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Historical con-con attacks on state constitutions

from 1977 book call metro-crats u.s. regionalism.
Constitutions and Charters
Constitutions and Charters
1313 WANTS To JUNK YOUR CONSTITUTION
Syndicate 1313, promoter of the one-man-one-vote fiasco' which destroyed
rural representation in State Legislatures, carries on -this time, zeroing in
on State Constitutions in the United States .
Although 1313's syndicate nerve center is located at 1313 E . 60th St .,
Chicago, on the Univ . of Chicago campus, the "think tank" in New York,
1313's National Municipal League, decides on matters of critical policy .
So, on May 13,1968, NML mailed out quantities of a pamphlet titled, "Let's
Junk Our Obsolete State Constitutions ."
Accompanying the reprint, a clip-on note said, "On the chance that you
may have missed James Nathan Miller's article when it appeared in the
April National Civic Review . . . here is a copy of the condensed version which
appears in the May 1968 issue of The Reader's Digest." The National Civic
Review is a Syndicate 1313 publication .
Unflatteringly, the reprinted article described American constitutions as
"ludicrous ." The article charged, "They are designed not to help government
officials govern, but to prevent them from picking the taxpayers' pockets ."
This writer wants to know what's wrong with protecting oneself from
pickpockets? By retaining state constitutions that so guard us?
Unfortunately, gullible citizens are contributing to their own downfall .
For instance, in Oregon members of the League of Women Voters circulated
a petition asking for a constitutional convention to rewrite Oregon's Constitution
.
But when it comes to a showdown at the polls, voters have expressed
themselves as less than impressed by 1313's attempts to junk good constitutions
for Metro constitutions . In 1966, Kentucky rejected a new Metro constitution.
In November 1967, New York voters did likewise, three-to -one . On
April 16,1968, Rhode Island resoundingly defeated a revised Metro constitution,
votes against, 68,940; 17,464 favoring.
Still another Metro-revised constitution met smashing defeat in 1968 in
Maryland, votes against 366,574; 283,050 for. Marylanders were frankly
fearful of the Metro regional government proposed, whereby the tax base is
broadened, forcing the rural to pay for urban ills and costs . Also, the concentration
of executive power in the state Governor caused voters to stamp
firm No votes.
But seems like pesky Syndicate 1313 won't take No for an answer . In the
following letter, dated May 25, 1968, from Silver Spring, Md ., following the
vote a citizen resented, "At this writing, even before I've had a chance to
attend a forthcoming `Victory Dinner' I learn that a'salvage process' is now
1 . Blame Metro, by Jo Hindman, The Caxton Printers, Ltd ., p. 89 .
132 THE METROCRATS
in the making. A Committee consisting of a majority of 12 pro-constitution
members (1313 Metrocrats, Ed.) against eight anti-ones, will soon meet with
Maryland's Governor in an effort to persuade him to call a special session of
the legislature so that many of the items rejected by the people may be
resuscitated ."
Concerning the resubmission move accepted by the committee, the letter
ended, "I agree with the remark expressed by a state senator who said (to
Metrocrats), `You people want to cram this thing down our throats one way
or another.' "
True. The Metrocrats are behind the junking movement from start to
finish . Early in the start, they usually haul in Syndicate 1313's so-called
"Model State Constitution" to be used as a pattern . It strips citizens of
control over their government, introduces unworthy features such as regional
non-elected rule.
CALIFORNIANS APPROVED PHASE 1, DEFEATED PHASE 2
Years ago, experimenting psychiatrists predicted that future generations,
bereft of self-determination, would be subjected to "committee or
group rule ." The social engineering, then in its early stages, was tried out on
school children and on hospital inmates .
Watching a California Constitution Revision Committee in session is witnessing
the social engineering nightmare in full swing . The committee is the
group "unit." As predicted, there is a leader and his bouncer, the so-called
"experts ." They toss the discussion and bring things around to a predetermined
conclusion that wipes out good features of the existing California
Constitution . Passively in between sit the outwitted rank-and-file members
of the committee .
On a larger scale, all Californians would have been brought under group
control had the 1968 Proposed Constitution Revision (Phase 2) been approved.
Phase 1, as Proposition 1A, was voter approved in 1966.
Printed up, presented to the state legislature, fed out in canned doses to
the mass media, Phase 2 propaganda did not deceive Californians .
Under the proposed Revision, Californians would have lost their hard-held
control over public education . Article IX proposed changing the present
elected state superintendent of education to an appointed head .
Local city and county governments would be paralyzed by Proposed Article
XII which paves the way for a corporation-oddity to profiteer on municipal
services rendered on a regional scale .
Perhaps the most shameful bilking lurked in Proposed Article XI, Section
8(a) quoted : "The Legislature may provide that local government bodies
may contract among themselves or with other government bodies for transfer
of powers and performance of functions ."
The proposal would bleed local representative government into extinction
as powers and functions would be drained from cities/counties into super
regions . It is reported that the New York Constitution Convention 2 in '67
rejected a similar concept of interlocal transfer of powers which New York
voters defeated Nov . 7, 1967 .
2. Convention proposition of State of New York 6/12/67 .
CONSTITUTIONS AND CHARTERS
133
Such intergovernmental siphoning is being practiced now in California by
SCAG, ABAG and other of the regional "councils of governments ." COG's
pool local funds and the rubber-stamping votes of city/county officials . Away
from their home-town desks, the local men permit themselves to be outwitted
by the tactics of the so-called "experts" who run COGs .
Battered by citizen hostility, the COG regions in California now survive on
statutory law only. The Phase 2 Constitution Revision would have cemented
them into the Revised Constitution, from where to dislodge would require
monumental effort and expense .
That provision dangerous to local government went down in defeat when
Phase 2 of the California Constitution Revision was turned dawn at t he polls .
To see how the Metrocrats in 1972 attempted to circumvent the rescued
section of the Constitution, see chapter 1, page 35 this book, "Contract to Kill
Local Government."
BEGINNING OF END FOR CONSTITUTION FOES
All Californians and other Americans whose state constitutions are undergoing
political strafing from Syndicate 1313 have reason to take heart .
