The Ati-thesis , Marxism

"By that definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single huge corporation, extracting the surplus value from the workforce in order to invest it in further production.[3] Friedrich Engels, in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, argues that state capitalism would be the final stage of capitalism consisting of ownership and management of large-scale production and communication by the bourgeois state.[4]"

Quoted from Wikepedia

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Scary Possibility for Maine- Total Dominance by the Public Private Hegemony

As our political season looks toward the next election we are hearing rumors, that Tea Party corporatist Maine Governor LePage will run for Maine US Senate and Susan Collins will run for Maine Governor. Susan Collins has remained popular by bringing home the federal bacon to the state. Federal corporatism dollars enable state corporatism. Today we have the ultimate public-private relationship installed at the federal level, with Mara Lago, looking more like a castle than a government building being abundantly used as another White House.  Democrats Princess Ivanka and Prince Jared  are installed,in violation or US anti-nepotism code, in high powered White House positions enabled for national security clearance, even as they retain ownership of their separate private enterprises.

Public Private Relationships and the New Owners of The Means of Production examines how all Maine Governors since the Longley administration have enabled a Maine oligarchy of public-private relationships,as the gulf between the haves and the have nots has agressively widened. If LePage becomes Senator, both Maine Senators will joining public private oligarchy Titan Donald Trump in directing and forming the future of the USA.

A frightening thought indeed.

This is the chapter of my book on the Angus King Years. A time when  the Maine State Inc entrenched its claims to ownership of intellectual property rights and the Legislature chartered two new corporations for enabling the transference of public wealth to private hands.


  Under the leadership of Governor Angus King, the Legislature took control of Maine’s educational system partnering with a federal government program offering the ever-coveted federal dollars. The Department of Education was merged with the Department of Labor to train workers for the Legislature’s targeted sector.

#8 of the Ten Planks of Communism. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. [

Today we can substitute “especially for agriculture” with “especially for new technology” or in Maine’s case, “especially for the Legislature’s targeted sector”.

At the same time the Legislature created two new public-private corporations The Small Enterprise Growth Fund, now renamed as The Maine Venture Fund, and the Maine Technology Institute.

 In 1995 the Maine Legislature created a legislative joint steering committee Part 1:GENERAL  PROVISIONS   S10. Education Research Institute  Through the committee, the Legislature granted itself jurisdiction over education in Maine. The steering committee was authorized to conduct research and analysis on education in Maine beginning with public preschool and continuing through the university system and to be involved with every organization in the Maine associated with any form of public education.

In 1997 The Department of Education and the Department of Labor became joint administrators of TheWorkforce Investment Act, a program funded by funded by the federal government. [3]
The Small Enterprise Growth Fund (The Maine Venture Fund)

The following analysis is presented as a citizen layman’s analysis and interpretation of the statutory language.

In 1995 Title 10: Chapter 13 The Small Enterprise GrowthFund (now called Maine Venture Fund) was established: [4]

In 2009 I attended an economic networking event in which a panel of Maine Venture Fund executives and local bankers promoted the Small Enterprise Growth Fund, as the Maine Venture Fund was then called. Funding appropriated by the FAME corporation for the Maine Venture fund was described by the panel as an arrangement in which private investors invest nine dollars for every one dollar invested by taxpayers. The panel expressed it as a wonderful thing that the tax payer investment just keeps on rolling over to reinvest in the Maine Venture Fund.

Title 10: Chapter 13 The Small Enterprise Growth Fund
1.       . Creation of fund.  There is established the Small Enterprise Growth Fund, which is a revolving fund used to provide funding for disbursements to qualifying small businesses in the State seeking to pursue an eligible project.

The words of the statute do not identify the source of “funds for disbursements”, going to “businesses in the state”. On the public side of the partnership, the primary source of the funds are bonds approved by the Maine voters and then redistributed by the FAME corporation. When analyzed for what this paragraph actually says, the primary function of the Small Enterprise Growth Fund is for funds, coming from any source, distributed to businesses located in Maine. The fund is a roll over fund as are common to non-profits.

The event I attended was a competition for an award. Based on the modest amount of the award and because the benefactor was anonymous, I interpreted the award as a grant but later learned the award was structured as an investment which required the contestants to have an exit strategy insuring a profit to be made by private investors.  The exit strategy can be satisfied by saying these few simple words: “As an exit strategy I will sell the business”. This statement was required to qualify for an award so modest as to be more appropriate for a loan or a grant.

The Board of the Maine Venture Fund is a Sovereign Corporation (serving as an instrumentality of the state)
According to the statute, the corporate board of the Maine Venture Fund is entitled to be compensated only for expenses        

 §384. BOARD1. Establishment: membership There is established as a body corporate and politic and a public instrumentality of the State the Small Enterprise Growth Board, which consists of 11 members appointed by the Governor
4. Compensation: Members are entitled to compensation in accordance with Title 5, chapter 379.[5] [ 1995, c. 699, §3 (NEW).] [6]Title 5 Chapter 379 §12002-B.
COMPENSATION OF BOARD MEMBERS: Members of boards shall be paid a legislative per diem, another specified daily rate of compensation, a salary, expenses only or no compensation, as established for each board in sections 12004-A to 12004-L. ….located in §12004-F. Bonding and financing organization [7]
The statute authorizes the board to create numerous funds each with their own terms of agreement as negotiated by the board. Some side funds may be structured as a roll over fund (no exit strategy) which re- invests any returns negotiated by the board back into the fund. This is the type of fund into which Maine taxpayer’s funds are invested as the public partner in the public-private relationship

