THE STATES MAKING THEIR OWN RULES DOESN’T LOOK SO FAR FETCHED AFTER ALL

sick with feverOn the 17th of October I posted a suggestion by Senator Dick Black, Delegate Mark Berg, MD, and Delegate Bob Marshall (HAVE OUR STATE GOVERNMENTS BECOME WIMPY?). Black, Berg, and Marshall urged Virginia’s governor, Governor Terry McAuliffe, to implement “travel bans similar to those that have been implemented in thirteen African nations which have banned travel from Ebola prevalent areas to their countries.” Unfortunately, McAuliffe ignored them. It appears, however, governors in other states cocked an ear and listened.

Bloomberg reports the following in New York, New Jersey to Quarantine Ebola-Risk Fliers.

New York and New Jersey will quarantine on arrival at the area’s airports anyone who had direct contact with Ebola patients, Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie said.

The stricter rules came shortly after a top U.S. health official said the federal government also was considering tighter measures nationwide that may put anyone returning from Ebola zones into quarantine or under strict monitoring. (continued here)

The New York Times has something similar in Mandatory Ebola quarantines ordered in New York, New Jersey.

New York and New Jersey will automatically quarantine all medical workers returning from Ebola-hit West African countries for 21 days, and the U.S. government is considering the same step after a doctor who treated patients in Guinea came back infected, officials said on Friday.

State health officials will extensively interview all travelers arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

“Increasing the screening process is necessary. I think it reduces the risk to New Yorkers and the residents of New Jersey,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (continued here)

Does that means that anyone who wants to escape being quarantined in New York or New Jersey will come through Virginia instead? I don’t know, but we may wish to ask Governor McAuliffe what he thinks.

HAVE OUR STATE GOVERNMENTS BECOME WIMPY?

sick with feverThese days I am not very excited about politics. I still see the issues as extremely important, but I don’t have any genuine Conservatives running locally that I can support.

I still support the Republican Party, but the Republican Party is not doing anything meaningful. They are just waiting for disgust with President Barack Obama and anyone they can associate with him to win the election for them. It is hard to generate enthusiasm for a political party that is so fearful of standing for and fighting for anything.

To illustrate, let’s consider the following. Here is an email I got from Delegate Bob Marshall on Wednesday.

Marshall, Black and Berg Request Travel Ban from
Ebola Prevalent Areas

Dear Friends,

Yesterday Senator Dick Black, Delegate Mark Berg, MD and I sent a letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe urging him to seek travel bans similar to those that have been implemented in thirteen African nations which have banned travel from Ebola prevalent areas to their countries.

We urged Governor McAuliffe to use the police powers of Virginia to protect our citizens and residents from exposure to Ebola even if it means a timely court challenge against passenger airlines or the federal government if they continue to permit entry into Virginia of passengers flying from Ebola affected areas.  We also asked him to take similar measures to protect our seaports.   We reminded him that similar Government travel restrictions were used to limit Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Please check out the letter and contact Governor Terry McAuliffe to urge him to:

Use your gubernatorial powers to protect me and the other residents of Virginia from exposure to Ebola.  Please take the necessary steps to ban travel from the affected nations to Virginia, both through our airports and through our seaports.

Thank you for your help!

Sincerely,

Delegate Bob Marshall

Three members of our General Assembly wrote and signed a letter.  Just three.

Will our Democrat governor do anything? Probably not.  McAuliffe fights for taxes, special privileges for victim groups, and big spending, but he does not seem much interested in protecting our God-given rights.

What is astonishing is why our leaders have not imposed travel restrictions to protect themselves and their own families? Do they think themselves somehow immune from the plagues that afflict the rest of humanity. It seems that is the case, but we should know better.

I wonder if we live too much in an unreal world. Do we regard real life as something akin to reality TV? I doubt we are so foolish. Nevertheless, we have a tendency to regard death as too distant to touch us.

I remember reading a story about Union soldiers, their first brush with combat during the Civil War. When they came fire, ambushed, they just stood there too startled to move. What was running through their minds? Was it disbelief that someone could actually shoot at them? Only after they got over the shock of seeing the bodies falling around them did the remainder seek cover.