Morning after Maryland voters defeated a pro-Metro constitution, 1313's
NACo (National Assn . of Counties) began running scared with this revealing
confession, "Our first reaction in our state of shock and bewilderment is that
May 14, 1968 may go down in history as the beginning of the end for modernizing
state government by constitutional revision ." 3
Maryland's Governor Spiro Agnew, later Republican vice-president once
was a county executive and a 1313-NACo director .
Voters had flocked to the Maryland polls to protect the State Constitution .
Resoundingly, Marylanders voted down the monstrous pro-Metro thing that
would have turned their state into Metro regions, raised taxes, accelerated
the COG revolution (non-representative councils of government) and opened
the way for the city of Baltimore, with its high taxes, high crime rate and
overcrowded schools to annex the county4 and thus harness it to big-city
troubles .
It cost the state taxpayers $4 million for the Metro-writing revisionists to
produce the unwanted new constitution . Reportedly, it was praised - now
get this - by 1) both political parties, 2) the press and news media, 3) the
business and labor community, 4) and by virtually every "power center" -
whatever that means politically - in Maryland .
Just the voters were against the Metro constitution.
While the Marylanders and you continue paying federal taxes, Carnegie
Corporation's untaxed money, more than $285,000 of it, has gone to researchers
and 1313's National Municipal League to finance a three year
vivisecting study of constitutional conventions, 5 including mop-ups on defeats
in Maryland and elsewhere . The Maryland rebuff was the fourth such
major defeat. Other defeats have followed .
3 . American County Government (magazine) published by NACo, June 1968.
4 . National Civic Review (magazine) published by 1313's National Municipal League,
July 1968, pp . 344, 378 .
5 . Carnegie Corporation Annual Report 1967.
134
THE METROCRATS
Now the Thirteen-Thirteeners are pondering, "What does it mean? . . . this
could be curtains for state government reform . It is apparent that the people
in Maryland, and apparently in the other states, too, do not want any change
at all ."
Why should citizens vote themselves into Metro servitude?
NACo, the 1313 syndicate unit assigned to Metrovize urban county and
rural government, mulled the situation : "Will it be possible for our urban
counties to adopt charters of their own and bypass the state governments?"
By July, NACo came up with an answer . NACo presented to a U .S. Senate
committee a suggestion for a "model county" program similar to the infamous
"model cities" farce. Federal "model cities" bypass state government .
By turning its fund-seeking palm toward federal government, NACo is
merely fulfilling the purpose for which it was formed back in 1937. The
directory of 1313 organizations described NACo as serving "county government
and county officials in their relations with federal government ."
But NACo-1313 is scared and could throw in the sponge getting out of the
Metro constitutional fracas . That would be a time of rejoicing among Americans
who want to keep their control of government through intact state
constitutions ; and they have formidable opposition enough from other units
of political Syndicate 1313 in its campaign to destroy existing state constitutions
.
METROCRATS HOLD POSTMORTEMS ON DEFEATS
While the alarmed heads of tax-free Foundations milled about in Wash .,
D.C . arguing for continuing tax-exemption and extended license to tamper
with American Government, their subsidized products continued to muddy
the mainstream of U .S.A. affairs .
One bold publication bears the revealing title, "The Politics of the Rhode
Island Constitutional Convention ."' The booklet about the men and women
selected to rewrite the R .I . state constitution was produced by Carnegie
Corporation money with the effort of Brown University and Wheaton College
scholars supervised by 1313's National Municipal League .
In the analysis, Con-Con delegates were listed by name in one table, and in
others were dissected as to religion and the snobbery of socio-economic
status measured by their fathers' education! Purpose: to find a sure-win
formula for Metrocrats to use in overturning existing state constitutions in
favor of power-grabbing Metro constitutions .
Political reverses start the Metrocrats digging for answers . In 1963,
Michigan's new Metro constitution barely squeaked through an election,
requiring a recount. In 1966, Kentucky rejected a Metro constitution, as did
New York in 1967, Maryland (1968), New Mexico (1969), Oregon (1970), Arkansas
(1970), Idaho (1970), North Dakota (1972) .
Rhode Island's Constitutional Convention, dawdling since 1964, was
seized upon as a specimen that might yield a formula to avoid defeat . In
studying the R . I . Con-Con delegates' political behavior, the research team
noted the Party affiliations but discarded the Republican/Democrat labels
6 . The Politics of the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention, No. 1, State Constitutional
Convention Studies (1969) by NML 47 E. 68 St ., N .Y. Pp. 96 .
CONSTITUTIONS AND CHARTERS
135
as measuring tools . Rather, the researchers segregated the men and women
into "typologies," excerpted as follows :
Aspirants . . . young professionals, often lawyers, on the political make ;
Reformers . . . including the League of Women Voters ; Chieftains
individuals with an existing power base in state politics ; Statesmen
(has-beens) in high public office ; Stand-Ins . . . who enter the convention
to satisfy private ego, expected to follow the advice of those who
provided them with the con-con nomination - for whom they are
"stand-ins" ; Stand-Patters . . . state/local officeholders in consistent
opposition to change . (In Metro semantics, "change" means Metro rule .)
The delegates were interviewed, classified, weighted according to certain
factors and ended up in three voting blocs, 1) status quo, 2) reform, 3)
unaccounted for. The Stand-ins and Standpatters, comprisingthe bulk of the
powerful status quo bloc, were classified as coming from the homes with the
least educated fathers ; 88% of the Democrats were Catholic, 87% Republicans
were Protestant, Jewish 4% (Dem.), 7% (Rep .) .
Those Con-Con specimens tossed out Metro's cherished unicameralism
(one house legislature), rejected a Metro "blank check" arrangement on
bond issues, and split into two factions which ended up in court .
In a photofinish decision on the squabble over the proposed spending of
Con-Con funds on a publicity scheme, the courts ruled that the draft constitution
text could be published in the newspapers, but that "public education"
could not be financed by Con-Con funds .
Rhode Island voters caught the Status Quo message, defeated the Metro
constitution on April 16, 1968, 68,940 votes to 17, 464 .
