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Maine Media Goes into A Tizzy as Readers of Maine Constitution Come Out Of The Woods !

I was recently in a conversation with a candidate for the Maine legislature. I am not revealing his identity as the intention is not to hurt his campaign, being that he was decent in engaging in conversation and he is in the regard that I write about here representative of the culture in Augusta in general. Henceforth I will refer to him as Candidate

 I was questioning Candidate's support of a Maine Bank, a movement that I had become cognizant about during my research efforts for A Maine Citizen's Journey Through The Statutes of Transformation.

We debated many of the points for and against such a new government function but during the course of our dialogue, my question about how one reconciles the establishment of a State Bank, which would surely be established as yet another corporate instrumentality of the state, with Article IV Part Third Of The Maine State Constitution:

As it is presented in Time Line

Part Third. Legislative Power

Section 13.  Special legislation.  The Legislature shall, from time to time, provide, as far as practicable, by general laws, for all matters usually appertaining to special or private legislation.

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. Governor Seldon Connor

I.n Governor Seldon Conner's Inaugural Address he said these words pertaining to the new constitutional amendment:

Section thirteen presents a discretionary field of action which your own honor will impel you to occupy to the fullest extent.'The title of 'Special and Private Laws,' which includes so large a portion of the laws of former Legislatures, is an obnoxious one, conveying suggestions of privilege, favoritism and monopoly; though happily these evils have not in fact, stained the character of our legislation, they should not be suffered to have, even in the form of our laws, any grounds of suspicion that can be removed. Other weighty objections to special laws for private benefit are, that they are obtained at the public expense, and in their passage distract the attention of legislators from matters of public interest. The opportunity is now afforded, and the duty enjoined upon you, by the amendment, to restrict the necessity for such laws to the narrowest possible limits. An analysis and classification of the private and special laws upon the statute books, will inform you of the objects for which it is desirable to provide by general laws, if practicable. 'Many objects have been hitherto specially legislated upon although they were amply provided for by general laws. I have distinguished authority for the statement that sixty or more of the corporations created by a special act for each, by the last Legislature, could have been created and organized under general laws. The reason why the general laws have not been resorted to to a greater extent, is not, so far as I am informed, to be found in any insufficiency or defect of those laws, but in the greater ease and simplicity of the method of application to the Legislature and in the fancied higher [146 Me. 323] sanction of an authority proceeding directly from it. Section fourteen, relating to corporations is compressive and peremptory.. It relates to all corporations, except only those for municipal purposes. It clearly prohibits their creation by special acts if the objects desired can be secured under existing general laws.' ( emphasis mine) From Governor Seldon Conner's Inaugural Address  1876 - I don't have a link for this - it was found in The Maine Constitution- A reference guide by Marshall J Tink

Candidate :Mackenzie, I honestly don't know about the constitutional prohibition against corporations, and Article IV.unfortunately, don't have enough time to research this! All I can say is that there are similar entities which, to my mind, are valid, such as state chartered non-profit credit unions

A few posts down on Candidate's page there is a video in which Candidate tells us that he supports a strict interpretation of "the Constitution", by which Candidate clearly means the United States Constitution, because Candidate doesn't have time to read the Maine Constitution and so how could he begin to know what comprises strict adherence to the Maine Constitution?

In a different world, it would have been a huge mistake on the Candidate's part to give such an answer but in Maine 2014, his answer merely reflects the current culture in Augusta. Our representatives take an oath to uphold the constitution, and then use the statutes as a constitutional reference.

Article IV Part Third is Legislative Powers. It is the job description for the position that the Candidate seeks but he doesn't have the time to read it as he campaigns on a platform of ideas about which he has no idea if they are reconcilable with the constitution or not. His measure is the status quo- the statutes that have been entrenched. As I have come cross. many times over, said by those influential within the political class: "Nobody Reads The Maine Constitution"

Such was said by John McDonald on WGAN Radio in his interview with Phill Merletti, one of the four men of the Constitutional Coalition Of Maine, whom have been used by blogger and activist Mike Tipping as a sensational news story to promote his crowdfunding project for a book on Governor Lepage.