3-A. Program funds. "Program funds" means the Small Enterprise Growth Fund and any side funds created by the board. (emphasis added)Side funds have individually crafted terms of agreement determined at the exclusive discretion of the board:
5. Side fund. "Side fund" means a fund other than the Small Enterprise Growth Fund administered by the board that is invested as determined by the board (the Small Enterprise Growth Fund is established as a revolving fund in 1)
The Small Enterprise Growth Fund is the name of the revolving fund into which public money is deposited to or by the FAME corporation: In the definition section, “the fund” is identified as meaning the Small Enterprise Growth Fund, only, exclusive of the side finds. It is more transparent to use the name of the fund when intending to identify the fund but at the time the original statute was written, the name of the entire program, which today is called the Maine Venture Fund, was the same as the  name of “the fund”- ie the Small Enterprise Growth Fund, and so the definitions instruct that when the generic term, “the fund”, is used- it is code for The Small Enterprise Growth Fund (meaning the public fund as opposed to public-private entity). The use of an identical identifier to signify both the whole entity and a subset of the whole leads to confusion. Although the change of the name of the public-private entity from the Small Enterprise Growth Fund to the Maine Venture Fund clears the confusion, the change is not reflected in the text of the statute wherein the part and the whole both still share the same name.  In its capacity of receiving and depositing funds via the FAME corporation into the Small Enterprise Growth Fund (the fund), the Maine Venture Fund serves as an instrumentality of the state within its all-encompassing identity as a public private relationship.

§383. Program Funds Established1.       Creation of fund. There is established the Small Enterprise Growth Fund, which is a revolving fund used to provide funding for disbursements to qualifying small businesses in the State seeking to pursue an eligible project. The fund must be deposited with and maintained and administered by the Finance Authority of Maine and consists of appropriations provided for that purpose, interest accrued on the fund balance, funds received by the board to be applied to the fund, all funds remaining in the Pine Tree Partnership Fund and any funds received from repayment, interest, royalties, equities or other interests in business enterprises, products or services. The fund is a nonlapsing fund. [ 1995, c. 699, §3 (NEW).] 
a.        1-A. Creation of side funds. The board may create one or more side funds for placement of certain funds received by the board. A side fund may be structured as a revolving fund in addition to the Small Enterprise Growth Fund or as a fund in which the investor will have funds drawn and returned over an agreed time period. [ 2009, c. 475, §4 (NEW) .]
The statute definitions clarify that “fund” means the Small Enterprise Growth Fund and “Program Funds” means the Small Enterprise Growth Fund and the side funds:

§382. DEFINITIONS As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings. [1995, c. 699, §3 (NEW).]
1. Board. "Board" means the Small Enterprise Growth Board. [ 1995, c. 699, §3 (NEW) .]
2. Fund. "Fund" means the Small Enterprise Growth Fund. [ 1995, c. 699, §3 (NEW) .]
3. Program. "Program" means the Small Enterprise Growth Program, which encompasses the Small Enterprise Growth Fund and any side fund created by the board. [ 2009, c. 475, §1 (AMD) .]
3-A. Program funds. "Program funds" means the Small Enterprise Growth Fund and any side funds created by the board. [ 2009, c. 475, §2 (NEW) .]
4. Qualifying small business. "Qualifying small business" means, for the purpose of an initial disbursement by the board under section 388, a business employing 50 or fewer employees or having gross sales not exceeding $5,000,000 within the most recent 12 months for which financial statements are available. For the purpose of a subsequent disbursement, "qualifying small business" means a business to which the board has previously made a disbursement and that, in the judgment of the board, evidences continued potential for high growth. [ 2001, c. 541, §1 (AMD) .] (emphasis added)5. Side fund. "Side fund" means a fund other than the Small Enterprise Growth Fund administered by the board that is invested as determined by the board. [ 2009, c. 475, §3 (NEW) .] SECTION HISTORY 1995, c. 699, §3 (NEW). 1999, c. 504, §2 (AMD). 2001, c. 541, §1 (AMD). 2009, c. 475, §§1-3 (AMD).

The restrictions governing a qualified business apply only to an initial investment made by the Maine Venture Fund. Thereafter, the only qualifying restriction is that the business previously received funding via the Maine Venture Fund. Once on the gravy train for ever on the gravy train, leading to a hegemonic culture privileged to use public funds for private gain. After the initial public-private funding there is no cap on the size of the business qualified to be subsidized by taxpayers via the Maine Venture Fund.

Other funds administered by the Maine Venture Fund are not included as part of the Small Enterprise Growth Fund. They are simply referred to as “side funds”. Side funds are defined only in the fact that they are not included in the Small Enterprise Growth Fund (the fund).

Coming up in this story is the rewrite of the Seed Capital Tax Credit as “The Expanded and Improved Seed Capital Tax Credit’. A subtle change from the word “entity” to the word “private”, in the revised statute grants special status to the Maine Venture Fund in its chameleon identity as a public private corporation. The Expanded and Improved Seed Capital ( Refundable) Tax Credit also states that a private investment fund may elect to be treated as NOT a private investment fund for the purposes of the Seed Capital Tax Credit. This allows for all program funds within the Maine Venture fund to be treated as public for the purposes of the Seed Capital Tax Credit. The Public-private entity can take on which ever face is most advantageous in any given circumstance.

Side funds may include an arrangement to have the funds returned within a specified time frame. Funds invested with guaranteed returns are loans. Investments involve a risk of losses relative to the return anticipated to be higher than interest rates associated with loans. The language of the statue associates an investor with a guaranteed return. This is either a poorly written statute or exploitative policy. The language may be intended to mean that the investor will invest funds in anticipation of gain and accepting a risk of loss, within a limited and specified period of time- but the language of the statute does not reflect those conditions.

1-A. Creation of side funds The board may create one or more side funds for placement of certain funds received by the board. A side fund may be structured as a revolving fund in addition to the Small Enterprise Growth Fund or as a fund in which the investor will have funds drawn and returned over an agreed time period.
The text of the statute does not identify from whom the board receives funds which are vaguely identified as “certain funds”.