In postscript, the researchers admitted, "There do not appear to be any
simple answers to the question of how to succeed at constitutional reform . To
provide even tentative answers," they forecast, "it will take detailed
analysis of a series of conventions of the sort being undertaken under the
Carnegie grant made for this purpose to the National Municipal League and
Brown University." 7
A box score shows Metro Constitutions being rejected almost two to one (2
to 1) :
Constitution Revision Elections
Year
State
Rejected Accepted
1963 Michigan
x
1966 Kentucky
x
1967 New York
x
1968
Pennsylvania (limited revision by several
amendments. General Power Grant to
local governments)
1968 Rhode Island x
1968 Maryland x
1969 New Mexico x
1970 Oregon
x
7. Magnificent Failure, No. 3 (1970) ibid, Pp. 239 .
136
THE METROCRATS
CITIZENS ASK ABOUT CITY AND COUNTY CHARTERS
The nationwide Metro movement to rewrite city and county charters, or to
establish Metro's mis-named "Home Rule" charters for the first time, has
several underlying purposes : 1) to eradicate 10th Amendment type charters
which reserve self-determination power to American citizens ; 2) to impose
Metro charters where citizens already are enjoying a measure of satisfaction
under state laws that govern cities and counties .
Metro often includes : 3) interlocal (intergovernmental) sections in the
proposals . Those pave the way for regional governance .
Most American constitutions, statutes and ordinances preserve the
sovereign independence of republican (independent) units of government as
guaranteed by the U.S . Constitution . Interlocal agreement or intergovernmental
amendments to constitutions, charters, statutes, or ordinances become
weapons to demolish that sovereignty and veto power.
You of course know that the 10th Amendment of the U .S . Constitution,
added after the recital of powers, reserves all non-delegated governing
power to the People or to the States . Citizens living under charters drawn
under that constitutional principle enjoy the greatest measure of personal
freedom and prosperity .
Under 10th Amendment type charters, citizens list the services they want
their governing body to perform . The citizens then yield just enough power
to the governing body to perform the duty or duties . All remaining power
stays with the citizens .
On the other hand, Metro charters concentrate all governing power (or as
close to 100% as possible) in the governing body .
The first article in a Metro charter usually contains the General Grant of
Power giving all power and authority to the governing body . That power has
to come from somewhere. It comes from those governed who have surrendered
their power by "voting in" the new charter .
The Metro-1313 political syndicate offers several versions of the Metro
type charter : the appointed manager type, the elected manager type, and an
elected governing body armed with a broad grant of powers .
It must be remembered that elected officials are not infallible simply
because they are elected to office . It is foolhardy, then, to arm them with too
much unrestricted power.
10th Amendment charters put handcuffs on the elected governing body
with citizens holding the keys .
But uncontrollable danger lies in the Metro charter by which foolishly
trusting citizens have yielded their self-governing power to the governing
body or to appointees chartered with sweeping powers . Also, an oligarchic
Year State Rejected Accepted
1970 Virginia x
1970 Illinois x
1970 Arkansas x
1970 Idaho x
1972 North Dakota x
1972 Montana (contested in court) x
Totals 9 5
CONSTITUTIONS AND CHARTERS
137
monopoly may result from abuse of administrative powers usurped by governing
bodies . This becomes dangerous to the citizens when elected officers
run local revenue-producing "authorities," not by ordinances but by resolutions
where ordinances should be used instead . Resolutions cannot be repealed
by citizens, but ordinances are subject to voter referendum .
Metro organizations, the National Assn . of Counties (NACo) and its web of
associations of counties by states, and the National Municipal League, parent
of the 1313 syndicate, print up and sell the Metro charters .
College professors, for a price, offer Metro guidance and counsel . An ambitious
local yokel who has been exposed to Metro "workshops," often sits on
the local charter-writing commission as legman between the Metro mentors
and to pressure the local folk .
But citizens have a choice between Metro charters and 10th Amendment
type charters.
The clear mandate of the 10th Amendment is available to any charterwriting
group which will seek, find, and write the constitutional principle at
the beginning of a proposed charter, such as : "The (city council or county
commission) of (city or county) shall have the jurisdiction and powers as
enumerated in this charter and which are not in conflict with the state
constitution ."
The balance of the charter should follow, including the duties of the elected
officials . Also the list of powers granted, and the restrictions imposed . The
shorter the former and the longer the latter, the greater the freedom retained
by the citizenry .
CHARTER WRITERS, ATTENTION
When citizens are called together by one means or another to write or to
rewrite city and county charters or state constitutions, they often are
deluged by guidelines originating from the nationwide Metro syndicate . The
syndicate's Chicago-1313 and Lexington (Ky.) cores team with the National
Municipal League, 47 E . 68 St., N.Y. as key syndicate leaders .
NML's latest history released Dec . 19698 admits that the Metro charters
contain the all-power-to-the-government concept . NML discloses that in its
prepackaged charters, a "general grant of powers replace(s) the detailed
enumeration" of powers.
Enumeration of power, as referred to, is the sensible American concept
contained in the "reserved power charters" that have served Americans
well since the beginning of this nation . Reserved power charters i ;imit the
government . Any government power not enumerated (listed) in the charter
is reserved to the people .
On the other hand, Metro general power grant charters limit the citizens
and unshackle unlimited Metro government which is the exact opposite of
American government.
More and more, the Metro charters are criticized as being unconstitutional
whereas reserved power charters and constitutions are completely
attuned with the U .S. Constitution, Amendment X : "The powers riot delegated
to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the
States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people ."
8 . NML history, entire issue of National Civic Review magazine Dec. '69 .
138
THE METROCRATS
In addition to publishing pilot Metro charters and constitutions, the Metro
syndicate is responsible for such radical innovations as urban renewal, the
one-man-one-vote upheaval and the short ballot movement that abolishes
elective offices, to name a few . The NML history acknowledges its fathering
of the Public Administration Service, 1313 E . 60th St ., Chicago . There,
Metro's city and county manager profession burgeons .
NML, the syndicate parent, began as a civic group to fight corruption but
was hijacked by agile members with influence over wealthy tax exempt
checkbooks . Today NML has fallen into boasting about the big names formerly
on its letterhead, talking about its corruption-chasing days, and overrating
Metro-trained city managers .
