Am I a Calzone?

No, I don’t mean the food thingy, I mean the person, as in Ron Calzone.

Ron Calzone is a citizen, a mere mortal citizen. Well, a regular citizen with an incredible energy level. He raises horses and cattle and has a small manufacturing business. And then there is his side line. In his “spare” time Ron goes to Jefferson City to talk to legislators. Ron talks to them from a Constitutional viewpoint. He opposes things like eminent domain, and about anything that gives government more control over people lives or their property. He talks to legislators about having good firearms laws, that protect ownership and their owners. And he is very good at it. He is part of a group in Missouri called Missouri First. Ron is often in Jefferson City at the Capitol wearing down the leather on his shoes. Now not every citizen can get off work to go to Jefferson City to testify before a committee when the bills they are most interested in either seeing go through or stopped dead are to be heard. In those cases Missouri First has come up with something very ingenious, called Liberty Tools. People that are subscribed to their mailing list will be sent a notice when a bill of interest is about to be heard, and if you can’t go, you can fill out your witness statement online, MoFirst will print it off and take it to the hearing FOR YOU. Then your Representatives and Senators can get online and see which of their constituents weighed in on it. Either for or against, doesn’t matter, the choice you made, your comments will be there in the liberty tools section. Even if your vote and comment go the opposite of what Missouri First is recommending, it will be there. Pretty nifty huh? I heard from a very reliable source who was in a hearing for a Missouri Firearms Freedom act bill that Ron showed with a stack of witness forms about 18 inches or so high from people in Missouri who were in favor of it. That is a LOT of input.

So what’s the problem? Sounds like a stand up guy, right? I mean he takes time off from his own business, farm and family to go to Jefferson City and do what groups are always urging their members to do, get involved, go talk to legislators, send emails, write letters, make phone calls. He represents those that can’t be there but want their voice heard with piles of witness forms at hearings. Good stuff for citizens right? What could go wrong?

Well, he is good at being heard. And that has resulted in angering some politicians. Let’s look at a couple things.

When Sen. Kevin Engler thought he was a shoe in for position of the Senate’s President pro tem.

In 2010, along with multitude of Tea Party and Patriot group members, I also quite vocally opposed the election of Senator Engler, who was the majority floor leader, to the position of the Senate’s president pro tem. For the first time in decades, the Senate declined to make the majority floor leader their next president pro tem.

Right, Engler didn’t get it, and he was livid.

Now let’s uncover just a couple more skeletons. This one named Ron Richards. Ron was Floor Majority leader in the house at one time. That time would be 2013 and what was at stake was a fabulous bill called the Second Amendment Protection act. Now Ronnie has proudly proclaimed his pro Second Amendment status. He demonstrated this by running away from this bill screaming like a little girl. Actually I’ve seen some girls with bigger, never mind. Anyway, apparently Ron was upset that the bill would prevent newspapers from being able to publish the names of gun owners, you know, like they have in other states. But he promised he would sponsor an even better bill and get it passed. What can you say, he’s a RINO in Missouri. It’s two years later, and still not done. Then there was that time back in 2010 when Ron fought a bill that then Speaker of the house Ron Richards wanted, later the Missouri Supreme court struck it down, so guess Mr. Calzone was correct after all.

Then just recently, Rep. John Diehl was up to be Speaker of the House. Missouri First took the position that he would not be a good speaker, and set his legislation contact list to calling their elected Representatives to ask that they pick someone else other than a “bad Diehl”. The people did the contacting but the House still elected him speaker. Though they did get rid of him after he was caught in a big sex scandal. Oh well.

So what does all this have to do with the price of Israeli coffee in America?

Well this is where it gets really interesting.

A little more background. The Governor of Missouri is Jay Nixon, anti-gun. He’s the one that did the best barry impersonation “The police acted stupidly” when the Police officer shot thug Michael Brown. Jay promised swift justice for Michael. Actually, I think justice had probably already been done, but that was Jay’s first response. His second was to prevent the National guard from stopping the rioting after he illegally called them in before the riot started. So that’s Jay.

Governor Jay is the one who appointed the six members of the Missouri ethics commission. I’m sure they are all up to Jay’s demanding “standards”. Chuckle.

From the MoFirst website:

MEC says about their mission: “The MEC serves the public interest by promoting and maintaining transparency, accountability, and compliance with campaign finance, lobbying, and conflict of interest laws.”The Ethics Commission claims they have no responsibility to consider constitutional arguments that might otherwise be presented in a defense against complaints.While it’s true that MEC has no authority to declare a statute unconstitutional like a real court of law would, they do have a responsibility to support the Constitution, so they should actually at least be considering the constitutional implications of various interpretations of statutes relating to a complaint. In other words, if there are two possible ways to interpret a statute – one is constitutional and the other is not – they should feel obligated to choose the constitutional approach. They do not feel thus constrained, however, and that does not bode well for our free speech rights.

Ready for the juicy stuff?

At the September 3, 2015, hearing before the Missouri Ethics Commission, a witness called by the Commission’s own attorney revealed during sworn testimony a very interesting and very telling fact. The testimony was that Representative Kevin Engler and Senator Ron Richard had talked to the Missouri Society of Governmental Consultants (MSGC), asking them if they had any interest in my status as a lobbyist. After that, MSGC filed a complaint against me with the Ethics Commission.

