Water Cooler 02/16/17 Open Thread; F.E.C. Commissioner In Possible Ethics Violation; Town Trying To Fine A Community Out Of Existence; Today Is Immigrant Strike Day


FEC Commissioner Decides To Grind An Axe, Gets Chopped By Ethics Rules

Before anyone asks, yes it is of course a Democrat.

FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, who has for days called on Trump to prove his claim that he and former Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte lost in New Hampshire due to voter fraud, released an official statement Feb. 10 asking Trump to substantiate the scheme.

Matthew Whitaker, executive director of the watchdog group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, told the Washington Free Beacon that Weintraub’s actions could constitute an ethics and legal violation.

“If she is using her office for personal political purposes, then it would be a misuse of taxpayer funded resource and could be a political issue as well,” Whitaker said. “Also, the FEC does have significant cases before it that it should be focusing on, for instance our complaints on the hybrid ads and the candidates conspiracy to coordinate with the super PACs.”

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said that investigating voter fraud is “certainly” outside of the FEC’s jurisdiction.

“The commissioners on the FEC are subject to a Standard of Conduct that the FEC adopted that is codified at 11 CFR Part 7. Investigating or regulating the voter fraud issue is certainly outside the jurisdiction of the FEC,” Spakovsky said. “Part 7.13 of the Standard of Conduct states that commissioners are not allowed to directly or indirectly use Commission property ‘for other than officially approved activities.’”

—Washington Free Beacon


And, yes, this is the same FEC that managed not to do anything about the Clinton campaign contribution bundlers, the Chinese campaign contributions, virtually nothing about Obama hiding donors and  couldn’t be bothered to prosecute Harry Reid despite his admissions of wrong doing. It’s good to see them maintaining that level of professionalism and effectiveness we have come to expect from them.

Indiana Town Can’t Invoke Eminent Domain, Decides To Force Citizens Into Selling Anyway.

They say “You can’t fight city hall”, Charleston Indiana is out prove it.

Members of a small, low-income community in Indiana are discovering that state-level protections that make it hard for cities to seize their property may not be enough. When city leaders decide to get into bed with private developers, there are all sorts of ways for cronyism to threaten the property rights of owners.

Some states that objected to Kelo v New London and passed new laws to restrict how eminent domain may be used within their borders. Indiana was one of them.

The property-rights-defending lawyers of the Institute for Justice (you may recall their efforts to stop abuse of civil asset forfeiture) are stepping in to represent several property owners in this community and are seeking an injunction to stop the city from trying to use code violation citations to essentially force property transfers.



Cronyism, a predatory government, and a legal system that makes it at best very difficult for citizens to defend themselves. It’s hard to make a better argument for small government and legal reform that puts all parties on a more equal footing. This is the long slow fight we have had with so very little progress to show for it.

The 16th Is Immigrant Strike Day

If you haven’t seen or heard about this here’s a link to one of the posters . Strikes are tricky things unless the strikers win and win big more often than not they hurt the strikers more than they benefit. This strike seems exceptionally prone to backfire. Aside from costing the striekers a days wages, businesses that cater to them will be hardest hit in terms of sales, while businesses that employ them will have the greatest disruption. The same goes for the communities where they reside. Cities with the largest populations of immigrants will be hit hardest, and for sanctuary cities this may be worse than losing federal funding for a day.

Quote of the Day

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.” –G.K. Chesterton



How Much Do You Know About Theodore Roosevelt ?

21 out of 30 on this for me, I have to stop rushing these.

Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread


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