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Friday, April 09, 2010

NorCo Council Supports AG Corbett's Health Care Challenge

In an otherwise uneventful meeting, Northampton County Council last night adopted a nonbinding resolution, 5 to 3, condemning the recent Federal health care overhaul as unconstitutional, and calling on AG Tom Corbett "to protect the citizens of Northampton County from any and all effects of the Federal Health Care Reform Act." It's based on a similar proposal under consideration in Lehigh Township, where a final vote will take place on Tuesday night.

Lehigh Township Supervisors' Chair Darryl Snover, who drafted the proposal under consideration, debated it with several Council members last night.

John Cusick: "I understand your concerns, but I'm just not seeing where it's a township or even a county issue."

Snover: "If not us, then who?"

Cusick: "The 435 people elected to Congress are the ones who should be dealing with this. I don't agree with what they did, but I don't think it's an issue that we should be addressing here or at the township level."

Snover: "I respectfully disagree. It is our job to represent the people in our districts, and this is the only way their voices can officially be moved up through the ranks of our government."

Lamont McClure: "Some of the provisions in the Bill include allowing children to stay on their parents' health insurance until they're 26 years of age. Do you agree with that provision of the law?"

Snover: "Honestly, whether or not I agree with any particular aspect of the law, I simply believe that it is beyond the scope of the powers that are designated to belong to Congress and the United States federal government. Clearly, the Constitution sets forth that it is a responsibility or a right of the people or to the state, and I believe that at this point, short of a Constitutional amendment authorizing the Congress to act on something like this, it simply isn't lawful."

McClure: "If I ask you about different provisions of the bill, you'll tell me the same thing?"

Snover: "Essentially, yes, sir."

McClure: "OK, so you won't answer my questions about specific provisions of the bill. You just have a general opposition to it on the Constitutional grounds."

Snover: "I would have no objection if the State of Pennsylvania chose to enact some sort of health care reform because that clearly is a power that has been designated to them. I simply believe at this tie, that short of a Constitutional amendment, and I can argue this on a variety of fronts that the federal government has enacted, that they simply do not have the authority, and 'We the people' have allowed them to usurp the Constitution."

McClure: "So your entire basis for that is the Tenth Amendment."

Snover: "Essentially, yes, and the founding fathers' intent. There is no such thing as charity in the Constitution. It simply is not there."

The last time John Cusick voted "present," it took three weeks for Home Rule Charter scholars to determine what the hell it meant. (A resolution that everyone thought had passed, actually failed). Cusick swore, "This is the only time you'll ever hear me say present." But last night, he did it again.

Because she's in the insurance business, Council member Ann McHale concluded she's somehow conflicted, and abstained. Council member Peg Ferraro, who is recuperating from surgery, missed the meeting.

McClure was the sole "No" vote.

That meant that the remaining five Council members ALL had to support the resolution, and they did, and it passed.

Snover told me he expects his proposal to pass unanimously at next Tuesday's 7 PM supervisors' meeting, which will be held at their municipal building, located at 1069 Municipal Road, Walnutport, PA 18088-9719. He's invited AG Corbett to the meeting, but told me "he's a busy man."

Ninteeen states have challenged the constitutionality of the federal health care overhaul. Northampton County appears to be the first municipal government to support AG Corbett's lawsuit.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa (10:45 AM): Chairman Snover has posted a comment here, noting two factual errors in my post. First, although he inspired Angle's resolution, he did not write it. Second, my quotation is actually from the Lehigh Township ordinance. I failed to get a copy of the Northampton County resolution, which I ASSumed was identical.
Update (11:00 AM): Michael Duck's blog includes comments made by Council members Bruce Gilbert and Ron Angle. Duck also speculates that Cusick's "present" vote may have been intended as an "extremely subtle" jab at President Obama, who cast 129 "present" votes in the Illinois legislature.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

You actually talked about a Council meeting without mentioning the NorCo Basset Hound? Was he not there?

Amazing....not one mention of Angle. I must say I am impressed!! You just blowed my mind.

