An Interview with Missouri Rep. Jim Guest
On 26 March 2009 I was at the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri to interview Republican State Representative Jim Guest who represents the Fifth Legislative district in Northwest Missouri.
The appointment had been made weeks in advance so I had no idea what kind of political maelstrom I was walking into when we scheduled the interview. Rep. Guest will be the speaker at the Eighth Annual Col. John T. Coffee Camp Confederate Heritage Dinner on 18April2009.
Not only did I show up when the budget was being voted on but the blowback from the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) had hit the legislature as an international scandal and the atmosphere was electric with crisis, conspiracy, and high drama under the Capitol dome. Rep. Guest was back and forth from the floor of the legislature busy keeping his eye on votes, talking to colleagues, fielding phone calls from the national media, while studying faxes stuffed into his hands by aides from both sides of the aisle. We wedged-in this interview in the relative quite of the Majority Whip's office between votes on the floor.
MIAC is a so-called "Fusion" center that uses Federal Homeland Security money and directives to manage Missouri state personnel. The budget and the MIAC scandal had become intertwined just the day before when Jim Guest introduced a bi-partisan amendment to the monster 2009 budget bill that would de-fund the Department of Public Safety (state law enforcement) and effectively stall the mammoth budget if the amendment was not passed. Guest's amendment makes it virtually illegal for state funds to be used for "political profiling". The amendment passed; a temporary triumph for civil liberties.
The scandal erupted when a report originating from Democrat Governor Jay Nixon's administration was leaked to investigative journalist Alex Jones. Unbeknownst to the rank and file officers something sinister had been injected into the structure of the highly respected Missouri Highway Patrol's department. From the dank bowels of Nixon's Department of Public Safety a shadowy Federal funded rouge agency (MIAC) was churning out reports that alleged to identify "terrorists".
Using political profiling tactics prime on their list was Republican Presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul and his supporters. Another American targeted by Gov. Nixon's agency was Libertarian Party Presidential candidate, ACLU advisor, and former Georgia Republican Congressman Bob Barr. Also singled out was Constitution Party Presidential candidate and Baptist minister Chuck Baldwin.
The report alleged that anyone who supported these legitimate political candidates were suspicious "people of interest". The report also targeted pro-life activists, America-first immigration control groups, Second Amendment supporters, as well as "anyone who professes knowledge of the Constitution", and other patriotic groups. Complete with ginned-up charts, maps, and color photos the report was worthy of a Soviet-era KGB dossier or SPLC smear.
As outrageous as the report was the Missouri Democrat Governor stood behind it at first supporting the spy agency. His early denials were also apparently covering for other members of his Party on the national level who control the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department which have various levels of involvement in the scandal.
By Friday 27March09 the Governor had changed his position and forced underlings to "apologize" for the report and repudiate its allegations. Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has called on the legislature to initiate a full scale investigation of the matter. An account from Kansas City.com posted on the Drudge Report fills in the ongoing story from at the Capitol: http://www.kansascity.com/637/story/1109096.html
Representative Jim Guest lives in northwest Missouri and has been elected as State Representative four times to represent the constituents of the Fifth District. Jim is a supporter of Congressman Ron Paul and has had the privilege to know Dr. Paul personally and spoke along side Dr. Paul at last summer's Freedom Rally in Washington DC to a crowd of thousands.
Rep. Guest has been a champion of the Bill of Rights and particularly the Tenth Amendment as well as a strong Civil Libertarian. Jim has a radio show every Sunday morning at 9:00 AM, on the RBN at: www.republicbroadcasting.org
DAVID S. REIF: The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution as well as the Ninth Amendment were included to guarantee the states and individuals that they would not be over run by the government in Washington under the principle "all is retained which is not surrendered". Today the government in Washington seems to consider this an antiquated notion; what is your view for the role of the Tenth Amendment?
REP. JIM GUEST: The Constitution is what we should be governing by, the Constitution is the blueprint, the foundation, and is what we should be governing by and we need to get back to it then we would have a lot less problems if we were using it. The Tenth Amendment and the whole Bill of Rights, people think that's what gives us our rights but that not true, we already have those rights: they are inherent. The Bill of Rights says you shall not be infringed upon, you (the government) cannot do this, it tells the government that you cannot infringe against those God given rights and those inalienable rights that we have. People don't understand and keep forgetting that.
Of course, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments tell the government that the people of the States have these rights and they (the government) cannot tread upon them. That is to say that the first nine Amendments tell us what rights we have and the Tenth Amendment tells them, 'In case we forgot to say that you can't do something, then you can't do that either'. So that's what the whole Constitution was written about to restrain the Federal government and to give all the power to the States and the people within them. But I think the States have slowly lost those rights through erosion but we've got this ground swell or wake-up call right now across this country and hopefully a lot of these states are introducing resolutions telling the Federal government to back off. I keep saying "retake these rights" but (actually) we have them anyway, we just haven't enforced them.
