Liberty Blog

The 17th Amendment, Again?

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on September 2, 2010

In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, in 1787, James Madison wrote, “The Senate will represent the Staes in their political capacity, the other House will represent the people of the States in their individual capacity”. This is why the Congress in 1913 should have kept their hands off the Constitution. Not only did they give us the Federal Reserve, and the 16th Amendment, but they gave us the 17th Amendmemt too. That is what makes the Madison quote above so important.

We, the people, already have representation in Congress. That is why we have the House of Representatives, to represent the people. That’s why bigger states have more congressman. Representation is based on population because the House is where the people are represented. The Senate has equal representation because that is where the States are represented and States deserve an equal voice (though I guess some would disagree!).

The U.S. Senate was never intended to he a “mini-House of Representatives”. There is a reason the State legislatures were to appoint Senators. The Founders even had the idea that Senators would be well respected citizens with different business backrounds and areas of expertise. Why was the progressive Congress of 1913 so hell bent on undoing everything that had worked so well for so long?

Just think about some of the ways the 17th Amendment has affected us during the Obama years. Try to picture if our Senators had been appointed by our State Legislature and subject to recall by them when the healthcare bill was being debated. I think there is a good chance that Obamacare never passes the Senate. Think back to the Patriot Act or Real ID. I think there is a good chance a lot of legislation never passes in a world where the Senate is appointed by the States.

I also wonder, do the States not deserve a voice in the Federal Government? So much of the legislation that is passed in Washington dumps unfunded mandates on State governments. Should they not have a seat at the table? Perhaps most important, who is looking out for the rights of the States?

These are not inconsequential questions. The Founders knew that the States needed a voice in the Federal government. It just makes sense, especially if you have just fought a war against a tyrannical government. The Founders knew that the Federal government would try to overstep it’s bounds at times. They knew that the Federal government would try to usurp the powers left to the States. When this happened, however, there would be the U.S. Senate, the representatives of the State government,and they would step in and save the day.

You can see then why the Federal government would want to push for an elected Senate. If Washington is going to take over every aspect of American life we can’t have the Senate, with the power to filibuster, run by people who are looking to their State capitol. They pushed for an elected Senate using the same rhetoric we hear from the modern left about “democracy”. The Founders hated democracy. They knew that democracy was all about who can collect the biggest mob. They chose a Constitutional Republic as the form of government for their new nation because they didn’t want the rights of individuals and States to be subject to the whim of popular opinion.

Thanks to the Congress of 1913 and the 17th Amendment our Constitutional Republic took a giant leap towards a democracy. They removed one of the Constitutional roadblocks the Federal government had to go through to step on the rights of the States. They also removed the final hurdle to the people being able to vote themselves money from the Treasury.

The 17th Amendment and it’s repeal need to become a bigger issue if we really want to balance the budget and get control of spending. The way a lot of people use the FairTax as a litmus test when voting, we need the same kind of movement to repeal the 17th. If we really want to stop the Federal government from growing and violating the 10th Amendment we must give the States their voice back.


…And The Band Played On

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on June 1, 2010

I was misquoted in the Sentinel this week and it has lead to a situation in which I am forced to call bullshit. I don’t really blame the reporter that rearranged my words, he is usually pretty good, no, this is about a blog that was written by somebody who is very, very wrong.

The article in which I was misquoted was about the 2010 U.S. Senate race here in Florida. I was asked about Marco Rubio and if he would start moving away the Tea Party and towards the middle for his general election campaign so he could court the independants. I responded that there are many Tea Party people who already feel, or have always felt, that Rubio is one of “them” not one of “us”.

I’m not going to go into the reasons why Marco Rubio is not as “tea party” as the media seems to think he is. I also don’t think Marco Rubio is a terrible choice for Senate. I think he is better than most, but, why not sign the 10th Amendment pledge? Why not sign the Contract From America? Not to mention his political squishiness on the Arizona immigration law. Why has Rubio refused to be vetted by all of the Tea Party groups that are asking to vet him? While he may be better than most, I don’t think he represents the Tea Party values as much as the Libertarian Senate candidate Alexander Snitker.

Alex Snitker is a very smart guy, he is a true fiscal conservative, and he has solutions to problems. Alex has been coming to tea parties from the begining and he understands and he really thinks the way we do. If you live in Florida I hope you will check out his website and learn about him and his stances on the issues. In a four-way race Alex also has a very good chance to win this election, if we in the Tea Party movement have the intestinal fortitude to stand on our principles.

The reporter asked me what happens if Snitker loses, how does this impact the race, to which I replied that I think it would sink Rubio because Sniker would take more votes away from him than the other two. The reporter quoted me as saying, “Alex can’t win, but he can sink Rubio”.

