January, 2015. Our America Initiative supports law enforcement protection of the property rights individuals enjoy in themselves and their property. We do not support, however, the over-criminalization epidemic that has included enforcement taking without any conviction from 10,000 Tennessee citizens property consisting of cash, cars, jewelry, and other major items. To finance prosecution of the equally immoral Drug War politicians have allowed police and prosecutors to steal property from defendants without constitutionally-required due process and without securing a conviction. Asset Forfeiture treats someone and their property as guilty until proven innocent. We join in Tennessee End Government Theft, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Tenth Amendment Center, to ask our supporters to urge ones state Representative and Senator to pass legislation similar to House Bill 1096 and Senate Bill 1001, to require convictions before criminally-related property is seized and to click here to send a similar message to your federal representatives and senators. And with a donation and input from our Advisory Councils on OverCriminalizaiton and Drug Reform, we could expand Asset Forfeiture repeal efforts through more of our fifty state affiliates.
May, 2015 - Our America Initiative supports transparency and openness with the use of taxpayer dollars to operate government programs. Tennessee agencies have only vague limits on charges they can impose on voters who seek copies of government records; thankfully there is no charge simply to view taxpayer-funded documents. Special interests in government just tried but failed to pass SB 328 and HB 315 - legislation to allow per-hour charges for mere viewing or copying of government records - but hope to have the issue studied later this year by the Advisory Committee on Open Government and the Open Records Counsel, and reintroduced in next year's legislature. Allowing per hour charges will only allow bureaucrats to stymie more than allowed currently inspections of government behavior by watchdogs and regular citizens. Emails and phone calls, then, are needed to stop reintroduction of these bills in 2016, and instead promote broader, more substantive transparency. Opening up government is an issue nationally, not just in Tennessee. With your donation now and input from our Advisory Council on OverRegulation, we could advocate transparency through more of our fifty state affiliates.
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