Take this NML quote for an example, "Phoenix, Arizona, had had the
council-manager plan for a quarter of a century, but had not had good
government ." Trouble was, as NML put it, the managers were "local politicians
." Plugging for its kind, NML advised a change for Phoenix which was
accepted, thus supplying the Metro touch (quote) : "The next city manager, a
professional from another city, served effectively!"
At this time of oppressive taxation which is being forced upon Americans
to pay for Metro spending sprees, the Metro syndicate avoids the topic of how
to reduce taxes by cutting spending .
Excessive spending is keeping the hordes of Metrocrats on public payrolls .
In the meantime, the syndicate's Metro charters and draft laws continue
taking the helm and the oars of government out of the hands of the American
people . Stripped of their power they cannot pull back to safety .
Charter writing committees would do well to arm themselves with the
time-tested reserved power charters containing enumerated powers that
spell out the limitations on government .
NML's Metro charters and constitutions and others of that ilk which
handcuff the citizenry can be used to serve up examples of what to avoid.
ASSAULT ON OUR CHARTERS
A self-appointed group, delegates coming from different parts of the
United States, gathered in Atlanta (Ga.) July 26-29, 1970 with the stated
intent "to modernize county government into New County, USA ."9
Sponsoring the impudent assault on American county charters, the National
Assn. of Counties expected to have its New County, USA, action
program soon in place in all the states and counties of the nation . The
National Assn . of Counties Research Foundation is co-sponsor .
The present NACo web will be strengthened to extend from a center in
Wash., D.C ., tied to existing associations of counties in the states and connecting
with the nation's 3,049 counties .
NACo is trying to abolish citizens' reserved-power charters that are keyed
to the Tenth Amendment of the U .S . Constitution . NACo will try to replace
that basic all-American right by a general-grant-of-power to ruling bodies
which, in turn, are to be subjected to non-elected administrators .
The gigantic power shift will force the property and holdings of county
citizens to knuckle under the total Metro pattern of collectivization .
9 . The American County magazine, January 1970, published by the National Association
of Counties, Wash ., D.C.
CONSTITUTIONS AND CHARTERS
139
NACo, remember, was one of the loud lobbying voices during the 1970
Census controversy in Congress. NACo assisted in imposing the mandatory,
punishing census questionnaire upon the American people .
That same raw force now will pressure NACo delegates - county elected
officials from rural and urban counties . In accepting and implementing the
Metro general-power-grant principle, the elected officials will be doing
themselves out of their trusteeships . Worse, they will betray the citizens
into the hands of non-elected managers who control by ersatz rules called
administrative regulations that have the effect of true law .
Mixed up with NACo in the planned war upon citizen self-rule a :re other
units and adjuncts of political Syndicate 1313, promoter of Ketro . To name a
few: National League of Cities, Conference of Mayors, International City
Managment Assn., Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations,
Council of State Governments, Public Personnel Assn ., Committee on
Economic Development, Urban Coalition, League of Women Voters and,
ill-advisedly - the U .S. Chamber of Commerce .
In times past, the Metro movement has blown hot, sometimes cold, on
counties, almost bypassing their involvement. But now, the syndicate is
going all out to force counties into the Metro mould . Why?
Because the county level of government in the United States is a strong
sector that cannot be bypassed, ignored, or leapfrogged by the Metro
takeover. NACo's New County, USA, thus takes its place in Metro's massive
power shift - away from the citizens to Metro managers and authorities .
Broadly, the procedure follows the course of writing the transferred power
(taken from the citizens) into the charters under contrived manager control ;
then to prescribe and promulgate administrative rules and regulations
which are not true laws legislated by the elected representatives of the*
citizens ; and finally, to administer the Metro "governance" (ersatz ; power)
above the heads of the disenfranchised citizens .
By such action programs, the terrible Metro movement grows stronger on
all fronts each day. NACo's New County movement is news today and trouble
tomorrow.
KNELL TOLLED ON DEADLY METRO CHARTERS
Metrocrats - they who want to manage you by Metro governance -
unceasingly seek too rewrite basic American law which reserves control of
your government to You.
A few years ago, Metro emphasis was on city manager charters . In the'70s
the heat is on county government . Invariably, the ubiquitous local charter
study groups, strewing blossoms before Metro, recommend manager government.
The manager, whether city or county, is chartered with wild hire
and fire, plan and spend powers beyond the control of voters .
Comatose Bergen County (N.J .) came awake on Metro's operating table,
disrupting Metro-1313's massive law lift .
The county manager plan for Bergen County was sidetracked by Republicans
who delayed its getting on the ballot . 10 Considered as being a, tactful
retreat of the Republican Party vacating an untenable pro-Metro position
10 . The Bergen Record, Hackensack, N.J. 5/6/68.
1 4 0 THE METROCRATS
maneuvered rashly by a chairman without Party consent, the charter's
death knell was accomplished by massive education of Bergen county leaders
via locally prepared literature .
Being the shadowy One-Party of American collectivization, Metro seldom
is attacked on a bi-partisan basis : The Democrats and Republicans (Metrocrats)
are too busy holding hands behind the Metro scenery . But in the New
Jersey incident Metro met defeat bi-partisanly .
The prepackaged charter for Bergen County (1968) resembled in principle
the infamous Metro charter that resulted in Florida's "State of Dade ." The
Bergen charter would set some county laws above state law, and would
exercise powers jointly with other counties, other states, and even federal
agencies .
At a public hearing, someone dryly observed that there would be no need
for Bergen County to go to the expense of sending assemblymen to the New
Jersey Legislature ; the lawmakers would be permitted to legislate only for
other counties, not for Bergen County .
In Deschutes County (Ore .) an irresponsible newspaper editorial" written
from the top of the head stated that public concern over costs would make a
manager charter possible . But does the expense go down, or up? The Bergen
charter called for increasing the Freeholders (governing body) from nine to
thirteen members ; staffing the NEW office of county manager ; spending on
new county-wide urban services such as sewage and air pollution control,
hospitals, welfare, traffic, transportation, etc .