 Mr Tipping is Communications Director for The Maine People's Alliance, and The Maine People's Resource Center, a columnist for The Portland Press herald,and a blogger for The Bangor Daily News,  where in Mr Tipping spreads such dis-information as the following:

The chapter details a series of at least eight meetings Gov. LePage held with members of a group called the Constitutional Coalition who identify themselves as “sovereign citizens,” a loose network of conspiracy theorists recognized as one of “the nation’s top domestic terror threats” by the FBI and Maine law enforcement.

Mr Tippings, co-conspiratist is another Portland Press Herald Journalist, Colin Woodard , who spread the story the national level in Politico, where in Mr Woodard  tells us that:

Some of the members of the circle have previously identified themselves as “Sovereign Citizens,” [skip to 17:00], a movement the FBI considers a domestic terrorist threat, though at least some of them now deny any such association. Members have espoused the belief that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the Sandy Hook school shootings were perpetrated by the U.S. government, which engages in “mind control” and is preparing a “holocaust” against America’s Christians. They think the government is illegitimate and that top state officials are guilty of treason.
Read more:

Is Mr Woodard relying on people NOT clicking the link that he offers up in support of his claim? Is he targeting the mentality of the lowest common denominator when he makes such claims so easily proven to be false by the very means that he submits as verification. Following through on Mr Woodard suggestions reveals that Mr Woodard is presenting a falsehood. The discussion is about a government -issued document - and a government issued mandate for every law enforcement officer in Maine. The document identifies the four members of the Constitutional Coalition as members of the Sovereign Citizens, which in turn is identified as the most dangerous domestic terrorist group in the country. The Constitutional Coalition and the Governor are shocked and outraged to read it !

Mr Woodard is suggesting that an accusation against anyone can be construed as an admission by the accused of the substance of the accusation.

The Aroostic Watchmen Radio program begins with a tirade claiming that the United States is now in a stage similar to that of Germany in the thirties. Tippings and Woodard in their twisting of the words said by the others lend credence to the Coalition's perspective. Tipping and Woodard spin the Constitutional Coalition as anti-government, themselves occluded to the understanding that the basis of government in Maine and the USA is the Rule of Law and that the constitution is the Rule of Law to which all other law must reconcile itself.

The coalition is using a little known constitutional process called remonstrance. It is outside the scope of this post but you can read about it at The Maine Republic

There are lot of people speaking as though they have authority in the case of  the Constitutional Coalition- But once Remonstrance has been set into motion, who has authority to interpret it's meaning except the Justices ?

Tippings spins that the Constitutional Coalition admitted to being Sovereign Citizens because, as Merletti , says in the WGAN interview 97% of Americans qualify as Sovereign Citizens according to the document issued to the police department. The intent is clearly that the standards are so ludicrous that just about any one qualifies, but integrity-challenged Tippings, leaves out the context of the 97% and just claims that the Constitutional Coalition admitted to being Sovereign Citizens. Tippings delivers clearly biased third party spin on the message of the Constitutional Coalition. Taken out of context and fragmented beyond recognition, Tippens statements can be said to be true but delivered with intent to dis-inform.

In the Bangor Daily News Tippens milks the story for all the publicity he can get- clearly helping to promote his crowd funding project. He tells us of a new yellow journalism coalition that is forming spontaneously in response to his slanderous spin. However the tide is turning on Tippings and his ilk. Due to Tipping's yellow journalism the cause of the Constitutional Coalition is getting media time. WGAN has interviewed Phill Merletti and Wayne Leach. The Sun Journal published a piece that aired the Constitutional Coalitions's side of the story, dismaying poor Tippings that his own newspaper would allow its news department to betray the direction of its opinion department:

The news side of the BDN seems to be ignoring the warnings of their own editorial page. They chose to publish a long profile piece on members of the Constitutional Coalition by Sun Journal reporter Mark LaFlamme, who apparently hasn’t listened to a single minute of the group’s radio appearances or read any of the documents from their meetings. He gives credibility to their conspiracy theories by allowing them to claim “evidence,” “facts,” “research,” and “knowledge” of government and constitutional issues without ever requesting that they back up a single word or speaking to anyone who would refute their claims.
Poor Tippings! Our hearts bleed for the injustice being done against him! But like Phil Merletti said- If you think your neighbor is a terrorist- what do you do? Call the FBI? The CIA? Homeland Security? the Police? NO! You write a book and contact the media- and I might add- you run a crowd-funding project of course!


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