DownsizeDC.org
March 27, 2012
How Dick Durbin Can Impress Arnold Rothstein
By James Wilson

NOTE: Downsize DC President Jim Babka guest hosts a syndicated radio show tomorrow (Wednesday). Details in the P.S.

The Federal Government might be getting so big that certain members of it can rig sporting events -- help their favorite team! At least if Senator Dick Durbin gets his way.

Durbin wants a Congressional investigation of "bounties" in professional sports, where athletes are rewarded for deliberately injuring their opponents.

What might we expect if Durbin's crusade against bounties is successful?

Every questionable play, leading to an injury, could be the pretext for a federal investigation by a publicity-seeking U.S. Attorney. Obnoxious and egotistical players and coaches will especially be targeted as federal prosecutors concoct conspiracy theories about dirty play.

Heck, it might even be a great way to take out an All-Star on the arch-rival team. What a racket this could be? Arnold Rothstein would be impressed.   

But we also wonder... 

Has Mr. Durbin read the Constitution to which he swore an oath? Does he simply not care what it says? Is he this much of a grandstander in demeanor and this cavalier with his commitments in his personal relationships? Or is he only this way when he's playing Senator?

...because the Constitution is clear: The federal government has no role to play in sport's injuries or even simple assault.

We can understand why you might think this is a minor, trivial issue. By itself, it won't have much affect on our liberties and wallets.

But think about this: The State GROWS when it sticks its nose in minor, trivial issues. Federal politicians, who think bounties in pro sports are their business, will think (and act as if) ANYTHING that ANY of us do is THEIR business.

That's why I wrote this letter ordering Congress to deny Durbin this hearing and to obey the Constitution.

The hard-wired message says...

"You have taken an oath to obey the Constitution's limits on federal power."

I added these personal comments...

Because of your oath, you must protest and stop Sen. Durbin's plan to schedule hearings on "bounties" in professional sports.

What might we expect if Durbin's crusade is successful?

Every wild pitch that hits a batter and every punch thrown in an NHL fight could be an excuse for a federal investigation by a self-aggrandizing U.S. Attorney. Obnoxious and egotistical players and coaches will especially be targeted as federal prosecutors concoct conspiracy theories about dirty play.

After all, the alleged perpetrator in such instances will likely be a millionaire and therefore NOT a sympathetic figure. Attacking the rich is what U.S. Attorneys/wannabe politicians do. They don't care if the targets of their persecution are innocent. They don't care if they ruin lives.

I do NOT take the issue of bounties lightly. Getting paid to deliberately injure opponents is wrong.

But even if assault and battery on the playing fields SHOULD be illegal, there's no reason for the federal government to get involved. After all, there are no national laws against murder, rape, assault, or burglarly. These crimes are outlawed and prosecuted by state governments. If you take your oath seriously, then you already know that.

What makes assaults in an athletic contest any different?

And what really angers me about Durbin's grandstanding ploy is that he seeking a solution to a problem that's already been solved. He wants an investigation after the big news of the bounty system of the NFL's New Orleans Saints. Yet...

* Bounties were already against NFL rules.
* Bounties violated the Owner-Player Collective Bargaining Agreement.
* The NFL's penalties have wrecked the career of defensive coach Gregg Williams, who has been suspended indefinitely, and forever tarnished the career of Saints head coach Sean Payton, who is suspended for a year and will lose $5.8 million in salary.

What more punishment do they need? Do you really think anyone would be better off if these men, or others like them, were put in jail? Is there really a role for the Senate here?

I know that the cost of holding a hearing will cost me only a fraction of a penny. But by wasting the time of members of Congress and their staff, Sen. Durbin taking time AWAY from more important obligations, such as actually taking the time to read and understand the bills they support.

Of course, reading and understanding the Constitution would help too.

A legislative body that would hold hearings on this matter is not a government worthy of my consent. Let me be clear, I'm withdrawing my consent for a government silly enough to stick its nose in this matter. You should deny Sen. Durbin his stupid hearing. I insist that you block and prohibit any member from using his committee powers to meddle in affairs over which Congress has no legitimate Constitutional power."

END LETTER

We encourage you to send your own letter. You may borrow from or copy the letter above, using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

P.S. I will be guest-hosting a talk-radio show tomorrow (Wednesday). The show is Straight Talk w/Jerry Hughes, heard on the Accent Radio Network.

My guest is Karen Kwiatkowski. She's a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and anti-war activist. She's a commentator, whose efforts have led her into politics. She's now a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Virginia's 6th district. And she enthusiastically endorses the entire Downsize DC Agenda.

Her campaign website is KarenForCongress.com.

You can listen live at 2:07 PM Eastern (1:07 PM Central, 12:07 PM Mountain, and 11:07 PM Pacific).

To hear the show on the web, or to find a local station, visit the network's website.  

Affiliates can be found in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Oregon.

You can also listen on your phone! Toll free at 1-386-524-0333.

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