DSR: Many people believe that if you remove the boilerplate and misdirection from the discussion; the reason for the War Between the States was really a fight over the interpretation of the Tenth Amendment. What do you think was the role of the Tenth Amendment in the initiation of the War Between the States?
REP. GUEST: Well the Tenth Amendment has been referred to as the "State's Rights" issue and the fact that the Federal government or the North thought ...that they should take away the "State's Rights" issue from the South is what was caused it but that interpretation was slighted by the slavery issue. The slavery issue would have gone away through the evolution of time and industrialization and the mechanization of farm equipment would replace (slave) labor anyway and it's a huge misconception I think that it was fought over slavery.
DSR: The traditional South is identified with the defense of Constitutional federalism. The government in Washington has undercut federalism with administrative contrivances such as "federal" guidelines and mandates as well as Court rulings like F.E.R.C. vs. Mississippi. Is the recent political profiling engaged in by Gov. Nixon's Department of Public Safety using funding from Washington an example of the erosion of federalism?
REP. GUEST: It is an example of something we are very concerned with right now. The fact that we have Federal intrusion into the States, I think we are going to find out we have a Federal directive down here (in Jefferson City) to tell us how to run our State's Department of Public Safety and to scrutinize people or "profiling" people and to me this is profiling people in the highest degree to pick out certain segments (of the population) and certain third-party people. It's almost (like singling out) those (people) who follow the platform of the Republican Party.
DSR: Understanding that it was intrinsic to democracy President Jefferson Davis calmly endured vile criticism with dignity while the Lincoln Administration employed political profiling, suspended the writ of habeas corpus, wrecked newspapers, and jailed dissidents. The MIAC (Missouri Information Analysis Center) issue seems to be a tactic for the administration to intimidate the opposition. What steps can the State Legislature take to protect its people from out-of-control government?
REP. GUEST: (Laughter)...That's a good question; we need to obviously enforce the Tenth Amendment but right now I think we are seeing steps taken here to profile the Constitution Party and those who basically speak out against the Federal government and those who want to express their true views and their true ideas. You talked about the writ of habeas corpus and getting rid of it as Lincoln did, you know, that's happening right now.
So some of this MIAC thing is very dangerous; when you say you are going to profile those who are anti-immigration, anti-abortion, and especially sovereign citizens, I can't believe that anybody who says they are a sovereign citizen and that our government is out of control that they (MIAC) is going to target them. As a matter of fact we do have a government that's out of control. There is no doubt about that. To try and segregate a certain part of the population that believes in their freedom issues is strictly overstepping the bounds. I think that MIAC is a Federal directive that's come down.
DSR: Misdirection is not new to Missouri politics. Many of us feel the establishment has been blame shifting and scapegoating with the Confederate Battleflag in order cover up their own failures and shortcomings. The cynical policies of two governors towards the display of the Confederate Flag are seen as Machiavellian by many people. How do you feel about Gov. Holden taking the Battleflag off the graves at Higginsville?
REP. GUEST: That was disgusting! ...The Confederate Flag is part of history. How can you get rid of that? Those Confederate veterans are buried in those cemeteries, you know, that's part of our history and those flags that fly are part of our history and I have fought to return them so that those flags fly where they are. It is not a matter of disrespect to anybody else it is a matter of respect to those who believed in their true values at that time and even now.
DSR: More than any community ideal the Confederate Soldier was concerned with local control. Much of that has been lost over the years. Do you think that loss has led to the widespread feeling of powerlessness and the decline of self-esteem that seems so prevalent today?
REP. GUEST: That's quite true. I think a lot of people feel that it is useless to stand up for what they believe in that the Federal government has become too powerful and that what they say is going to be disregarded.
That's why there is this movement for State's rights, that's why this is a grassroots issue that will move all the way up. That's why it is important for people to get involved with the party they believe in to take back those values this country was founded upon.
Our Forefathers came to this country not only for freedom but to escape the governmental control of their lives. That's why it's so important that we retain it (freedom). Our Forefathers would be appalled about the power the Federal government has amassed over the travesty (claiming) that they say they are fighting terrorism. I'm sure that Thomas Jefferson and the thirty-nine signers of the Constitution would roll over if they could see what happened to the document that they fought for and put their honor and lives on the line when they signed it.
DSR: Would you like to say any more about these issues?
REP. GUEST: Regarding the MIAC thing, we will delve into that to make sure we stop this profiling of those who want to express their own views.
Reservations to the dinner and speech are available by calling: 417-754-8397