Political Theft by Deception:
Another Successful Low-turnout Special Election to Extract from Alabama’s Productive Citizens
Just as the Republicans $1.2 billion Amendment One (2003) proposal of significant increases for individual income tax payers, the sales tax, property tax, cigarette tax, corporate income tax, etc. FAILED 2 to 1 (defeating ‘Spender of House’ Mike Hubbard’s full court press) on a GENERAL election ballot... the FIRST time this recently passed Lee County sales tax increase was voted upon it also met sound defeat of over 2 to 1. The O/A News reported 68.5% against with 13,000 votes cast on the November 2008 GENERAL election ballot, almost TEN times the turn-out of citizens who voted this month. 2008’s reasonable sample of voters was not enough for politburo members on the Lee County Commission bent on extracting even more from productive citizens they are sworn to represent; the 1 cent (14%) sales tax increase was AGAIN put on the November 2010 general election ballot to fail 56% to 44% with over 9,000 votes recorded. In short, 2010 provided another respectable sample of Lee County voters to convey citizens’ preference instead of the 4.5% ‘theft by deception’ turnout of registered voters in this month’s special election. Dare I type the percent of eligible voters is even more abysmal?
Using the special election/low-turnout sham from the Armistead to Waggoner et al playbook, the Lee County politburo made sure they could impose their will over these past two wise decisions determined by a sound sample of Lee County citizens. Reports and inquiries I’ve made place spending something in excess of $30,000 to put on the sham ‘vote show’ this month for politburo members to hide behind a 4.5% turn-out result claiming to ‘let the citizens decide.’ Another easy victory for soviet-style conservatives as Speaker Hubbard showed his big govt. minions how to game the system with low turn-out special election sham results used to amend our State constitution in the 2012 theft of our trust fund by deception. As entertaining to watch all the politburo members stand and clap during state of union addresses in DC; it was equally entertaining to watch and read all the sycophants slobbering over one another in delight at plundering our trust fund with only 14% of registered voters saying yes to amend our State constitution. The more they effusively thanked the voters for an ‘overwhelming show of support’ the more pathetic the band of thieves appeared delighting in their successful theft by low turn-out deception. Some readers may recall we wasted $3 million on that special election sham result because it couldn’t wait 49 days to be on a general election ballot where it was likely to fail. It is time for our honest Senators on Goat Hill (Brewbaker, Holley, McGill, Reed, Sanford, Scofield, Ward, Whatley, et al small govt. conservative types) to again show their courage and statesmanship in crafting tight legislation and work with the House to stop political theft via this sort of deception.
The waste of resources to put the veneer on this sham vote was profound; countless folks asked why I had my “I Voted” sticker on my shirt, completely unaware (by design) of any vote that day. My favorite illustration comes from young Marine Brian Smith, active member of the Auburn Student Veterans Association (Graduate Adviser) currently completing his graduate work. He was curious why his polling place was open. His initial assumption was just another poorly planned and executed, waste of taxpayer funds. Nonetheless, he walked in to determine why the polling place was even open for voting since he lives in the middle of Auburn city limits - i.e., far from any unincorporated area of Lee County. Since he, nor any of his neighbors were eligible to vote on this issue, Brian wanted the answer to why it was open given the dearth of information about any voting that day. He found six paid election workers waiting for the polls to close after being told he was ineligible to vote by virtue of residing within city limits. Brian then asked the obvious: why open a location serving residents well inside the city boundary? He found the reply dumbfounding; all six election staffers had been there all day (paid by the taxpayers) waiting for SEVEN possible voters. At 4.5% turn-out, one wonders if the one-third of a person rounded up to show.
The most revealing questions Brian asked illuminating this recent ‘Theft by Deception’ committed in Lee County were, “Why was a special vote held for the unincorporated area of the county to vote on a tax hike. Why couldn’t this be placed on November ballots less than two months away from this special vote?” Ominously familiar to Hubbard’s successful special election vote stealing $437 million from our trust fund September 18, 2012. The rational forecast: this ‘offensive’ play will be run again and again by big govt. thugs throughout the State. Upon hearing the sham results of this sudden change to PASSING via special election theft by deception, this wise young Marine understood the enemy’s playbook. He sent the following text, “Five percent turnout and the tax increase easily passed! My assumption of stupidity has now faded into suspicion of a clever maneuver by our elected officials to guarantee the result which they desperately wanted with no consideration for the waste of taxpayer funds or their voice.”
Indeed a lot easier to get the politburo result desired when not informing the electorate of a vote and make sure your big govt. thugs pack the polls to carry the day with less than one in twenty registered voters participating. The Clarion Inn polling place in Auburn was also open the entire day to facilitate this political theft by deception tallying a whopping total of 18 votes. Sara Falligant at the O-A News also reported Probate Judge English as follows, “I think the commission chose because of (previous elections) to hold it as a special election," English said. "We could've done it in November, but we've done it twice, and you saw what happened." I guess when you have no worries about re-election in such an uncompetitive process ‘public servants’ can be in your face about how they’re gaming the system. The sad thing is the deleterious spirit of Hubbard and his big govt. thugs has permeated this once wonderful county and these ‘public servants’ genuinely believe that if they successfully game the system, theft by deception of this sort is OK. We’ll see if a Lee County Jury (hopefully not distorted like special election results) can/will discipline political theft of this sort.
