TBK had a packed house during the February meeting. We were informed by some of the more long-standing members this was our 3rd biggest TBK meeting in history with a head count of approximately 160 at its peak. So let’s get you caught up on what happened.
We had a couple of endorsements for State House Races.
Andrew Schachtner – Republican House District 33
Richard Treitz – Republican House District 24
Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles:
Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles visited and had a good discussion with the group on his goals for the office
- Continue to expand the Kentucky Proud Brand to help expose citizens to local options
- Create, Expand, & Promote Kentucky products internationally
- Agriculture Education in our schools that our needed to counter anti-agriculture groups like PETA that are already have an influence in our schools
- Push back against Federal Overreach, we have already seen what has happened to the Coal Industry and he doesn’t want to see that happen to Kentucky’s Agriculture Industry. One particular danger he shared with us is WOTUS (Waters of the US) regulations the EPA is trying to use to go after Farmers. Basically a mechanism to regulate family farms just because they have what amounts to a puddle of water on their property.
- Start the Commission on Hunger to find ways to feed the hungry in Kentucky, but not just through public programs but private ones, as well as including Churches. Right now 40% of all food is wasted by going into the trash.
- Find alternative crops for Kentucky farmers like Comer did with Industrial Hemp. He wants to continue and expand the Hemp programs as well as add more crops like Canola, Kenaf, Hops.
He took a few questions from the audience as well, one was for clarification on fines the pesticides usage and industrial hemp. Apparently some farmers have had a recent issue. He was unaware of any issues personally, but would look into them.
He was asked about GMO Labeling and he said he felt that was more of a national issue because the interstate commerce, so it was not a state standalone issue. He did point out that because there is no regulation a farmer can inform their customers right now that there food is non-GMO.
He was also asked about Marijuana legalization and his response was he is more focused on getting Industrial Hemp off the ground and on solid footing.
Sisters for Life:
We had Angela Minter of the pro-life organization Sisters for Life come and visit about her organizations work to promote pro-life issues in the Black Community. She gave us her story, and a great story it was and we cannot do it justice by repeating it here, you really must hear her speak. However, in short she was the daughter of a very liberal legislator here in Kentucky and she had two abortions in secret, but her father found out about her attempted third abortion and talked her out of it and encouraged her to get married to her longtime boyfriend. She did not get the abortion and she is still married to that same boyfriend and has a family of her own. When she held her first child in her hands, nothing had ever compared to it before. She became pro-life and knew she had to spread her message and do something about the abortion issue her in Kentucky.
Monday of this past week Sisters for life held a press conference about how the Abortion Industry is committing Black Genocide. For more about the story
Bro Embry took some time to tell us about his efforts in broadcasting Christian views on his radio show and the need for more Christians to get involved in politics. His belief on how the Constitution has it right and we need to be strong advocates for it as Christians as it strongly reflects Christian values. He told about his time trying to get alternative Christian school in Kentucky. Also told us another time where he was picketing with his Pastor and his pastor got thrown in jail for it, but while in jail the jailor was such a fan of their local station he allowed the Radio show to be broadcast from the jail house.
We had a couple of speakers on Industrial Hemp. One was Industrial Hemp Farmer Bill Polyniak. He mainly works on the medical aspect of Industrial Hemp with the CBD oil, for him this is a personal mission to give a better quality of life to those with illnesses. He has a son that suffers from seizures and the CBD oil is helping with his condition. We also heard testimony from others in the room about how CBD oil has reduced or eliminated seizures in their loved ones. Bills farm ships product out to all 50 states with the CBD oil he extracts from his Industrial Hemp plants. He hopes this helps get people off of multiple pharmaceutical medicines that have side effects and give people one natural alternative.
We also had the Kentucky Hempsters speak to TBK about their efforts to reignite the Hemp Industry in Kentucky. The Kentucky Hempsters are Alyssa Erickson and Kristin Bohnert. Their goal is to educate people about all the uses of Hemp such as its nutritional value as it can be used for food, its industrial uses such as hempcrete, which is like a form of concrete, clothing, and even an alternative energy source. They are also trying to dispel some of the myths about Hemp like getting high, which you cannot. For more information on their efforts we suggest you go to their website kyhempsters.com as they are a good source for all things Hemp.
