When the Maine city state of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority came into being as a municipal corporation serving as an instrumentality of the state, it was a instance where in the power of the state usurped the authority of the local government by using the state and federal government's ability to collect and then redistribute wealth, to buy Brunswick, Maine. Brunswick obliged the higher powers by foregoing its own constitutional authority to act as the agent of economic development in the territory which was once its own:
Maine State Constitution: Article VIII.
Municipal Home Rule. 1969
Section 1. Power of municipalities to amend their charters. The inhabitants of any municipality shall have the power to alter and amend their charters on all matters, not prohibited by Constitution or general law, which are local and municipal in character. The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure by which the municipality may so act.
Section 2. Construction of buildings for industrial use. For the purposes of fostering, encouraging and assisting the physical location, settlement and resettlement of industrial and manufacturing enterprises within the physical boundaries of any municipality, the registered voters of that municipality may, by majority vote, authorize the issuance of notes or bonds in the name of the municipality for the purpose of purchasing land and interests therein or constructing buildings for industrial use, to be leased or sold by the municipality to any responsible industrial firm or corporation.
The politicians told the people of Maine that if they voted for the 8 million dollar bond for what the politicians labeled a "regional development authority", then the politicians would be able to "leverage" planeloads of freshly printed federal paper to further finance the former naval base as a municipality designed to the specs of the state's politicians and "targeted sector" economic policy. See The Maine Technology Institute -definition of "the targeted sector" HERE. MTI is located within the MRRA.
Neither the politicians nor the media felt obliged to tell the people that the freshly printed federal money so coveted by the state, has no value of its own and so value must be siphoned off of the purchasing power of the American dollar, a value, which is then replaced with rationing for the people, in the form of food stamps and health care, heat assistance, and so forth. This constitutes a transfer by the state of the people's wealth to the new owners of the means of production and intellectual property rights.
When the state usurped the authority of local governance, the MRRA took on the character of an occupied territory. Meanwhile back in 1995, the Brunswick Development Corporation, had formed in the municipality bordering the MRRA. Why wasn't the BDC rushing in to make a bid for this valuable property to be had for a song ? And where was the Town of Brunswick when the property which was once their own was being returned to civilian use? Neither the Town of Brunswick, nor the BDC were acting in their own best interests by doing absolutely nothing and thereby allowing the state to take over without a bidding war.
The state needed a clear field, for if there were a bidding war it would underscore the obvious - that economic development can be achieved another way other than through the agency of the state and thereby negating the state's dubious justification for violating Article IV part Third Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution which prohibits the legislature from chartering a corporation by special act of legislation.
Is there a hidden political class that sold the other players in the field on the advantages of doing nothing? The advantages are clear enough, the municipality of the MRRA gets its economic development financed by Maine and USA taxpayers- what municipality can do that unless it is another municipal corporation that is an "instrumentality of the state"- a clear violation of Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution, which provides only two exceptions to its prohibition against the legislature chartering corporations -the first being for municipal purposes, which an "instrumentality of the state" is clearly NOT, and the other exception being when the object of the corporation - in this case economic development- cannot be achieved any other way.
The BDC is registered with the Secretary of State's office as a non-profit corporation.
The ByLaws for the BDC states that “The Corporation shall constitute a "local development corporation" pursuant to 5M.R.S.A. §13081(6)
If the above statement refers to Title 5 Of the Maine Revised Statues, then it refers to a section
BDC Bylaw language in Section 6.1:
member of the corporation with all rights and obligations of membership provided by the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.
Section 6.2. Voting Rights.
The Member shall have no voting rights. (in other words- the inhabitants of the municipality of Brunswick will not have a vote)
States give municipalities the power to create an official governmental body, such as a board or council. Members of this body are elected by voters who live within the voting boundaries of the municipality. The local body has the power to pass ordinances, or local laws. These laws may not conflict with state or federal laws. The Free dictionary
Chapter 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS
"Bylaws" means the code or codes of rules adopted for the regulation or management of the affairs of the corporation irrespective of the name or names by which such rules are designated and includes the corporation's constitution unless the constitution is filed as the articles of incorporation or enacted by the Legislature in a special Act.[
1977, c. 525, §13 (NEW)
NOTE ON May 6 2014
When I first published this post the Rules for Non-profit Corporations were found on line- Now that link no longer displays those rules and one must download the document which displays the rules. I downloaded it and then stored it on Preserving The American Political Philosophy website The doc is available for download here.Rules For Non-Profit Corporations Title 13-B.doc
The Rules For Non-Profit Corporations were established in 1981 a few short years after the legislature chartered the Maine Development Foundation ( a non-profit corporation) in 1977. (note that this is the same year that the legislature chartered the Maine Non-Profit Corporation Act). In chartering The Maine Development Foundation, the legislature created a new essential government function, that of managing the economy of the entire state from above. An ideological change of this magnitude should come about only as a constitutional amendment voted into being with the consent of the governed, but it instead it was brought into being through a constitutionally dubious statute, one that clearly contradicts the then recently passed Constitutional Amendment providing for Home Rule.
Note April 14 2014
January 4, 1981
September 10, 1987 (EMERGENCY)
November 2, 1988
January 7, 1991
July 20, 1992 (also changed ch. 1)
December 15, 1992
February 13, 1996
EFFECTIVE DATE (ELECTRONIC CONVERSION):
April 28, 1996
October 27, 1997 - Divisional name in heading corrected.
