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Ron Paul aides facing prison time in campaign finance …

Posted: September 20, 2016 at 7:06 pm

DES MOINES, Iowa The chairman of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential bid was sentenced Tuesday to probation and home confinement rather than prison, and two other top aides were awaiting their sentences for a scheme to cover up campaign payments to a former Iowa state senator who agreed to endorse their boss.

Jesse Benton was sentenced to two years’ probation and six months of home confinement, even though prosecutors were seeking years in federal prison.

He was convicted of conspiracy, causing false campaign contribution reports to be filed to the Federal Election Commission and participating in a false statement scheme.

The campaign’s manager, John Tate, and deputy manager Dimitri Kesari also were convicted. Tate was also scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday. Kesari’s sentencing is set for Wednesday morning.

The men have argued they broke no laws when they paid a video production company, which passed on $73,000 to former state Sen. Kent Sorenson. He dropped support for Michele Bachmann and endorsed Paul six days before the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

Prosecutors said it is illegal to cause a campaign to file inaccurate spending documents.

The men said they were targeted because of their conservative politics and argued campaigns typically don’t identify payments to subcontractors of vendors.

They are expected to appeal their convictions to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the judges rule against the men, they may choose to seek further review of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The three men faced up to 35 years in prison had the judge handed down maximums to be served consecutively.

Benton, 38, of Louisville, Kentucky, is married to Ron Paul’s granddaughter, Valori Pyeatt. He also had managed the successful 2010 U.S. Senate campaign for Paul’s son, Rand Paul, in Kentucky and served as campaign manager for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2014 re-election, but resigned that summer as the investigation intensified in Iowa.

Speaking before the men were sentenced, an Iowa political consultant said the case is a stark reminder to anyone in the early presidential contest states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina that they’ll be intensely watched and they should follow the rules carefully.

“What you might get away with doing in a local state legislative campaigns can get you in really deep serious trouble on a presidential campaign if it’s exposed,” said Craig Robinson, who served on Steve Forbes’ presidential campaign in 2000, was state GOP director in 2008 and is publisher of the conservative “The Iowa Republican” blog.

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Ron Paul aides facing prison time in campaign finance …

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NC NSA Softball – Who’s Playing

Posted: March 10, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Mar 12-13 NSA Season Kick OffMarch 12-13 2016 / Salisbury / 4GG – $300.00Howard Edwards

Full with 5

lost field to college game

Mar 19-20 South Carolina Season OpenerMarch 19-20 2016 / 295 Complex Spartanburg / 6GG – $325.00Chuck Laney

Mar 19 March MadnessMarch 19-2016 / Statesville/Saratoma / 3GG – $235.00Howard Edwards

11 Diamond Crushers 12 Lady Rattlers 02 13 Piedmont Predators

FULL

Mar 26 Bunny Hop 1-dayMarch 26-2016 / Statesville / 3GG – $235.00Howard Edwards

Apr 2-3 Louisville Slugger World QualifierApril 2-3 2016 / Huntersville/Mooresville / 4GG – $300.00Chuck Laney

Apr 2-3 Swing into Spring April 2-3 2016 / Tyger River Spartanburg / 5GG – $300.00Howard Edwards

Apr 9-10 NSA Super Girl 10U-12UApril 9-10 2016 / Thomasville/East Davidsion complex / 4GG – $225.00Howard Edwards

Apr 9-10 NSA YETI TournamentApril 9-10 2016 / Locust / 4GG – $225.00Colt Butler

Apr 9-10 NSA Super Girl 14UApril 9-10 2016 / Statesville / 4GG – $225.00Howard Edwards

Apr 16-17 Spring Super BashApril 16-17 2016 / Salisbury/Mooresville/Cornelius / 4GG – $225.00Howard Edwards

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NC NSA Softball – Who’s Playing

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The Fifth Amendment and Takings of Private Property

Posted: August 9, 2015 at 8:44 am

Introduction The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment is one of the few provisions of the Bill of Rights that has been given a broader interpretation under the Burger and Rehnquist courts than under the Warren Court. It is a clause near and dear to the heart of free market conservatives.

