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Quartzsite, Mayor Foster, and Ron Paul

July 14, 2011 - 11:46am
Nick Coons by Nick Coons

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There's a lot going down in the small western Arizona town of Quartzsite recently, including bordering on the implementation of martial law. Let's examine these events.



Mayor Foster was elected in 2010 because he wanted to clean up waste in the town of 3,600 (or 30,000 in the winter due to snowbirds). He noticed some shenanigans with spending a quarter million dollars each year on nonsensical expenses, going back to the early 90s, totaling into the millions by now. On this platform, he won his election.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago during a town council meeting when local Jennifer Jones was granted the floor (which means she's allowed to speak without being interrupted) to discuss what she knew of these under-handed dealings. One of the council members attempted to introduce a motion to remove Jones from the floor and vote on it while she was speaking, something strictly prohibited by the rules. The mayor tried to bring order to the situation, informing the council member that he was out of order and that a motion could not be made at this time, and that Jones was allowed to speak. In spite of this, the council orders the police officers present to forcefully remove Jones from the floor. The police did so in spite of the mayor's (remember, the mayor is in charge of the meeting) continued orders for the officers to allow Jones to speak. Ultimately, Jones was arrested and removed from the meeting, despite the mayor's instructions. The police chief participated in this arrest.

Just a few days ago, the council decided to hold a secret, unannounced meeting on Sunday (something also forbidden by state law, since all meetings must be announced in advanced and open to the public). The council ordered the police chief to bring the mayor from his home to the meeting, but the mayor refused, declaring that the meeting was illegal. In the mayor's absence, the council voted to institute a state of emergency and appoint the police chief in charge of the town. Again, all very illegal. The town's charter does not allow the council to declare a state of emergency, nor does it allow them to appoint someone to replace the mayor. Additionally, the town has a vice mayor, which is next in succession if the mayor is unable to perform his duties, not the police chief.

The meeting with Jones speaking and her arrest is all available on YouTube. Apparently, whatever dealings the council and the police chief are involved in are so bad that they would rather act in such a way and have it be publicly available than have their true and hidden actions exposed.

So here we have a situation where an individual of extreme integrity runs for the executive office to clean up corruption and bring order according to the rule of law. He wins the election, but is stymied at every turn (the above incident is not the first roadblock he's encountered when trying to follow the money trail). In practice, while he may sound good when he's campaigning, and even have every intention of following through on his efforts, his actions are rendered completely ineffective.

One must wonder if there is a parallel between Mayor Foster and potential President Paul. Even though Ron Paul is not the libertarian ideal, he's certainly much better than anyone we've ever had. And if his ideas were implemented, people in America would no doubt be far more prosperous. But is it even possible, even if he wins the presidency, for him to implement anything that would turn the tides? It would seem not, because as we've witnessed over and over again, from the local to the national level, government is a self-sustaining system, and has mechanisms for rejecting anything that would attack it.



Related Content:

Phoenix Offers No Reason For CityNorth Appeal - Jim Iannuzo
Gary Johnson, the Lesser of Three Evils - Nick Coons
The Republican Party Fails to Embrace the Paradigm Shift - Jim Iannuzo


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