Wednesday, April 8, 2015

C4L, Knee-Jerk Reactions, And Litter Laws

The local Campaign For Liberty has come out against a law they claim would make everything illegal. Sadly, the bill is... different from what C4L has panicked about. So, let me dispel the illusions involved.

1) They claimed that the bill outlawed the placement of "other objects or articles" in or "adjacent to" roadways, technically true, but as the Supreme Court recently made clear, general categories of "other" are limited by the words the precede them to similar substances.

2) They then claimed that the intended addition of the words "adjacent to" meant that any kind of refuse (the kind of material in question) placed on the property would be a violation. Except the word "adjacent" means "immediately next to" and not "somewhere nearby", and there's no definition within the statute itself. And if there was any potential confusion, the Rule of Lenity requires any ambiguities be resolved in favor of the (hypothetical) defendant.

The bill also added a penalty for the violation, as there was not one previously.

The law itself is an anti-littering bill prohibiting the dumping of yard waste or garbage into the street. The addition of "or adjacent to" was a prohibition on placing that trash right on the property line, presumably to let the trash get blown into the street by "accident". That language was removed from the final bill.

But the Campaign For Liberty has decided to put Councilman David Marks on their "Pain" list, and this may part of that. You see, the former Ron Paul Revolution organization only has two positions to put elected officials, "Pain" and "Pleasure". They are, by design, incapable of building coalitions on specific issues or supporting officials on specific bills. They are limited to throwing bricks and supporting their own candidates. This leaves them limited in their range and essentially friendless, and only really succeeds in alienating people who would otherwise support them.

They explicitly refuse to engage in coalition-building because they believe that's how people get corrupted. Specifically, that activists may become friendly with certain officials and see them as people, instead of checkmarks or icons marked R or D. They believe that successful single-issue organizations, like the NRA or the pro-life movement, have "sold out" because they, well, won. If you ever get access to their (paid) material, you'll actually see these concepts laid out in detail. C4L's entire strategy is to be the angry crank that always calls their rep's office to complain, and always bitch about something. Even simple, straight-forward litter laws.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like Cecil County C4l (Campaign for Lunacy).