Anonymous said...

The prison is overcrowded, the County is hemorrhaging tax money, but thank God our County Council is voting to support a politically inspired lawsuit that has absolutely no teeth. Bravo, good job.

Didn't this group already vote on another resolution that had nothing to do with County government?

Nice going guys! What a bunch of clowns, seriously. Why not vote to print Northampton County money. You can put Angles picture on it and pay all the bills the County has.

That would actually make more sense then the silly political resolutions local government loves to play with. By the way is Snover still a Republican committee bigwig? Assclowns!

Randy

Anonymous said...

I don't want to have to buy car insurance either, can they pass a resolution against that law? Also, I'd like Norco Council to end both wars.

Bernie O'Hare said...

State giv't requires you to buy car insurance, nt the feds. Also, you don't have to drive, but you have to live.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what gives? The Northampton County Poodle has blowed a lot of money buying your computer and keeping you in your hovel above the Army/Navy Store, Boonie. He deserves a mention for his heroic stance against covering preexisting conditions.

Anonymous said...

Bernie Snover snookered these clowns. Check out the Law. It does not force people to buy insurance. What it does do is use the tax code.

If for example a young healthy person says, screw you, I am not buying Insurance, his tax rate will be different than one that does.

Bottom line this is already done regarding marital status and other situations. Tax rates vary for a variety of reasons already.

Like "death panels", this is extremist bullshit. We are a complex society with real 21st Century concerns. Time to put on your big boy pants and stop playing these silly games.

In 1960 it cost $7 to $10 dollars for a doctor visit plus the medicine HE dispensed. Look at it now.

We need a national strategy.

All these lawsuits are about as relevant as all the secession talk.

Get a grip people and read the actual language. Northampton County council once again shows its utter incompetence.

Assclowns!

Anonymous said...

Next week, NorCo council will meet with Netanyahu and Hamas to negotiate a Middle East solution. What a bunch of assholes.

Anonymous said...

***CLOWN,

Your moniker says it all. Trying to defend the health care bill is a lost cause, it is in fact tiresome to here/read the worn out propaganda talking points recounted again and again. Water off a ducks back, the verdict is in.
Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

It was silly when council was asked to vote for the resolution condemning the war in Iraq. That the group actually took action tells me that council is still a joke. Perhaps functional, but a joke no less.

Anonymous said...

The fact that they're against affordable health insurance for the middle class only proves the criticism that REpublicans only care about people before they're born (stem cells, abortion) not after.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Sam responds: "OK, if you want out of insurance reform, you got it. By the way, you're on your own for paying for Medicare from now on. You're third in the country in highest per capita senior populations and the other 47states were complaining that you're sucking them dry. So good luck with that states' rights thing."

Anonymous said...

Uncle Sam responds: "OK, if you want out of insurance reform, you got it. By the way, you're on your own for paying for Medicare from now on. You're third in the country in highest per capita senior populations and the other 47states were complaining that you're sucking them dry. So good luck with that states' rights thing."

Bernie O'Hare said...

Harry Reid said it himself the other day, “this bill affects everyone”. Therefore one may conclude everyone and every entity must respond.

Scott Armstrong

(Scott's unable to post and sent me anemail)

Anonymous said...

"Harry Reid said it himself the other day, “this bill affects everyone”. Therefore one may conclude everyone and every entity must respond."

That was the same logic used to try and convince council to condemn the war in Iraq. I would prefer that county gov't not get into the habbit of responding to every single political battle that rages in DC.

Nice to see that they fixed the county pension crisis that is on the horizon. Oh, wait, they didn't, did they?

Darryl Snover said...

Bernie, a couple of corrections: First, I did not author the resolution proposed and passed at the Northampton County Council; it was authored by Ron Angle, although it may have been inspired by Lehigh Township's version. Secondly, the phrase "to protect the citizens of Northampton County from any and all effects of the Federal Health Care Reform Act." does not appear in the version passed by Northampton County Council. That is in the Lehigh Township version.