Appropriations (The taxpayer’s investment) received from the FAME corporation and profits from state capitalism can be used to pay the administrative costs of the Maine Venture Fund., which hosts public and private funds. Program funds are inclusive of side funds which can also be used for administrative costs. However, the percentages of public and private funds used to pay for administrative costs is unspecified permitting the entire administrative costs to be covered by taxpayers.

2 Administrative expenses Costs and expenses of maintaining and servicing program funds and administering the Small Enterprise Growth Program established by this chapter may be paid out of amounts in the program funds. [8]3 Management fees The board may charge and accept management fees for management of money placed in program funds other than money placed directly by the State.
Rule 3 says that the board may charge management fees for money placed in funds by private investors. If the money in Program Funds is not placed by the state it is placed in the side funds. The definition for the Small Enterprise Growth Fund (the fund) explicitly states that it consists of funds coming from the FAME corporation, the Pine Tree Zone fund - public funds.

Rule 2 speaks of administrative expenses used for servicing the “Small Enterprise Growth Program”. It is ambiguous phrasing since the term “Small Enterprise Growth Fund” refers to public funds which is separate from the side funds. “Program funds” is identified as meaning the Small Enterprise Growth Fund and the side funds. The use of the term “Small Enterprise Growth Program” as opposed to “Small Enterprise Growth Fund” or “Program Funds”, is unspecified in the statutory definitions. What is the purpose of the definitions if the authors of the statute do not stick to the statutorily defined definitions and instead use undefined terms?

 Is a management fee something different than an administrative cost?  Or is it distinct because it goes directly to the private board members and is not mixed with public income? The manner in which administering the costs of the entire public private relationships is to be paid out of program funds (public and side funds) remains utterly vague.

According to §12004-F. Bonding and financing organization[9] the members of the board are compensated for expenses only, Title 10: Chapter 13 Small Enterprise Growth Fund (now called Maine Venture Fund) says that the board can charge management fees for side funds, listed separately from administrative costs. Despite apparent contradictions, there are no definitions provided for administrative costs and management fees. There is a management team in addition to board members but the statute does not provide a definition to distinguish the management team from board members who are also managers. It takes some detective work to get through the maze of references in the statute to clarify the terms under which the board is enabled to profit from its interaction in the Maine Venture Fund.

Under §390. Conflicts of interest is written the following:

Notwithstanding Title 5, section 18, subsection 1, paragraph B, each member of the board, and each employee, contractor, agent or other representative of the board is deemed an "executive employee" solely for purposes of Title 5, section 18, and for no other purpose. Title 17, section 3104 does not apply to any of those representatives. If a member does not participate in an action or deliberation with respect to a particular project, that member is presumed not to have personally and substantially participated in a decision of the board with respect to that project. Every interest of a board member in any matter before the board must be disclosed to the board in writing. [1995, c. 699, §3 (NEW).] (emphasis added)
Title 5, section 18 subsection 1, paragraph B
"Executive employee" has the same meaning as set forth in section 19, subsection 1, paragraph D.
Section 19, subsection 1, paragraph D. "Executive employee" means an appointed executive employee or an elected executive employee. [1979, c. 734,§2(NEW).]
Title 17 §3104. Conflicts of interest; purchases by the State
No trustee, superintendent, treasurer or other person holding a place of trust in any state office or public institution of the State shall be pecuniary interested directly or indirectly in any contracts made in behalf of the State or of the institution in which he holds such place of trust, and any contract made in violation hereof is void. This section shall not apply to purchases of the State by the Governor under authority of Title 1, section 814. [1975, c. 771, §164 (AMD).]

Title 5, section 18, subsection 1, paragraph B, which defines executive employees does not have standing except for the purposes of Title 5, section 18. Title 17, section 3104, which says any person holding a position of public trust may not profit thereby does not apply to any of those defined as executive employees by Title 5, section 18, subsection 1, paragraph B! The wording can be interpreted as meaning that conflicts of interest only applies to the substrate and does not apply at the executive level.

In other words, if it can be substantiated that there is no direct involvement in the decision-making process any member of the board, and each employee, contractor, agent or other representative of the board can be an investor in a project and can profit from projects undertaken by the Maine Venture Fund. As Title 5, section 18, subsection 1, paragraph B states that Title 17, section 3104: Conflicts of Interest does not apply.

Rule 4 states that the board may assign ownership to side funds and negotiate the terms of agreement.
4. Agreements. The board may enter into an agreement or contract with a 3rd party for investment in a side fund. The board may allocate ownership in a side fund through the agreement. The board may also repay money received and return profits according to terms in the agreement. The board may create a formula or terms for the sharing of profits on a side fund in the agreement.
The board can act as independent agents charging their own management fees for private funds and also be paid as an administrative expense out of program funds. The taxpayer investment has no exit. always rolling over to reinvest in the fund which likely means that taxpayers cover all administrative and overhead costs of the public private investment corporation: The managers of the fund have a ready-made pool of investors from past and present board members. The identity of the investors is protected by tax privacy laws.

The FAME corporation distributes public funds to the Maine Venture Fund. The charter for the FAME corporation deems that the private benefit is incidental to the public benefit. Other than a hypothetical trickle-down effect in the general economy, there is no public benefit, only a public cost. A trickle-down effect is an incidental benefit. The company in which the investment is made and the investors receive direct benefits but the FAME statute has literally declared that those receiving direct appropriations of public money are benefiting only incidentally from the trickle-down effect created by their private use of public money.

The Small Enterprise Growth Fund is not only a violation of Article IV Part Third Section 14 in the act of chartering a corporation by special act of legislation but also in the fact that written into its legislative charter is a decree that general laws regarding conflicts of interest do not apply. Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine Constitution specifically states that all corporations however formed are subject to general laws.

The Maine Venture Fund is a private investment corporation nested in a public investment corporation.

Rule #5 says that profits of the side fund “retained by the board” must be contributed to the fund, meaning the Small Enterprise Growth Fund. However, the board makes all the rules and can rule out any profits from being retained by the board.