Then a blog was written asking why I would vote for someone I don’t believe could win the election. As I wrote above, I never said Alex can’t win; quite the contrary, I believe he can win. Even if I thought he had no chance, I would still vote for Alex for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, Alex is a friend of mine. What kind of friend would not support a friend who is running for office? How shallow of a person would you have to be to turn your back on a friend?
Secondly, we have said on our radio show that more regular people need to run for office and replace the career politicians. As Hoyt always says, “Its the ultimate ‘what are you going to do about it'”. How can we lay down that challenge to people and not be supportive of them if they have the right core values? Running a grassroots campaign is extremely challenging and requires a massive amount of labour from the candidate. If they are a tea partier, share our core values, and would be a good Senator should we not do everything we can to support that person instead of the establishment? We are we challenging people to run grassroots campaigns and fight the establishment, we are telling them that it is the ultimate “what are you going to do about it”, do these people that have responded to our call not deserve our support?

Finally, I always vote my conscience and I think that it is, or should be, one of the core values of the Tea Party movement. We are fed up with career politicians and business as usual. We should be looking to hold the estblishment accountable and the only way to really hold politcians is at the ballot box. If the Republican party thinks that they will get our votes no matter what they will pander to us when they have to and vote the other way in Congress.

This bogger wrote that the time to vote your principles is in the primary not in the general election. In the general election, says the blogger, you should vote with a “strategy” to keep the “bad guys” out of the seat. Is that what the movement has become? We want to keep the democrats out so we vote for and support big government Republicans? We send more Republicans to Washington that will tow the party line and vote for things like TARP and Medicare Part D when the party leadership tells them to? Or do we vote only for candidates that will be true to our core values and lead instead of blindly following party leadership.

I have a lot of faith in the people of the Tea Party movement and I think they will vote for the person that most reflects our core values and vote their conscience. If your conscience tells you that Marco Rubio is the candidate that most reflects your values I think you should vote for Rubio. If, however, you are like me, and believe that Alex Snitker is the person that shares my core values, I hope you will vote your conscience and vote for Alex Snitker.

I could not disagree more with the person that wrote this blog when he says, “…the time to vote your princples in is the primary”. I think it is always time to vote your principles. That is the same line of thinking the career politicains use. The time to stand on principles is while you are campaigning but once you get to Congress you have to “be realistic” and “there is no such thing as a perfect piece of legislation”. They vote with a “strategy”.

Principles are the base for everything else and should be be firm and consistent. Once you compromise them you have no ground on which to stand.

Not All Pols Are Created Equal

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on October 31, 2009

Like a lot of you I used to be really jaded when it comes to politicians. A lot of them seems like they think they are something special and the rest of us are nobodys not worthy of their time or attention. Our congressman, Alan Grayson, is one of the best examples of this. At public events speaks to us with contempt and acts as if we are beneath him. There are politcians like this on both sides of the aisle.
There are, however, some politicians that are down to earth and capable of communicating with us “little people”. State Representative Scott Plakon, who represents district 37 in the Florida House, was a guest on our show a few months back and has been several times since. I am now honored to call him a personal friend.
There are even politicians like Scott Plakon at the federal level. Congressman Steve King of Iowa’s 5th district is one such man. Mr. King was a guest on the show a few weeks back and again today. Jason and I were both very impressed with the way Congressman King spoke to us like a friend not a politcian. After the interview I spoke to Congressman King off the air, he was friendly and easy to speak to. You would think that he would hurry me off the phone instead of taking the time to listen to me but he didn’t. He took the time to have an actual conversation and he listened like any friend would.
I think we need to have more Steve Kings and less Alan Graysons; not just based on politics but based on personality. We need more politicians who really listen to people and who really care not just politicians who pretend to listen so they can LOOK like they care. We need to elect politicians like Steve King who have the ability to communicate with regular people because they are regular people. We need to elect politicians who have worked for a living instead of millionaires that buy their seats because they want the power that comes with being a congressman. We also need more politicians who understand that representative is not a title but a job description. We need more politicians who are regular people who care like Steve King and Scott Plakon and less power hungry millionaires like Alan Grayson. It’s up to us to make it happen.

Stand on Principle or Stand Aside

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on September 18, 2009

I have been told by several people in our movement that we are going to have to support Republican candidates in elections because if we support a third party or independant candidate we will split the conservative vote and hand the election to the Democrat. I understand this logic. It may very well be true but should we not vote our principles nonetheless? What about the 8 House Republicans that voted for Cap and Trade? Should we not find another candidate in those races to support? Why would we reward those RINOs for voting against our values and principles?

It may be painful and it may be tough for people to do something they have never done before; this is the only way to really make the changes to the Congress in general and the GOP specificly that are needed to save our country. If we just vote for the R because we don’t want the D to win what reason to they have to vote the way we want them to in the future? How do we hold them accountable when they know we will vote for them because they are the “lesser of two evils”?

I say we stop voting for the lesser of two evils and vote for people with our values and principles regardless of party. We cannot just vote for the R because they are part of the problem. For 6 years they had a majority in Congress and we let them get away with spending a fortune and adding billions to the debt. They doubled the size of the Education Department, they created a whole new entitlement with Medicare part D (prescription drugs) and we sat back and watched as they created a brand new massive department of the government called “Homeland Security”; isn’t the Defence Department for securing the homeland?