To those who believe that the Federal Government's law is about affordable health insurance (Anonymous): You have a surprise coming. There has never been a program which the Federal Government has run which has run more efficiently and with less cost than a private corporation. If you believe that it is possible for insurance companies to remain profitable (and thus, stay in business) while being forced to write new policies that cover pre-existing conditions, again, there will be a surprise for you.

Let's put it another way, using 'car insurance' as an example.

Let's say that you have an accident, perhaps you hit a deer. Under the current auto insurance laws and regulations, if you have collision coverage, you can expect that your insurance company will cover the damage to your car, minus whatever deductible you have. But what if you don't have collision coverage? Would you expect to call up your auto insurance company, tell them you have had an accident, and would now like to add collision coverage? Of course not. What if you lied, and added the coverage, but then reported the accident afterwards? Again, of course not - that's called insurance fraud, and you would rightfully be prosecuted for it.

Now, let's apply the new law on pre-existing conditions to auto insurance. You have the same accident, and because the law says they must allow it, you are able to add collision coverage after-the-fact, and the insurance company MUST pay for the damage. Do you expect that auto insurance premiums would NOT rise dramatically? Of course not! The insurance companies are in existence to generate a profit, by selling a product or service that people need. When they are no longer able to be profitable, due to people no longer being able to afford that product or service, they will close.

As Obama, Ried, Pelosi have ALL said, the goal is government run insurance. And when all the private insurers have become insolvent, the government will have the excuse it needs to implement it.

.....but it still will not have the Constitutional authority, not that that will stop them.

-Darryl Snover

Bernie O'Hare said...

How do you propose that Council fix the looming pension crisis? I'm sure we'd all appreciate any advice you give that can be legally followed. What yu're basically doing is blaming them for a mess created by the state years ago.

Councils adopt nonbinding resolutions all the time. Are you suggesting that they stop adopting their annual nonbinding resolution on Labor Day, honoring Almighty Unions?

They spent 15 minutes on this matter, and I accented it as a story bc I thought it was interesting.

This is a crucial piee of legislation, the kind we see maybe once every 20 years. Agree or disagree, local leaders do nothing wrong by sounding off on matters of importance. That's what leaders are supposed to do.

Northampton County Council and Lehigh Township muncipal officials have spoken out more on this matter than Congressional candidate Cunningham, who leads from the rear.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Darryl, It as nice to meet you last night. I know you inspired Angle's resolution, and thought you voted for it, too.

I will make some corrections to my post to clear up any factual errors.

Anonymous said...

Not that I don't agree with the sentiment, but the change in control of council really came because people want you to get your asses moving on the pressing fiscal issues facing this county.

Nothing wrong with this type of resolution, but now it is time to pull together and git er done. If you want to send our "voices up the ranks of our government", tell our state legislators to get the mandates off of our backs, undo the pension grab of a decade ago and repeal the PSEA's legal right to extort, for starters.

Anonymous said...

it was grandstanding, pure and simple. 4 months on the job and they are already grandstanding.

Anonymous said...

In local politics, the idea is to get re-elected and maintain power, why would local politicians risk alienating local voters on an federal issue that is not in their realm of power? Local issues are contentious enough without losing support for a stance that has nothing to do with your jurisdiction. If they don't like health insurance reform, they need to get the American people to vote for Congressmen and women who think like they do and will legislate against healthcare reform instead of for it. That's how it works.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how this Snover guy is taking it upon himself to represent the interests of the whole County when no one who lives in any sections of the county with running water and electricty has ever heard of him and 55% of the County voted for Obama.

Darryl Snover said...

Anonymous:

"In local politics, the idea is to get re-elected and maintain power, why would local politicians risk alienating local voters on an federal issue that is not in their realm of power?"

My actions have nothing to do with getting re-elected. They have to do with upholding the laws and constitutions of Pennsylvania and the United States, and the oath of office to which I pledged. If the people would prefer someone who cares little about those things, they are free to elect someone else.

Anonymous:

"I don't understand how this Snover guy is taking it upon himself to represent the interests of the whole County when no one who lives in any sections of the county with running water and electricty has ever heard of him and 55% of the County voted for Obama."