I found Sheila Eckman the most adamant/despicable of the politburo refusing to accept the prior two votes against taking more from unincorporated areas, shamelessly shrilling about letting the citizens decide and saying it got lost and voters were confused when soundly defeating it the last two times. It doesn’t really matter if she’s too poorly educated to understand how foolish she sounds or doesn’t understand arithmetic or genuinely believes this sham special election result was ‘letting the citizens decide’ in her mind, the deleterious result is the same. It is easy to get her big govt. extremist minions out to insure victory to transfer power and wealth in their favor instead of another reasonable sample of voters who may again stop this sort of abuse/manipulation of outcomes. How many of the 95% of registered voters who did NOT show even KNOW about the special election vote? All is fair to advance their god of bigger govt. and promote their cronies, but this abusive manipulation of the electorate must end or we'll become as backward as most of the other over-taxed counties in the US.
The one cent (14%) sales tax increase, estimated to extract another $800,000 to $1 million from taxpayers is earmarked to be split by the Lee County Sheriff's Office and the Lee County Recreation Board. Of course, anyone who understands fungibility/substitution effects knows the commission will simply direct less funding to the Sheriffs office in future budgets to engage in more mismanagement and cronyism to make the cry for more tax increases again in a few years. Those who’ve read or heard me speak on the issue in the past know I would have voted for and supported the increase for sheriffs to define, enforce and allow the peaceful/voluntary exchange of property in our county - a legitimate function of county govt. -- but still voted NO under these election circumstances. PUT IT ON A GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT. In fact, this increase also takes more for Parks & Recreation (something which does not serve the general welfare and is best funded by specific user fees) so I would have continued to vote NO until bifurcated to vote on SEPARATELY. Look for more public finance games by the county political hacks to redistribute funds to their special interests over the general welfare after this theft result is forgotten.
When asked by Brian Smith how I’d respond my reply was, “the same as I have been.” Just as the unconstitutional 1% Auburn income tax has stolen from me these last 22 years (and we can not vote for any of those taxing us) I’ll have increasingly LESS to give to my church. We’ll see if the increase to law enforcement makes the roads safe enough again to make unnecessary trips so I’ll start donating platelets to cancer patients again. When the 14% sales tax increase (reported as 7 to 8 cents) is imposed next year we’ll try to spend more at thrift stores to help the poor and buy more out of State/county so it will not further reduce my donations to the food bank, etc. I can only hope those like Mr. Foxworth touting to the O-A News about his, “daughter benefitted from Smiths Station’s recreational facilities, and now plays softball for Smiths Station High School. She hopes to one day play college softball. That rec built her to be a part of Smiths Station’s softball team,” will donate to our food bank I think more important than subsidizing his daughter’s softball. It wouldn’t be a true Hubbard playbook ‘offense’ without some “the children, the children!” rhetoric, so Smiths Station Mayor Lafaye Dellinger ‘voiced strong words’ in support of the proposal to make it complete. The O-A News quoted her with, “I hope to God it doesn’t fail, because it says to me that people in this community don’t care about the children,” Dellinger said. “…I value the kids and what they mean to us. They are our future.” Same old tired rhetoric from those who’ve made government their god. Sadly, more of these children may be too saddled with debt, taxes and a contracted economy to know the joy of being less dependent on others and successful enough to give voluntarily (without the hegemony of taxes) to their church, the sick, the hungry as I was taught and have done.
Postscript: I’d be remiss to close without wishing the Alabama Gazette a very blessed 15th Anniversary as she remains a courageous “Voice of Reason” in our State to shed Light upon those of ill-spirit written above attempting to envelope us in darkness. Honored to be a Gazette writer for a third of those years. I’ll again ask all those who write/tell me they do not agree with me for forgiveness. I do not write seeking agreement, but to provoke thought as charged by the column’s moniker Loretta assigned. One of the many lessons I’ve learned from Jesus’ teachings is those trying to follow His path to our heavenly Father will often be looked upon poorly by others in our struggle toward righteousness. Jesus was not looking for agreement from corrupt clergy, nor moneychangers, nor Herod, et al. I’ve read nothing to suggest He expected agreement from Pilate, nor forecasted he would ‘do right’ in the end but nonetheless had to provide the opportunity for Pilate and others to change their path. An integral part of the process is to first THINK about what one may do which will shepherd you towards the path Jesus Christ shown to the world. May God grant the Gazette many more years applying His word advancing the Holy Spirit to address our modern problems with the Wisdom of many ages past.