The arrest Saturday of a family by TVA on the public right away has shocked many people who were unaware of the use of federal unmarked cars to enforce traffic laws against members of the public.
In an interview Monday, TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler says officer Scott E. Stone spotted the car by its tag and chased after it, indicating that he used an automated license plate reader.
By David Tulis / Noogaradio 1240 AM 92.7 FM
LPRs are part of the surveillance and “public safety” society promised by a benevolent federal government, the creator of TVA in 1933.
Mr. Fiedler says a first report of the family’s arrest is erroneous because the family was let go and no one was taken to a magistrate for booking or jail. “There was no arrest, nor was there a citation given. So, unfortunately, your story was inaccurate.”
“There was an issue with the tag; it was not registered to that vehicle. The officer pulled over the vehicle to determine why that was not supposed to be on that vehicle. It would seem to be that newly purchased cars, so there seemed to be a mixup with the tag. The individual was allowed to go on.”
Mr. Fiedler does not state explicitly that LPR was used, but does not correct my narrative describing its use nor rebut the assertion.
“He saw a plate that seemed funny. There was a window that was broken out. So it seemed like the expiration date was inaccurate. *** It looked like there was an issue with the tag and he checked into it — and now everything is fine.”
When asked what prompted the cop to chase this car, and not another person, Mr. Fiedler says “a federal law enforcement officer [is] charged with a duty to protect the public. You don’t want our police officers to protect the public, is that what you’re trying to say?”
Infrastructure risk to utility?
It is not clear from Mr. Fiedler’s words how stopping a woman with two people in her car protects Chickamauga Dam, its locks, turbines and electrical stations. Officers, he repeats, are “trying to fulfill their public safety mission.”
Asked how TVA has authority to enforce Title 55 of the Tennessee Code Annotated, he says, chidingly, “David, we all know — come on. Now, this is on TVA property. It was [a bridge] across TVA property. Right? In addition, TVA law enforcement has a public safety mission.” The traveler crossed the bridge, and thus committed a federal offense.
“If there is a public safety issue, our law enforcement officers are law enforcement. So if there is a public safety issue that you’re doing something that could harm the public, you know, they have a duty to protect the public.”
Asked how a broken window on a car in a somewhat rundown car be a threat to the public and how is that TVA’s concern, he says, “The tag on the vehicle was not their registered — for that car.”
Unanswered questions on jurisdiction
DAVID TULIS “How is anybody on the highway threatened by that and the threat being alleviated by a TVA officer? How is a coal-burning utility concerned about Title 55 of the Tennessee Code and people traveling over its dams on a state bridge on a state highway? The question is jurisdiction. How does your agency have jurisdiction to assist the county sheriff or the city police in traffic and transportation enforcement? Is it by agreement? Where is jurisdiction?”
SCOT FIEDLER “We’re federal.”
TULIS “We are on the land here, we’re not on the sea. You have maritime and admiralty jurisdiction. How is it that admiralty jurisdiction of officers enforcing state law against private people such as that couple and their child in the rear the red restrainer seat, Scott Fiedler?”
FIEDLER “David, we all know — come on! Now this is on TVA property, one across TVA property, right? In addition, TVA law enforcement have a law enforcement mission.”
“But there’s no restraint on jurisdiction? You’re saying anywhere in the county, anywhere in the city, Soddy-Daisy, Red Bank, Ooltewah, that a federal officer can come and arrest my listener for an out-of-date tag or a — “
A reporter asks, how do traffic stops further the interests of TVA, “a coal burning and nuclear plant-operating utility? How does the coal-burning utility care about Title 55 and traffic in commerce regulation?”
“Because our officers have a public safety mission,” Mr. Fiedler says.
When the interviewer insists that TVA’s authority is commercial, maritime, in interstate commerce, “over the seas,” he replies, “We’re here to provide value to the people of Tennessee Valley, and ensure their safety.”
