Preamble the United States Constitution

Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

(From We the People: Presidential Quotations and Milestone Documents by Day Williams.)

House Spanks Holder

 

House holds Holder in contempt over ‘Fast and Furious’ documents

The House on Thursday cited Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for contempt of Congress in a historic vote weighted with political significance, though it does little to break the stalemate over his decision to withhold documents over the Justice Department’s actions in a botched gun-walking operation.

The 255-67 vote amounted to a political spanking for Mr. Holder and President Obama, and 17 Democrats joined with Republicans in demanding the documents be released. Most Democrats, however, walked out in protest of the vote.

It marks the first time an attorney general has been held in contempt by a chamber.

But the White House dismissed the proceedings as a sideshow, and the vote does nothing to break the impasse, though it further poisoned feelings in an already bitterly divided chamber.

“No Justice Department is above the law, and no Justice Department is above the Constitution,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican.

Democrats pleaded with the Republicans to slow down the proceedings, saying the oversight committee, led by Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, has done a shoddy job in putting together its investigation.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, even introduced a resolution demanding that the House reprimand Mr. Issa for partisanship and accusing him of having “engaged in a witch hunt.”

Many Democrats walked out of the contempt vote in protest, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said the vote was a black eye for the Republicans.

“Just when you think you have seen it all. Just when you think they couldn’t possibly go any further over the edge, they come up with something like this,” she said. “What is happening here is shameful.”

Democrats also tried to force the matter back into Mr. Issa’s committee, but the House defeated that motion.

As issue is the oversight committee’s investigation into Fast and Furious, an operation intended to track sales of U.S. guns and watch the guns be shipped across the border to a Mexican drug cartel, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) lost track of the roughly 2,000 weapons after they were sold.

Some of the guns eventually began showing up at crime scenes, including two that were recovered at the site of a 2010 Arizona shootout that left Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry dead.

Mr. Holder shut down the operation, but his efforts to clean up after it have come under scrutiny. The Justice Department initially told Congress it never knowingly lost track of guns, but after whistleblowers made it clear that this was false, Mr. Holder had to withdraw that claim.

The Justice Department has turned over documents about the actual gun-walking operation, but have refused to turn over documents about how it handled the false information it provided to Congress. Last week President Obama asserted executive privilege, arguing those documents are protected by precedent that governs internal deliberations.

Democrats said they aren’t defending the gun-walking operation, but said the committee should leave Mr. Holder alone.

A Plea for Justice

As a working solo attorney, I see many conscientious judges who strive to be fair. Unfortunately, I do see cases where judges bow to big firms and defer to anything a big firm lawyer tells them, no matter how far-fetched it is.

I plea for judges to earn their ample pay by reading my humble pleadings and the pleadings of my colleagues who may not belong to big law firms, even when we “small-time lawyers” come from out of town. Judges have sworn an oath of office. They are required to follow the law. “Law” means the statutes and the cases as applied to the facts presented. Judges are to ignore the personalities involved and the so-called “status” of the parties and their lawyers. I plea for judges to read, to listen, to think, to stay independent, to do justice and to earn their salaries and benefits.

Preamble to the United States Constitution

Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

(From We the People: Presidential Quotations and Milestone Documents by Day Williams.)

Group files City Center petition

Thursday, June 28, 2012
4,559 signatures are submitted
By Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com
Organizers demanding a vote to block the use of public money for the proposed City Center Project filed 4,559 signatures Wednesday with the Carson City Clerk-Recorder’s Office.

That is well over the 2,935 valid voters’ signatures needed to put the question on the November ballot, but Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover said that declaration won’t be official until he and his staff verify at least that many signatures of registered voters.

Organizers of the drive, led by attorney Day Williams, presented the signatures to Glover and Elections Division officials in two thick binders that they said totaled 672 pages.

Williams and Dennis Johnson said their best estimate is that 80 percent of those who signed the petitions oppose using public money to build the city’s portion of the $28 million project, dubbed the Knowledge + Discovery Center.

“That was my sense going door to door, and other people’s sense,” Williams said.

The group wants voters to have a chance to vote up or down on this proposition: “No public funding shall be used for the proposed Carson City Center Project (commonly known as the Nugget Economic Development Project or the Nugget Project) without a majority vote of the people approving such public funding.”

The members of the Petitioners’ Committee are Linda Barnett, Dennis E. Johnson, James Lee Bagwell, Clarence “Bud” Southard and Day R. Williams. Carson resident Fred Voltz gathered the most signatures for the committee. Former Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira also gathered signatures.

Johnson said that while gathering signatures in recent weeks, and even until Wednesday, he was continually surprised by the number of people who aren’t even aware of the project and its potential impact on downtown.

The proposed project has been scaled down over the years from a sprawling $100 million business/retail/library/residential plan to its current iteration — an upgraded library (the K+D Center) and a large outdoor plaza. The Carson Nugget casino and the Mae Adams Foundation, named for the widow of former Nugget owner Hop Adams, have agreed to donate the land for the project, along with $5 million toward its cost.

Steve Neighbors, the casino chief and administrator of the trust, has commissioned a telephone poll in Carson City as a way to inform residents of his motives and hopes for the City Center. But the issue remains controversial, with opponents questioning the need for a new library and the proposed quarter-cent sales tax that would fund the city’s portion of the cost.

To get the “no public money without a vote” issue on the ballot, the group had to collect signatures totaling at least 15 percent of the total number of Carson residents who voted in the last general election. In all, 19,569 voted in the 2010 election, so the group needed at least 2,935 valid signatures.

Glover said the process now is to randomly sample 500 of those signatures to see whether they are, indeed, those of registered Carson City voters. If there are that many in the sample, the petition goes forward. If 90 percent of the signatures or more are valid, a full count may be necessary to decide. If the percentage of valid signers is below 90 percent, the petition drive fails.

Glover said that judging by what was submitted Wednesday, he is confident the group will get its question on the ballot.

Petitioners Barnett and Williams said they went through the signatures and verified every one against the list of Carson City’s registered voters.

“We have done our own verification with the voter lists,” Williams said.

Glover said the verification process would take a couple of days.