5. Profits The profits on a side fund retained by the board must be contributed to the fund [ 2009, c. 475, §4 (NEW).
In a research paper titled Evaluation of Maine's Public Investment in Research and Development [12]published by the University of South Carolina in 2001, IntelliCare, a company which received investment funds, says of the SEGF (Maine Venture Fund) “They wanted equity deals with debt risk,”, which delayed negotiations for a year until the SEGF eased up on its terms.

It is not the Maine Venture Fund which is incorporated by special act of legislation but the board of the Maine Venture Fund

§384. BOARD 1. Establishment; membership. There is established as a body corporate and politic and a public instrumentality of the State the Small Enterprise Growth Board, which consists of 11 members appointed by the Governor as follows:
§392. Governmental functionThe board shall administer and exercise the authority granted to it by this chapter. The carrying out of its powers and duties is considered the performance of an essential governmental function.
§389. Cooperation and coordinationThe University of Maine System, the Small Business Development Center Program, the Maine World Trade Association and the Maine Science and Technology Foundation shall provide such support and assistance as the board may request, within the expertise of each. [1995, c. 699, §3 (NEW).]
The Maine Venture Fund Board is a reincarnation of the Maine Capital Corporation. Both corporations were chartered as taxpayer subsidized private investment companies. When Governor Longley's advisory board said “To help correct this situation, it is appropriate to use the profit motive of private investors to achieve additional economic development in the State” it means, that in their view it is appropriate to appropriate tax payer money for the benefit of private profit motives. The Fame Corporation then inverted the philosophy as:

Any benefits accruing to private individuals or associations, as a result of the activities of the authority, are deemed by the Legislature to be incidental to the public purposes to be achieved by the implementation of this chapter. [1985, c. 344, §5 (AMD).]

 Maine Technology Institute

In 1999, The Maine Technology Institute was established bythe Legislature as a non-profit corporation with public and charitablepurposes. It is stated in the statutory charter that the duties, activities and operations of the institute are within the provisions of the federal Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(c)(3).
It may be that the federal government accepts a non-profit organization which takes public money and redistributes it as grants to private industry as a charitable organization but the charter of MTI Corporation by the special act of the Maine Legislature is prohibited by the Maine Constitution. Article IV Part Third, Section 14 for reason that it is not serving a municipal purpose and the object of the MTI corporation can be achieved in the private sector under general laws.

The Maine Constitution
Section 14.
Corporations, formed under general laws. Corporations shall be formed under general laws, and shall not be created by special Acts of the Legislature, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where the objects of the corporation cannot otherwise be attained; and, however formed, they shall forever be subject to the general laws of the State.

 Additionally, the use of public funds to benefit special interests violates the object of government given in the Maine Constitution, to serve the common welfare.

The Maine Technology Institute is an expansion of the role and size of government. Such a function can be served by a private charitable organization or private for profit company. New innovations in crowd funding financing can be implemented for the commercialization of products. Crowd funding is a new form of public funding that requires individual voluntary consent. There is no doubt that the object of MTI, which is the financing of innovative technology research and commercialization, can be done another way than chartering a corporation by special act legislation and using that institution to distribute public funds to private benefactors.

#2 on the list of Duties of the Institute [15]states that “each technology board may …. advise them (capitalists) on funding opportunities and on the availability of other support services”. The Maine Technology institute makes for an additional lucrative stop on the State’s trail of tax exemptions and credits. After picking up Pine Tree Zone tax exemptions and payroll tax credits, the capitalist can stop by MTI to have their investment funds doubled before heading over to pick of their Seed Capital (Refundable)Tax Credit of up to 60% on the total amount. The MTI charity matching grant can potentially increase the public’s burden for capitalizing a privately-owned company from 60% to 120% of the privately procured capital invested in the company. Even if most the matching funds provided by MTI come from sources other than the taxpayers, the Seed Capital Tax Credit of up to 60% of the capital investment means that the taxpayer can potentially be refunding the amount of the MTI matching fund, more or less, if the capitalists also picks up a Seed Capital Tax Credit and the amount that capitalist can collect as a Seed Capital Tax credit doubles due to the MTI matching fund.

One might ask what are the terms of the public investment and what is the authority which authorizes that public funds may be used for such a purpose? Is the public investment an investment or is investment used here to signify spending?

 If it is an investment, what is the return on investment for the public as opposed to Maine State Inc. and privately owned corporations?

 Under Duties of the Institute C. [16]it is stated that MTI shall collaborate with the University of Maine System on the development and annual update of …. a technology plan that integrates private sector commercialization in the targeted technologies with university-sponsored research and development;” The University of Maine has a policy governing rights to ownership of intellectual property and is linked to every corporation in the state corporate network. The State is setup to profit should any lucrative products emerge from the research but the State and private corporations do not share their profits with the  public, nor should they, but neither should they be using public funds to capitalize their investments.

Charge for University of Maine Patent Services Included Percentage of Royalties (repealed) In 1999

§1921. Maine Patent Program was codified into law  [17] under a program marketed as helping students learn about patenting. The University of Maine included in its charges for that service “a reasonable percentage of the royalties for any successful innovation patented through the program.
2.Applicant's costs and duties. An applicant accepted by the program shall pay the costs of the patent search and opinion and for patent prosecution if the final product is manufactured or licensed out of state. An applicant shall pay to the program a reasonable percentage of the royalties for any successful innovation patented through the program. [1999, c. 731, Pt. WWW, §1(NEW)
The reasonable percentage is zero. Services should be charged as services and not as royalties on authorship and invention. The Maine Legislature takes on an appearance of incrementally plotting to gain ownership of intellectual property rights which in a free enterprise system belong to the author. The rational used by the Maine Legislature in attempting to acquire intellectual property rights over those using the Universities facilities and or services is a communist philosophy in which by ownership of the means of production, or any other assistance granted to an innovator, the University can lay claim to the ownership of individual creative authorship.