Senator Rand Paul:
Our Keynote Speaker was Senator Rand Paul, who is running for Re-Election this year. Rand gave us a waste report on government spending. Some of the more ridiculous items were space camp for Pakistani kids at the NASA facility in Alabama, a study to find out if Japanese quail were more sexually active while on cocaine, starting a televised soccer league in Afghanistan. He railed against social spending here at home, but also against wasteful military spending. He was concerned that we are using our military as a showcase of how “green” we are. One obscene case of this was the creation of a $43 Million natural gas station in Afghanistan. This was built at 86x the normal cost, in a country where people don’t drive that many cars, and whose total income for the year is less than what it would cost to convert a car if they had one over to natural gas.
Senator Paul also discussed the recent death of Justice Scalia and how the next appointment confirmation may be the most important vote he casts as a senator. He explained how the process would work in that there could not be a hearing at all for any nominee, it could be heard in committee and either pass or fail there, and if it passed it could come for a vote before the Senate. Part of the reason he views this a crucial decision is depending on how it goes it could tip the balance on the supreme court away from the common 5-4 decisions toward a more liberal court that could drastically change this country. However, it was also important based on a recent decision made by the Supreme Court 5-4 to put an injunction against the Presidents Energy Plan an Energy Plan that is hurting Kentucky’s Coal Industry. Scalia was the 5th vote for the injunction. Senator Paul does not think it appropriate for the President to be allowed at this time another appointment that would affect the outcome of a ruling that is basically determining the Constitutionality of one of his actions. Senator Paul believes the President has been abusing his executive powers for far too long and it is time for it to stop.
Senator Paul talked about how the debt under President Obama has doubled, but also pointed out how Bush doubled the debt in his tenure in office. He also cautioned based on the current trend of government spending that it may not matter which party gets in power, it may simple double again. He believes there ought to be a balanced budget amendment to help curtail all this spending. He also outlined another problem we have had for about the last 10 years or so is Omnibus bills. There are 12 Departments of the Federal government that oversee a whole bunch of agencies under them. What is supposed to be happen is have 12 different budget bills passed. What often happens with these omnibus bills is the military is used as a pawn to make sure everyone votes for it because we have to have the military, but even then things like a $43 Million natural gas station gets stuck in there. No one has time to read these expansive bills, so slicing it back up into 12 pieces would make it a lot easier to know what is going on and one thing isn’t tied to another and the threat of a government shutdown would not always be happening. He also said there needs to be an Audit of the Federal Reserve which would start the process of having more sound currency. The problem right now is it is split in the Senate along pretty partisan lines and we need to elect more people as a nation to be able to get such a bill like that passed so we can open the books of the Federal Reserve.
He briefly touched on his efforts against the NSA as well as the recent case involving the FBI and iPhone. Rand of course thinks iPhone is right, the government doesn’t need one giant backdoor to look into everyone’s phone, further the government doesn’t need to be dictating to a business how it will develop its product, and in this situation actually making them work for the Federal government. If the government wants the records of a suspect, there is already a mechanism in place, it’s called a 4th Amendment warrant.
Along these same lines at a separate Town Hall event Senator Paul was asked about his thoughts on REAL ID and he said he was opposed to it. The Federal government does not need to create a National ID and violate citizen’s right to privacy. Drivers Licenses are a state issue and the states have been doing it just fine. Kentucky may be facing the specter of non-compliance with this Federal law if we don’t change our statutes. Supposedly a piece of legislation will be introduced in Kentucky to make sure we are compliant with this Federal program. However, before we all rush to action, our legislators should know at least two things: One DHS says we have until 2018. Two there is Federal legislation in the Senate sponsored by Sen Daines (R) of Montana repealing REAL ID. Senator Paul when asked was unaware of the legislation but said he would gladly co-sponsor that legislation when he got back to Washington D.C. That bill number is S. 2440. So before we rush into changing all our driver’s license law, let’s discuss if this is something we want to do in the first place, as we have time, and further it would be prudent to wait and see if this Federal repeal legislation passes. Don’t want to pass a law over nothing now do we?
We did discuss some legislation, in fact you are probably aware of some of the results of those talks based on this week’s alerts. However, we are going to save that information in our TBK Legislative Update for Week 8 we hope to get out to you some time Monday.