Our nation was built upon the notion of a limited federal government, and a document which was crafted by men who recognized that governments tend to take power (and therefore freedoms and liberty) from people, over time. Using history as their guide, the Constitution was written, and amendments ratified, which give very specific limits on what the Federal Government's powers were to be. (note that very few of the founding fathers had running water, and none had electricity, but I'm not certain why that is important to Anonymous).

While it may be true that 55% of the County voted for Obama, the inference there is that a majority want whatever it is he is selling, it is a fact that the founders of the country recognized that a pure democracy is as failed a form of government as a monarchy or dictatorship.

As James Madison wrote in essay 10 of the Federalist Papers "....democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."

That is why the United States was formed as a Constitutional Republic. A nation based on 'natural law' (Do all that you say you will do, and do no harm to others), and implemented by Constitution, which was written to preserve and protect the freedoms and liberties that were fought for, and won, by the bloodshed of patriots. Not mob rule by democracy. Thus, it is my duty to do what I can to hold sacred the Constitution, and to take seriously the oath of office.

Since it appears that some people are unaware of what form our government is, perhaps this video essay will educate and enlighten:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7M-7LkvcVw

-Darryl Snover

Marc Grammes said...

So how much does it cost the residents of Northampton County to entertain, print, pass, and process such a resolution? Much more than it's worth. This is sorry politics. Get a grip. Does Northampton County have Property Tax relief for our Troops who are deployed overseas? If not, perhaps time better spent on meaningful issues such as this.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Marc, NC considered property tax relief for veterans deployed overseas, but it is illegal.

The money spent on this is minimal. A resolution, it dd not need to be advertised, It consumed about 15 mintes of one councl meeting.

Marc said...

Bernie,
Not illegal in Lehigh County Bernie. Hasn't been for a couple for a couple of years. I know what Norco's solicitor said. Talk to Dean. Talk to Don. Then let Council show some moxie and pass something meaningful. As for the subject resolution, it is nothing more than politics, and they know it. Percy would have squashed it.

Michael Duck said...

Thanks for the link, Bernie. And if anybody wants to read the resolution that passed last night, I found a copy and put it online right here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Not illegal in Lehigh County Bernie. Hasn't been for a couple for a couple of years. I know what Norco's solicitor said. Talk to Dean. Talk to Don. "

Marc, It's a wonderful thing and completely illegal. If it were challenged, it would be invaldated. In LC, solicitors tend to tell comm'rs and executives what they want to hear. In NC, they tell the truth.

In fact, this indicates why the LC Board needs independent counsel.

I'm not sure Dean was even a Comm'r when this was adopted, but even if he was, that does not change my thinking. I have high regard both for him and for Don, but a higher regard for the law.

There's a reason why LC is the only county to have done this, although you rascals seem to have pulled it off.

To be valid, the legislation would have to apply to all vets. And no county is going to do that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Michael, Thanks for posting a copy of the resolution. I mistakenly ASSumed it was identical to the Lehigh Tp. ordinance.

Interesting observation about Cusick. When he voted "present" a few years ago, I remember him saying that if it is good enough for the President, it's good enough for him. He may have been taking a shot.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Marc, Here's John Stoffa's veto message, which he issued when he rejected legislation very similar to what you adopted in LC.

"While I applaud the attempt on the part of Council to recognize those who have participated in the military, I nonetheless intend to veto the Ordinance at this time. I have consulted at length with the County Solicitor and have reviewed the opinion of the Council's own Solicitor. It is my belief that the Ordinance as currently drafted will invite litigation and that the better course would be to introduce a new ordinance consistent in intent that addresses the stated legal concerns. Frankly, I see no difference among someone who served in Iwo Jima, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan or Iraq: all are deserving."

Reasonable minds can differ, and the goal served by LC's legislation is very laudable, so don't get me wrong.

A few years before, Council members wanted to impose a moratorium on taxe for senors on fixed incomes. Once again, the lawyers said no.

lighthouse said...

