With the Tenth Amendment Center team constantly focusing on what’s next, it’s easy to lose sight of how far we’ve come already. Looking in the rear view mirror, 2011 was big, but 2012 is looking to become a watershed year for us.
The past 5 ½ years have been a whirlwind of progress. But, we realize we wouldn’t be where we are today without the continued support of proud Tenthers like yourself. Special thanks goes out to you for contributing in your own way to this growing Tenther Revolution!
From mainstream media attacks and events around the country, to Obamacare and TSA nullification efforts growing in the states, we’ve helped educate and activate people nationwide not only on just what the Constitution authorizes the federal government to do, but what exactly you should do when those strict Constitutional rules are violated.
Our efforts have seen triumphs and setbacks – and at times they may have seemed trivial. But, each step of the way has been yet another step forward in our mission. That’s the Constitution. Every issue, every time. No exceptions and no excuses.
In what felt like a monumental task, I wanted to share with you an overview of the year 2011 for both the Tenth Amendment Center, and the national Tenther Movement. From events to milestones to media coverage and the like – keep reading to see our favorite memories and milestones…
JANUARY: KICK OFF
We started the year working hard to get the word out to state legislators that it’s not just a good idea, but it’s their duty to stand up and say no to unconstitutional federal acts. As a result, states around the country were considering nullification as the rightful remedy to everything from federal gun regulations and Obamacare, to the EPA and an overbearing FDA.
Sheriff Richard Mack joined Stewart Rhodes, Gary Johnson, Charles Goyette, Robert Scott Bell and others at the relaunch of the Nullify Now! tour in Phoenix. More than two-hundred joined us that day to learn how to stop DC at your state line.
FEBRUARY: FIRST IN THE NATION!
In February, the Idaho House became the first legislative body in the country to pass the TAC’s Health Care Nullification Act – a bill that rejected not just health insurance mandates, but the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care act. Our model legislation states, in part:
***the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” interferes with the right of the People of the State of _____________ to regulate health care as they see fit, and makes a mockery of James Madison’s assurance in Federalist #45 that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined”, while those of the States are “numerous and indefinite.”***
While the bill didn’t end up passing into Idaho law, the massive amount of media attention paid to the issue gave legislators in other states the idea that they could – and should – use nullification too. A small setback was clearly leading to larger breakthroughs for the future.
MARCH: MORE EVENTS
In March, the Nullify Now! tour rambled on to Cincinnati and New Hampshire. Both were special events, but the Ohio one was quite unique. Held at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – in the Harriet Tubman Theater – Nullify Now! Cincinnati focused heavily on the story of Joshua Glover. Joshua escaped slavery to freedom in Wisconsin, only to be arrested a short while later. Federal agents held Joshua for a short time before the people there – in large numbers – decided that this man wasn’t supposed to be just sent back to slavery in the south. Instead, they broke him free. A later case had the Wisconsin Supreme Court calling upon the Principles of 98 to justify resistance to Federal Fugitive Slave laws in what was a widespread effort by Northern States to nullify slave laws.
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Two weeks later, we were on our way to New Hampshire. Actually, it was a little less than two weeks as we decided to use the federally-funded AmTrak as a protest against the TSA. 70+ hours on a train was fun, but not a convenient way to travel on a regular basis! It was good to connect with many long-time supporters in New Hampshire, visit the studios of Free Talk Live (which runs the LRN.FM network rebroadcasting Tenther Radio!), and spend some time with our good friends Mike Rogers and family. Mike – thanks for all your amazing support. You really went above and beyond the call of duty, and we were proud to make you our first Tenth Amendment Center lifetime member!
APRIL: UPPING THE ANTE
Two days before getting to Nullify Now! Austin, Rachel Maddow gave the TAC a nice, big gift. She spent nearly 15 minutes on MSNBC attacking our work specifically and the Nullification movement in general. In my response, posted here and on LewRockwell.com I pointed out that Maddow was obviously little more than a partisan hack, ignoring the left-wing Tenther Movement which is pushing back against with State Marijuana Laws and by nullifying George Bush’s Real ID Act.
Instead, Rach decided that anything opposing the liberal cause in DC by nullifying on a state level – well these were the only things worth noting and “reporting” on. Guess she wanted to alarm her uninformed audience that a bunch of right-wing nuts wanted to restore slavery…and legal weed. Well maybe not the latter!
Undeterred, people around the country were gravitating more and more towards these principles. And in North Dakota, just two weeks after Maddow’s hit piece, the Governor signed a version of the Health Care Nullification bill into law – the first state to do so.
The high point was when our national communications director, Mike Maharrey, found a report about the TSA practically molesting the former Miss USA, Susie Castillo. After dealing with the TSA, she recorded a powerful video where she explained her ordeal. Mike felt that this was a story that needed to be told. And while the video still had just a handful of views, he quickly put together both a featured article and a press release which went out from the TAC within hours.
Over the next few days, reporters and websites everywhere were talking about the lady who had been molested by the TSA – “legally” of course, according to the federal government. The anti-tsa movement kicked off by our friends at WeWontFly.com just months earlier had gone mainstream.