We also said nothing while they infringed upon our civil liberties in the name of protecting us. They passed a law creating, for the first time in our history, a national ID card. This was called the Real ID Act of 2005. This national ID card is not only a violation of the 10th Amendment, but it is also a violation of the 4th Amendment. It created a massive government database to secure all kinds of private information about you. The Real ID Act was such a violation of the Constitution that Governors Jindal (LA), Sanford (SC), and Palin (AK) all signed laws saying that their states would not comply with the Real ID Act. So many states followed their lead that the program is dead and will no longer take effect, but we the people hardly noticed.

We also allowed them to pass the Patriot Act, which Judge Napolitano of FOX News says was unconstitutional. Some provisions of the Patriot Act allow the Executive Branch the power to: deem American citizens a terrorist threat and suspend their Constitutional rights! It also allowed the government the power to tap your phone without a warrent and do what they called “sneak and peek” searches of your home,again without a warrent, without ever letting you know they were there. Worst of all is the so called “lonewolf” provision in which the government can investigate you without a warrent, tap your phone calls, see what books you have checked out of the library, read your email, see what websites you have been going to et al, even if you have NO connection to a terrorist group or a foreign government. All Obama needs to do is say that he thinks you are a threat to the homeland and the Justice Department can do all the things mentioned above without any indication that you are indeed a terrorist. Do you think this may happen to some of us in the Tea Party movement?

The Republicans did a lot of bad things when they had control of both houses of Congress. We should not reward them for this. We should vote for Republicans that support our limited government principles and respect the Constitution. If, however, we don’t have a Republican that has our values we should support another candidate in that race that does without regard to their party. We must vote our principles not our party and we mustn’t let anyone tell us that we are “throwing our vote away” by voting for an independant. We are voting our principles, that doesn’t seem like a wasted vote to me.

A Depressing Sight

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on September 10, 2009

We passed by South of the Border a few minutes ago and we stopped to take some pictures. It was like a ghost town. Very depressing. Obama says that we are in a recovery, you wouldn’t know it from looking at South of the Border.

I couldn’t help but think about all the business owners and employees that are struggling through this economy while the president runs around talking about how great the economy is doing. Crazy.

Meanwhile, we are driving thru NC and it is beautiful. Tom T is getting tired but we are almost there. We are having such a great time. We have not seen any other cars heading up to DC, that we could tell anyway. I know that a car from Orlando is about an hour behind us and there are some folks on Twitter that are on I-95.

Kelsey is in the back doing a crossword while Tom and I listen to Rush and chain smoke.

Going Strong in SC

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on September 10, 2009

We crossed into South Carolina a few minutes ago. We are all going strong. Kelsey may be fading a little bit but we are drinking plenty of Mt. Dew and we are so excited to see everyone in DC this weekend. Driving along listening to Glenn Beck.

The weather and traffic have gone in our favor thus far. We have yet to see another car decorated or a bus headed to DC. I hope we bump into some people headed our way. Dave from Orlando is about an hour behind us and we are keeping in touch via SMS. Tom T just got some nasty coffee from a gas station off I-95. He is convinced that they used water from the toilet. It must be pretty bad. Ha ha!!! We have seen a few Piggly Wiggly trucks on the road today. It cracks me up.

We have also seen a lot of cops on the road but thankfully none of them have been looking for rightwing extremists.

More soon!

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Passing thru Jacksonville

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on September 10, 2009

We are 2 hours into our road trip and we just hit the city limits of Jacksonville. We are having a blast! Tom T rocks, I always thought so but we are bonding quite a bit. Tom T is super smart; we are having a great conversation about life, politics and everything that comes up.

This could be the best part of this whole thing; the people I have met in this movement. I am usually the youngest
person around when we are planning tea parties or protests but I have bonded with so many cool people that I have become super close with. I wouldn’t change that for the world. People like Tom T, Linda, Babs and so many others that are too many to name.

We are just passing through downtown Jacksonville. It’s a very nondescript skyline. Not like Orlando Orlando may be a smaller city but our skyline is beautiful in my opinion. The Bank of America building is such a cool building and is a very distinct building.

Enough about Jacksonville for now. Georgia here we come. See you in DC!!!


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The road trip begins

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on September 10, 2009

It is 4:19am and Tom T from ResistNet just picked Kelsey and me up to begin the ride to the 9-12 march in DC. It is going to be a long ride but we are so excited that I don’t
think it will be so bad. We just got on I-4 and we are about to pass downtown Orlando.

I didn’t sleep last night, didn’t even try. I was way too excited. It reminded me of when I was a little kid and it was Christmas Eve and no matter how hard I would try I just couldn’t sleep. It is so nice that conservatives are finally getting active. Who would have thought back on February 27th when we had the first round of Tea Parties nationwide that 7 months later we would be taking over the Capitolfor a day??? This is what is going to make a difference; getting conservatives active and keepingit going till 2010 and 2012 so we can take our country back.

I will be posting short blogs most of the road trip. Please excuse any grammar or spelling errors as I am writing in the car on my phone. Look out DC the extremists are comming!!!!!

Viva la revolucion!

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