Salt Lake City's (Utah) search for a mayor-council form of government
whereby voters exert the greatest measure of control, seemingly got out of
hand and into the hands of the managing Metrocrats .
The Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce in April 1968 put on the road a
"study group" proposal padded with the Chamber's own prepackaged regional
ideas 12 lifted from pro-Metro sources, such as CED (Committee for
Economic Development) and ACIR (Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental
Relations), a federal body completely controlled by Syndicate 1313 .
Extra-territorial powers over unincorporated areas, a Chamber "solution,"
pioneered in North Carolina, actually resulted in the jailing without a
hearing, and prosecution-without-cause of a property owner . 13
Intergovernmental agreements, another Chamber "solution," is causing
the nationwide "cogging" upset whereby Metrocrats betray citizens into
non-representative councils of governments (COG's) manipulated by Metro
managers .
With deliberate Metro slants of that nature, only an alert citizenry can
sidestep Metro's nightmarish government .
METRO CHARTERS GET SPANKED
Oregonians turned down a Metro county-manager charter (1968) described
scornfully as a "kissing cousin charter ." The seven-man commission
11 . Bend Bulletin 1/20/68 .
12 . Modernizing Local Government, Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, 4/18/68 .
13 . "Zoning Jumps all Fences," p. 155 this book .
CONSTITUTIONS AND CHARTERS
141
proposed for Deschutes County was condemned as a self-perpetuating body
due to an odd nomino-election procedure.
The defeated charter would have provided for county-wide election of
seven commissioners, six nominated from restricted districts, the seventh
nominated by county voters at large . The biggest city, Bend, permanently
assured of the power of three commission positions would need to pick up
only one "cousin" from among the other commissioners in order to gain
majority control over the county's government . 14
The Rockland County (N .Y.) proposed charter contained another Metro
curio - an elected county chief executive armed with veto power . The
innovation was rejected three times, the last time noted in November 1968 .
Grand Rapids (Mich .) toyed with a proposal that seemed to fit the Metro
pattern for an elected chief executive armed with veto power . Apparently,
the citizens were trying to dump the present city manager form of government.
A referendum petition asked for a charter amendment during the Feb .
1969 election that would abolish the city manager title but elect a mayor with
veto power, plus authority to exercise all powers now vested in the city
manager. Only a vote of two-thirds of the city commissioners could override
the mayor's veto. 15
In attempting to correct maladministration, is any true improvement
accomplished by mere name changing (manager to mayor), leaving the
power structure concentrated in the top executive position?
Swollen executive power, elective or appointive, is a Metro hashmark.
While it is true that Metro-1313, the political syndicate centered in Chicago
at 1313 E . 60th St ., can keep tight hold on a city's direction through 1313's
ICMA (International City Management Assn .), it is equally true that 1313
maintains liaison with mayors and other city officials through 1313's National
League of Cities and U .S . Conference of Mayors .
Under the traditional council-mayor form of government, still popular
despite Metro-1313 hostility, power is equalized among the council members,
including the mayor, he being just one of the boys although he presides with
the gavel .
The best interests of local citizens are protected from irresponsible acts of
officialdom by the council-mayor form, especially when based on a charter of
enumerated powers . The city officers, in the name of the city, can exercise
only the powers listed, nothing more.
The Metro charters (city manager type) destroy that protection . The
"power grant" section of a Metro charter gives practically all power to the
city, demotes citizen control .
The proposed city charter for Torrance (Calif .) contained that type of
Metro power grant. The defeated Santa Barbara (Calif.) Metro charter (1967)
carried the same language, word-for-word . The Deschutes County (Ore .)
defeated charter (1968) contained the identical concept with slight variation
in wording.
14 . Deschutes (proposed) County Charter, 1968 .
1 5 . Grand Rapids News Magazine 10/23/68 .
1 4 2 THE METROCRATS
The common source is found in the Metro sample charters published by
political Syndicate 1313's National Municipal League, New York. 16
The defeat of Metro charters, more and more, demonstrates that Americans
are battling to keep local government under citizen control .
RETREADED CHARTER UP FOR VOTE
With the exception of just one holdover member from the old Memphis and
Shelby County Charter Commission of 1962, ten of the eleven-member 1971
revision commission were new .
Their rubberstamping chore must have been easy .
With very few exceptions and some renumbering, the proposed Memphis-
Shelby County Consolidated Government (1971) was a retread of the charter
offered, and rejected by the voters in 1962 .
Compared, the salary stipulations more than doubled in the proposed
charter ; it called for thirteen (13) councilmen each $500 per month, and a
mayor $30,000 annually .
Sections 1 .04 of both the defeated and the proposed, show that the defeated
charter required proof that actual urban services were available at the
effective date of rural annexation ; the proposed charter required only promises
and a plan .
The fuse was merely lengthened on schools . The defeated charter's consolidation
of two systems delayed until August 1974 in the proposed charter .
Both the defeated and the proposed charters were patterned after the
"mail order" Metro charters issued by units of Metro-1313, the political
syndicate that propagates Metro regional governance . The revealing stripe
of such charters is the "General Grant of Power," located in Article II of the
proposed Memphis-Shelby charter . The Article gives any and all powers,
now and hereafter, to the governing body . In the process "any and all" rights
are taken away from the citizens .
By contrast, true American charters are the opposite . Based on the 10th
Amendment, U.S . Constitution, all powers are retained by the citizens,
except for powers assigned to the governing body by enumeration or listing
in a charter . The governing body's power stops where the list stops .
But the proposed Consolidated Government charter stated that it was not
restricted generally by any enumerations should any be listed (Sec . 2 . 02) .
Art. II (general power grant) is perhaps the one most dangerous feature of
the proposed charter. All else that followed - the unrestricted service districts,
open-end debt and interest - become immeasurably more frightful
under the proposed consolidation ; at the outset citizens and voters were to
be stripped of their right of self government . Approving the Consolidated
Charter would be like handing a signed blank check to the consolidated
County Council.
Take the issuance of bonds, relaxed under consolidation . Under Sees.
15 .04-.06, the proposed County Council could issue tax bonds without a vote
of the citizens and without a limit on the debt .
