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Republicans meet at Avenel

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By John Barnhart

    Bedford County Republican’s fundraising dinner, held at Avenel, provided an opportunity for Republicans from a wide area, as far as Franklin County and Rockbridge County to meet and greet. It also gave folks who hope to be nominated for state offices, next year, to meet party rank and file.

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    Delegate Rob Bell and State Senator Mark Obenshain were on hand to promote a property rights amendment to the state constitution. It’s on the ballot this year.
    Bell said that the amendment is needed to protect property owners after a United States Supreme Court expanded the definition of “public purpose.”
    “Public purpose [now] means whatever the politicians say it is,” Bell commented. “We cannot count on the courts to protect us.”
    The question that will appear on the ballot reads : “Shall Section 11 of  Article I (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended  (I) to require that eminent domain only be exercised where the property taken or damaged is for public use and, except for utilities or the elimination of a public nuisance, not where the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development; (II) to define what is included in just compensation for such taking or damaging of property; and (III) to prohibit the taking or damaging of more private property than is necessary for the public use?”
    Bell said that the advantage of putting this in the Virginia Constitution is that it can’t be removed without the consent of the voters. In Virginia, all amendments to the state constitution must be approved by the voters.
    “We are very exited about that amendment,” Bell said.
    Bishop E. W. Jackson was one of the speakers. Bishop Jackson was one of the candidates who challenged George Allen for the Republican nomination for the Senate earlier this year. He is now advocating Allen’s election.
    Bishop Jackson said that Barack Obama is a threat to religious liberty.
    “It is up to the people to make sure freedom reigns in this nation,” he said.
    Bishop Jackson quoted Jeremiah 17:9 — “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” — and said that this is why the checks and balances, separation of powers and enumerated, limited powers in the U. S. Constitution are important. He said it’s also why the 10th Amendment, which states that powers not given to the federal government in the Constitution, remain with the states and the people.
    “Every single one of those principles is being violated,” he said.
    Bishop Jackson also blasted President Obama on other issues, including making appointments without the Senate’s consent while the Senate is in pro forma session and the President’s health care law.
    “Obamacare is an abomination in America and it must be repealed,” he said.
    Bishop Jackson said that President Obama is not acting out of ignorance. He believes that the President does not like the Constitution, Judeo-Christian values or the free enterprise system.
    “We have a de facto dictator in office and there is one way to get rid of him,” said Bishop Jackson. “We’ve got to move him on Nov. 6.”
    “God has given us stewardship of one of the greatest gifts he has ever given mankind,” Bishop Jackson told his audience. “If we will stand together, if we will fight together, we can take our country back.”
    “Our rights don’t come from the government, our freedom doesn’t come from the government and we are not going to let them take them away,” he said.