The Union soldiers were young; they had never experienced combat or been under fire. They had not been trained to react appropriately, and they had no time to react. What is our excuse? Contained in a backward region of distant Africa, the Ebola epidemic has been going on for months, growing.

Do we have an irrational sense of invulnerability? What will happen if Ebola starts to spread here? When we realize we too can suffer the same plagues that afflict the rest of humanity, will we panic or will we turn to God? Will we repent for our foolish hubris? How many of us have to die before that happens?

WHY GOVERNOR MCAULIFFE’S “LINE ITEM VETO” IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Because Delegate Rob Bell provides such an excellent explanation of why Governor McAuliffe “line item veto,” I decided to post his email too.

No You Can’t, Governor

Today Governor McAuliffe announced he would line item veto budget provisions that prohibit him from expanding Medicaid.

Here’s why the Governor can’t do what he wants.

Last week, the Assembly passed a budget that put a condition on Medicaid spending: “no general or nongeneral funds shall be appropriated or expended” to expand Medicaid under Obamacare until a vote by the General Assembly.  This condition is what Governor McAuliffe wants to veto.

However, in the Brault case, the Virginia Supreme Court explained that if a budget includes a spending item that comes with a condition, the condition cannot be separately vetoed.  To exercise his line item veto for these conditional budget items, a Governor must veto both the condition and the spending.

This makes sense: for a bill (like the budget) to become law, it is supposed to pass the House and Senate.  If a budget item passed the legislature with restrictions, then it didn’t pass on its own – it only passed with the restrictions on it.  If the Governor could strip out the conditions with a veto, it would leave behind a spending item that had never in fact passed the House and Senate.  To quote the U.S. Supreme Court, such a veto “would not be negation of an item or items of appropriation by veto but, in effect, affirmative legislation by executive edict.”

McAuliffe could veto the condition on Medicaid spending, but only if he also vetoed Medicaid spending itself.  This, obviously, is something he would never do, since his goal is to expand the program under Obamacare.

So what’s next?  On Monday, the General Assembly will meet and Governor McAuliffe’s veto can be ruled out of order, which means the veto will not be included in the final budget law.  Governor McAuliffe could then file action in court to force inclusion of his veto, and we would have to fight him in court.  To prevail, Governor McAuliffe would have to prove that he vetoed the condition and any spending it restricts.  Given the above court rulings, he should fail, and the budget restrictions on Medicaid should stand.

In short, his veto would be ruled unconstitutional.

Sincerely,

Rob Bell
Delegate, 58th District

VIRGINIA’S WANT-TO-BE OBAMA GOVERNOR

virginia_capitol_hillier180607It is amazing the way some politicians seek to deceive. Consider how this Times Dispatch article begins.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe will try to bypass the General Assembly to expand health coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians, while attempting to block legislative priorities ranging from judicial appointments to an overhaul of the Capitol complex in Richmond.

McAuliffe said Friday that he will sign a two-year state budget that does not include his top legislative priority — expansion of Medicaid — in order to protect public services and Virginia’s triple-A bond rating in the face of a projected $1.55 billion revenue shortfall. (continued here)

During his campaign for governor, McAuliffe threatened to shut Virginia’s government down if the two-year state budget that did not include his top legislative priority — expansion of Medicaid. So in one respect, he chickened out. However, he has not given up. Exercising a veto power he really does not have, that unscrupled opportunist has just changed tactics.

What are the Republicans saying about it? What follows are excerpts from emails that a couple of Republicans sent out yesterday. Virginia Senator Bill Stanley sponsored the provision (The Stanley Amendment) that prevents McAuliffe from expanding Medicaid. He wants to continue the fight.

billstanley

The Stanley Amendment

As you may know, Senate Republicans took back control of the Senate Chamber last week.  Within days, we called the General Assembly back to Richmond, passed a clean budget that did not include Medicaid Expansion, and brought an end to the Democrats threats to shutdown Virginia’s government.

From the beginning, I strongly pushed to decouple Medicaid expansion from the budget.  When the first Senate session began with Republicans back in control, we were able to pass a budget in less than six hours – something that Senate Democrats had been unwilling to do when they were in control.