The Metro regional principle of forcing rural areas to pay for the costs of
city operations appeared as proposed Section 14.25 called "Power to allocate
16. National Municipal League (sample) City Charter Article I, 6th edition, 1964, 47
E . 68th St ., New York .
CONSTITUTIONS AND CHARTERS
143
costs ." The broad text allowed the County Council to spread costs of planning,
health services, port and harbor, or "any other function," over the
entire consolidated city-county tax grid for all taxpayers to pay, whether or
not their area received the services.
Such unfair practices of regional governance are uncalled for .
A sensible alternative exists which costs not an extra cent if used in good
faith -the "joint exercise of power" principle . When used sparingly, the law
permits a city and a county, retaining individual sovereignty (veto power), to
exercise a single function common to both . Flood control is a proper example,
under valid circumstances .
But the existing Memphis-Shelby joint planning function, another example,
is an improper, dangerous exercise, inasmuch as joint planning presupposes
regional government, the consolidation that wipes out local . governments
.
MEMPHIS-SHELBY : 0, THOSE METRO BLUES
In one section of Tennessee, they're humming, "Metro Blues . . . no got 'em
anymore!"
The musty Metro charter for Memphis-Shelby County consolidation, defeated
in 1962, retreaded and resubmitted in 1971 was turned down a second
and (hopefully) final time, June 22, 1971 .
City and county voters combined walloped Metro consolidation -- 39,863
against, 36,157 for. Memphis gave a slight lead to Metro ; the county vote
turned it down . To be effective, voters in both areas had to approve the
proposed charter.
Metro-No!, a citizen committee,'' skillfully mapped the victory, financing
their campaign by less than a fourth of the amount splurged by Metrocrats .
Metro-No! didn't have the money or the TV coverage, but did have volunteer
workers in every precinct . They won the victory .
Reportedly, pro-Metro forces included a daily newspaper in Memphis, the
chamber of commerce, a state senator, the Memphis mayor and most of the
city council, but audiences were unimpressed by the uncertain Metro "let us
reason together" approach .
On the other hand, Metro-No! speakers dragged out the nitty gritty : the
proposed charter's uncontrolled spending, unlimited taxation, unlimited
fees, unlimited assessments and the "no Debt limit" section . "Don't add to
your woe, vote Metro-No!" became the battlecry.
Star Publications, a suburban-rural newspaper chain, charged that Memphis
had "walled itself" in with special benefits under the proposed consolidation
whereas, "the charter was devised to bring the county into the city to
provide financial aid ."
Other Metro fiascos in the South were cited . Chattanooga had defeated a
Metro government proposal, and an official from Metro Nashville-Davidson
County was quoted . "Metro has gotten so big," he said "that you can't run
the government or any office of the government from city hall and have the
slightest idea of what the people are thinking . . . high taxes and low effi-
1 7. Metro No! chairman, Mrs . Hillman P . Rodgers (Ellen Davies), Davies Plantation
(Brunswick) Memphis, Tennessee 38128 .
1 4 4 THE METROCRATS
ciency have cost Metro government public confidence . . . the results are
disturbing." (Trustee G . Ferguson)
Metro-No! distributed thousands of mimeographed leaflets and printed
fact sheets, also sent letters to influential leaders . All material was locally
written and circulated by the Metro-No! members . Additional facts were
broadcast over two daily call in, talk shows .
One mayor, Thomas Hall of Millington, had so many speaking requests
that he couldn't fulfill all of them because of conflicting time demands . His
city defeated the Metro charter 10-1 .
Swelling the ranks of Metro opposition, other suburban-rural aldermen
left no doubt about their disapproval against consolidation . A newspaper
poll disclosed a deep-seated, ingrained aversion to Metro .
Alderman Wm . McKelvy said, "I haven't changed my mind one bit in ten
years ." He was actively against Metro during the 1962 charter try.
Cleo Hollingsworth, alderman, said : "I am against Metro government 100
percent. If we must have that, I say just turn everything over to the federal
government and let them run the whole thing ."
One interesting casualty was the pile of rejected Metro charters . Fifty
thousand (50,000) were printed, paid for by the charter commission out of tax
money. Forty-two thousand (42,000) copies were on hand after the election .
Workmen carted them off. Where they were taken, no official spokesman
would say .
HOME RULE AND THE NAME ABUSE
The mail that came from Douglas County (Ore .) where a so-called "home
rule" charter iniative qualified for a vote Nov. 1972 sounded panicky . Citizens
wanted instant information, neatly in a capsule .
An editor said he thought that locally things were pretty bad - would
maybe the charter be an improvement?
If shipwrecked persons were drifting in a raft, they would be worse off if
they had no oars . The situation exemplifies a citizenry who have cast away
their oars by voting approval for a Metro charter ; it gives their rightful
control over government to the ruling body . It's done by the Metro "general
grant of power ."
The difference between the constitutional concept of "home rule" and the
abuse of the "home rule" term has been pointed out many times . As a generic
term, home rule means that a state permits local governments to operate
under charters . Citizens can choose a good, citizen-controlled charter
freeing them from outside interference, or they can be misled into choosing a
Metro falsely labeled "home rule charter."
By the former, citizens list the powers they delegate to their government
so that it can perform the services listed . They retain all powers not delegated
.
On the other hand, a Metro general power grant charter robs citizens of
their governing power . Known as the "universal powers" concept in Europe
from where it derives,"' and basic to the United Nations charter,
municipalities under the general/universal power grant may do whatever is
not denied to them.
18. New Towns: Laboratories for Democracy (1971) by 20th Century Fund, N .Y .
CONSTITUTIONS AND CHARTERS
145
The proposed Douglas charter appeared to be an unclear mix . In it, the
county claimed the grant of general power ; the charter also listed specific
powers; it reiterated its claim on "all power ."
Americans who wish to stay free must limit their public servants to the
greatest extent possible . It appears advisable that delegated-powers type
city/county charters should contain a version of this clause : "Any enumeration
of rights/powers and privileges shall not be construed to impair or deny
others retained by the people."