In 2004 the University of Maine instituted its own policy on the ownership of intellectual property rights. As with §1921. Maine Patent Program, it slipped in inordinate claims to ownership of intellectual property rights as if it was just an afterthought- never with an appropriate heading drawing attention to what the University is doing.

The Maine legislature exhibits a predatory attitude toward youthful naivety inclined to trust the University and believe that it serves the interests of the students.

A quick search to find if it is customary for a lawyer to ask for royalties when doing patent work brought up a site where flat fees were listed without royalty obligations included. Whether such a custom exists, the legislature was behaving in a predatory manner in its attempt to acquire intellectual property rights of any one using its facilities or services. The student may be unaware that the terms of the program in which they are enrolled demand royalties on the student's patents.

When I searched for the program listing to see how the terms were presented to the student I learned that the program had been cut in 2014 but the University is still attempting to claim rights to intellectual property of independent authorship by virtue of its ownership of research facilities and services capitalized by the public. Imagine if such facilities exist in the private sector and include in the terms of agreement that those using the facility or services agree to give the private corporation royalties on whatever the user is working on. How long would such a private entity remain in business?

Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights Codified in Maine Technology Institute Charter.

Under §15303-A. Maine Technology Capacity Fund [18] of the MTI charter rights are granted to the board to claim ownership of intellectual property:

2.Organization. The board has all the powers and authority, not explicitly prohibited by law, necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the functions, duties and responsibilities of the fund, including, but not limited to: (emphasis added)G. Owning intellectual property, licensing intellectual property and negotiating for and collecting royalty rights or otherwise realizing a return on investment made under the fund and all programs of the institute when appropriate in order to promote the interests and investments of the State in furthering science and technology; and [2003, c. 20, Pt. RR, §7 (NEW); 2003, c. 20, Pt. RR, §18 (AFF).]
H Protecting all proprietary information contained in proposals, contracts and grants or any other legal agreement only when such information is likely to involve patentable material that loses its protectable nature when presented in a public forum. [2003, c.20, Pt. RR, §7 (NEW); 2003, c. 20, Pt. RR, §18 (AFF).]
These paragraphs identify that the board of MTI can own intellectual property rights. It does not say that the MTI corporation can own the rights but instead specifies the board. The board is the private part of the public-private relationship structured into the MTI statute. The sentence arrangement makes its meaning ambiguous. The board may own intellectual property rights and other wise realize a return on investment made under the fund etc. to protect the interests and investments of the state in furthering science and technology. The sentence identifies the “investment of the state” as being realized in “furthering science and technology”- not in realizing a financial return. If the state, in this case the Maine Technology Institute Corporation, were to realize a financial return on investments made under the fund, then the investments would be a for-profit business activity and not a non-profit charitable grant giving activity. The board however can own intellectual property rights, which puts the board, and not the public, in the position of realizing a financial profit in the process of conducting the activities of the public charitable non-profit corporation. This is clear in the fact that the board is assigned the rights of intellectual property ownership. If the intellectual property rights were owned by MTI, then the corporation would be self-funding and would not require continual solicitations from the public in the form of “job creation bonds”. It would also be communism.

Instead we are looking at a fascist political philosophy, one in which private ownership is allowed in a system in which everything orbits around the state in its wealth redistribution capacity. The state does not serve  the interests of the majority of the people (“quantity’ meaning “public’, in Mussolini’s terminology), instead the state serves the interests of its own definition of “quality”, dividing the economy into a “targeted sector” and beasts of burden, creating “quality jobs” defined by the highest wages and best benefits in the state, made possible by tax payer subsidization by the public (quantity) for their own benefit as so deemed by the state Legislature in partnership with private boards, aka public private relationships.

Fascism is therefore opposed to that form of democracy which equates a nation to the majority, lowering it to the level of the largest number; but it is the purest form of  democracy if the nation be considered as it should be from the point of view of quality rather than quantity, as an idea, the mightiest because the most ethical, the most coherent, the truest, expressing itself in a people as the conscience and will of the few, if not, indeed, of one, and ending to express itself in the conscience and the will of the mass, of the whole group ethnically molded by natural and historical conditions into a nation, advancing, as one conscience and one will, along the selfsame line of development and spiritual formation. Not a race, nor a geographically defined region, but a people, historically perpetuating itself; a multitude unified by an idea and imbued with the will to live, the will to power, self-consciousness, personality MussoliniThe Doctrine of Fascism
In terms of the Maine Constitution, Article IV, Part Third Section 14, it is patently clear that the object of the MTI corporation can be achieved by other means within the private sector, either by private foundations or crowdfunding. MTI is not an essential government function. It is big government.

In §15307. Prohibited interests of officers, directors and employees [20] there is this definition which may lead to some confusion related to the Board of Director’s rights to own intellectual property:
An officer, director or employee of the institute or a spouse or dependent child of any of those individuals may not receive any direct personal benefit from the activities of the institute in assisting any private entity. .... This prohibition does not extend to corporators who are not officers or directors of the institute. [1999, c. 401, Pt. AAA, §3 (NEW).]  [18]
§15308. General conditions; dissolutionThe institute shall operate as a nonprofit organization consistent with its composition and broad public purposes. ...[1999, c. 401, Pt. AAA, §3 (NEW).]
1. Net earnings of institute No part of the net earnings of the institute may benefit any member, officer, director or employee except that the institute may pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and otherwise hold, manage and dispose of its property in furtherance of the purposes of the institute.
Based on the definition of Board of Directors, which says its  identifier is shortened to “board”, the “directors” in the second section quoted are a different set of directors than the Board of Directors. The “directors” are identified on the Maine Technology Institutewebsite as “staff”. The costs of compensating the staff is part of administration expenditures. The “directors” on the staff cannot profit through the activities of the Maine Technology Institute where as “the board”(of directors) can profit through royalties and ownership of intellectual property rights.

