STANTON — About 20 people attended Monday’s Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting to make a statement about “the original Constitutional jurisdiction of Michigan, a free and independent state.”
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Robert Gilman and his wife, Marilyn Totzkay, both of Crystal, read portions of a lengthy statement, as did Randy Esch of Stanton. The group did not make any formal request of the commissioners.
Members of the group distributed a pamphlet titled “A New Day in Michigan.” According to the pamphlet, the government in Washington, D.C., is a corporation formed in 1871 with the authority to operate only within 10 square miles of D.C. and the U.S. territories. The pamphlet stated that until December 1860, the original United States was a collection of sovereign Republics and the federal government did not control the states and had very little authority.
“The original Constitution was never removed,” the pamphlet stated. “The de jure (lawful) government has simply been dormant since 1861.”
The pamphlet detailed how, under the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, if the original Constitutional jurisdiction of government was operating properly, there would be real money backed by gold and silver (not debt notes), no IRS, no property tax, travel without hindrance, no marriage licenses, no business or professional licenses and a justice system based on Common Law — “no victim, no crime.”
The pamphlet included its own version of the Pledge of Allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the civil peace flag of the free and independent states of the united states of America and to the freedom for which we stand, under God, one community, indivisible, with peace, opportunity, prosperity and justice for all.”
The pamphlet also referenced the Ten Commandments from the Bible, as well as 10 “Common Law Principles.”
The pamphlet referred those seeking more information to visit www.michigandejure.org online. The group’s Facebook page has 171 “likes,” while the Twitter account has 10 followers and hasn’t been updated since January.
Nick Lashowski, the communications secretary for Michigan De Jure in Bay, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland and Montcalm counties, did not return a message seeking comment about the group’s purpose, although he was present at Monday’s meeting.