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Opinion Letters

In response to the editorial by Phillip J. Migliore in the July 12 issue of The Macon County News, I would like to ask for clarification for some of his comments. Mr. Migliore stated that his heroes growing up were “the early pioneers that made our country prosperous”…“were creators of wealth not takers.” Mr. Migliore, were you referring to the Railroad Barons that hired thugs to intimidate and kill anyone in the way of their railroad progress? Were you referring to the plantation pioneers that made black Africans into slaves to make themselves rich? Were you referring to the early pioneers that killed the natives that were here for over ten thousand years and took their land in the name of progress? That used what you called “wilderness” to sustain their very existence. Or were you referring to the Wild West that your hero John Wayne represented in Hollywood movies where there was no law and only the person with the fastest gun was right? We could go back to those times but I do not think that most Americans would like the consequences of those regressions.

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The reason why John Whitehead's latest column (Macon County News - July 12) is unlikely to be debated is because his assessment of 21st Century America is precisely (though regrettably) correct. We are, as he stated (and worth repeating) “little more than a pay to play banana republic, a plutocracy run by a powerful and corrupt oligarchy from corporate, military and political sectors.”

I believe a significant cause of why he’s right is the monopoly of a two-party system and the overabundance of ballot- access laws which allow it to exist. Though state laws vary widely they accomplish a common goal, to keep third party and potential draftees or write-in candidates off state ballots, consequently reducing the field to two, a Republican and a Democrat.

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OccupyWNC, an affiliate of MovetoAmend.com, along with groups all across the United States, has worked diligently to bring resolutions to the attention of local governments. The resolutions propose, in part, that an amendment should be brought before Congress to negate the Supreme Courts “Citizen United” case which is interpreted to declare that corporations are “People.”

The towns of Franklin, Bryson City, Webster and Highlands have passed resolutions and other towns are pending. Macon County has yet to put us on their agenda (soon we hope). We have been turned down by one. We will not be deterred. Resolutions have been presented to both the State of N.C. House and Senate by some forward thinking representatives but they did not get to a vote this session.

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I feel compelled to clarify some comments that are attributed to me in the July 12, 2012, edition of The Macon County News, specifically those relating to the legality of censuring an elected official.

Mayors, and indeed all elected officials, are not stripped of their First Amendment rights upon their election to office. Nor is any one elected official constrained to agree with and speak in conformity with the consensus of his or her board. At the same time, elected boards have the ability to adopt resolutions relating to anything in their purview, to vote to express an opinion on any such matter (or to not express anything at all). And, no single official speaks for the entire board, unless so empowered by vote of the board.

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