Ohio Freedom Alliance Meeting- Maurice Thompson & Alicia Healy
On Tuesday evening, I attended the Ohio Freedom Alliance’s meeting in Worthington. The guest speaker was Maurice Thompson of the Buckeye Institute’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law.
I’m was reluctant to attend because in every libertarian group one is bound to find a few black-helicopter-conspiracy types and at least one member of the discredited John Birch Society. But I’m happy to report that the vast majority of those at the meeting were quite normal and fellow members of what Grover Norquist calls the “Leave Us Alone Coalition.” It is a vastly different crowd than one may find in an organization like the Young Republicans, as instead of discussions of the latest daily political tit for tat, you are far more likely to find yourself in a heavily technical conversation about Frederick Hayek and the Austrian business cycle theory.
Before Thompson, Alicia Healy, one of the Franklin County GOP’s long-shot city council candidates, introduced herself to the freedom-loving crowd. Considering the county party’s long history of running so-called “RINO” candidates, I was pleasantly surprised to find Alicia to be a staunch defender of core conservative principles. Statistically, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn if she was the only black female Ron Paul Republican on Earth!
She spoke in favor of a citizen effort to oppose a job-killing, oppressive tax increase in Columbus, which is supported by corrupt Democrat Mayor Coleman and The Columbus Dispatch. (Probably because their publisher’s other business interests would greatly benefit if it passes.) She made the important point that the capital improvement fund has been a slush fund for developers, and the various tax abatements the city has granted to these developers certainly has not improved the city’s economic situation. She also condemned the city leadership who are using scare tactics by threatening to fire police and firemen (including those recently hired with Federal “stimulus” money) if the tax increase doesn’t pass, as the city employees “78,000 workers”, when only “3000″ of those are involved in providing critical police and fire services.
Maurice Thompson introduced himself as one who “sues Government for a living, and for fun.” And interestingly, his legal center is called the “1851 Center for Constitutional Law,” as in the early 1800s there was a series of issues involving state government corruption and bailouts of industries (sound familiar?) so a constitutional convention was held and a new constitution was written with more restraints on the powers of state government.
Thompson also gave a fast history of the pernicious spread of progressivism in our legal system, which started in the early 1900s and continued through President Franklin Roosevelt’s unconstitutional expansion of Federal powers. Examples of FDR’s unconstitutional programs were the national Industrial Recovery Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which put government in charge of pricing of manufactured and agricultural goods. Thompson also went into detail about Schechter brothers, who ran a chicken slaughter business in Brooklyn, and were prosecuted under the NRA as they wanted to not only compete with their competition by… GASP!… lowering their prices, but they dared to kill chickens in a kosher fashion, as it was a federal crime for customers to pick their own chickens. (By the way- Anyone interested in in this era should read Amity Shlaes’ brilliant book on the subject.)
Thompson also mentioned some cases he has been involved in. One organization he is working with is COAST, a wonderful conservative organization in Cincinnati, which is known for taking various proposals of their city council and forcing them on the ballot to be voted on. The latest issue was to collect signatures to put on the ballot the city council’s proposal for a public trolley, and various police officers and city officials were intimidating COAST from collecting signatures on public property, and Thompson successfully helped COAST get an injunction against this illegal harassment.
In addition, Thompson is fighting on behalf of the Stowers family of Lorain County, as they own an organic food cooperative, and have been the victim of ridiculously harsh raids via the Ohio Department of Agriculture in a style which one might expect to be reserved only for violent drug dealers. Here is a video where the Stowers family tell their story:
And here is a recent update from the Buckeye Institute on this matter:
Also, Thompson discussed recent misguided legislation in the Ohio House, which would have allowed judges to unconstitutionally change the term of mortgagee contracts. He testified in committee against the proposed legislation, as such proposals make it far more risky for lenders to enter into contracts and therefore borrowers would end up paying a few hundred dollars per month to compensate for this additional risk.
Thompson closed by noting he welcomes suggestions for cases to get involved in. And I highly recommend making a TAX-DEDCUTABLE donation to the Buckeye Institute, as this sort of litigation may be critical to the fight for smaller government but it is also expensive!
- Maurice Thompson, Fighting for Liberty
- Freedom Watch at OSU with Judge Andrew Napolitano, Sen. Tim Grendell, Maurice Thompson, Ron Paul, and Others
- A Big Victory for Bars and Freedom in Ohio
- The Buckeye Institute Defeats Ohio ACORN
- Jason Rink from the Ohio Freedom Alliance Discussing the Columbus Tea Party with Greta Van Susteren