It’s been hard to take seriously the campaign for governor in Tennessee. Much of the discourse overlooks issues of liberty and constitutional restraints upon government. My questions are obnoxious, and while they would inject spice into the campaign are not likely to be pressed by members of the public.
By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7
Nor members of the states press. But here goes.
➤ Do you hold to the doctrine of judicial supremacy over constitutional supremacy? If it is the latter, how do you plan to protect the people from illegal opinions coming out of Washington’s supreme court?
➤ The civil asset forfeiture statute has created the Tennessee highwayman program, a threat to property and liberties, led by the Tennessee Highway Patrol at the department of safety, serving your executive branch. Tennessee had 7,616 civil asset forfeiture proceedings in 2016 and law enforcement seized more than $17 million in cash and 3,636 vehicles, says Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville. The total for 2009-14 was a reported $85.9 million, plus $26 million shared 2009-13 by the U.S. Will you fortify the power of the Tennessee Highway Patrol — or reign it in?
➤ In 2015 more than 9,000 boys and girls were slain with the permission of your party in Tennessee. Your office through its health records unit keeps careful count of every death. Should the slaughter of the unborn be abolished? Or should there be simply a careful negotiation about the mode of death, the time of death, the circumstances of these executions?
➤ Does constitutional government envision the State of Tennessee’s entering into business relationships with for-profit entities to pretendedly bring jobs to Tennessee, as through TNinvestco? This office has doled out F$200 million in tax credits and is losing money, and governments across the state yield F$2.5 billion annually in breaks and favors. Do you plan to continue with commercial government, which allows for corruption, cronyism and favoritism? Are reforms desirable or possible?
➤ The Republican Party with deceptive language stole the right of voters to elect judges. We don’t have the authority to name judges; you give us voters an up or down vote on your slate. Are there any judges in our state who care for the rights of people? Or do they only care about the interest of the state? Do you know judges and lawyers who take a constitution-honoring and pro-liberty perspective? Will you nominate them?
➤ Do you plan to continue state aid for the U.S. drug war, which has filled the state corrections system with prisoners? Or have the people of Tennessee had enough of the belligerent, warlike operation of this prohibition?
➤ Rulings in the high court are routinely ignored. For example, city of Chattanooga vs. Davis, 2001, which declares that cities have a civil authority only. Yes, cities through their police departments enforce the entire panoply of statutes against the people, often in the interest of justice and peacekeeping. Do cities have authority to operate police departments under our constitution, and what steps could you take to halt the police state in Tennessee via this seemingly usurping jurisdiction?
➤ The general assembly wisely has killed the Hall income tax. What can our state government do to promote this benevolent turn of events to people in other states to get them to move their families and businesses here?
➤ Though public schools are authorized in the constitution, is it possible the rise of the Internet makes public school irrelevant, redundant, useless, and pointless — a taxpayer-funded cartel your executive branch officials in the DOE oversee? Is a post public school vista of opportunity and marketplace solutions to educational needs in view? Or will the state continue to operate as if knowledge were expensive and rare, needing to be doled out by state employees through county and city school systems statewide?
➤ Executive government in Tennessee pretends that the public right-of-way cannot be used for private purposes or for pleasure, but only for commerce and transportation. The THP and police agencies across the state harass free use of the road, whether they be the poor, the undocumented immigrant or the Constitution minded free traveler such as appellant Arthur J. Hirsch, convicted in 2015 for exercising God-given property rights. Will you take steps to end the abuse of the free use of the road by your branch of government?
➤ The right to bear arms is infringed by statutes which are illegally and unconstitutionally vague, namely the carrying a weapon “with the intent to go armed” statute which your office enforces as if it were valid law. The constitution gives the legislature the authority to regulate the wearing of arms and yet Tennesseans labor under a total ban of ownership and use of firearms under this law, with a honeycomb of exceptions and defenses under a permit system. The current state of the law is full of legal traps for good people who protect themselves and others by private arms. Do you see this abusive statute as a problem — and will you support constitutional carry? Or is the gun law not a problem?
David Tulis oversees a news and analysis show weekdays at 9 a.m. on NoogaRadio 92.7 FM 95.3 FM HD4 in Chattanooga, covering local economy and free markets in Tennessee and beyond. He is editor of Nooganomics.com.