Here Mr. Fiedler works rapidly to change the subject to make his listener glad that TVA is in Chattanooga and Tennessee. He talks about economic development and electricity generation. He credits the agency with last year creating 72,000 jobs and bringing in F$8.3 billion in capital investment. “TVA provides a tremendous value for the people of Tennessee Valley.” Two thirds of America pays more for electricity than the folks here.
But the question of jurisdiction persists in an illustration.
A visitor steps out of line
TULIS “Let’s say, Scott Fiedler, TVA spokesman, I came into your house and your 8-year-old son was acting up in a visit between my family and yours. And I say, ‘That kid just needs some discipline.’ So I take him back to the back bedroom and spank him, as it would be done in my house if there was a child disobeying or acting in some way deserving of corporal punishment. And then, he’s all set, we come out, and everything is in its place. Well, you would say, ‘David Tulis, you’re wrong to discipline my child because I’m here. I’m the one in authority.’ And that’s the same question we have here, Scott Fiedler. There is authority from the state to enforce commerce in Title 55 and other provisions. *** But here we have a federal utility with maritime jurisdiction doing the same thing. Is that by agreement or contract?”
FIELDER “It’s a public safety issue.”
“But where is the delegated authority?”
The authority came, he says, from the vehicle having the wrong tag.
Municipal authority — from where?
The question the question is how does the federal government obtain municipal authority? How does the federal government enforce state traffic law enforced routinely against private travelers and operators of motor vehicles alike? It’s highly possible that these arrangements are illegal but without a challenge they will continue in operation for the public good.
Underlying this particular police action, however, is a picture of Tennessee and the other 49 states, that have become dependent upon the federal behemoth for operating cash and formation.
According a Tennessee attorney who makes presentations across the country under the name of Publius Huldah, Tennessee and other states have forsaken their people to obtain the benefit of becoming departments of national government.
“TVA is unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government,” she says. “If you read through the Constitution and highlight all the powers delegated to the federal government, you will not find one mention of ‘providing electricity,’ ‘providing flood control, navigation and land management’ and assisting ‘local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.’”
Policing powers are “over those few and relatively small geographical areas over which the federal government has constitutional authority — such as the District of Columbia, military bases, federal courthouses, federal post offices, the federal mint, dock-yards, and the like” [Art. I, Sec. 8, next to last clause].
The clamor for money is the heart of the problem — one that makes the state a financial carnivore of its own people, especially its poor.
“States permitted the federal government to go rogue because the states got federal funds for going along with it,” says Publius Huldah. “For FY 2014, 39.9% of Tennessee’s revenue was from federal funds. and because they were too cowardly and ignorant to refuse to submit to unconstitutional acts of the federal government.”
Under ‘public safety’ mantra, less liberty
Attorney Lowell Becraft of Huntsville, Ala., has updated a long-available analysis explaining how the U.S. gains domestic and municipal authority through treaty law. It’s not clear if there is any kind of foreign treaty would give TVA such vaguely defined police powers as described by its spokesman, Mr. Fiedler. (See Treaties: A Source for Federal Municipal Power.)
If anything, the arrival by TVA of the police function suggest a growing devolution of the rights of the people and a growing ascendancy of the federal power as against the population in Tennessee and the other states and as against their duly elected officials such as Jim Hammond, sheriff of Hamilton County.
A speeder at 70 mph over Chickamauga locks gives no greater risk or damage to TVA property than one going the posted 55.
But using surveillance wizardry of LPRs and arresting (stopping) travelers and motorists gives aid to commercial enforcement of brothers in arms in city and town police departments, who are increasingly at war with innocent members of the public and increasingly working to intimidate, especially with vehicles disguised as civilian cars.
My interview with Scott Fiedler of TVA. No clear answers on how TVA obtains police enforcement and commercial traffic enforcement authority STATEWIDE, as he claims. (Courtesy Noogaradio.com)