A Florida county review board is proposing changes to its county charter after two members voted to establish a “people’s common law grand jury” for Tea Party extremists to investigate and prosecute government officials for treason.
According the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Pat Wayman and Steven R. Fields are using their positions in the Sarasota County charter review board to preempt the authority of other elected officials and create a quasi post-Revolution legal avenue from which right-wing groups can supersede presidential and U.S. Supreme Court authority.
“A people’s common law grand jury can, without any probable cause, go into any nook or cranny of government — local, state or federal — research anything that’s going on and root out corruption,” said Rodger Dowdell, author of the proposal and a Tea Party activist. “We want to government to recognize the contract we call the constitution, and start obeying the law. It’s very simple.”
Tea Party extremists groups have been trying to form common law grand juries for years in hopes of convicting, and possibly hanging President Barack Obama for high treason. Many of these peusdo-legal systems do not have any actual legal authority, however it hasn’t stopped groups like Sovereign Citizens – a domestic terrorist threat according to federal authorities – from attempting to create anti-government laws at the local level.
Dowdell’s proposal failed to pass in a 4-4 tie vote by the review board despite strong support from its conservative members. Wayman, a charter board member who pushed Dowdell’s proposal, has called for Obama’s arrest on murder and treason charges in a recent Facebook petition and promotes the pro-gun extremist III Percent group.
Fields, the other board member who championed the purposeful, has also expressed pro-conservative political views through Facebook and other social media.
“If someone brings an idea that we can do, that’s something we should take a look at,” Fields said. “I’ve seen the federal government grabbing more rights away from people. They bribe states into federal control. The Charter Review Board should not be acting like the County Commission and protecting the status quo.”
Charter board Republican Chairwoman, Donna Barcomb, said she is considering a ballot recommendation that would have Sarasota County appoint its charter board members instead of electing them through the electoral process.
“It’s definitely something the board should present,” said Paul Caragiulo, Sarasota County Commissioner. “It would take a referendum of the voters.”
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