Judicial Watch • The Court Battle Begins

The Court Battle Begins

The Court Battle Begins

OCTOBER 28, 2011

October 28, 2011

Judicial Watch President Tom FittonFrom the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:

JW Victory! Court Rules MDPetitions.com Can Intervene to Keep Maryland Dream Act on the Ballot

On Thursday, we hosted a press conference (which you can watch here) in Annapolis, Maryland, to announce a major new development in the battle to stop tuition benefits and perks for illegal aliens: On October 7, 2011, the Maryland court granted JW client MDPetitions.com permission to intervene in a lawsuit that seeks to deny voters an up-or-down vote on the Maryland DREAM Act (John Doe, et al., v. Maryland State Board of Elections).

MDPetitions.com organized a highly successful petition campaign and collected twice as many signatures as is required to put the issue to a vote. Illegal aliens and the activist group Casa de Maryland challenged the petition drive in court in order to protect taxpayer dollar subsidies for the in-state college tuition rate for certain illegal aliens.

Here’s what’s at stake in this lawsuit: Our client wants voters to have the ability to eliminate taxpayer-funded tuition benefits for illegal aliens. Illegal immigration lobbyists want voters to have no direct say on the issue.

The chairman of MDPetitions.com, Maryland Assembly Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County, and honorary chairman Delegate Patrick McDonough of Baltimore and Harford Counties co-hosted the conference with our Director of Litigation Paul Orfanedes. In statements issued yesterday to coincide with press event, the state elected officials focused on protecting the rights of citizens who want their voices heard:

“Over 130,000 people indicated that they wanted to vote on whether their tax dollars should be used to pay for college tuition for adult immigrants illegally in our country. Our legal system must make sure that none of those signers are disenfranchised unnecessarily, and Judicial Watch is the perfect organization to watch over the rights of Marylanders. MDPetitions.com is proud to be a party to this case, and with Judicial Watch leading the legal effort, we will defend each and every one of those signatures. Casa de Maryland, two illegal aliens, and others are suing to stop democracy in action, but MDPetitions.com will defend the rights of Marylanders: the right to referendum as provided in the Maryland Constitution,” said Delegate Neil Parrott.

“I am deeply grateful that I was able to prevail upon Judicial Watch to intervene on behalf of the citizens of Maryland and protect their voting rights against a challenge promoted by illegal aliens,” said Delegate Pat McDonough.

The DREAM Act was enacted by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Governor Martin O’Malley on May 10, 2011. The law creates a new taxpayer-subsidized public benefit — the ability to pay reduced tuition rates at Maryland community colleges and public higher education institutions — for certain eligible illegal aliens. MDPetitions.com’s petition drive was perhaps the most successful in Maryland history.

An important court battle has now begun. We will analyze each and every signature now being challenged in court in order to protect the right of the citizens of Maryland to vote on this issue.

In fact, our initial analysis shows many Maryland citizens, as many as 1,600, have had their petitions improperly rejected. But we are confident that the illegal aliens and their allies will not succeed in asking the courts to reject tens of thousands of legitimate citizen petition signatures. In the end, the democratic process will not be subverted.

Maryland is just one of many states where your Judicial Watch has taken action to address the illegal immigration crisis. A partial list includes: Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Alabama, and Virginia. Just remember all this the next time you hear an illegal alien apologist suggest that immigration is only a “federal” issue.

Along those lines…

Judicial Watch Launches New National Television Advertising Campaign on Illegal Immigration

The illegal immigration debate could not be any hotter. While JW was protecting the rights of Maryland citizens to stop tuition breaks for illegal aliens in Maryland, on October 14, a federal court blocked provisions of Alabama’s new tough illegal immigration enforcement law from taking effect, at the urging of the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ), while allowing other provisions to be enforced.

At the same time, Arizona’s illegal immigration enforcement law, SB 1070, is expected to go before the U.S. Supreme Court soon. (Judicial Watch currently represents the Arizona State Legislature in court and recently filed an amicus curiae brief with the High Court, which began its current term on October 3.)

In the midst of this firestorm, Judicial Watch took aggressive action this week, launching a national television advertising campaign to combat illegal immigration. The purpose of the campaign is to collect petitions from the American people to send to the governors of all 50 states, urging them to obey and enforce all laws against illegal immigration.

This campaign to encourage our nation’s governors to stand strong on illegal immigration law enforcement has become more urgent now that the Obama DOJ has decided to sue states for merely trying to protect their citizens from the scourge of illegal immigration.

But it’s not just the federal government that is to blame. Some states have decided to side with the illegal aliens, rolling out the welcome mat for illegal aliens through costly and unlawful sanctuary policies. (See Maryland story above.)

That’s why we’re going national with this petition campaign.

The petition campaign is being driven by a series of television advertisements that began broadcasting this week in California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as nationwide on Fox Business News (FBN) and the Military Channel. (You may have already seen my prior email on this exciting educational project.)

