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Regional Governance

       The following article was written in 1971. Between 1968-1972 the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) convinced most states that their constitution was ‘old fashioned and outdated'. Many states called for Constitutional Conventions and made additions or changes that acquiesced to the mandates of UN "experts".  

       In the Local Government section of your state constitution you will most likely find an "Intergovernmental Cooperation" clause, which ‘lawfully' (fraudulently) allows states to implement regional government.  You may also find that 'home rule'; and the 'initiative and referendum' clauses were added which is called 'participatory democracy' and which Paul Weyrich rabidly supports... the slow erosion of our Republic, whereby the citizens get to make laws instead of the Constitutionally created state legislatures.

    Many states during that same time dropped the definition of their state borders.  Senator Ed Petka, of Illinois said "It was probably just an over-sight. If that's true, that would mean every individual who has paid state income tax since that time would have refunds coming. I would be first in line for my refund". State legislators pass laws giving broad executive power to governors and state agencies; local governments are selling off infrastructure to private corporations; and they are all legislating away the states and local governments.  [Emphasis added to the article]


June 2, 1971 - New York Times By: Piers Von Simson

LONDON - With characteristic insight, de Tocqueville claimed that he had never "been more struck by the good sense and practical judgment of the American people than in the manner in which they elude the numberless difficulties resulting from their Federal Constitution".

 [Ignorance and apathy would more appropriately describe the American people]

     This particular national talent was stretched to the full by the spectacular intellectual sleight of hand with which the Supreme Court finally upheld the constitutionality of New Deal legislation vastly expanding the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. Almost thirty years have passed. The states have long grown accustomed to having merely vestigial powers. Perhaps the time has come to consider whether we really need the states at all. [Vestige, n. remnants; trace]

     The states as presently constituted are inefficient and corrupt, have long outlived their original purpose, do not correspond to any actual economic or social interests and no longer inspire either public involvement or public confidence. The continued validity of the states as units of organization and representation is open to serious challenge.

     The states suffer from weak executives, fragmented and obsolete fiscal procedures, badly staffed and malaportioned legislatures, poorly administered and politically selected judiciaries, and constitutions which severely restrict their ability to meet or respond to the demands made on modern government.  [This is undoubtedly why states were urged to hold state con-cons.]

     One writer has gone so far as to complain that the states have rarely been able to carry through administrative tasks more complicated than mailing out license plates.

     It may have made sense to enshrine a Federal system in the Constitution when the precarious union of thirteen territories was at stake. But it is now hard to justify the same system if it means that the states of Nevada and California are equally represented in the Senate, though California has thirty times the population if its tiny neighbor.

     The argument is not merely demographic: of all fifty states, only New York and California have greater fiscal revenues than New York City. The city with the next largest revenue, Los Angeles, surpasses fifteen states and comes within $100-million of another three. One must add to this evidence of over-representation the fact that the smaller states are invariably the most secure in terms of Senate seats, and thus the seniority system ensures Senators from smaller states yet more disproportionate influence on Senate committees.

     The attitude of modern Americans towards their state governments is quite rightly one of indifference. People are likely to think of themselves in local terms as living in a city or rural area, and in regional terms such as living in the South or the West or the Northeast, rather than to pride themselves on their citizenship of Utah or New Jersey.

     State government is either distrusted or ignored or both, yet some account must be taken in any new proposal of the benefits of federalism: the element of local control without which there is excessive centralization of power. A possible solution to the problem lies in regionalization, in abolishing the states, strengthening the self-governing powers of the cities and establishing regional governments of roughly equal size with areas of jurisdiction more closely corresponding to modern economic and social realities.

     The creation of such regional authorities would enable planning to be undertaken for whole parts of the country which are now cut up by arbitrary state lines. It would alleviate the chaos of fifty separate jurisdictions while leaving each region sufficient opportunity to decide its own affairs. The regions would be areas in which the facts of geography, economic organization, social custom and political ideals have established a sense of cohesiveness and community of interest. Abolition would revitalize the Federal system by providing the central government with responsible and rational regional counterparts. Doing away with the states would make it possible to bring government back to the people again. [Nixon claimed he was bringing the government back to the people when he established the ten federal regions and their regional capitals.]


Piers von Simson is a British barrister who recently completed a year at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions [CSDI] at Santa Barbara, California.


CSDI created the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America, funded by the Ford Foundation. Jo Hindman referred to the ACIR as the liaison between the UN and the U.S.

In October, 1995 (or '96) the U.S. Congress defunded the ACIR and its new name is the American Commission on Intergovernmental Relations - a Non-Governmental Organization - still headquartered in D.C.

von Simson's comment about the states being ignored by the American people is true.  The reason for this, as I see it, is that the myriad phony conservative / so-called Christian conservative groups and individuals have spent three decades convincing people that the our problems stem from a corrupt congress... or a Democratic president, and the solution is always to 'petition' U.S. Senators and Congress critters. They squeeze the budgets of naive' and trusting people - who are also uninformed - to send hundreds of dollars so they can save us from the big bad wolf, when in actuality they are the Wolves, in Sheep's Clothing.

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