Four different meanings of home rule appear in Newsletter No . 26, March
1972, S 0 S, Box 29, Winnetka, Ill ., 60093 as follows :
Citizen view : Home is local government . Rule is under the people's
control;
Misguided Elected Official : Home is the name of a unit of government .
Rule is in the politician's hands ;
Planner: Home is eventually Wash ., D .C . Rule is in the hands of appointees
;
Socialist-Communist-One-Worlder : Home is the world . Rule is under
the United Nations .
MIAMI-DADE STILL STUCK WITH METRO
The magazines and newsletters of Metro literature are hailing three
Metro regional governments that toppled the former governments of Nashville
(Tenn .), Jacksonville (Fla .) and Indianapolis (Ind .) .
Taxpayers in Tennessee are sending out sour notes . Jacksonville is too
new (1968), and Unigov (Indianapolis-Marion County consolidation) just
went into effect Jan . 1, 1970 . So let's look at U .S.A.'s oldest Metro„ Miami-
Dade, saddled with a Metro county charter . The people can't muster the
strength to throw it off. Metrocrats on the teeming public payroll swing the
vote .
A tenth year anniversary critique in 1967 charged that the Metro Court
handling all traffic cases for Miami and 25 other cities in Metro-Dade, operated
only as an income-producing mill . Violators, in most instances, were
reported convicted and fined on the testimony of a lone officer .
In December 1969, a Miami columnist wrote, "Miami is a city of 350,000
people which seems to be sitting at dead center, teetering between hardening
of leadership arteries and fiscal bankruptcy ."
Another columnist took it up, "The city, admittedly, is in the throes of an
organized crime wave, a Grand Jury deploring `knifings, shootings, robberies,
assaults, use of drugs by pupils in public schools . . . ."'
"Seldom has the image of this once-glittering `Gold Coast' resort area been
so tarnished . . . . The mixture of Metro (countywide) government and more
than 20 municipal governments isn't working . Traffic is so bad it'll cost $1 .5
billion in the next 15 years to solve it . Of 90 Sewage plants in the county, 88
are operated in apparent violations of various health and anti-pollution
ordinances . As a result, canals, rivers and bays are severely polluted . Surface
cars and airplanes pollute the air . Dade has the highest rents, highest
building costs 19
19. Newspaper quote credits to Miami News and St . Petersburg (Fla.) Times .
146
THE METROCRATS
In January 1970 news from the Dade county courthouse revealed the
latest tax figures then available (9/30/68) furnished by the Dade County
Finance Dept. Total adjusted tax levies had more than doubled in ten years .
Real and personal property taxpayers paid 63.6,e of each tax dollar collected,
1967-68 .
A Miami-Dade businessman and taxpayer stated "The one thing that
Metro rode into power on (1957) was the promised consolidation of the tax
offices . That has been done, but nary an employee has been let out . The bill for
Miami and Dade taxes comes in one statement, all payments go to Metro and
it sends the city's share to the city hall . For instance, I have three lots next to
my house . In 1962 my county tax on the lots was $50 .57. Last year it was
$142 .49 . None of this is city tax . The total bill last year was $333 .05 ."
"I try not to be a pessimist," the taxpayer's letter continued, "However,
the County (Metro) is going broke . If your boat is leaking more water than it
is bailing out, it can't stay afloat for very long ."
Apparently some passengers are abandoning ship . For instance, Pierre
Salinger, a former press secretary to the late Pres . John F . Kennedy, appeared
in the Pacific Northwest about 1969-70 as a senior vice-president of
Amprop, Inc . The Miami-based real estate development and investment firm
reportedly planned to invest $30 million in Portland income producing property
in Oregon .
Who can afford to own Florida real estate under Metro regional taxation?
METRO NASHVILLE RINGS SOUR, NOT SWEET
In Metropolitan-Nashville, the aging city-county consolidation experiment,
the unrelenting criticism reported by the local press garbled Metro's
victory song to such an extent that the Metrocrats called for outside help.
Business Week magazine sent in a trumpeter . The article (9/25/71) claimed
that Metro-Nashville's merger has "kept key business in the city, held down
taxes and upgraded services ."
The residents who live there become cynical about reporting such as that.
Business was "kept in the city" by the Metro expediency of capturing the
firms by the two-into-one consolidation . As is perfectly normal, businesses
were beginning to expand to open space sites in the county as much as ten
miles beyond Nashville's built up city core . Then, under Metro, the county
became known as the city. The region-size tax grid transferred the city costs
to the suburbs. Example of Metro tax shifting.
Taxes were not held down, they rose . Like "hot" being unbearable if you're
sitting on it, taxation in Metro-Nashville apparently is a matter of degree .
According to (Mr.) Mayor Beverly Briley who was quoted, "Taxes have
climbed more slowly under consolidation than they would have under the old
two-government system ."
Reportedly, the new Metro "favors business ." For example, the city's
official tax assessment rate runs about 40% of assessed value . But business,
especially the downtown variety, pays 20% to 25%, according to Briley and
Business Week. Although rather ambiguously stated, it seems to indicate
that a homeowner's tax base can be closer to one-half the assessed value of
his property, while a business tax base could be as little as one-fifth . Example
of Metro tax-gouging of private tax payers .
CONSTITUTIONS AND CHARTERS
147
As to services, the pre-election promises have not been kept . Both sides,
Metro governance and citizens, agree to that .
Costs rise but services do not. Sewer-laying has come to a halt . Water rates
rose 45%. A 10% tax was placed on sewer bills. People are paying a higher
sales tax. They've got to buy a $15 auto sticker . Tax bills for 1971 due and
payable, increased 61 cents each $100 assessed valuation in the General
Services District. Owner of a house assessed at $10,000 would be paying $61
more in property taxes than he did previously providing the assessment
remained the same .
As reported by Wayne Whitt of the Nashville-Tennessean, Councilman
John A. Wilson said, "I frankly don't know how some of the people in my
district are going to be able to pay their taxes unless they take food and
clothes away from their children."
The newspaper editorialized (8/4/71) "Since 1962 (year before the Metro
consolidation, Ed .) the tax take has gone from $65 million to $152 million -
an increase of 134%! And tax assessments have gone from $730 million to
$1 .2 billion, an increase of 57% ."