Just as I thought some of the local governments on the left who took up resolutions in opposition to the Patriot Act were wasting time to generate some press, Lehigh Twp and NorCo on the right are likewise wasting time on an issue they have abolutely no authority.

I agree with Cusick comments, though he should have stuck to his convictions and reitered "I understand your concerns" but should have then voted no.

Lehigh twp has issues like building on slopes, sewer lines, and industrial farming to deal with...instead waste time on act of Congress?

NorCo has issues like taxes, Gracedale, taxes, prisons, and taxes....and they waste time on act of Congress?

lighthouse said...

The quote from Federalist 10 is great, though it was referring to the weakness of pure direct democracies, and why (as stated) we have representative republic. However, to deal with "fractions" Fed 10 was advocating a stronger national government, not state's rights.

Part of republic (Res Publica), the public thing, the law, is a respect for the rule of law. Don't like, then try to change it at the appropriate level...in this case Congress, not Lehigh Twp/NorCo...

Speaking of the Federalist Papers, Number 1 has a quote that should be re-read by the hyper-partisans:

"Moderation is important. Nothing is more repugnant than the intolerant spirit that has, at all times, characterized political parties."

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm in no position to criticize Snover's ordinance or the notion of a municipal government sticking its nose into state or federal gov't.

I advocated a "cities for peace" resolution several years ago, before we invaded Iraq. I had no success because most municipal leaders feel like you, Lighthouse, and like Marc, who himself was an excellent member of LC's Board.

Wayne Grube had very little patience with me when I would try something lke that.

I don't think we should get involved in every federal or state decision, but on matters of great national importance, like a war or major legislative overhaul, I think even municipal leaders should speak out.

It's one of the reasons I like Dent and Angle. It's one of the reasons someone like Callahan is so disappointing. If he wants to lead, he should lead.

Bernie O'Hare said...

""Moderation is important. Nothing is more repugnant than the intolerant spirit that has, at all times, characterized political parties."

What a wonderful sentiment, and how amazing that it was uttered so long ago!

lighthouse said...

typo correction, I meant "factions" not "fractions".

Fed 10, by the way concludes: "Factious leaders may kindle a flame within their specific States, while not able to spread to general conflagration through the other states........In the the size and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we see a republican remedy for the most common diseases of republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being a republic, we will cherish and support the character of Federalists." PUBLIUS

Federalist favored stronger national government, not stronger Lehigh Twp/NorCO....I think Mr. Snover should instead find some original anti-Federalists to quote from to be more consistant with his actual views.

lighthouse said...

Final thought...I don't mean to be picking on the local leaders who have concerns. I share some of their concerns, and I too, wish we had a narrower interpretation of the Constitution. I just believe local politicians should stick to local politics while in their official role on the public dime.

Anonymous said...

Totally off base. This is nothing but another Corbitt political game. He has been playing them for the last four years. All of a sudden he is Mr. Protector of the people. Yeah right.

Anonymous said...

Marc,

I remember when you sounded like a Republican hoping to win our support, once elected however your political views and positions seemed erratic. Your post here is just par for your course. Elected officials have every right to pass resolutions, you have every right to criticize, and we as Republicans have every right to question your perspective.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mr. Snover can point to the "specific language that states one MUST buy health insurance. What does the Bill say exactly? How does it force people to buy the insurance? Do government agents come to your house and drag you to an insurance agent?

This is total and absolute bullshit, pushed by a bunch of super-political right wing racists.

Ohare would call this, except his support of Dents no vote and Angle's ghost written Resolution means he has to grovel to this pig stink.

Pure politics. I am sad only Lamont McClure had the guts to tell this Republican Party operative to take a long ride back to Lehigh Twp.

Council really thinks Angle is the leader. God Save us all!

Marc said...

Scott,
Thanks. Sorry I don't sound Republican enough for you. Bottom line is it has nothing to do with county government.

Anonymous said...

Lighthouse has it right about the Federalists.

