Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Ohio conservatives fed up with feds
By Shelley Grieshop
Ohio has joined the ranks of 35 other states who have sent a message to the federal government: Respect our rights to govern ourselves.
Resolution SCR 13 - introduced a week ago in the Ohio Senate by Keith Faber, R-Celina, and Timothy Grendell, R-Chesterland, - asks Congress to uphold the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which limits the federal government's intrusion at the state level.
"The federal government is trying to tie our hands, take our money and send it back to us with strings attached," Faber told The Daily Standard this morning.
He admits the resolution, which is co-sponsored by six other Ohio senators, is mainly symbolic in nature. But it's a starting point, a way to let the federal government know they've become too big, too controlling, he said.
"I think the (Ohio) voters get it. Let's hope the federal government figures it out," he added.
This resolution and others already passed in four states have mainly been the handiwork of conservative politicians. The action is described by some as a quiet movement to reassert state sovereignty and stop the uncontrolled expansion of federal government power. Some politicians say the balance of power has tilted too far in the direction of the feds and they seek to restore that balance.
Faber stressed the resolution does not ask or threaten secession. It only wants to redefine the pecking order of the government, "the way our founding fathers meant it to be," he added.
"The problem is the federal government seems to think it's the master and we're the servants," he said. "We need a partnership."
When asked why the resolution was proposed at this time, Faber said it's based on the trend of the current administration.
"There's a push right now toward nationalism," he said, explaining the federal government recently has asserted its power in areas it shouldn't such as the operation of banks and insurance companies. "The goal is to remind the government of the rights of states and individuals and the roles each should play."
Those opposing the sovereignty resolutions say states shouldn't take government aid, such as stimulus money, and not expect strings to be attached.
"To that I remind people that stimulus money is our money, the people's money, not the federal government's," Faber said.
He said he and many other politicians had "no say" on the stimulus package prior to its passage. However, he has no qualms accepting limited amounts of stimulus funds that can help Ohioans get back on their feet.
"But it (the funding) needs to be put into long-term use projects, projects that will help sustain us down the road," he said. "When the money's gone, it's gone."
How the money is spent should be left up to each state, not to the federal government and its mandates, Faber said. Who knows better what we really need? he asked.
Neighboring states - Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Michigan - also introduced sovereignty resolutions in recent months.
Four states have passed a sovereignty measure. They are: Alaska, Idaho and North and South Dakota. All four states have strong conservative representation in Congress who continue to rally against, what they call, "big government."