At the beginning of May, I was invited to speak at the Presidential Debate Tea Party Rally in Greenville, South Carolina. Also on the speaking lineup were Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, Stewart Rhodes, Nikki Haley and many others. Scheduling for a long event is often difficult and I ended up – at the last minute – pulling the short straw…meaning, I had to speak right AFTER Ron Paul. Two days later at an educational event in SoCal, I had to speak right AFTER Tom Woods. Um – am I being punished for something?
That month, Trenton, Maine became the fourth town to declare food sovereignty – passing a local ordinance that nullified some federal laws and regulations on farming and commerce. Will more do so around the country. Later in the year, Highland City, Utah joined in, and we expect many others to do so in 2012 too.
May was capped off by the Nullify Now! tour coming to our hometown, Los Angeles. In a town where there are no active tea parties – this was our biggest one yet. Anthony Gregory, John Dennis, Stewart Rhodes, Scott Horton and others joined Tom Woods, who gave what many have been calling a speech for the ages.
JUNE: WE’RE FIVE!
In June, we hit a big milestone, our five year anniversary. Standing on principle has become easy for us since the organization was founded in 2006. In the past five years we’ve been regularly called communists by neo-cons and racists by neo-libs. Both sides seem to agree that strict adherence to the Constitution – as we relentlessly demand – is dangerous to their mission of centralized power.
Thank you for getting us to our first five years. We’re looking forward to many more with you in the future!
With funding gifts that you gave us for our anniversary, we were able to get a number of new things going – most prominently, Tenther Radio. Our first show featured Tom Woods and Heather Fazio – broadcast through BlogTalkRadio.
Tenther Radio is broadcast every Wednesday evening at 8pm Eastern and 5pm Pacific. Host Michael Boldin and rotating co-hosts talk with top experts, newsmakers, and tenther activists every week. Call the show with questions or comments at 213.785.7848 and stream the broadcast LIVE at radio.tenthamendmentcenter.com
JULY: EXPANDING OUR REACH
In July, I was invited to submit a guest column to Bob Livingston’s Personal Liberty Digest, which has a very large audience. I opened with a simple message:
“We don’t need no stinkin’ permission to exercise our rights. We need to exercise our rights whether the government wants us to or not.”
Since then, I’ve written a column at least once each month and hope to continue doing so in the future. This helps us reach more and more people to educate and activate them on the principles of the 10th Amendment.
AUGUST: NULLIFICATION IN MISSOURI!
August brought us the vote on Proposition C in Missouri – the Health Care Freedom Amendment. It passed by a huge margin – making part of the state Constitution that “No law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.”
Two weeks later, a we had a packed house for Nullify Now! Kansas City. How we could have put that amazing event together without the endless hours and dedication from our friend Vicky Colleti? Well, it would’ve been impossible.
A Rasmussen poll released in August revealed that 54 percent of likely U.S. voters believe that states should have the right to opt out of federal programs they don’t agree with. In other words, more than half of Americans now embrace the Constitutional concept of state sovereignty.
SEPTEMBER: MOVIN’ ON UP!
With three months of shows and a steady and increasing audience, we felt it was time to upgrade Tenther Radio. With funding from our 5 year anniversary, we were able to put together an entry-level professional-grade studio. John Michaels spent a few weeks in LA both on vacation and getting the new system set up. The first show on the upgrade – maybe a little much to take on with a new system – was a live post-GOP Debate special, with a co-host and two field correspondents reporting from events in Austin, TX and Los Angeles, CA. We think it went quite well!
The show now streams live through an application provided by Mixlr, and this gives us CD-quality sound in both the live and archived shows. Audience size has been growing more since then – so we’ll take that as a big thumbs up!
Previous public opinion polls and now the GOP debates were making clear that the general public felt that the 10th amendment was of the utmost importance to them. The number 1 viewer question at a September 22nd debate was this – “There’s growing concern among Americans about the size and scope of the federal government and its infringement upon state and individual rights. If you’re elected president, how do you plan to restore the 10th Amendment, hold the federal government only to those enumerated powers in the Constitution, and allow states to govern themselves.” (see it here)
OCTOBER: OVER THE TARGET
The much-lauded G. Edward Griffin gave the Tenth Amendment Center a resounding vote of approval when he informed his newsletter subscribers about a TAC article. He wrote: “When Winning Becomes Losing” is the title of this excellent analysis of why the left/right illusion has led the country into ruin and why winning elections is meaningless if our principles do not win. This will help you resist the argument that you should not vote for your candidate of choice because “he can’t win.” Thank you, sir!
Although they had issued a few “warnings” about the Tenth Amendment Center and our Nullify Now! tour previously, the Jacksonville event brought with it a full-on hit piece from the Southern Poverty Law Center. We invited them to come on Tenther Radio to discuss the “report” that they did without speaking to a single representative of the TAC at the event. They declined – to even respond, that is.
Instead of a direct conversation, Mike Maharrey went through their article and rebuked it – pretty much line by line. He wrote:
“A Twitter page profile describes (SPLC writer Ryan) Lenz as a “Writer and journalist.” Now if by “journalist,” we mean one capable of stringing words together in a reasonably coherent fashion, yeah, OK. But if it means journalist in the professional sense, as in one who seeks out the truth and attempts to report it in a fair and objective manner. Well, not so much.”
