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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why is Sam Rohrer's GOP Gubernatorial Bid Being Ignored?

According to The Inky, state Rep. Sam Rohrer's bid for the GOP gubernatorial bid is being ignored by state party bosses. LVPoliblog's Joe Hilliard wonders why no local leaders came to see him Tuesday night in northern Lehigh County.

Maybe because he's nutz.

I learned that two years ago, when I found a letter, penned by Rohrer, plastered all over courthouse bulletin boards. This epistle contained very strange, and bad, legal advice. It advises us we need no driver's license. Not the best advice to someone whose license has just been suspended.

Rohrer's missive, addressed to Judge Streitel in Chester County, concerned William Taylor Reil, who is apparently constitutional law scholar like Joe Hilliard. Having found Reil guilty of driving under suspension and with bogus vehicle documents, Judge Streitel is told she goofed. You see, Pennsylvania's Vehicle Code only applies to commercial vehicles. Here's an excerpt.

The crux of the issue is whether [The Vehicle Code] can properly be applied to an individual. Within an individual's right to liberty is the inherent right to travel. If one's movement can be restrained, such restraint is intrinsically a restraint on his liberty. Mr. Reil's use of an automobile is simply an extension of his personal liberty to move about as he wishes.

My research, and that of my staff, confirms that [The Vehicle Code] can only be properly applied to commercial vehicles and commercial use of the roads. An individual who wishes to utilize an automobile or other means of conveyance in order to exercise his right to travel cannot lawfully be required to obtain a license to drive or to register his automobile in order to operate it freely on our roads.

The source of this goofy, and very dangerous, advice? The Posse Comitatus, which believes no legitimate form of government exists above the county level? The sovereign citizen movement, which argues citizens are only subject to common or constitutional law? Both groups use precisely that argument. And they're both nuts.

These extremist groups want to restore a minimalist government that never existed, and their chief tool is "paper terrorism" - they assault judges and other government officials with bogus liens and financing statements. They do things like plastering the letter I saw all over courthouses. Most of them only recognize the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which they consider God-given. I think they must have them mixed up with the ten commandments. But since they only recognize the top ten, women and minorities lose out on voting or holding office. Not surprisingly, many are white supremacists and anti-Semitic.

A one-man fringe group, Berks County-based state representative Sam Rohrer, (incidentally a Bob Jones University grad), boldly strikes a blow for Posse Comitatus and the sovereign citizen movement is responsible for that bad legal advice. He's been a state rep since 1993 and is actually a member of the appropriations committee. The letter is on his official letterhead and even contains the improbable claim that an unnamed member of his staff, a Pa. licensed attorney, reached the same conclusion.

Now it's a bit odd for a state rep to be making the same arguments we might hear from wingnuts like the Christian Patriots, whose leaders are neo-Nazis.

And that may be why GOP leaders are hesitating before flocking to Rohrer's banner.


eckville press said...

"LVPoliblog's Joe Hilliard wonders why no local leaders came to see him Tuesday night in northern Lehigh County."

Cause Kempton is geographically located in Northern BERKS County!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Don't tell Joe Hilliard.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think Joe wrote GOP leaders. I am not a party leader. As to local leaders not present, Tuesday was Lynn's controversial sewer authority meeting, which had a share of soapboxers so I'm told. Tues was also Lynn's planning commission with its new engineer. As for me, Tues was our monthly fireco meeting.

Jon Geeting said...

Great post, Bernie. The scary thing is that people are definitely underestimating the purchase these Tenther ideas have within the rump conservative movement, the teabaggers, and consequently the tattered remains of the House Republican Caucus. I've got no problem with right-of-center thinkers. I regularly read and enjoy Bruce Bartlett at Capital Gains and Games, Will Wilkinson of Cato, Andrew Sullivan, and David Frum. I frequently disagree with them, but I'm not one who thinks right-of-center thinkers have nothing valuable to add to the discourse. But these people are apostates among the GOP electeds. If the GOP takes over the House, you're effectively looking at 218 Sam Rohrers. They're too irresponsible to trust with any governing power.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do not hiold Republicans responsible for Sam Rohrer any more than I hold Dems responsible for Charles Dertinger or Joe Long.

Anonymous said...

Hilliard sent an email this past Sunday to Lehigh GOP officials.

As someone else stated, this was in Berks and not Lehigh. Not that Lehigh people could not attend, but a weeknight in the winter is hard, esp. when it is not close to home and on short notice.

As for Rohrer and this legal case, if this is true then I have concerns with Rohrer.

Anonymous said...

This conservative Catholic knows that Bob Jones nutz are anti-Catholic bigots. They're almost as bad as mainstream Democrats. Good post.

Anonymous said...

Um, I know! Because he's a freaking pay-jacker.

I love that Joe Hilliard of all people would support a guy who stole money from the taxpayers.

This changes everything!

Joe Hilliard said...

Yep, 200 enthusiastic supporters in northern lehigh county are misguided. Sam gets the same level of turnout all over the state.

Hmm. Assemble a bunch of corrupt insiders to get a handpicked R or D? That will fix all of our problems.

Can't wait to see the handwringing. The last three GOP State Committee endorsed Governor candidates got destroyed in the election. I would rather at least lose with a guy with principles instead of the normal Dem-LITE candidate that the GOP establishment blows.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Over the years, many very bad people had "principles." Hitler had principles.

Anonymous said...

"Yep, 200 enthusiastic supporters in northern lehigh county are misguided. Sam gets the same level of turnout all over the state."

Yep! 200 people in northern Lehigh county can't be wrong. The other 780,000 people in the great Lehigh Valley region will probably fall right in line with this pay-jacker that Joe Hilliard supports.

Joe -- here's a principle to consider -- integrity. Of which Rohrer displayed little.

Peace & Out.

Anonymous said...

It's an easy mistake to make; Kempton is indeed geographically located in Berks County, but quite a few of us in Lehigh County get our mail out of the Kempton Post Office, leading to the mistaken idea that Kempton is in Lehigh County. A number of the members of the group, Neighborhood Voter Network,that put on the townhall meeting for Rohrer live in Lehigh County. Out here in the country, concern over a mistaken idea of where Kempton is seems kind of silly in the great political scheme of things.