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Federalists

California eyeing State-run bank for marijuana

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The State of the Union address is over and as expected, the Left side of the aisle is saying everything good in this country right now is because of Obama and Trump is taking credit for his accomplishments.

Conversely, the Right is saying everything good happening in the country is because of Trump. It’s the typical partisan spin put out by both parties. Each goes to their own corner to defend their cause even if they might be wrong.

We have become so accustomed to the divisiveness that any bi-partisan agreement is labeled a sellout and any politician is worthy of a primary challenge if they are marked a sellout because they are not ideologically pure.

It’s the typical Red shirts versus Blue shirts game.

So when you’re the Republican candidate for California State Controller, and the California State Treasurer and Attorney General come out with an idea for a state-run bank for marijuana, I should immediately dismiss it because they are Democrats and I’m a Republican.

Well, not that I don’t have my concerns with a state-run bank, run by a state that can’t properly manage its own finances and the answer to every question is to raise more taxes.

Don’t get me wrong I’m no fan of the quasi-governmental private-public bank that controls monetary policies in the United States called, The Federal Reserve. This does not mean as a Federalist that this idea isn’t worth studying.

Background

According to the Sacramento Bee:

Because of the federal prohibition on marijuana, banks generally will not provide accounts to cannabis companies, forcing them to pay taxes and other expenses in cash. The resulting safety problems and accounting complications have been brought to the fore by the Jan. 1 start of legal recreational pot sales in California.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been on a crusade to stamp out state-legalized marijuana. Thus tensions between the states and the federal government over marijuana are at an all-time high; no pun intended.

Why it’s worth considering

I’m no fan of marijuana, but as a Federalist, the criminalization and regulation of marijuana on the federal level is not an enumerated power given to the federal government. This is a state’s power issue.

If you are okay with what Jeff Sessions is doing, then I’m assuming you were fine when the Obama Administration was working to force banks to dump gun stores.

Remember, you can’t have it both ways. You either want to limit centralized government, or you just want your team to control everything and do what you want.

If you liked the power Obama had then you should be fine with Trump wielding the same powers or vice versa.

If you don’t like the person wearing the other jersey having that much power because of their ability to abuse that power then it is time to reconsider how we do government from the federal government all the way to local government.

Are there concerns with a state-run bank

Yes, there are concerns, and in the same Sacramento Bee article they mentioned a few:

“The obstacles to creating a public financial institution are formidable, including the difficulty of getting deposit insurance, unknown start-up costs, investment likely to measure in the billions of dollars, and the probability of losses for several years or more that taxpayers would have to cover,” the report states.

“For a state that is already plagued with so many economic problems, despite its recent budget surplus, the idea of the state running its own bank should worry every person in California,” said Yaël Ossowski, the Deputy Director for the Consumer Choice Center in Washington, D.C.

There is also another proposal to work within the framework of existing state-chartered banks.

State Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, also is pursuing the idea of a state bank for cannabis businesses. Last week, he introduced a bill that would allow state-chartered banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to open checking and savings accounts and for marijuana businesses.

Principles over Party

So even though California politicians didn’t lift a finger to protect California gun shops from the Obama administration, we should be willing to consider any idea that limits the scope of the federal government’s reach.

You never know, this might just help protect our 2nd Amendment Rights during the next Democratic administration.

Even if the intentions of the State Treasure and State Attorney General are not to your liking, its okay. The point is, if you want to limit the power and scope of the federal government then we should take this opportunity to see how we can best do it.

This does not mean the resulting proposal will be good. I do have real concerns, but before we shut the door to even doing a study on this and discussing it, let’s see what the possibilities are and what we can learn.


Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at cacontroller.com, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

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Federalists

The most important thing George H. W. Bush said is a lesson for today

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The most important thing George H. W. Bush said is a lesson for today

All Presidents have their share of great quotes. Speech writers are paid to spin words in a way that is catchy, intellectual, and understandable. President George H. W. Bush said many great things in his life, but none were as important for today as his perspective on government.

The only addition I would make is that true governance under the Constitution starts at the individual level. He may not have been the biggest proponent of limited-government federalism the way his predecessor was, but that doesn’t change the importance of his message.

“The heart of our government is not here in Washington, it’s in every county office, every town, every city across this land. Wherever the people of America are, that’s where the heart of our government is.”

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Federalists

What Stacey Abrams gets right about moving forward from the Georgia election

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What Stacey Abrams gets right about moving forward from the Georgia election

Democrat Stacey Abrams possesses some pretty radical political ideologies. I completely disagree with her far-leftist rhetoric or the agenda she hoped to bring to Georgia as governor. Republican Brian Kemp is the next governor, which even Abrams admits.

But she refuses to concede that she actually lose the election. She’s clear that Kemp is the governor-elect, but she falls just short of saying that his victory is illegitimate.

That’s all political theater. Here’s what she gets right. Georgia and many states need to clean up their election practices. Laws should be passed. Other laws should be removed. Ballot access for American citizens must be protected and the process must be made as easy as possible without jeopardizing accuracy or opening the doors to fraud.

Most importantly, this must be done through a combination of the legal system and the state legislature. At no point should she or anyone else try to turn this into a federal issue.

People on both sides of the political aisle seem to be leaning towards fixing election problems at the national level. This would be a huge mistake. The states must clean their own houses. The residents of the states must be the catalyst. Keep DC out of it.

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Federalists

Be careful about calling for more national election laws

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Be careful about calling for more national election laws

We’re starting to hear rumblings, mostly from Republicans, calling for national standardization of elections. It’s understandable that people are frustrated by what’s happening in Florida. Arizona and Georgia also have some questionable happenings. But it’s imperative as conservatives that we allow the states to fix the problems no matter how bad they may seem.

The biggest reason: the more the federal government gets involved in just about anything, the easier it will be for voter fraud, counting mishaps, and election official corruption to occur. Take, for example, calls ringing out again for national voter ID. Would it make it harder for non-citizens to vote? Perhaps. But it also runs the risk of catastrophic failure when we centralize and/or digitize the voting system itself. Not only will all of our eggs be in one basket that becomes a single point of failure, but it also slows the process of adjusting against threats. Sophisticated vote manipulators in or out of the country would love nothing more than a federalized voting system.

Taking away the states’ responsibility to administer their voting protocols takes away their accountability as well. Calls for centralization of nearly every other component of administration, from education to the environment to healthcare, has resulted in horrific results that greatly overshadowed the localized problems they were intended to fix.

Some states are having major problems with elections. These states must fix their problems. When the federal government gets involved in sweeping changes that force solutions for isolated cases on the rest of the country, more problems arise. The benefits are greatly outweighed by the detriments.

Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes is incompetent, corrupt, or both. She needs to be replaced and the voting process in Florida needs to be fixed. Let Broward County and Florida replace her and fix their voting process. It may be hard to have faith in the county and state, but do we really have more faith in Washington DC? Should we be calling for more centralized voting laws and protocols because of a few persons’ gross negligence?

No.

It’s frustrating when local officials can affect national elections, but that’s why people can vote them out and force reforms. Where it’s broken, let those states fix it. Bringing in a DC solution will give us DC results, and that’s almost never a good thing.

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