NOVEMBER: A GROWING MOVEMENT
November showed us the power of individuals and small groups to put a stop to unconstitutional federal acts. The “milk freedom riders” flouted current federal “laws” and regulations by purchasing and transporting raw milk across state lines. They proceeded to the steps of the building housing the FDA offices in Maryland and consumed the contraband, challenging the federal thugs “I drink raw milk. Arrest me!”
In New Mexico, the US Forest Service under the USDA was threatening to arrest county commissioners because they had flouted federal regulations unconstitutionally preventing them from making decisions about how to deal with an overgrown forest in their area. Otero County Sheriff Benny House reportedly advised the feds that if they made any arrests, he would then arrest the feds on kidnapping charges. The feds backed down.
Brad Rogers, Elkhart, IN county sheriff, sent a letter to the Department of Justice – warning them to stop bothering a local raw dairy producer. He wrote: “any further attempts to inspect this farm without a warrant signed by a local judge, based on probable cause, will result in Federal inspectors’ removal or arrest for trespassing by my officers or I.” The local sheriff won that battle – again.
The people of Ohio joined the nullification movement with a bang on the the eve of the 213th anniversary of the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. Ohioans passed Issue Three, a constitutional amendment to preserve their right to choose their own health care and health care coverage. Preliminary returns indicated a wide margin of victory, with more than 60 percent approving the amendment. The amendment makes it illegal for any local, state or federal law to require Ohio residents to purchase health insurance, effectively nullifying a key component of the PPACA.
DECEMBER: RAMPING UP
Another note of praise from G. Edward Griffin. Mid-month, he had this to say in his newsletter: “Tenth Amendment Center founder Michael Boldin explains the origin and importance of the Bill of Rights. Very important history lesson. [Be sure to listen to the audio.]”
The biggest news? Thanks to your help, our friends at the Foundation for a Free Society were able to put together a 9th inning comeback – and get the Nullification Movie fully funded for final production and a premiere at CPAC! Now we’ll have a powerful new tool – a documentary film – to educate people on just what you can do to stop the Feds at your state line. Special thanks has to go out to TAC 5-year member Matthew Silber – who dedicated plenty of time with graphics for the DVD, for t-shirts, movie posters, ads, and more. If you’ll be going to DC in February, please join us for the first public viewing of the Nullification Documentary!
We think it’s fitting that to close out this 2011 Year in Review, it should be pointed out that we received yet another attack in the media – this time in the Huffington Post just before Christmas. What do they call you when you stand up for The Constitution – every issue, every time – no exceptions, no excuses?
The “radical Tenth Amendment Center.”
They called the Founders radical too – so we’ll just wear that label with pride.
P.S. THANK YOU! AND PLANS FOR 2012
Those two words sum it up quite nicely – thank you. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your help. We couldn’t get the word out without you sharing our posts on Facebook, through Twitter, and the like. Without your subscription to our newsletter – and of course – without your financial help. We’ve got just a short way to go to get the first 6 months of 2012 funded – and your help will keep us moving forward in this long struggle for the Constitution and liberty.
Some things we’d like to do in 2012? First of all – continue our upward path – reaching, teaching and educating more and more people. We’ll be doing events at CPAC, plus Nullify Now! in Philadelphia. We’ll continue bringing in more high-quality experts and guests to Tenther Radio. We’ll continue our outreach to state legislators around the country. We expect to see as many as 10-15 states – not just Texas all alone – standing up and saying NO to TSA searches that violate the 4th Amendment. We’d also like to build and expand a dedicated Tenther News website, host a weekly 30 minute news radio show to counter the mainstream bias, and expand our efforts on YouTube with weekly “Constitution Quick Tips” videos – These will be professionally-produced video segments that highlight – and correct – common misconceptions about the constitution today. These are short videos of 5 minutes and under – to keep them interesting and educational for young people and the general public. We’d like to get nullification efforts off the ground in response to both the Patriot Act and the NDAA, plus continue our work to push for food freedom in cities, towns and states too. Expect Utah to be a leader in the food freedom movement for 2012!
Each step we take is another step forward. But we cannot succeed with out your help, and the funding to mount principled and effective campaigns against unconstitutional “laws,” regulations and mandates. We do not (and will not) accept government grants or contracts, nor do we have an endowment or any corporate backing.
If you believe in our mission and want us to continue with more success in 2012, please consider a year-end gift to the Tenth Amendment Center (HERE) or join us as a member (HERE). Whether it’s $5 or $500, your help goes a long way, and we’ll continue doing what we do – standing up for The Constitution. Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses.
There’s a lot that has happened so far, and there’s much more to come. As Judge Andrew Napolitano famously put it in a 2009 state sovereignty rally speech – “In the long history of the world, very few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its maximum hour of danger. This is that moment and you are that generation!”
From everyone at the Tenth Amendment Center, we wish you and yours a a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year. We are honored to play a role in this great movement for the Constitution and liberty, and truly look forward to being a part of that with you for years to come.