Now, Aaron Burr was a real strict constructionist. He didn't like that Federalist bastard Hamilton (who, by the way, couldn't shoot straight) because he was a smack talker like Obama.

So, he challenged Alexander-the- not-so-great to a duel and that was that.

Wonder why small gubment types are so much better with guns, and at defending freedom, than "Federalists".

As Jack Palance would say "Coincidence? I think not!"

Anonymous said...

Marc,


It isn’t a matter of sounding “Republican enough” it is a question of judgment and consistency. You ran for office saying one thing then appeared completely unprincipled in office. People have a right to question such actions.

Scott Armstrong

Darryl Snover said...

Hi lighthouse,

My quotation from the Federalist papers was specifically to address the failed notion that the United States is a democracy, and just because you can get 51% of the people to want something, doesn't necessarily make it a good idea. Thus, the founders recognized that the rule of law (the Constitution) and a Republic was the best way to preserve liberty and freedoms.

The type of government we have (or are supposed to have) is a completely separate discussion from that of the size (or limits) of that government, and if I was unclear on that, hopefully this clarifies.

It has been said that as a local government, we have no business sticking our noses into national issues. I can only say that from my perspective, the failure of local and state government(s) to protect their constitutional powers is what has allowed the usurpation to continue. In that a resolution is obviously only a candle in a dark room (as Mr. Angle put it), it is at least a light that we can shine, within the boundaries that municipal governments have as a creation of the State of Pennsylvania.

-Darryl Snover

Darryl Snover said...

lighthouse said:

"Final thought...I don't mean to be picking on the local leaders who have concerns. I share some of their concerns, and I too, wish we had a narrower interpretation of the Constitution. I just believe local politicians should stick to local politics while in their official role on the public dime."

Township Supervisors (at least in Lehigh Township) are paid a small amount for advertised public meetings only -50 dollars per meeting, regardless of how many hours the meeting is, or how many hours may be required outside of public meetings. We do not receive pay for anything else, nor do we receive any pensions or benefits after our term is over. This is as it should be.

My opinion is that State and Federal representatives are over-compensated. There should not be any pensions or other benefits for them after they leave office. They should be dependent on 'regular' jobs, which would keep them much more in tune with the people that they are supposed to represent, and give at least SOME sense that the money they are spending is also coming out of their own pockets. As it is, they are simply spending 'someone else's money', and are insulated from the effects of their own legislation, by and large.

-Darryl Snover

Anonymous said...

Mr.Snover -

Keep talking. You rock. I'd ride shotgun for you in a heartbeat.

Folks, we may finally have found ourselves someone to run this county.

Marc said...

Thanks Scott. Bernie, thanks for the kind words, as usual. Daryl, I envy you. You have four years to make a difference in Northampton County. It's not easy, but nothing worthwhile doing ever is.

Scott Armstrong said...

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C said...

Darryl Snover is a principled man. He should take his political career to the next level. He is not afraid to take a stand for what he thinks is right even if it means his own personal discomfort. I admire his moxie, may not always agree with him, but do hold him in high esteem.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I sat next to Darryl and a bunch of us began discussing liberalism v. conservatism during a break in the action. He's very thoughtful, very smart and very sincere. Philosophically, he and I have little in common, but I'd support him because it was very apparent to me that he's big on transparency and accountability.

Anonymous said...

Northampton county council.THE BIGGEST CLOWNS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH!! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME ON THIS ONE.Where was the big blowhard on this one.RONNY BOY.

Anonymous said...

Ohare is deleting again to steer the discussion. Pravda lives!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did not delete a single comment on this thread. I do delete anons who anonymously attack my reraders.

Anonymous said...

Snover's unwillingness (read: inability) to identify specific elements of the health care reform bill that he objects to, coupled with his cowardly hiding behind a vague constitutional defense, mark him as a closet tea bagger. Our constitution and our democracy deserve better, much better.

Anonymous said...

Where was Snover when the 4th amendment was jettisoned after 9/11 ushering in a new age of Flash mobbing and organized cause stalking by the new American Stazi.