REPEAL AND REPLACE:
July 12, 2003 - filing 2003-231
I am currently tracking down the details about the "repeal and replace- which is dated prior to my own blog post. IF it had any significant impact on what I have written here then it would be huge since this redefinition of the meaning of the word "corporation" is justification for an entire network of corporations charted by teh legislature as "instrumentalities of the state"
The following is still found in the definitions section:
C. An instrumentality, agency, political subdivision or body politic and corporate of the State.[1977,c. 592, §12 (NEW).][1977, c. 592, §12 (RPR)
The legislature-Secretary of State’s intentions are clear enough, the re-invention of the meaning of the word "corporation" for the purposes of the Maine Nonprofit Corporation Act allows the legislature to statutorily by pass Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution, which prohibits the legislature from chartering corporations with no exceptions for non-profit corporations.
Maine State Constitution, Article IV
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
However this does pose a problem for the BDC
The BDC is either saying it is a corporation pursuant to a repealed law- Or it is saying that it is a corporation pursuant to a law that says it is not a corporation- at least not for non-profit purposes- which is exactly what the BDC claims to be-a non-profit corporation, The statute the BDC reference's to substantiate their claim says other wise.
However the state legislature does exactly the same thing. The legislature has chartered a large network of corporations by special acts of legislation to serve as "instrumentalities of the state". The statutes state these "organizations" to be corporations in no uncertain terms. The reason for this seems quite logically to be that the corporations have to be chartered as corporations in order to be consistent with national and international law- But those same corporations have to be "not corporations" in order to allow the legislature to bypass Article IV part Third Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution. Such innovation!
From the appearances of the website that displays when searching the "Brunswick Development Corp" , one might mistake it for municipal government but municipal government is elected by the inhabitants of the municipality whereas board members of non-profit corporations are not. The web site is a rehashed presentation of the state's toolbox of eonomic instrumentalities, no different than what is to be found on the rest of "targeted sector" economic development websides - be they private, government , or non-profit- all have merged into one and now there is an inner battle for power as to who of these players will control whom- but its rigged for the capitalists. The point of Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution is to prevent capitalism from controlling government, but the Maine State Constitution has been superseded by statutory law for decades, going back to the early 1950's
Where as the city state of the MRRA is an attempt at totalitarian governmental control, using taxpayer money from the entire state of Maine and the USA to develop the little state controlled municipality of the MRRA, The Brunswick Development Corporation is a case of private capitalism having undue influence over government, which in the state of Maine is not hard to do since money- be it dollars or yens- no difference- its all money - is the one functioning measure of value in Maine economic development policies.
In terms of the Maine State constitution, the twin municipalities of the MRRA and Brunswick should rightfully be designated as occupied territory- functionally no longer part of the state of Maine as governed by the Maine state constitution. Maine taxpayer money should not be distributed to organizations within occupied territory but, sadly, that occupied territory has been established by those who pose as the representatives of the people- Augusta should also be re-designated as an occupied territory functioning by a rule of law that has no resemblance to the Maine State Constitution.
Within the guarded walls of occupied territory, dwells the targeted sector. Outside of the occupied territory, lies the original state of Maine, still governed by The Maine State Constitution, but with occupied territories looming all around. The occupied territory wants to keep on expanding until it claims all of Maine for its own use. The people of Maine need to form a defense contingency to fight back the occupiers-or they too might soon see hospitals or some other valuable resource disappearing from their communities for no discernible reason !
Why are shows like The Walking Dead such a hit these days? They dramatize the reality in which we find our selves.
Authority to amend.
The articles of incorporation may be amended by:
A. The incorporator; or
1995, c. 458, §8 (NEW)
B. If there is more than one incorporator, by 2/3 of the incorporators.
1995, c. 458, §8
1995 s the year that the BDC was incorporated.
The application for BDC's incorporation is signed by an "individual" and that individual's name is "Christopher E Howard". There is an individual by that name in Portland Maine, a lawyer with the firm Peirce Atwood
It's hard to read the document of incorporation because of the quality of the reproduction, but I deciphered that it says that if the applicant is by an individual, that the individual must sign, if by a corporation, there are a lot of other rules.
Christoper E Howard signed as an individual. If the Town of Brunswick had applied for the articles of Incorporation, the Town would have had to sign by the rules of a corporation.
So according to Title 13 B 2. Christoper E Howard has the sole power to amend the articles of Incorporation. The Town is only a member of the BDC- not the incorporator.
However the Town of Brunswick has the authority to be the agency of economic development pursuant to the Home Rule Amendment of the Maine State Constitution, which states that the inhabitants of the municipality may elect to approve bonds for such purposes.
There is no mention, that I have found in the Articles of Incorporation or the bylaws of the Brunswick Development Corp about the source of the capital that BDC "invests", but as a non-profit corporation, the BDC can accumulate it through various means including government grants ( tax payer money).
Since the Town of Brunswick is the sole member of the BDC, it must be that the BDC was incorporated solely for the purposes of Brunswick so that Brunswick would have access to capital funds other than by municipal bonds. and funds that might not normally be available to a municiplaity.
There must be annual reports for the BDC some where, but it is difficult just to find a website for the BDC, which is clearly the website for the incorporator and not the Town Of Brunswick, the sole member. Where does the BDC get all the money that it is giving away so freely?
A Guidestar Search did not produce results.
In this Forecaster Article Town counsel Chairwoman says
A Tactfully Hinted Bribe by The BDC to the The Other Side Of Town
Brunswick Development Corp to Buy Land For The Police Station