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Saturday, September 11, 2010

IPTV Forum on Why Politicos Think You No Longer Need to Vote On Debt And White Paper On Issues

On September 23rd at 8:30PM, my friend Dave Frazier will be debating 7th District   Idaho State Senator Joe Stegner about the Constitutional Amendments on the ballot this Fall that will further restrict your rights to vote on debts issued by elected Politicos for Airports, Hospitals, and Power Generating issues.  Do you really want to give these people the rights to spend money without any oversight?  It could happen if these amendments pass muster with those who take the time to vote.

Here is another in a series of articles Dave has written on November Ballot issues we will vote up or down.


Bowing to the pressure of local government lobbyists, more than 2/3 of the 2010 legislature passed three proposed constitutional amendments dealing with AIRPORTS, PUBLIC HOSPITALS, and POWER GENERATING CITIES.

All three seek to deny citizens their existing rights to vote on public financing of these facilities. Not a single citizen or group of citizens came to the legislature begging to be relieved of their right to vote. Elected officials statewide don’t trust the judgement of voters to make the right choices.

It’s absurd to ask citizens to go to the polls and vote to deny themselves the right to vote and that’s exactly what HJR5 does. As a nation we have fought wars around the globe to insure that people have the right to vote, not deny them that right with deceptive wording on the ballot.

Instead of saying “WITHOUT PERMISSION OF VOTERS,” the craftily worded proposals relating to airports–HJR5–and Power Cities–HJR7–say bonds (public debt) “shall not be secured by the full faith and credit or the taxing power of the subdivision or regional airport authority”. Deceitful at best!

Article 8, section 3 of the constitution gives municipalities (cities and counties) certain spending authority, but in each case those local governments must obtain, “ASSENT OF THE ELECTORS.”

For years, local governments routinely went around the will of the people to finance pet projects by invoking the “ordinary and necessary” provision, which allowed municipalities to seek “judicial confirmation” from a district court judge that a project was legal. That all changed when David R. Frazier challenged the city of Boise’s plans to build a $19 million police station and later a $27 million parking garage–without seeking permission from the voters.

The airport parking garage issue went to the Idaho Supreme Court. The court issued the landmark FRAZIER decision in 2006 which carved in stone the fact municipalities MUST seek voter permission to spend funds that exceed a single year’s revenues. ALL money collected by government–regardless of the revenue source–is public money.

Frazier's victory put the brakes on wild local spending and prompted numerous attempts at legislation–including constitutional amendments.

None of the ballot measures tell voters in plain English the rights they currently hold will be ELIMINATED, but all three measures quietly avoid the key phrase “WITH ASSENT OF THE VOTERS.” The proposals need a simple majority at the polls to alter the constitution following the 2/3 vote of the legislature which put them on the ballot.

The issue is CITIZEN APPROVAL of debt rather than the merits of any particular project. In Idaho the citizens hold the “power of the purse.”

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