To ensure Medicaid expansion cannot be implemented unless the General Assembly specifically authorizes it, I sponsored an amendment (which the media has been calling “The Stanley Amendment”) that was co-patroned by all 20 Senate Republicans.   The Senate approved my amendment 20 to 19, and the House concurred 69 to 31. The amendment keeps McAuliffe from legally expanding Obamacare in Virginia on his own (The Stanley Amendment).

Even though the bill is on the Governor’s desk, the fight is far from over.  On Friday, Governor McAuliffe stated that he would veto the Stanley Amendment and try to expand Obamacare in Virginia without legislative approval.

Governor McAuliffe does not have the authority to unilaterally expand Medicaid.  If he ignores the Constitution by continuing on a course to do so, I am confident that he will be given a refresher course on the limits of his powers from both the legislative and judicial branches of Virginia government.

Delegate Bob Marshall is also rightly in a fighting mood.  Here is his take.

McAuliffe “Veto” Defies U.S. and VA Constitutions

Terry McAuliffe and Mark Herring are at it again!

Governor McAuliffe has no legal authority to “line-item veto” the condition added  by the General Assembly to the Budget preventing the Governor from expanding Medicaid without General Assembly approval, but that’s exactly what he’s trying to do!

The Virginia Supreme Court defined “item” the 1940 case of Commonwealth vs. Dodson and agreed with the US Supreme Court that:  “An item of an appropriation bill obviously means an item which in itself is a specific appropriation of money, not some general provision of law which happens to be put into an appropriation bill. … 

Even if the Constitution of Virginia gave Mr. McAuliffe the power to veto “parts” of the Budget, he still could not “line-item veto” the Medicaid prohibition:  “ … the constitution of Mississippi gave to the governor power to veto parts of any appropriation bill. “Parts” is a word capable of wider application than “item” or “items”, yet it did not give to the governor power to veto an objectionable provision.(Dodson, citing Bengzon v. Secretary, etc.)

The Governor’s actions and the Attorney general’s so-called advice are contemptuous of the people and Constitution of Virginia, the Constitution of the United States, and the Rule of Law.

No doubt Mr. McAuliffe is following the deluded reasoning of Attorney General Mark Herring who is better at giving political advice than legal counsel.   McAuliffe and Herring are defying the US Supreme Court (see Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice of Philippine Islands – 299 U.S. 410, 1937) and the VA Supreme Court (see Brault v. Holleman, 1976).

The VA Constitution clearly states, “The Governor shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object.”

McAuliffe’s fake “line-item veto” completely reverses the purpose of the amendment.   It is out of order and the Speaker should rule it out of order.  The Speaker should also open hearings into the unauthorized and unprecedented raw exercise of power by Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Herring to restore constitutional order to Virginia’s government.  

Please contact Speaker Bill Howell to ask him to rule this “veto” out of order.  Please also contact your delegate and senator to ask them encourage the Speaker to stay strong in this fight against the Governor and to not allow this massive abuse of the Executive office.  You can also contact Governor Terry McAuliffe to let him know you disagree with his veto and you want him to follow the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions.  

Please help me continue to stand up to these abuses of power by donating to my campaign at the link below (each month’s Marshall Messages cost $130!)

Thank you so much for your help!

Sincerely,

Delegate Robert G. “Bob” Marshall (R)
13th House District, Virginia

Here is a link to the relevant part of the Constitution of Virginia.

McAuliffe’s power grab is just one of the many now in progress in our nation. Because we are electing public officials who think themselves above the law, we risk our republic and the loss of our God-given rights.

Do you sneer at such talk? The people who lead us know better. They can see where our undisciplined grasping for each other’s wealth and special rights leads => CHAOS. And so they prepare to seize power.

Consider BRUCE: America’s expanding police state – Neighborhood cops are becoming armed soldiers. Then try to figure out THE TRIVIALIZATION OF SWAT. Here is an excerpt.

But SWAT teams at the IRS? The Fish and Wildlife Service? EPA? NOAA (they predict the weather)? They all are reported to use them, often to enforce obscure and unintelligible regulations. Each time they do, it makes it more difficult for the FBI and urban police departments to effectively fight real crime.