§15302. Maine Technology Institute establishes the public corporate identity of the Maine Technology Institute'
1 Establishment The Maine Technology Institute, as established in section 12004-G, subsection 33-D, is a nonprofit corporation with public and charitable purposes. The duties, activities and operations of the institute are within the provisions of the federal Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(c)(3).[ 1999, c. 401, Pt. AAA, §3 (NEW).]
2 identifies that its purpose is to work through public private relationships and that developing “product deployment infrastructure” is now classified as a government function:
2 Purpose The institute, through a public and private partnership, shall encourage, promote, stimulate and support research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products and services in the State's technology-intensive industrial sectors to enhance the competitive position of those sectors and increase the likelihood that one or more of the sectors will support clusters of industrial activity and to create new jobs for Maine people. The institute is one element of the State's economic development strategy and will contribute to the long-term development of a state wide research, development and product deployment infrastructure. [ 1999, c. 401, Pt. AAA, §3 (NEW).]
3. identifies that MTI is governed by (working through) the board.
3 Board of Directors of the Maine Technology Institute: The institute is governed and all of its powers exercised by a board of directors, referred to in this chapter as the "board," consisting of 13 voting members and 2 nonvoting members.

Underlying Political Philosophy at Work:

MTI is a public non-profit corporation working through public private relationships. The governing board is private, working as an independent contractor for the public non-profit charity. This assumption is consistent with measures published for classifying independent contractors found on .The statute assigns intellectual ownership rights to the board rather than the Institute.
If the statute were to assign the right to ownership of intellectual property to the Institute as opposed to the board, the political philosophy embedded in this statute would be consistent with that of Communism which holds that all property is collectively owned and therefore anything anyone creates is collectively owned by society:

Communist Philosophy: This theory, that all property is owned collectively, stipulates that everything a person creates and owns is also collectively shared with everyone else.  The core principle behind the concept of public ownership is that every person is a product of society.  Because each human is a product of society, anything he or she produces is also a product of society by translation.  Therefore, anything that a is produced should be owned by the society itself because no one person has solely produced it.  Communist theorist Mick Brooks stipulates that, "creation is seldom only the result of individual genius. We all incorporate the advances of others as building blocks in our own thought without even considering it. That is how humanity advances.”  These ideas refer specifically to property laws and how making property public will fundamentally alter society in a positive way. Views on specifically intellectual property seem to follow in the same vein. Public Goods and IntellectualProperty Rights published on Stanford University 
In the case that ownership of intellectual property rights was to be assigned to the Institute- a public non-profit corporation, the institute would be using public money to invest in the development of new products for the commercial market and then claiming ownership of the intellectual rights on those investments in the name of the public. Although this would not be consistent with American individualism and American free enterprise, one could at least say the public would be getting a measurable return on the use of the fruit of its labor as investment capital in what would then amount to a partially or completely publicly owned enterprise.

Public Charities

Public charities generally derive their funding or support primarily from the general public, receiving grants from individuals, government, and private foundations. Although some public charities engage in grant making activities, most conduct direct service or other tax-exempt activities. A private foundation, on the other hand, usually derives its principal fund from a single source, such as an individual, family, or corporation, and more often than not is a grant maker. A private foundation does not solicit funds from the public.

The Maine Legislature is ever innovative in reinventing the structure and purpose of economic sectors. The Maine Technology Institute as a charitable non-profit corporation does not directly solicit funds from the public. It solicits funds indirectly under the sales slogan of “job creation” for bonds which the public votes on in almost every election. The bonds frequently name the Maine Technology Institute as one of the direct recipients of public bond funding. The Institute then redistributes the public money as grants to private for profit enterprises to develop products for the commercial market.

As the statute for MTI is currently written, the MTI public charity is not serving the public but instead a special interest of the economy already significantly capitalized. In specifying that MTI's services are to benefit public-private relationships in the technology intensive sector, and with its only statutorily authorized function identified as a matching funds program, the Maine Technology Institute serves special interests rather than the general public. The words " chartering corporations by special acts of legislation" prohibited in the Maine Constitution in Article IV Part Third Section 14, refer to special acts for special interests. MTI as a public charity, could move toward a more general purpose by functioning as a fiscal sponsor, extending its "public service" to any company which is consistent with MTI's IRS approved charitable purpose of supporting the development of products for the commercial markets, enabling all product developers, any size, in any sector of the economy, to accept tax deductible contributions from foundations and other patrons. In fiscal sponsorship, donations are made voluntarily, as opposed to the use of taxpayer money used to fund special interests, a system in which the individual donor (the taxpayer) has little say.  The Maine Made Department of the Maine government, which serves all Maine made products is not a non-profit corporation and cannot function as a fiscal sponsor. Only MTI can provide fiscal sponsorship to the general public, but the statutory charter of the MTI corporation is written as a special interest law.

Although information on the Institute’s activities is said to be available to the public in compliance with Freedom of Information Access, the statute also states that information can be kept private at the discretion of the institute or other party:
2. Proceedings; records; confidentiality.  The proceedings of the board and the records of the institute are public for the purposes of Title 1, chapter 13, except that the following records are designated as confidential for purposes of Title 1, section 402, subsection 3, paragraph A:
C. A record that the person, including the institute, to whom the record belongs or pertains has requested be designated confidential and that the institute has determined contains proprietary information, trade secrets or commercial or financial information, the release of which could be competitively harmful to the submitter of the information, could impair the institute's ability in the future to obtain similar necessary information solely through the voluntary provision of such information and could affect other institute interests, such as program effectiveness and compliance;
[2001, c. 562, §2 (NEW).]

