Chelsea Schilling is a commentary editor and staff writer for WND and a proud U.S. Army veteran. She has also worked as a news producer at USA Radio Network and as a news reporter for the Sacramento Union.More ↓Less ↑
A homeschooling mother – who made headlines during the presidential campaign when she received a visit from the Secret Service after calling Obama a “socialist” and criticizing his position on abortion – has launched a movement to hold state lawmakers accountable and promote a return to the rule of law defined in the U.S. Constitution.
Jessica Hughes, a Lufkin, Texas, resident, received a phone call from an Obama volunteer in 2008 asking if she supported the Democratic Party candidate.
Hughes replied, “No, I don’t support him. Your guy is a socialist who voted four times in the state Senate to let little babies die in hospital closets; I think you should find something better to do with your time.”
The next day, two Secret Service agents visited her home, asking if she said, “I will never support Obama and he will wind up dead on a hospital floor.”
Her story was just one in a string of reports about alleged intimidation against Obama critics.
“One of the things that was said was that I had no right to be upset because that happened under the Bush administration,” Hughes told WND. “It’s absolutely true that there is a terrible danger with these bills that aren’t read. It’s my understanding that the Patriot Act was never read in its entirety by either President Bush or the Congress who voted it in. … According to that legislation, those secret service agents could have entered my home and searched it without a warrant that was ever seen by any judge. I don’t care who’s in power. You can’t give that kind of power to a government.”
Now Hughes, president and chief executive officer of The Founder’s Alliance, is leading a movement to hold elected officials accountable and ensure that they pledge to uphold the Constitution, rejecting any effort of the federal government to exceed boundaries of its authority under the founding document.
“We started out with the tea parties in the area, and most of what we noticed was that a lot of our problems stem from our legislators not respecting the Constitution,” she said. “So, we wanted to start from an area where we could really have an effect. We felt that local and state legislation was what we should focus on. The idea is to have our state legislators make known where they stand in their interpretation of the Constitution – not just say, ‘I’ll uphold the Constitution,’ but that they will uphold the Constitution as it was originally intended.”
The Founder’s Alliance has delivered a “Contract with Texans” to state legislators. The pact states:
Be it resolved, that the undersigned pledge to uphold the principles of our nation as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights; and further pledge to uphold the Texas Constitution and defend the inalienable rights of the People of Texas, as follows:
1. I will reject with my words and my vote any effort of the Federal Government to exceed the boundaries of its authority as specifically granted in the seventeen powers listed under Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, and understood to limit the exercise of congressional power in the service of the general welfare;
2. I will reject with my words and my vote any and all legislation which infringes on the inalienable rights of the citizens of Texas as defined above;
3. I will reject with my words and my vote any and all legislation which seeks to redistribute wealth according to the caprices of government or the petitions of those who would enrich themselves at the expense of private property of others;
4. I will reject with my words and my vote any and all attempts to alter the understanding of the United States Constitution from the plain meaning of the text;
5. I will support with my words and my vote all efforts of the state of Texas to legislatively re-establish a constitutionally limited federal government on behalf of the people.
The group will announce in a news conference Thursday at the Texas state capitol the names of lawmakers who have signed the agreement and which ones have not.
According to the Lufkin Daily News, Texas Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, was one of the first lawmakers to sign the pledge.
“I did not hesitate to sign it. We need to get elected officials who swear to uphold the Constitution in their oath of office to pledge to do that. We need to get back to the core principals outlined by the Constitution,” Nichols told the newspaper.
“We really just want to make this a positive step in engaging citizens with their state and local representatives,” Hughes said. “We’re not just sitting back and waiting for a presidential election to come along before we pay attention. We want people paying attention at all times.”
She said The Founder’s Alliance is forming a network of citizens to monitor different areas of government.
“Right now we have a group that is researching all of the amendments that are proposed to the Texas Constitution for next year,” she said. “Then they can share with the group what they’ve found. That way we’re able to divide the labor up and all be informed when we go to the voting booth.”
Hughes said the effort does not end with Texas. Citizens from other states are already expressing interest in presenting similar contracts to their own state representatives. Hughes plans to spark a national movement with the Texas contract.
“We do have some people from other states who have joined up,” she confirmed. “We’re anxious to work with other states. It’s absolutely within our plans. We think that every state should have a contract with legislators that says where they stand on the Constitution.”
Hughes said both Republicans and Democrats have failed to protect American liberties and allowed the federal government to drastically expand its authority.
“The people have allowed themselves to be taken over by a sense of entitlement and a nanny state that really takes away your freedom to protect and defend yourself, your freedom to support yourself,” she said. “Health care is a great example. I think it’s a very dangerous idea that runs through this country that the government can be trusted with decisions like your health care. ”
The Founders Alliance website states, “In every controversial topic today, from health care ‘reform’ to bailouts, there are only two choices: The individual or the collective. Will the individual be left free to make personal decisions within the family, community or state of their choosing? Or will your will and mine be subjugated to the ‘best interests’ of society as the government defines them?”
Through WND, Farris announced an invitation to “the citizens of this country that believe in the Constitution, who believe in traditional morality and virtue, who believe in a free America and reject the concepts of socialism and the secularist moral view” to unite with more than 6,300 other citizens in signing a Declaration of the Principles of Liberty.
“Freedom is the ability to make your own decisions,” Farris told WND, “but socialism inherently takes away private decision making. When the president can decide who is the chair or CEO of General Motors, that’s socialism. America was founded on the principle that Americans can make their own decisions; the government can’t tell us what to do. Socialism erases that line and invades the private decision making of companies, of families, of everyone.”
Now, says Farris, “Socialism faces an ardent new foe” – not Farris himself, but the combined grass-roots voices of Americans he hopes will rally behind the Declaration of the Principles of Liberty. The eventual goal, Farris explained, is to empower everyday Americans to take their organizations, political parties and nation back from those leaders who don’t represent the people’s values.
“I’m hoping this becomes a grass-roots, viral campaign to promote these principles to millions of Americans and that millions of Americans will sign this pledge,” Farris said. “If I’m able to tell the leadership in Washington that hundreds of thousands or millions of people have signed these petitions, they’re going to have to start paying attention to these ideas, stop giving lip service to conservatism and stop simply being a more ‘conservative’ form of socialist.”
WND has also reported on a movement in which activists and state legislators are focusing their own efforts on state governments as a way to resist federal health care “reform” and stop federal usurpation of state rights. Lawmakers in as many as 10 states are considering or seeking to propose bills and resolutions to nullify federal health care in their states.
“I think you’ll hear states and governors standing up and saying ‘no’ to this type of encroachment on the states with their health care,” Perry said. “My hope is that we never have to have that stand-up. But I’m certainly willing and ready for the fight if this administration continues to try to force their very expansive government philosophy down our collective throats.”