Only certain types of takings cases present serious interpretive questions. It is clear that when the government physically seizes property (as for a highway or a park, for example) that it will have to pay just compensation. It is also clear that serious, sustained physical invasions of property (as in the case of low overflying aircraft, for example) require payment of compensation equal to the difference between the market value before and after the invasion. The difficult cases are generally those where government regulations, enacted to secure some sort of public benefit, fall disproportionately on some property owners and cause significant dimunition of property value.

The Court has had a difficult time articulating a test to determine when a regulation becomes a taking. It has said there is “no set formula” and that courts “must look to the particular circumstances of the case.” The Court has identified some relevant factors to consider: the economic impact of the regulation, the degree to which the regulation interferes with investor-backed expectations, and the character of the government action. Still, as our cases suggest, there is a lot of room for argument as to how these various factors should be weighed.

Cases

Penn Central v. New York City (1978) Dolan v. City of Tigard (1994) Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Com’n. (1992) Tahoe Preservation Council v Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (2002) Kelo v City of New London (2005)

David Lucas on his South Carolina property that the Supreme Court concluded was “taken.”

Supreme Court Determines What is “a Public Use”

In June 2005, the Supreme Court decided an important case involving the meaning of “public use” in the Fifth Amendment. In Kelo v City of New London, the Court, voting 5 to 4, upheld a city plan to condemn homes in a 90-acre blue-collar residential neighborhood. New London plans to give the land to a developer for $1, with a 99-year lease, to build a waterfront hotel, office space, and higher-end housing. Justice Stevens, writing for the Court, found this donation of property to a developer to be a “public use.” Stevens said that the Court’s jurisprudence gave government “broad latitude” to determine what uses might be “public.” In a concurring opinion, Justice Kennedy indicated that the Court still stood willing to review on constitutional grounds takings that are arguably simply the city favoring one private owner over another, rather than takings based on a good faith analysis of the public interest. Angry property rights advocates reacted to the decision by suggesting that local governments consider condemning the homes of justices in the majority and turning them over to private developers for construction of B & Bs.

Questions

After the State of Florida spent millions widening beaches to protect against shoreline erosion, a group of oceanfront owners in Destin sued, arguing that the new 75-foot strip of sand should be theirs, and not the government. The landowners argued that the Florida courts had redefined their land boundaries, which used to extend all the way to the tide line, in such a way as to constitute a taking of their property. The Court, 8 to 0 (Justice Stevens not participating because he owned a Florida oceanfront condo), held that the state’s actions were not a taking requiring compensation to the owners, noting that the beach erosion project could be seen as an attempt to preserve property values. The Court split 4 to 4 on the question of whether courts could ever be financially liable for a taking. (Stop the Beach Renourishment vs Florida Dep’t of Environmental Protection (2010).)

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The Fifth Amendment and Takings of Private Property

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Six takeaways from the NRA convention

Posted: April 13, 2015 at 11:51 am

A pack of 2016 Republicans made their pitch for president Friday before the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Nashville, blasting the Obama administration for what they described as an erosion of freedom while punctuating their remarks with sharp enthusiasm for Second Amendment rights.

The contenders also used the principles behind gun rights to fire off criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of national security, further signaling the influential role that foreign policy is expected to have in the presidential election.

More than 70,000 people descended upon Music City to attend the convention, but tickets to see the candidates speak in a five-hour long forum was limited to about 5,000 people.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was the only declared candidate on stage Friday. Other potential contenders included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

1. Candidates show off gun credentials

As tradition at the annual NRA gathering, the speakers tried to establish their own longstanding history with guns in different ways. Santorum held up his concealed carry card before the audience and boasted that his wife requested ammunition for an upcoming birthday.

Walker talked about bow-hunting, while Huckabee perused the firearm vendor hall and later listed on stage the guns he grew up with, including his first BB gun at the age of five. “I still have the same gun in mint condition,” he said.

Perry screened a video showing off his shooting skills (the same video was also shown at the 2013 NRA convention). The former governor also crowed about the gun manufacturers he recruited to Texas from other states.

For Bush, the NRA meeting was a chance to tout his record, including his A+ rating from the NRA, before a conservative crowd that’s largely skeptical of him due to his more moderate positions on immigration and Common Core.