University of Maine Statement Governing Patents and Copyrights

In 2002 the University of Maine published Statement of Policy Governing Patents and Copyrights. The terms are defined primarily as they apply to faculty members but a few small paragraphs declare that the same rules apply to students and non-compensated individuals. While it may be reasonable to say that if a student takes part in project undertaken by the University that the University owns the property rights, the modifier “and/or” slips in the condition that if a student merely makes significant use of University resources, that the University's policy of intellectual property applies. The student is not a paid employee of the University and is apt to reasonably believe that attending classes extends to the right to use of University resources. The explanation of the policy is specifically stated in terms of compensated individuals leaving the policies as it applies to students and non-compensated individuals wide open to interpretation.

IV. APPLICABILITY This policy, as amended from time to time, shall be deemed a part of the conditions of employment for every employee of the University, and a part of the conditions of enrollment and attendance at the University by students. It is also the policy of the University that, by participating in a sponsored project and/or by making significant use of University Resources and/or by participating in teaching, research, or service projects, individuals (including non-compensated individuals) accept the principles of ownership of Intellectual Property as stated in this policy, unless an exception is approved in writing by the Intellectual Property Office.
The term “research project” can mean almost anything. The term “non-compensated individuals” can mean any one including those using the public-privately owned TechPlace targeting start-up companies and required to be associated with an educational system. The stipulation that using university resources alone is enough for the University to claim ownership of intellectual property is repeated in section titled Copyrightable Works in which the state assigns itself the role of the adjudicator who determines whether there was more than an incidental use of University resources.
(iv) In the judgment of the Intellectual Property Office and the cognizant University administrator(s), the author(s) or creator(s) of the Copyrightable Work made more than Incidental Use of University Resources.
The rules pertaining to students and non-compensated individuals are not given titles with sections of their own but are just thrown in with the rules for paid employees of the University system- like an afterthought- but one with disproportionate consequential ramifications.

Duties of a State Charity?

Maine Technology Institute
§15303. Duties of institute:  Fiscal duties include the disbursement of funds through laboratories. Other duties include the accounting, evaluation and monitoring of all activities of the institute and all programs funded in whole or in part by grants from the institute. The institute may fund necessary precursors to commercialization of products and services, including the development of new technologies and processes, the development of product concepts and the manufacture of prototypes. [24][ 1999, c. 401, Pt. AAA, §3 (NEW).]
The duties of the Maine Technology Corporation are functions appropriate to the private sector. MTI does not perform an essential government function. It performs a superfluous government function.

The Maine Technology Institute operates under the authority of the DECD corporation. The executives of DECD corporation have made their opinion known that the DECD corporation exists to serve private business interests and rejects responsibility for showing that there is a public benefit in the programs it implements. The DECD Corporation contains most of Maine’s corporate state network and sets the tone for the entire corporate culture which is nested within it.

Accepting Contributions From Any Source

MTI like other subsidiary corporations of Maine State Inc. can accept contributions from any source:
 3.Authorized activities. The board may:
A   Receive and accept from any source allocations, appropriations, grants or contributions of money to be held, used or applied to carry out this sub chapter, subject to the conditions upon which the grants and contributions may be made, including, but not limited to, appropriations, allocations, grants or gifts from any federal agency or governmental subdivision or the State and its agencies. The amounts of the revenues generated by the investment of money contained in the fund may be used to pay the institute's operating expenses associated with the operation of the fund; and [RR2007, c. 1, §2 (COR).]
B   Engage in matching grants activities, including, but not limited to, federal, private and foundation awards for technology extension, science and technology development and technology commercialization activities that require state funding matches and are considered consistent with the purposes of the fund. Focus areas for investment include, but are not limited to, targeted technologies as defined in section 15301. [2003, c. 20, Pt. RR, §7 (NEW); 2003, c. 20, Pt. RR, §18 (AFF).]
This puts all State Corporations including this provision in competition with all organizations in Maine soliciting tax deductible contributions.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Nepotism Is Serious

The princess says she has “heard the concerns some have with my advising the President in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules, and I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House Office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees.”

Princess Ivanka went on: “Throughout this process, I have been working closely and in good faith with the White House counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role.”

The prince and the princess would have us believe that they are capable of taking on any high power position without an iota of professional background in those positions and that they are the best persons for the job. They freshly arrive in Washington at the top of the ladder in American government. The prince and the princess have been materialistically endowed at birth. They have experience in real estate development, publishing, and producing a fashion line manufactured in global low cost labor markets. As Daddy was delivering his speech about bringing back American jobs and buying American, princess Ivanka was busy importing 50 tons of product from China. Normally one would expect an administration to bring in top advisers with whom there is an agreement on stated policy, but exceptions can be made for close relatives.

Princess Ivanka presents a sweet innocent face to the world but she is well practiced in the art of manipulation. It is “some” who have “concerns”, she glibly tells us. Ivanka’s failure to articulate a more detailed description belies her real modus operandi. Ivanka doesn’t care about the concerns of anyone who does not see things her way. She is going to do what she wants to do even if she has to fly in the face of US law to do so. Her disregard for our rule of law is out for all to see but she can get away with it, she thinks, with a little well crafted social rhetoric and proper co-operation from our media. Rules are meant to be broken, especially by the power elite.

Who are the nonentities that the princess relegates as “some”? Does her vaguarity refer to the American people, excluding Trump supporters who will support anything the new American dynasty does? Unlikely! Ivanka lives in a world isolated from the commoners. Like her dad, she markets herself as the voice of the people. Ivank’s cause is the women’s cause- represented always in the image of Ivanka herself as the face of every woman. Whatever she wants is what every woman wants. That’s all we need to know.

When Ivanka says “some” have concerns, it is more reasonable to speculate that she means “some” of her “council” have concerns (about anti-nepotism laws).

Why does Ivanka need “counsel” in determining what the US anti-nepostism code intends? Did Ivanka manage to graduate from high school without taking classes? It is very simple what the US nepotism code says. It is written in plain English. Did Ivanka complete English courses in high school- or was she simply awarded a degree as an entitlement?
This is what the US Code says about hiring relatives:
5 U.S. Code § 3110 — Employment of relatives; restrictions
(a) For the purpose of this section — 
“public official” means an officer (including the President and a Member of Congress), a member of the uniformed service, an employee and any other individual, in whom is vested the authority by law, rule, or regulation, or to whom the authority has been delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals, or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in an agency; and
relative” means, with respect to a public official, an individual who is related to the public official as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister.