In this new national campaign, Judicial Watch asks Americans take a stand on this illegal immigration crisis:

The cost of illegal immigration is a burden on every taxpaying citizen. That’s why Judicial Watch fights hard to hold politicians accountable when they violate and undermine immigration law. Take a stand. Sign this petition and tell your state governor to enforce our federal immigration laws.

The objective of our television campaign is to educate the public and encourage citizens to petition their government in support of the rule of law. Here’s what our petition states: (If you’d like to sign off on these principles, then please click here and join our cause!)

  • Whereas, the subject of illegal immigration enforcement in America is a matter of preeminent importance to each and every local, state and federal taxpayer;
  • Whereas, it’s a fact that illegal immigration touches our lives in many ways, and without a doubt, a portion of the true costs of illegal immigration is in the local, state, and federal taxes we pay;
  • Whereas, a majority of Americans agree that the reason we have illegal immigration is that past federal, state and local enforcement efforts have been “grossly inadequate;”
  • Whereas, a modest estimate of the total net cost to American taxpayers each year is $113 BILLION;
  • Therefore, I, the undersigned taxpayer, call upon you to pledge that you will do everything in your power to uphold the rule of law and obey and enforce all laws against illegal immigration.

Politicians in Washington and in the states want to ignore the illegal immigration crisis while asking taxpayers to foot the bill. Judicial Watch wants the rule of law enforced and we know millions of Americans share our views. Our new television spots are designed to educate and motivate Americans to take a stand against politicians who simply refuse to enforce or even obey the laws against illegal immigration.

As I’ve said many times: Every state is now a border state. The American people cannot sit on the sidelines while politicians continue to allow the illegal immigration crisis to spiral even further out of control. Now is the time for the rule of law to be applied to the illegal immigration problem. If you agree with me, then please click here, sign our petition, and make your voice heard! Also get the word out about the effort. As someone else in Washington is saying these days, we can’t wait any longer…

JW Obtains Documents Revealing Generous Salaries and Bonuses for Government Finance Agencies Staff Members

At the outset of the financial crisis, the Bush administration began an unprecedented government takeover of the private sector with the so-called bailouts. When Barack Obama took office, he doubled down on this gamble and kicked the door wide open, pumping massive amounts of taxpayer cash in order to further control the private sector, particularly the financial sector. This unprecedented growth in government control included creating new federal agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and and expanding existing agencies such as the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The professed purpose of these government agencies is to “keep watch” on the business dealings of corporations in order to “protect” the consumer. But after reading some documents JW obtained recently revealing the generous salaries and bonuses being paid to government workers in these agencies, I have one question: Who is watching out for the American taxpayer?

We obtained the documents in response to Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests filed on July 12, 2011, with the CFPB and the CFTC, as well as with the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the U.S. Treasury, and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

The FOIAs requested Standard Form 50s (SF-50s) from each of the agencies. An SF-50 is a human resources form that documents any change in a government worker’s employment situation, including pay. Check out some of the responses we received:

  • The CFPB responded on August 4, 2011. The SF-50s revealed CFPB workers being hired at salaries twice the maximum ordinarily allowed under guidelines published each year by the Office of Personnel Management. A dozen new hires take home more than $225,000 a year, and a student intern is currently being paid $42,036 “through completion of education & study” as a communications trainee.
  • The CFTC responded on September 12, 2011, but blocked out most of the information on the 26 forms provided. The documents, however, reveal that the agency has instituted a cash award bonus system, and during the first six months of 2011, the agency doled out from $400 to $5,000 in bonus income to employees already earning $225,000 or more per year.
  • The Federal Reserve, responding on August 25, 2011, denied using SF-50s, despite an apparent statutory requirement to do so. It also refused a subsequent request for “Transcripts of Service,” which the agency said it used instead of SF-50s.
  • The OCC responded on August 22, 2011. The SF-50s indicated that 85 workers earn $225,000 or more per year. The employee names, as well as the legal authority under which the pay raises were issued, were blotted out.
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury, responding on August 25, 2011, indicated that two employees earn more than $225,000, but withheld their names.
  • The SEC responded on October 3, 2011, reporting that 103 workers earn $225,000 or more per year.

(Judicial Watch filed administrative appeals regarding the withholding of information by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. What these agencies provided to us was disturbing enough, for certain. So we want to know what they’re hiding.)

These new salary records are bound to cause controversy. As a matter of fact, I’m scheduled to discuss this issue with veteran business journalist Stuart Varney on Monday morning at 10:20 am EDT on Fox Business Network’s Varney and Company.

No wonder Washington, DC, is the wealthiest area of the country! And the secrecy surrounding basic salary information of public employees shows an arrogance of power and contempt for transparency in an administration that promised the very opposite.

(Feel free to pass this along to the Obama army of Occupy Wall Street protestors, for they are sorely need in lessons of what’s really happening in Washington. It might surprise them to learn that Wall Street is already “occupied” – by well-paid “armies” of Washington bureaucracies and their politician “generals”.)

Until next week…

Tom Fitton (signature)
Tom Fitton
President


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