By Anna Von Reitz
People who have been deeply indoctrinated into a foreign political system are trying to restore the American Government we are owed; unfortunately, many of them cannot recognize it when they lapse backward into the old "system" and they react by acting upon the old political power paradigm they were taught.
As a result, there are three key bottlenecks that these people attack and attach to and try to control in the Assemblies.
The first bottleneck opportunity that they swarm to is the Vetting and Oversight Committees. They assume, based on their past experience, that these committees can be used to promote their individual agendas for the group, either by limiting the choice of candidates to those who meet their own personal approval (Vetting Committee) or by removing officers who don't perform to their personal satisfaction (Oversight Committee).
What everyone is missing is that we don't have political parties and neither of these Committees have the authorities and functions that some people assume that they do,
The Vetting Committee is supposed to check three things: (1) basic eligibility for the job in question; (2) past criminal history that might affect job performance; (3) substantial conflicts of interest.
Finding no significant evidence of impairment, the Vetting Committee must let the candidate apply for and/or run for office and let the Electors elect whomever they judge to be the best candidate.
In no case can the Vetting Committee base any of their "Pass/Fail" decisions on their collective personal feelings or prejudices. To do so would be to put themselves in the position of Electors PRIOR to an election, and thereby put them in position to bounce out candidates BEFORE they have a chance to present themselves to the General Electorate.
The job of the Vetting Committee is simple. Check to be sure that the candidate is properly recorded as a member of the Assembly, check to be sure that they have no criminal record that would prejudice or impair their job performance; check to be sure that the candidate has no substantial conflict of interest, such as having significant income from foreign sources.
Yes or no?
It is not the Vetting Committee's job to judge whether the candidate is "personable" or pretty or enforce any judgements related to a person's religion, appearance, age, race, or former political persuasion.
Similarly, regarding the Second Potential Bottleneck, it is not the Oversight Committee's job to nit-pick and harass anyone. They exist so that any perceived serious breach of trust or improper activity can be brought forward and addressed. Examples of breach of trust include misrepresentation of the Assembly, abuse of or misrepresentation of office or authority, and violation or evasion or prejudicial exercise of service obligations. Examples of improper activity include nepotism, adultery with subordinates, petty theft and the like.
In no case can the Oversight Committee lapse into witch hunts or complaints based on nebulous unfounded suspicions. Complaints must be based on facts. It is the Oversight Committee's job to inquire into the actions and operations of The Assembly to ensure that everything is above board and running properly.
Any conflicts need to be brought to the Ombudsman. If the Oversight Committee finds that the Treasurer made an improper payment, for example, and they can't get correction from the Treasurer, it's their right to bring the matter forward to the Ombudsman's Office. If the Ombudsman's Office can't solve the problem to everyone's satisfaction, it can be taken to the General Assembly for a vote.
All offices and positions in a State Assembly are subject to recall by vote of the General Assembly, either for cause or for lack of confidence.
The third and final bottleneck is the Marshal-at-Arms Office. In a traditional State Assembly, the members are engaged in face to fact meetings. The Marshal-at-Arms is charged with ensuring the physical safety of the Assembly and its members during meetings and events. Today, that duty can extend to maintaining simple decorum in meetings and enforcing the Agenda and limits which the Assembly may adopt on the length of time that individuals may speak. It is important to note that these limits must be imposed by vote of the Assembly and must be applied impartially, so as not to censor dissent or curtail free discussion.
In Assemblies with a lot of members and especially a lot of talkative members (California, for example) it is advisable for the Assembly to set up a process by which topics can be added to the Agenda prior to scheduled meetings and to also set up a limit as to how long an individual speaker may speak. These are actions that help expedite the flow of business and discussion, and are not meant to prohibit or prevent action or censor anyone unduly. Each Agenda item should be limited in proportion to the other Agenda items and if an Agenda is too packed to get through in one meeting, the topic gets held over to the top of the list at the next meeting.
Rules of Basic Decorum may also be adopted. People come into Assemblies flat-footed and often they are angry with "government" in general. Some people may also come in drunk or under the influence of other drugs, and start raging and shouting and causing inappropriate disruption, at which point it is the duty of the Marshal-at-Arms to terminate the disturbance.
In this manner, everyone knows the rules beforehand and there are no surprises. Keep your cool, have your say within the time limit established for individual speakers, and behave politely. That is not too much to expect from our members.
I should also say that if elections are properly conducted in the first place, the results of elections are permanent for the term of the office and may only be overturned by recall and/or impeachment for cause.
Everyone who is a member of an Assembly is an adult and expected to act like an adult.
Name-calling, threats, outbursts of rage, unfounded accusations, drunken speech, and similar activities are to be discouraged and curtailed for the sake of the Assembly-at-Large. We have work to do and can't let it be sidelined by a lot of nonsensical drama. The Marshal-at-Arms must exercise discretion and let people have their say within the limits set by the Assembly and may not abuse their position for purposes of censorship --- but if anyone is being disruptive, impolite, or threatening, overstaying their turn at the podium, or otherwise imposing upon the other members, it is entirely proper for the Marshal-at-Arms to hit the mute button.
Assemblies are here to conduct business for their membership and their State and maintaining a calm and business-like atmosphere is important. There are many other places for people to vent outside the forum provided during General Assembly meetings.
Keep the ideas of "appropriateness" and "reasoned debate" uppermost in your mind when it comes to General Assembly business. Is your concern better addressed by a Committee --or best addressed by a Committee, before you bring it to the Assembly? Is your issue personal or does it impact everyone? How important is your issue, really? If it involves debate, should that debate be scheduled as a Special Event with time allocated for a prolonged discussion?
Creating a safe space for reasoned discussion is the job of the Marshal-at-Arms. Setting the rules to provide that safe space is the business of the Assembly-at-Large. If everyone understands the goal --- which is calm and productive business meetings --- there should be no great deal of controversy about how we arrive at our chosen destination and put an end to grandstanding and political rhetoric and irresponsible accusations.
As members of your State Assembly, you should be aware of and sensitive to the functions of these Committees and the office of the Marshal-at-Arms, so as to make sure that practical level-headed people are drafted to serve in these positions.
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