Does Ivanka need to counsel to figure out what that says , or, does she need counsel to figure out how she can get around it?
A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a civilian position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official, serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency, who is a relative of the individual.
An individual appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in violation of this section is not entitled to pay, and money may not be paid from the Treasury as pay to an individual so appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced.
That means neither Jared nor Ivanka can “volunteer” to work without pay. The law prohibits those violating US anti-nepotism code from being paid. There is nothing ethical about grabbing power by committing acts prohibited by law. It is highly unethical to spin it that way, relying on the media and others not to call you out on it, that is to say relying on “swamp ethics” to allow one to take whatever one wants.

The media has been complicit in spinning the violation of US anti-nepotism code for members of the Trump would- be dynasty, relying on Bill Clinton’s appointment of Hillary Clinton as a precedent — as if to say violating a law without penalty is the same as repealing the law. Repealing laws are not under the jurisdiction of the administrative branch of government. That authority belongs to Congress.

It is being portrayed in the media that “the only penalty” for violating the anti-nepotism code is the prohibition against receiving pay. The code does not identify the prohibition against receiving pay as a “penalty” The code simply states that one cannot receive pay for a position one holds in violation of the law. If such an interpretation were viable it could be stated unambiguously as “ A relative can be employed without being in violation of the code if the relative is not paid”. Instead the code says that those in violation of the code cannot be paid. Paid or unpaid, nepotism violates US code. There is no way to spin it as ethical.

The code refers to “a civilian position “. “Civilian Position “ is defined in the Glossary of Federal Terms:
CIVILIAN POSITION — A civilian office or position (including a temporary or part-time or intermittent position), appointive or elective, in the legislative, executive, or judicial branch of the Federal Government (including each corporation owned or controlled by the Federal Government and including nonappropriated fund instrumentalities under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces) or in the Government of the District of Columbia.
This author is not a lawyer but submits that it is reasonable to presume that civil positions are subject to civilian penalties. Wikipedia has this to say about civilian penalties- note it is left to the judiciary to determine the penalty:
Civil penalties occupy a strange place in some legal systems — because they are not criminal penalties, the state need not meet a burden of proof that is “ balance of probabilities “; but because the action is brought by the government, and some civil penalties can run into the millions of dollars, it would be uncomfortable to subject citizens to them by a burden of proof that is merely a “ preponderance of the evidence .” Therefore, the assessment of most civil penalties requires a finding of “ clear and convincing evidence “ before a civil defendant will be held liable. A defendant may well raise excuses, justifications , affirmative defenses , and procedural defenses . An administrative law judge or hearing officer may oversee the proceedings and render a judgment . Judgment is made on the balance of probabilities. Meaning, if it is more than 50% likely that the accused is responsible then the accused shall be found guilty
In some cases, a civil penalty may be supplemented by other legal process, including administrative sanctions or even criminal charges, and their respective appeals . For example, failure to pay a fine assessed for a traffic code violation may result in administrative suspension of a driver’s license , and further driving after suspension may be a criminal offense. On the other hand, a minimal case may be “put on file”, or otherwise suspended for a period during which the defendant may be required to avoid further violations, or carry out specific duties (such as making repairs or restitution, or attending supplemental education), after which the matter is dismissed.
So we can compare the violation of our anti-nepotism code to a traffic violation in which the penalty is up to the judge. Judges take into consideration individual impact. If one were to fine an average person $1000.00 for violating a traffic law, providing there is no life threatening circumstance, this might be considered a severe penalty, but if that person were a Trump, it would hardly be a penalty at all and to merely work in a high power position against our laws without receiving pay without a doubt qualifies as no penalty at all. The Trumps believe they can get a way with it and even spin it as a case of exhibiting high ethics. only adding insult to our rule of law to the injury. If this is even before a judge, let us hope he/she takes that into consideration.

From “the prince and princess are “voluntarily” declining pay for positions they are prohibited by law from holding, it becomes “it is an ethical act to voluntarily decline pay which the law prohibits one from receiving “. This is true gas lighting of the American rule of law. There is nothing ethical about it. The claims of “voluntarily” abiding by one section of the law while violating another section of the same law and then spun as “upholding ethics” is a deep doubling down on unethical behavior with intent to skirt the law.

There is another legal aspect to the anti nepotism code:
But doing so would risk putting their decisions on shaky legal ground, experts say.
“While it’s true that the penalty for violation of the statute is just to withhold salary or other financial remuneration from the wrongfully appointed employee, there’s also the possibility that any action taken by such a wrongfully appointed employee could be subject to legal challenge and potentially even be voidable,” said Steve Vladeck, a CNN contributor and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law. Could Donald Trump’s kids serve in his administration?
That one should be interesting to watch, especially with the prince holding what some say amounts to six full time jobs.

Princess Ivanka, in her newly acquired power is to have security clearance and an West Wing office. Will she volunteer to cover all the costs of her office or will she pass that cost on the the ubiquitous “some” ? If the costs of her office are paid by the public, is it equivalent to Ivanka receiving pay ?
Why do we have nepotism laws? Because monarchies, notabilities, hegemonies and oligarchies are quintessentially UN-American.

The Trump regime was promoted into power by the anti-establishment movement. The anti-establishment movement framed the Bushes and the Clintons as dynasties. Dynasties were portrayed as the worst face of the ‘establishment” Now the Trump family is positioning itself to become America’s next dynasty.

And about that anti-establishment agenda- that in a nutshell is Moscow’s agenda- to bring down western established systems of government. Once again the Trump administration is in harmony with the end game of the Russian propaganda industry.