Saturday, April 28, 2007

Senate President Pro Tem David Long Strong-arms IU Professor

I'm sure others have blogged about this, but as I sit here drinking my bottle of wine, I can't help but fume about Fort Wayne State Senator David Long's attempt to deprive me of my constitutional rights.

You see Indiana had an illegal state law regarding the shipment of wine. They allowed in-state wineries to ship directly to consumers but out of state wineries could not. This was a direct violation of the commerce clause and the US Supreme Court struck down the Indiana law as unconstitutional.

So now David Long is mad. How dare the US Supreme Court find fault in any of our laws. And the audacity of anyone that challenged them - they must be dealt with. So begins the witch hunt of IU professor Alex Tanford. Tanford has been doing work on the behalf of several wineries and this work led to their victory in the Supreme Court. Now Long wants revenge. For what? I'm not sure as the law was unconstitutional and shouldn't a professor teaching modern litigation be commended for overturning laws that violate our constitutional rights?

Well not if you're Senator Long:
Long, who was active in legislative efforts to change Indiana's winery law to comply with the Supreme Court decision, told IU School of Law Dean Lauren Robel last year he was concerned about Tanford's actions and had questions about whether he was working on state time.

"I think it's totally inappropriate for a state employee to be pursuing things on behalf of an outside client and trying to get paid on the state taxpayers' nickel to do it," said Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne.

Everyone sees this for what it is Senator. A sad attempt by a "conservative" Senator to strong-arm this professor and others into not challenging the state's authority. I don't even have the stomach to discuss the other arcane liquor laws - no sales on Sunday (unless we get the Super Bowl), no cold beer sales in the grocery store, no sales in convenience stores, distributor-only sales, etc. Every single one of those laws is idiotic and serves no purpose.

The unconstitutional law at hand, and others, are simply on the books to provide a state-allowed monopoly - distributors - the right to gouge consumers. This is unnecessary, unlawful and certainly un-conservative. When a Republican-granted monopoly replaces the free market and it's called "privatization" - well that's just perverse now isn't it?

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