This news item is all over the internet and these events happened far from Maine, yet I feel compelled to blog about this because it exemplifies so much that is wrong with police conduct in our country today.
On January 27, 2015 San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury arrested San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson inside the Hall of Justice while she was clearly acting as an attorney representing a client.
So much is wrong with this brief video that I cannot resist making a bulleted list:
- Law must pass the test of common sense every time. A cooperative person who is submitting to an arrest cannnot be arrested for resisting arrest. As this NPR report points out, defending this practice will instantly lead to loss of trust in the police, as it is clear that the only message here is "submit or be arrested."
- Look closely at Brian Stansbury's body language in the video. This macho fellow just can't resist using his size and mannerisms to intimidate a woman. He knows he is in the Hall of Justice and on camera but that is not going to stop him. I don't know inspector Stansbury, but I am concerned that the San Francisco Police Department's defense of a misogynist bully will not be good for their reputation.
- Inspector Stansbury is a defendant in a 2013 civil rights lawsuit. The plaintiff in that lawsuit is one of Brian Stansbury's fellow SFPD officers who was arrested by Stansbury while off duty. Inspector Stansbury charged his colleague, who is black, with resisting arrest, but that charge was later dismissed. Stansbury is accused of choking the plaintiff, after profiling him by asking the plaintiff repeatedly if he was on parole or probation at the time of the arrest.
- Finally, I will repeat something that many have already mentioned but which is very much worth repeating. If Brian Stansbury is comfortable conducting himself in the manner shown on the video above, knowing that he is on camera inside the Hall of Justice in front of an officer of the court, how does he behave in the dark alleys of his city?
If you are eligible to vote in Maine and care about Liberty and Justice, please register to vote as a Libertarian by writing-in the word Libertarian on the Maine voter application.
Shawn Levasseur has announced his candidacy for the Maine State House seat 93, serving Rockland and Owl's Head.
His full press release is on his campaign website.
Gov. LePage’s 2015 Tax Plan is Almost the Same as the 2009 Tax Law Written by Democrats and Repealed by People’s Veto in 2010. There is NO Difference Between Major Parties.
As we work to register 5,000 Mainers as Libertarians by December first, one might ask – Why do we need a strong third party? The answer is – because we need new fresh ideas. Case in point – the similarity between the tax proposal by Gov. LePage this year and the law passed by the Democratic Legislature and Gov. Baldacci in 2009.
To paraphrase Yogi Berra, in theory there is a difference between the two parties but in practice there is not. You only have to go back to 2009 to remember LD 1495 passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Baldacci. That law, designed by the Democrats to expand the tax base, lowered the state income tax to a flat rate of 6.5% and expanded the 5.5% sales tax to many services. There were multiple complicated tax rates for meals and rental cars and even a special tax rate for candy. This law was repealed by people’s veto in 2010 (Question 1 in the June 2010 election).
We are now in 2015 and LePage is proposing increasing the sales tax to 6.5% and expanding it to cover more services. The top income tax rate would be lowered to 5.75%. There are some important differences here, such as repeal of the estate tax and, most importantly, cuts to municipal revenue sharing that make property tax increases likely in some towns. The proposal doubles the homestead exemption for senior citizens to $20,000 while eliminating it for people under 65. If property taxes were held flat, LePage’s proposal would reduce spending by $267 million (Detailed Tax Foundation Report Here). As we all know streamlining educational bureaucracy is difficult and there is no guarantee against property tax increases.Read more
As we embark on the exciting endeavor of registering 5,000 Mainers as Libertarians, I am sometimes asked about the level of support for libertarian ideas in the mainstream of our society. The libertarian party quiz shows plainly that most people value our ideals, but sometimes a specific case reveals how these ideals apply to real life scenarios.
When the case of Eric Garner first hit the news, strong emotion and outrage prevented any discussion of the factors that contributed to his death. The only topics that seemed appropriate in the mainstream were the issues of race and police conduct. When Senator Rand Paul talked about New York cigarette taxes as a contributing factor, he was widely ridiculed by commentators ranging from serious editorialists to Jon Stewart for insensitivity to race issues and misplaced focus.
With this in mind I was surprised to hear NPR's Robert Siegel confronting New York City police commissioner William Bratton on the issue of cigarette tax in this interview on NPR's All Things Considered on Friday.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press ran a news item about a false truck bomb scare at the federal courthouse in Bangor. The story was picked up by MPBN today. A concerned citizen contacted police about an unfamiliar rental truck parked next to the courthouse. An investigation by local police found that the there was no bomb and that the truck was full of "light bulbs stacked on pallets" (MPBN story http://news.mpbn.net/post/bangor-police-low-price-light-bulbs-be-sold-chicago ).
Further investigation revealed that the bulbs were purchased in Maine with discounts subsidized by Efficiency Maine and were being transported to Chicago to be sold at market rate there. Efficiency Maine calls itself an "independent administrator for energy efficiency programs in Maine" but Efficiency Maine does not earn the money it spends on these programs.
Ballot Access News: Maine Libertarian Party Files Paperwork to Begin to Qualify as a “Political Party”
From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:
The Maine Libertarian Party has become the first group to comply with the 2013 law that says if a group wants to qualify as a political party, it must notify the state in December of an even-numbered year. Such a group then has a year to obtain 5,000 registered members.
Read the rest at Ballot Access News
Within a few weeks, Maine citizens will have the ability to register to vote as Libertarians. The state just has to inform the cities and towns of this change, then we will have the go ahead to start changing our registrations.
The process to make the Libertarian Party an officially recognized political party in Maine begins now!
We need to send the state the signatures of ten registered voters who are not registered as being in any of the recognized parties, a.k.a. Unenrolled Voters, on a form declaring the intent to form a party by registration.
The LPME Executive Committee is meeting tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 20th) at 10 A.M. at the Brunswick Library, if you want to help us with your signature, please show up. If you can't, but would still like to sign, call us at 207-518-7493, or e-mail Chair@lpme.org. We can have someone to meet you to sign the form, as the form can only be turned in this month.
This is but the first step...Read more
We are saddened by the untimely passing of Andrew Ian Dodge, libertarian candidate for US Senate in 2012. We will always remember his energetic campaign during which he ran agains both major party candidates and Angus King. Andrew collected his own signatures to get on the statewide ballot, produced his own campaign materials, and then tirelessly drove his turbocharged Subaru to events all over the state. His dedication to the cause of liberty will not be forgotten and we offer our condolences to his wife Kim and his mother Elizabeth.
Some Maine nursing homes are threatening to close due to inadequate funding from Augusta. Most of these facilities are in poor rural areas and receive the majority of their funding from MaineCare, the maine Medicaid program. Legislators fear a backlash from relatives of nursing home patients and house, senate and Gov. LePage will undoubtedly find funds to add to MaineCare budget.
78% of nursing home care in Maine is funded by MaineCare and Medicare and Maine Nursing Homes are 92% full.
Read on for libertarian perspective on this problem:Read more
from the Portland Press Herald:
With the passage, Portland become the first city on the East Coast to legalize marijuana.
Residents voted on an ordinance that would – under city law – legalize possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana by adults age 21 or older. It does not set up a legal way to obtain the drug.
The referendum is seen by some as another step toward legalization across the country, and supporters say they will build on support in Portland with a statewide legalization effort in the next two years.
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and illegal for non-medical uses under state law. This referendum's success can be seen as a proof of concept for statewide legalization efforts.