EYE ON TOLEDO

Random thoughts inspired by today's headlines
By Maggie Thurber

District 2 Councilman D. Michael Collins was correct in demanding that Mayor Carty Finkbeiner provide city council with a copy of the Erie Street Market (ESM) business plan because it had already been provided to three members of the general public.

However, Collins made a tactical error when he originally pushed for the business plan. Based upon his recommendation, council approved funding for ESM for four months pending the development of the business plan and required that Finkbeiner produce the business plan by that deadline. Failing to anticipate Carty's strict adherence to the requirement, Collins left no time for council to review the business plan prior to the expiration of funding.

As a result, Collins requested legal action against the mayor to compel production of the document prior to the deadline so that council would have time to review it. I believe Collins has learned a valuable lesson and won't allow for such a situation in the future.

• I love Toledo. I love Point Place, which is where I grew up and still live. I could have moved away like so many of my friends, but chose to stay. I love the people and their friendliness. I love the values Toledoans have. But I disagree with so many things our elected officials are doing which, I believe, are detrimental to Toledo and our long-term future. So I criticize some of their decisions and actions. And I, in turn, get criticized for being “negative.” I'm often accused of trying to tear down the city, when the exact opposite is true.

It's called tough love, when you have the courage to tell the truth, knowing it hurts to hear, but that it helps in the long run because you are, hopefully, addressing the problem rather than just letting it fester. And I'll take honesty over cheerleading any day.

• If we don't yet have a firm financial plan for funding the new Lucas County Arena, how do the commissioners know they can meet the projected $25 million increase in costs — and still have enough money to spend $50,000 on art for the project? Or perhaps, in light of the amount of the unfunded additional costs, another $50,000 won't make much difference.

• The Enumerated Powers Act would require each act of Congress to contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that act. Basically, every new law would have to cite what part of the Constitution gives......
Read the rest at:
http://www.toledofreepress.com/?id=7653
Admin Edit: More than fair use.

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Perhaps it's because they fear so many of bills they support have no basis in the Constitution?

Not quite sure what Thurber is referring to here since she offer no examples.

Pink Slip

Actually, it's quite possible that since this is a guest column in the TFP that examples were given, but were edited by an editor for space or as you said none were given.

Another alternative explanation could be that Maggie deliberately left out any examples because she just wanted to have the opportunity to see what it's like to say: "I'm not going to discuss any 'nuances' of these bills at this time, next question please." . Presumption for the sake of debatable humor mode off.

Take a look at the bills that come before Congress. Most of them have nothing to do with the limited authority the Constitution grants the Congress of the United States. If a congressman had to cite the specific Constitutional authority, I doubt many of the bills would ever make it to the floor. I speculated that perhaps our representatives and senators haven't signed on to support this because they 'fear' they wouldn't find Constitutional authority for their ideas.

As for some specific examples, here is one for each of our area's reps, but Pink Slip could have found this easily by simply doing a google search for bills sponsored by the various individuals.

Kaptur: H.R. 2218 - Biofuels Energy Independence Act of 2007
To provide for a Biofuels Feedstocks Energy Reserve, and to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to make and guarantee loans for the production, distribution, development, and storage of biofuels.
(checking the Constitution doesn't show any authority for the federal government to make or guarantee loans for the private sector)

Voinovich: S. 2791 - A bill to address the foreclosure crisis and to revitalize neighborhoods, and for other purposes
(Among other things, it makes a prepayment penalty in an existing and agreed-upon mortgage contract null and void; and appropriates $380 million for 'foreclosure' assistance. Pretty sure there's nothing in the Constitution that allows the federal government to collect taxes from all of us to help people who can't afford their mortgages, regardless of the reason.)

Brown: S. 2773 - A bill to amend title IV of the Public Health Service Act to provide for the establishment of pediatric research consortia
Says the federal government "shall award grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to public or nonprofit private entities to pay all or part of the cost of planning, establishing, and providing basic operating support for up to 20 national pediatric research consortia."
(pretty sure the Constitution doesn't give the federal government the authority to pay for 20 groups to do pediatric research)

My 'random thought' is that there should be NO reason whatsoever for our congressional delegates' lack of sponsorship of this bill. If they don't want to sponsor it, support it and vote for it, we should know why and, considering that this is an election year for Kaptur, it's a good opportunity to ask her about this.

btw - www.govtrack.us was my source for the listing of sponsored bills. And I am not going to get into a discussion of what the Constitution does or doesn't allow based upon individual interpretation, as that's not the point. The point is that Congress should be required to cite the specific authority as part of the submission of a bill, and, to be quite honest, I don't know how any citizen could really oppose such a requirement.

"The point is that Congress should be required to cite the specific authority as part of the submission of a bill, and, to be quite honest, I don't know how any citizen could really oppose such a requirement."

And if the Constitution is silent, then what?

It is a personal thought or idea to each and every one of the people in both houses of Congress, with regards to what the constitution says or does not say and it has been well ovre 200+ years of enacting allegedly improper laws and regulations from all parties in office.

It appears to be more of a personal like and dislike at home and not in Washington.

The framers knew what the future held when they wrote the constitution, oh so many centuries ago?

Or were they wise enough to know that the times change and so does the country and its needs.

And wby wouldn't we want some help to revitalize our neighborhoods?

Drive around our fair city and have a look at the older sections, there is some real need for help and it is not coming from the private sector.

Then you're talking about a right that belongs to the states or the people, and NOT to the federal government. The US Constitution shows what the federal government can do, and NO MORE. It also happens to list specifically enumerated rights of the people. Anything else becomes for the states and people to decide.

Of course, that's a terror for the people in the Congress. They'd want to get something done for a host of corporate donors, and the fucking Constitution is silent on the issue, meaning they could not go forward with that particular piece of corporate welfare. GADZOOKS! Corporations might even CATCH ON, and the flow of campaign money would ebb. HORRORS!

You mean like the legislation proposed to prevent discrimination with regards to a persons DNA.

That is not in the Constitution either, but the House and Senate are taking steps to prevent more types of discrimination.

Is there an enumeration that allows or prevents Congress to pass laws that prevent discrimination?

Congress is exercising its legislative duty.

Oddly, enough, there is nothing in the Constitutuon about an Air Force, but, yet we have one, and as the Constitution is silent on the Air Force, the creation of the Air Force would fall to the states?

Kaptur: H.R. 2218 - Biofuels Energy Independence Act of 2007
To provide for a Biofuels Feedstocks Energy Reserve, and to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to make and guarantee loans for the production, distribution, development, and storage of biofuels.
(checking the Constitution doesn't show any authority for the federal government to make or guarantee loans for the private sector)

According to Section 8, Clause 18 Congress has the power "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. " (emphasis added)

Last I checked, the Agriculture Department is a "Department or Officer thereof". And Congress has the power to make the laws needed to execute the powers of this department.

Pink Slip

Yes, but, is the creation of the Department of Agriculture allowed by the Constitution?

Some will say, no it is not. Along with all the other departments that have been created for well over the last 200+ years.

The same could be said for many of the departments and agencies.

Yes, but, is the creation of the Department of Agriculture allowed by the Constitution?

Yeah, it's under the Executive, Section 2, Clause 2:

"He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments."

Pink Slip

"provided two thirds of the Senators present concur"

Did two thirds of the Senators concur? inquiring minds want to know......

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

1862 for the Agricultural Department.

http://digital.lib.umn.edu/TEXTS/006/0003BODY.PDF

Was 2/3 needed in 1862?

I don't know.

I'm pretty sure if you read that again, the 2/3 approval by the Senate is needed for treaties---not the other parts of the clause.

Pink Slip

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