Bush proclaimed to the audience that he’s “been with you in trenches” as an “NRA life member since 1986.” He also listed the gun rights measures he enacted or maintained as former governor, and defended the stand your ground laws in Florida that became a hot topic following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

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Six takeaways from the NRA convention

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More than 70,000 people attended event

Posted: at 11:51 am

NASHVILLE (CNN) –

A pack of 2016 Republicans made their pitch for president Friday before the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Nashville, blasting the Obama administration for what they described as an erosion of freedom while punctuating their remarks with sharp enthusiasm for Second Amendment rights.

The contenders also used the principles behind gun rights to fire off criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of national security, further signaling the influential role that foreign policy is expected to have in the presidential election.

More than 70,000 people descended upon Music City to attend the convention, but tickets to see the candidates speak in a five-hour long forum was limited to about 5,000 people.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was the only declared candidate on stage Friday. Other potential contenders included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

1. Candidates show off gun credentials

As tradition at the annual NRA gathering, the speakers tried to establish their own longstanding history with guns in different ways. Santorum held up his concealed carry card before the audience and boasted that his wife requested ammunition for an upcoming birthday.

Walker talked about bow-hunting, while Huckabee perused the firearm vendor hall and later listed on stage the guns he grew up with, including his first BB gun at the age of five. “I still have the same gun in mint condition,” he said.

Perry screened a video showing off his shooting skills (the same video was also shown at the 2013 NRA convention). The former governor also crowed about the gun manufacturers he recruited to Texas from other states.

For Bush, the NRA meeting was a chance to tout his record, including his A+ rating from the NRA, before a conservative crowd that’s largely skeptical of him due to his more moderate positions on immigration and Common Core.

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More than 70,000 people attended event

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Rand Paul: 'I'm putting myself forward as a candidate for president'

Posted: April 8, 2015 at 4:41 am

Watch “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET for an interview with Rand Paul.

Since riding the tea party wave into the Senate in 2010, Paul has carefully built a brand of mainstream libertarianism — dogged advocacy of civil liberties combined with an anti-interventionist foreign policy and general support for family values — that he bets will create a coalition of younger voters and traditional Republicans to usher him into the White House.

The test of that theory began Tuesday when the Kentucky senator made official what has been clear for years: He’s running for president.

“Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I’m putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Paul said at a rally in Louisville.

Paul immediately hit the campaign trail for a four-day swing through New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — the states that traditionally vote first in the primaries and caucuses.

A poster from the Rand Paul for President campaign.

READ: Can Rand Paul escape his father’s shadow?

In his speech, he called for reforming Washington by pushing for term limits and a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. He argued that both parties are to blame for the rising debt, saying it doubled under a Republican administration and tripled under Obama.

“Government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized,” he said.

The line-up of speakers who introduced Paul sought to paint the senator as a nontraditional candidate with diverse appeal, and by the time he got on stage, he was the first white man to address the crowd.

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Rand Paul: 'I'm putting myself forward as a candidate for president'

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Kentucky senator announces plans during rally

Posted: at 4:41 am

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) –

For Rand Paul, it’s all led to this moment.

Since riding the tea party wave into the Senate in 2010, Paul has carefully built a brand of mainstream libertarianism — dogged advocacy of civil liberties combined with an anti-interventionist foreign policy and general support for family values — that he bets will create a coalition of younger voters and traditional Republicans to usher him into the White House.

The test of that theory began Tuesday when the Kentucky senator made official what has been clear for years: He’s running for president.

“Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I’m putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Paul said at a rally in Louisville.

Paul immediately hit the campaign trail for a four-day swing through New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — the states that traditionally vote first in the primaries and caucuses.

In his speech, he called for reforming Washington by pushing for term limits and a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. He argued that both parties are to blame for the rising debt, saying it doubled under a Republican administration and tripled under Obama.

“Government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized,” he said.

The line-up of speakers who introduced Paul sought to paint the senator as a nontraditional candidate with diverse appeal, and by the time he got on stage, he was the first white man to address the crowd.

The speakers included J.C. Watts, a former congressman who’s African-American; state Sen. Ralph Alvarado, who’s Hispanic; local pastor Jerry Stephenson, who’s African American and a former Democrat; and University of Kentucky student Lauren Bosler.

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Kentucky senator announces plans during rally

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Rand Paul launches presidential campaign

Posted: at 4:41 am

For Rand Paul, it’s all led to this moment.