Only natural persons are allowed to file with the Ethics (guffaw) commission. And within five days they were to have told Ron who his accusers were. So SEVENTY-FOUR DAYS later the Missouri Ethics (yes, I am having trouble typing that with a straight face) commission told Mr. Calzone who had filed the complaint against him. And it wasn’t a person. In fact the lawyer that drew up the complaint made it clear that the filing entity wasn’t a person.

What is the fallout? Ron has been accused of being a lobbyist. That he hasn’t registered and paid the $10 fee, and hasn’t filled out the necessary paperwork. So that results in a thousand dollar fine. If he persists, he could face jail time.

Ready for the punch line? Ron isn’t a lobbyist. He is a citizen, working with other citizens and with other freedom minded groups. He is paid NO money for going to Jefferson City, and he buys the legislators no gifts, no meals. If he’s a lobbyist? He stinks at it.

That’s what makes this so ugly to me. This is an attempt to keep mere citizens from suiting up and showing up to speak to legislators. At one time this was something I did, and not long ago, I was one of two people tapped to be the citizens showing up to talk to legislators on behalf of a group of combined Second Amendment groups. I could have been in Ron’s boots. This is an attempt to stifle free speech and shut out influence of mere citizens from bothering the elected officials. That and some ugly political payback.

At a time when more than ever citizens need to be involved in the political process in an effort to protect our rights this is a very bad thing. If other states should begin to consider such actions? Citizens need to have access to their elected officials, whether it’s showing up themselves, or if they can’t, filling out a online form to be presented at a hearing, they need to be involved. We all need to be suiting up and showing up in whatever capacity we can.

Am I a Calzone? I hope so.

Politics always take an interest in you
Politics always take an interest in you

 

Who rules over you?
Who rules over you?
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8 thoughts on “Am I a Calzone?”

  1. “Ron talks to them from a Constitutional viewpoint. He opposes things like eminent domain, and about anything that gives government more control over people lives or their property. ”

    The constitution does nothing except give government control over people’s lives and their property. It has no other purpose in reality. The fact that there is no legitimate authority for it is something almost never mentioned.

    By what legitimate authority does the “constitution” presume to exist? The signatures of several long dead statists?

    1. First I would like to start with my belief that everyone has a right to their opinion and if my opinion is different then theirs it is not meant to cause disagreement but to be express as my right to my own opinion whether right or wrong.

      “The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of Government. But what is Government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” James Madison

      The answer to your question may be found in the interest of man and the nature of man, methinks.

      “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. ” James Madison

      IMHO we would be much better off today if we had more (or even any) men (or women) of the interest and nature of James Madison.

      When tyranny becomes law
      Rebellion becomes duty!

        1. Yes ML I am very familiar with Lysander Spooner and BTW some of what he says I agree with. Just as I am very familiar with the anti federalist & their papers which argued against the federalist and their constitution;

          http://www.anamericanvision.com/freedom_documents/anti_federalist_papers/

          One of my favorite founding father’s is George Mason who once said he would rather cut his hand off than sign the constitution as it was written, it’s a good thing he didn’t cut his hand off because his fingerprints are all over something we now call the Bill of Rights.

          So way before Lysander there were patriots who had a problem with our constitution and because of their disagreements many good changes and additions were implemented in our constitution.

          IMHO the failures of our constitution does not lies as much within the constitution but more so with the men (&women) who have been given the responsibility of implementing it since it’s inception.

          Before his death Thomas Jefferson was asked by John Adams if they got it right (meaning did they get the constitution & our governmental system right) and Jefferson response was that they hadn’t but the people would make it right; methinks it is the people who have fallen down not the forefathers, they gave us the tools if only we could and can figure out in time how to use & improve them so that they do work for our best in our republic in our day.

  2. I can’t pretend to be Ron Calzone the man but I can follow his lead.

    I’ve also contacted family members in Missouri so because of Zelman Partisans; Missouri First should be getting some new members!

    When tyranny becomes law
    Rebellion becomes duty!

  3. The way I view it is there has to be a starting place. It can’t just be a difference of opinions. I say: “Solid bred Paint horses make the best dressage prospects” and you reply with “Osem Bamba snacks are better for you than cheetos”.

    The Constitution is the accepted foundation of our Constitutional Republic. My point is that if you feel the Constitution presumes too much control, I understand that, but these people are not even willing to abide by the limits it places on their decision. There are definitions of being a lobbyist. The Missouri “ethics” commission, and I use that term very loosely are not willing to go by that.

    This is about a state with politicians that are willing to use governmental entities to attack a private citizen to keep the citizen from working to have a say with our ELECTED representatives.

    If citizens become intimidated and will not confront lawmakers then what voice do we have? I can’t afford a thousand dollar fine, or jail time.

    Should other states decide to follow in these footsteps the outcome will not be good.

    Yes, I understand Missouri has a annual Second Amendment rally day annually, but if people do not remain engaged in the process and only show up once a year it is very easy to blow them off.

    This man is showing courage and tenacity in the face of these vindictive actions. I admire courage. The courage of one man can sometimes turn the tide by sparking a movement.

    While our country is in that awkward stage, to be denied a voice in the process through intimidation is heinous.

    That’s what we writers do, we speak out about good and evil, truth and lies. I don’t think it will be too long before we have to imagine what it will be like to have someone shut our voices down and out. And then we will face the choices that Ron Calzone faces now.

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