Posted October 10, 2012 | comments 3 Comments

Reader commentary: Courts, lawyers aren't protecting taxpayers

By Mark W. Prince

In the court case of Prince vs. Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors/Regional RSW Jail/Virginia Resources Authority, we have found several irregularities with the sale of the bonds to finance the regional jail:

1. The bond was sold outside the date range as stated in the RSW Regional Jail Bond Resolution and is therefore illegal. Dates specified were between May 1 to June 1 and it sold June 7.

2. Two of the three support agreements to include Shenandoah and Warren counties were not approved/signed until after the April 10 Virginia Resources Authority Board of Directors meeting. We believe these bonds were sold/purchased in violation of their own bond resolution because they are required to have these documents presented to the board before any action, and they were not.

3. Moody's and Standard and Poor issued, then pulled, their rating of the jail. Moody's and/or Standard and Poor then rated the VRA, which issued a bond in the jail name only.

4. VRA, according to internal documents, is required to have AA ratings or better on bonds issued and they purchased the RSW Regional Jail Bond from the jail board without one.

The courts and lawyers seem more concerned with explaining away debt and putting layer upon layer of legalism to blur the Constitution instead of protecting citizen taxpayers. The court needs to put on corrective lenses to see through to what the Constitution actually says and remember that the Constitution was ratified by the people whom hold more power than the few who write and implement the laws.

I ask, if any layperson in any city read the following: "Article VII Section 10 (b) No debt shall be contracted by or on behalf of any county," now describe to them what moral and general obligations are and they would classify both as debt. They would also state that the funds being used for the RSW Regional Jail, county government building, social services building, new courthouse and now the Edinburg School are being stolen from us without our consent. The court is not here to make someone happy, it's here to first correctly interpret the law and dispense justice within the framework of the Constitution, then address the Code of Virginia written by lawyers.

The Shenandoah County Circuit Court, presided by Judge Dennis Hupp, blocked our entry into the court system without ever requesting a copy of the bond. A bond that we couldn't submit because the VRA, an authority that handles billions of dollars annually, refused or was unable to produce after we requested it more than 21 days before we were scheduled to appear. We, the people of Shenandoah County, are tired of being railroaded and lied to.

General obligation (GO) bonds are debt and voted on by the people.

Moral obilication (MO) bonds are twice the interest rate of GO bonds and, by purchasing them, you are removing money, this excess interest rate, from the taxpayers' pockets to give to the bigbankers. This equates to $20 million in the regional jail alone! The baseline for cost overrun is the figure stated in Attachment B of the Service Agreement, which stated the jail will cost $68 million. Current cost is $79 million and counting, so it's an $11 million overrun. There is not one project that has to be voted on by the people under section 10 (b)! Name me one.

The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors has built a government office building, new courthouse, social services building and a regional jail without the vote of the people and stated it is legal. Did you know that MO bonds were created specifically to sidestep the wording in the Constitution, according to its originator? This is worse than Obamacare! We should remove the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors, then use the supervisors' own words against them when they stated that we "didn't incur any debt obligation for the regional jail." With this statement, we should extract Shenandoah County from this over-cost behemoth.

It's time to tell the emperor that he has no clothes, because this debt is placed squarely on the shoulders of the taxpayer!

I am just a country boy, but you can perfume it, put a collar on it and brush your pet, then call it a cat. But a skunk will always be a skunk. This is still a debt on the taxpayers and should be considered that when viewed against the Constitution and not lawyerized, so we have appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

Mark W. Prince has lived and farmed in Shenandoah Valley since 1998, has two degrees from Louisiana Tech University, is a U.S. patent holder, was the distinguished graduate of the C-130 Instructor School and served 16 years in the Armed Forces. He is a cancer survivor, is medically retired from United Airlines and currently runs an alternative energy company with an office in the U.S. and China. Email him at mark@sunpeakusa.com

3 Comments | Leave a comment

    This episode is not unusual in the USA today. The corruption is pervasive at the local and national level. We are now on a slippery slope down to oblivion as a formerly free people.

    The late George Carlin described it in his usual street language which offended the "Pollyanna" sensitive souls among us...


    Long before Carlin a famous doctor first described
    the ugly medical condition which is now pervasive and increasing. It is a stark reminder that "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" was more than an allegory. "The aliens have landed, and now they are our rulers".....


    Current political talk indicates that some folks want to turn the clock back to a time when slavery was legal. In countries like Iran and North Korea it is...


    I would feel a lot better if someone could tell me the ratio of cases won and lost by ordinary citizens against local governments. I would also like to find a specific case where a local court ruled against a local government.

    Virginia Judges are just politicians in robes, creating a system where campaign prowess and electoral success are more important than ability and integrity. Clay Athey is the perfect example. Merit selection will stop the flow of money from lawyers, law firms, businesses, unions and special interest groups to the judges who will later be deciding their cases.

    However, I must question the usefulness of Prince claiming the creation of Moral Obligation Bonds is worse than Obamacare. Partisan wisecracks appealing to the Teabilly lunatic fringe undermine his credibility with middle America. This is the primary reason at this point I remain neutral regarding his effort, noble as it might actually be, for him to seek redress of his grievance through the court system.

    What would be very helpful to understand Prince's argument would be for him to tell us which section of the Code of Virginia...


    ...he asserts has been violated as well as the Virginia Supreme Court decisions he is claiming supports his case.


    Otherwise, Prince is poised to become the butt of cruel jokes, joining the ranks of Taxpayer Henry's of this world.

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