They run into the fire

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Re: They run into the fire

Post by gadget6412 on Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:45 am

The probable reason that local laws and rules contradict the constitution is that it is flawed and cannot work in every situation and/or every local. It is the base for these changes. This would be the reasoning for the local statutes. I posted in a separate area that the fireman's rights were not violated, they were free to vote for any person they so chose. When they grouped together or as it was posted that were on duty as fireman and not as Joe citizen then they violated an agreement that the town and their union had agreed upon. The attempt to push the line as children do was caught and they were punished for it, just as a child is punished. Do not attempt to take that as calling the firemen children, just an analogy. A provision like that is to keep a government agency from growing outside of itself and to keep in check.
If the bylaw/charter/rule is flawed/archaic/outdated, then change it, but until it is changed it is still what must be followed.


Last edited by gadget6412 on Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spell check)
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Re: They run into the fire

Post by T on Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:23 am

gadget6412 wrote:The probable reason that local laws and rules contradict the constitution is that it is flawed and cannot work in every situation and/or every local.
No, local and state statutes may not violate the US Constitution. I understand local laws do at times, but only until they are challenged, changed and/or modified. I also understand that during times of national emergency or to deal with issues of national security, parts of the US Constitution may be temporarily suspended. This issue does not qualify as a national emergency or one of national security.

gadget6412 wrote:I posted in a separate area that the fireman's rights were not violated, they were free to vote for any person they so chose.
The firefighters were not suspended for voting. They were suspended for speaking. You are confusing the US Constitution's implied right to vote with the First Amendment. They are not the same. The municipal employees of the Town of Rumford are denied the right to fully engage in the political process by denying them their right to free speech.

gadget6412 wrote:When they grouped together or as it was posted that were on duty as fireman and not as Joe citizen
This has been disputed by the RFD union. Mark Tripp, union president, is willing to provide timesheets indicating that the firemen in question were not on duty.

gadget6412 wrote:they violated an agreement that the town and their union had agreed upon.
No, this was a violation of town ordinance not the negotiated contract between the Rumford Fire Department and the Town of Rumford. Had it been a contractual violation, there would be no free speech issue.

gadget6412 wrote:If the bylaw/charter/rule is flawed/archaic/outdated, then change it, but until it is changed it is still what must be followed.
I agree. I have no problem with the suspensions. I have a problem with the town's by-law.

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Re: They run into the fire

Post by gadget6412 on Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:47 am

1. I did not state that they violate the constitution, I said that they contradict them in which there are grey areas which take lawyers to interpret.
2. I did not confuse anything, it was written that they were not allowed to endorse a particular individual. They were allowed to endorse anyone slated for voting as a citizen, but the ordinance disallowed them to politic outside the voting area as an entity. As I was not there, I can only go by what has been written and this is hearsay so if it is incorrect that they were outside as a fire department unit or acting as a group with their union, I bow out of the conversation.

Thanks for the dialogue.


Last edited by gadget6412 on Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : delete word)
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Re: They run into the fire

Post by T on Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:39 pm

From Merriam-Webster:

endorse: 2 a: to approve openly (endorse an idea); especially : to express support or approval of publicly and definitely (endorse a mayoral candidate)

I know it seems like Iím splitting hairs, but language is important. After all, this is about speech. The firefighters were not allowed to publicly, openly, and definitely endorse a candidate. In my opinion, that violates their First Amendment rights.

I realize, in court, my opinion more than likely would be in the minority. That would not change my view.

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Re: They run into the fire

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:33 pm

No, your opinion would not be a minority, but it may be based upon incomplete information. We don't know what case law is out there that is applicable to the first amendment. I refer you back to the case of yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. It is an infringement of free speech, but the restriction is for the common good. There may be reasons that other restrictions are placed upon free speech.
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