As mentioned on the No State Project last week, I confronted the Scottsdale city council February 25, 2014 and asked for evidence. They declined to answer. Can we be surprised though? Procedure will always be used to cover up a lack of evidence.
A brief history for those not following updates on the radio show: Just like those in Tempe, I’ve been investigating the politicians in Scottsdale, it’s the same racket. I asked the media cops for evidence, and predictably they could not answer, though Mark Clark did wish me well on my “quest.” I asked to speak to with the assistant chiefs and chief, and was given a run around. They lied to me saying I had to go through internal affairs.
I have been emailing the mayor and council for a couple of months and have not gotten a responsive answer. Though I did get this:
Dear Mr. Stevens,
Mayor Lane wonders if you can produce evidence that the City does not have jurisdiction over you? There are fairly straight forward answers to your questions…in part, the issue of “jurisdiction” only arises in the context of the courts seeking to exercise authority over an individual, so there is no free-floating jurisdiction, but rather it is determined based on the facts giving rise to a particular governmental action.
Mayor Lane is not interested in debating this with you and won’t respond again. Perhaps you should speak to a lawyer or a law student to discuss in further detail the merits of your argument.
Best of luck,
Rachel Smetana, Management Assistant to the Mayor.
This prompted a response from J.P. Twist, the mayor’s Chief of Staff:
What was the reason for you being so harsh? What did this guy to do you/mayor?
Rachel apologized but she did not even try to set up a meeting with Mr. Lane or try to get an answer to the question. I spoke with Rachel on the phone February 12, 2014. She was hostile and even though I introduced myself as a journalist investigating how those called the “city” do business, she questioned my motives. She said she didn’t understand why I was focused on Scottsdale, I didn’t live in Scottsdale and I was not asking about an incident personal to me. I won’t lie, I was pretty put off by this evasion to a simple question.
So I asked if I had to be living in the Philippines and personally damaged by the storm to then be able to investigate. She saw the logic, but I was not getting any time with Mr. Lane. I even changed my question and removed the offending word “jurisdiction” and they still won’t answer. This is the last email I sent them:
“I asked a question, what in my email led you to believe I was looking to debate or argue? Also, jurisdiction is not limited to the courts, if you believe the constitution and laws apply to me just because I am physically in Scottsdale, then that’s an issue of jurisdiction. But, as a journalist I’m used to such tactics, so I will remove the word so we can get closer to an answer.
“What evidence if any, does the mayor and council rely on to prove the constitution and laws of the state (including Scottsdale city ordinances/laws/regulations) apply to me just because I am physically in Scottsdale?”
On February 25, 2014, since I was at city hall early, I would try to speak with the city attorney and manager again. Mr. Washburn, the city attorney, refuses to speak to me. His secretary could not give me a reason. But, Fritz Behring, the manager did speak with me. Unfortunately, even though I thought I was getting an audio recording (with permission) there was an empty file on the phone.
When asked for evidence the constitution and law apply to me, he was honest and said: “I don’t know.” Fritz did evade the question: “If I did business in the same manner as you guys, the government, and forced the community to pay me, would you consider me a criminal?” He tried to make a distinction between private people and government, so he’s implying I am a criminal because I’m not called government. I pointed out that the government is just men and women like himself, no different than me. I even asked if they were somehow different from me, endowed by god with special powers to do what I can’t, and he denied that. But he would not come out and directly answer that he’d consider me a criminal if I did business like he does.
Fritz then claimed they (government) had the constitution and laws, that the community had agreed to them. I had to point out he had already agreed that all support (taxation) is compulsory, so there is no evidence the community agreed to anything.
There’s not much to say about my three minutes before the council, it’s all on video below. I’ve already followed up with them and continue to ask for evidence. I’m working on getting this issue on their agenda so I can ask questions and expect an answer. Last, I’m also waiting for a copy of the insurance policy from risk management.