Since riding the tea party wave into the Senate in 2010, Paul has carefully built a brand of mainstream libertarianism — dogged advocacy of civil liberties combined with an anti-interventionist foreign policy and general support for family values — that he bets will create a coalition of younger voters and traditional Republicans to usher him into the White House.

The test of that theory began Tuesday when the Kentucky senator made official what has been clear for years: He’s running for president.

“Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I’m putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Paul said at a rally in Louisville.

Paul immediately hit the campaign trail for a four-day swing through New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — the states that traditionally vote first in the primaries and caucuses.

In his speech, he called for reforming Washington by pushing for term limits and a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. He argued that both parties are to blame for the rising debt, saying it doubled under a Republican administration and tripled under Obama.

“Government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized,” he said.

The line-up of speakers who introduced Paul sought to paint the senator as a nontraditional candidate with diverse appeal, and by the time he got on stage, he was the first white man to address the crowd.

The speakers included J.C. Watts, a former congressman who’s African-American; state Sen. Ralph Alvarado, who’s Hispanic; local pastor Jerry Stephenson, who’s African American and a former Democrat; and University of Kentucky student Lauren Bosler.

“He goes everywhere. It doesn’t matter what color you are. Rand Paul will be there,” Stephenson said, firing up the crowd.

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Rand Paul launches presidential campaign

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Can he escape his father's shadow?

Posted: April 7, 2015 at 9:41 am

18 photos

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on March 2 announced the launch of an exploratory committee. The move will allow him to raise money that could eventually be transferred to an official presidential campaign and indicates he is on track with stated plans to formally announce a bid in May.

18 photos

South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham has said he’ll make a decision surrounding a presidential run sometime soon. A potential bid could focus on Graham’s foreign policy stance.

18 photos

Hillary Clinton continues to have an overwhelming lead over other possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidates. Although the former first lady and secretary of state has not said whether she’ll run, a group of PACs and advocacy organizations have begun the process of raising money and aiding a hypothetical campaign.

18 photos

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is considered a possible Republican candidate, but he told CNN that his priority is to first help the GOP capture the Senate in next November’s midterms.

18 photos

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican rising star from Florida, was swept into office in 2010 on the back of tea party fervor. But his support of comprehensive immigration reform, which passed the Senate but has stalled in the House, has led some in his party to sour on his prospects.

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Can he escape his father's shadow?

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S.C. legislators debating changes to strengthen Freedom of Information Act

Posted: March 11, 2015 at 7:54 am

COLUMBIA Leonard Riley Jr. knows his First Amendment rights, and his rights to public information, and he knows when theyve been violated.

Dissatisfied with the management policies at the Medical University of South Carolina, Riley and other activists organized a silent protest of the universitys board of trustees meetings last fall. He said they had intended to go to every meeting until their complaints were acknowledged.

But at their second appearance, the trustees abruptly decided that the previous protest had been unruly and distracting. The protesters were provided just five seats and prohibited from displaying their signs, an action that Riley considered a violation of their freedom of speech.

If a public meeting is happening, we have a right to be there, he said this week. This was a violation of my rights under the Constitution of the United States.

The restrictions didnt last long, and Riley, chair of the Carolina Alliance for Fair Employment, said the protests will continue until the board gives them an audience.

Rileys experience is just one example of an attempt to infringe upon South Carolinas Freedom of Information Act. The FOI Act outlines citizens access to public information controlled by state agencies and legislators.

After three S.C. Supreme Court decisions last year weakened the FOI Act, state lawmakers have introduced five bills this session intended to strengthen and clarify state laws.

We need to open up the secrets of agencies and local governments to public scrutiny, said John Crangle, chair of the states chapter of Common Cause, a citizens lobby for democracy reform. Thats what we need in South Carolina.

If passed, the bills would designate an office of FOI review; lift legislators exemption from FOI; require an agenda for public meetings; and disclose cause of death from autopsy reports.

Patricia OConnor, chair of the South Carolina Press Associations FOI committee and a journalism professor at Coastal Carolina University, said the bills could set a tone for further strengthening of open government and the FOI bill in South Carolina.

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S.C. legislators debating changes to strengthen Freedom of Information Act

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