state constitutions.

So, about now, the Indiana Election Division should receive the CAN-I candidate filing challenge I signed on July 10.

Besides the fact that it’s an obvious trick to appoint a GOP-insider/swamp incumbent for the next SOS race, there’s a legal problem with the candidacy of incumbent Secretary of State Connie Lawson.  Please note, it has nothing to do with her, personally, and everything to do with corruption of our constitutional Rule of Law:

Article 6, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution specifies that, “There shall be elected, by the voters of the state, a Secretary, an Auditor and a Treasurer of State, who shall, severally, hold their offices for four 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 eight years in any period of twelve years.” – (As Amended November 3, 1970)

Now, legislators can and do make mistakes.  Frequently.  The word “either” is, for example, a mistake.  But please note these key words and phrases:

“There shall be elected… who shallhold their offices for four years.”

“…and no person shall be eligible to …said offices, more than eight years in any period of twelve years.”

“Shall” is a strong imperative.  It is not “may hold” or “can, if the law doesn’t prohibit it, hold.”

No, it’s SHALL, as if written in stone tablets.

The word “shall” is in all the key places of “elected,” “hold,” “perform,” and “eligible.”

So, very clearly by the letter and intent of this constitutional term limit, no person shall be eligible for election to a public role they are constitutionally forbidden from performing as mandated in the letter and intent of the law.

The state will of course claim that Lawson’s first term was pro tempore; and that it therefore doesn’t count as a term of office.  But Jerry Bonnet was the actual pro tempore SOS.  Lawson was a full replacement for the ousted Charlie White.  So, no…there is no constitutional excuse for this.

Incumbent Secretary of State Connie Lawson is constitutionally forbidden from performing the specified role in the terms clearly specified in the constitution.

She is an ineligible candidate.  And the GOP is using her situation to hoodwink us.

Again.

I say no.  I’m throwing a flag on this play.

FlagOnThePlay

Wanted: A Lawyer to Save the Law

George Washington, among others, warned us about political parties. Andrew Jackson waged war on the “den of vipers” central bankers. Woodrow Wilson described the “worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world.” Dwight Eisenhower revealed a “military industrial complex.”

Even today’s politicians scold us about political corruption. Yet here we are with a government that’s embarrassingly, destructively, violently corrupt. It’s danged peculiar we all talk like we know it and then vote as if we don’t.

So I propose we make some changes. I intend to directly attack the monopolistic cartel we call the Two-Party System — a system based upon special deals for special people, and those special people have built amazing defenses against us regular folks.

To make those changes I will need help. For despite the Indiana Constitution’s clear mandate in Article I Section 12 that “Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase;” or the First Amendments’ unequivocal right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, our taxes do not pay for justice.

Sure, they pay for courts, lawyers and judges and such, not to mention professional sports, abortions in China, investments by Puerto Ricans and studying the gambling habits of monkeys. But your day in court? You pay through the nose for that.

For example, you’re not allowed to represent yourself in certain kinds of cases, one being a class-action suit that I’d like to press. And lawyers who would take such a case cost more money than any 100 of us 99 percenters could ever afford. That’s firewall #1 of “the system.”

Therefore, I can only bring suit on behalf of myself.  Since nobody will tell you how to do that mysterious, legalistic, intentionally difficult thing, and since I’m no lawyer (we shouldn’t need them in almost all cases!), I’m only guessing how to do this.  Here is my first draft: https://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/andys-complaint.pdf

And because there are special Latinate incantations for everything, including representing yourself, I will be precariously pro se. That still costs a lot of money, of course, and if I don’t fill out my forms correctly, or if I misspell Suvoir Dire, my case could be, ab irato, “dismissed with prejudice,” res judicata, with “collateral estoppel,” and absolutum dominium ad infinitum. I’d never even see the courtroom. That’s firewall #2.

And to whom would I be making this appeal? People who make their living off of all the division and discord created by corruption; people who are elite members of the private clubs we call the Democratic and Republican parties; people who have no desire to see me win my case and every reason to make me lose it. That’s firewall #3.

Finally, even the best, most fair-minded judges would understand that I’m seeking a huge structural, systematic change to our society and would be fearful of repercussions from making a correct, constitutional, fair judgment. What I’m asking, you see, would fundamentally change the way the United States works. That is firewall #4 (with an alligator-infested moat).

If I would make it to court, after breaching the various obstacles of legal discovery and more paperwork, it could end up costing me even more should the judge invoke lex talionis and make me pay all legal fees plus any pain and suffering I might cause the rich and mighty.

So, again, I could use some help. There are lawyers who are interested in true justice and hate corruption. There are people who have successfully fought “the system.” There are those who could support this project in innumerable ways. If you are one of them, please contact me here.