No MATTER How IT'S SLICED
A political trick that has been forcefed to voters for years in presidential
elections was established at states' level in the 1972 campaign . The idea
embodies the Metro principle of multiple-choice with the outcome predetermined
regardless of which choice is taken .
The controlled result is brought about merely by having the basic product
identical in any or all alternatives offered . At the federal level, the Party
trickery was easy to see : Republican and Democratic candidates both oneworlders.
Just wearing differing party tags .
In other examples, voters were asked to approve state constitutional
measures that permit local governments a choice between "alternate forms
of government." The catch lies in the fact that all forms offered end up being
Metro governance.
Metro stands for metropolitan regional administrative governance : rule
by executive order and administrative decree in vast regions, not 50 states .
South Carolina specified five alternatives in its proposed constitutional
amendment in 1972 . Utah and Pennsylvania (the latter in 1968) provided
unlimited options . But in all cases, the all-Metro "guidelines" were to be
furnished by the legislatures after the constitutional approval had been
wrung from the voters .
In Utah, a knowledgeable editor pointed out that Utah's proposed
amendment would lead to Metro . His correct analysis cannot be tossed aside
as a mere accusation . The proof of his remarks are found in documentary
evidence supplied by the Metrocrats themselves . Metrocrats are individuals
who promote Metro governance .
Historically the "alternate form" method was tried out in New Jersey at
city level with a given three alternate forms subdivided into 15 options . All
were exactly the same form of government.
The Metrocrats published a book on the matter, "New Jersey's Optional
Municipal Charter Law," published by political Syndicate 1313's National
Municipal League (NML) 47 E . 68 St ., N .Y . 10021 in 1964 .
148
THE METROCRATS
The basic all-impoi tant feature, the source of the governing power - a
Metro governing body - was the same in all the options offered .
The Metro charters accomplish the deed . Their General Power Grant
(GPG) takes all governing power from American citizens, bestows the power
on a manager, or a council, or other agencies . Speaking of the GPG ("home
rule" in Metro parlance) the above book says on page 8, "The basic form is the
same regardless of the lettered options ." The remark aptly describes the
several instances at state level .
Compare the sorry situation with the true American principle, this : A
governing body can have no powers except those conferred on it by the
citizens.
When citizens vote away that power by approving Metro GPG "home rule"
charters, they scuttle their ship of state .
A last ditch alternative does exist for citizens in Pennsylvania, Utah,
South Carolina and any place where citizens have disenfranchised themselves
. They can storm their legislatures, insist that one of the optional
forms shall be the traditional limited form of representative government
which vests the governing power in the citizenry . Call it the 10th Amendment
type of charter, if you wish .
Charters drawn under the reserved power concept of the U.S .
Constitution's 10th Amendment reserve all non-delegated governing power
to the citizenry who can assign, delegate, but limit their representative
governing bodies to those powers listed or enumerated in the charter .
HOG WILD IN HELENA
Trapped in the constitution revision craze, Montana's Constitution of 1889
was unseated by a Metro constitution that was put on the ballot June 6,1972 .
Measured by one formula, the new constitution was considered approved . By
another, it had failed to pass .
Reportedly, constitutional changes in the state are required to be "approved
by a majority of the electors voting at the election ." According to the
Secretary of State, a certified 237,600 electors voted . A majority would be
half of that figure plus one or 118,801 . Yet the Governor proclaimed passage
of the constitution because 116,415 voted for it ; 113,883 against it.2O And the
Montana Supreme Court upheld .
In deep anger, Montanans have formed into committees to protect themselves
from the legislative whiplash that has followed .
One citizen recalled the biased role played by the press . He said, "None of
us opposing the (Metro) constitution could get a word in against this document
of the National Municipal League of New York."
NML is the parent body of the Metro-1313 syndicate which promotes
regional governance . Revised constitutions are being patterned after
NML's Metro constitution. In early Jan . 1972, Wm . N . Cassella, Jr ., executive
director of NML reportedly appeared in Helena (state capital) dispensing
Metro propaganda.
A citizen's analytical letter was presented to a newspaper for publication
20 . AP, Capitol Writer 7/18 and 8/ 1 9/72.
CONSTITUTIONS AND CHARTERS
149
criticizing the syndicate's intervention in Montana affairs . Let his words tell
it : 21 "Our Butte paper is the Montana Standard and it runs a'Readers Speak'
column. I sent this letter pertaining to the constitution and a couple of
sections of Montana state law which allows Metro government to sit alongside
our Constitutional government . . . . The Standard would not print the
letter but offered to run it as an ad for $54 .80. When I offered them the
money, they would not accept it and consequently refused to run the letter.
. . . The (Metro) constitution involves the lives of all Montanans, (yet) only
one side of the story was given to the people ."
At the Butte newspaper, there has been a change of editors and the
present editor says he recalls nothing about the case .
Legislative Report No . 1, 22 analyzing nine (9) Metro bills, exposed H .B . 37
which appropriates $32,320 as Montana's dues to 1313's Council of State
Governments. CSG is a bellwether organization in the Metro-1313 syndicate
along with NML. All 50 state treasuries, paying more or less, likewise buy
Metro propaganda from CSG's extensive apparatus that subverts state
legislatures through numerous means and devices .
The culprit feature of a Metro constitution is the GPG (General Power
Grant) which provides all power to the governing body (reserving little or no
control by the citizens) so that a state legislature can do anything it chooses
except what is expressly forbidden to it .
Citizens For Responsible Legislation, P .O . Box 1547, has exposed some of
the "haste and waste" legislation pouring through the loopholes of the
Metro constitution in 1973 . On a full page in The Messenger 2/7/73 (Missoula),
CFRL pointed that out, noting that the devastating work of constitutional
revision continues today in Helena in the sense that many areas formerly
restricted by the 1889 Constitution are now left open to the legislature .
"One visitor," according to CFRL, "came away from the legislative proceedings
with the comment, `They are going hog wild in Helena .' "
2 1 . Mr. John Finnegan, Butte .
22 . Legislative Report No . 1 Missoula, Montana.