Monthly Archives: December 2012

Yes Florida there is a sanity clause, Judges may be removed from office by impeachment, Judicial qualifications commission, Judge Kevin Carroll removal, Leon County circuit court

Yes Florida there is a sanity clause, Judges may be removed from office by impeachment, Judicial qualifications commission, Judge Kevin Carroll removal, Leon County circuit court

“Why has Obama, since taking the White House, used Justice Department Attorneys, at taxpayer expense,  to avoid presenting a legitimate birth certificate and college records?”…Citizen Wells

“Why do state election officials continue to ignore the US Constitution, federal election code and their own state election statutes?”…Citizen Wells

“Why does a judge swear to discharge his duties agreeably to the constitution of the United States, if that constitution forms no rule for his government? if it is closed upon him, and cannot be inspected by him?”… Marbury versus Madison

Judge Kevin Carroll, a Leon County Florida Circuit Court Judge, recently dismissed an Obama eligibility case. Judge Carroll made reference to a fictional ruling on Santa Clause in the movie “Miracle on 34th Street.”

I have a Sanity Clause ruling for Judge Carroll.

Removal from office.

In Florida there are 2 ways to remove a judge:

1. On the recommendation of the judicial qualifications commission, the supreme court may discipline, retire, or remove a judge.

2. Judges may be impeached by a two-thirds vote of the house of representatives and convicted by a two-thirds vote of the senate.

From WND December 22, 2012.

“ELIGIBILITY JUDGE QUOTES FAMOUS SANTA CASE
Cites paraphrased decision in ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ in Florida Democrat’s challenge”

“A real-life Florida judge has paraphrased a statement from the fictional Judge Henry X. Harper in “Miracle on 34th Street” to justify his sudden decision to dismiss a challenge under state law to Barack Obama’s eligibility to occupy the Oval Office.

The ruling from Kevin Carroll of the Florida circuit court for Leon County dismissed the case brought on behalf of Democratic voter Michael C. Voeltz, who raised the issue of Obama’s qualifications under a state law that allows voters to challenge candidates’ eligibility.

Carroll, who had given the plaintiffs until Dec. 23 to respond to Obama’s motion to dismiss the case, changed his mind and abruptly Thursday ordered the case dismissed.

He explained that the fact the government says Obama is qualified to be president is more than enough for him.

“This court notes that President Obama lives in the White House. He flies on Air Force One. He has appeared before Congress, delivered State of the Union addresses and meets with congressional leaders on a regular basis. He has appointed countless ambassadors to represent the interests of the United States throughout the world,” Carroll wrote.

“As this matter has come before the court at this time of the year it seems only appropriate to paraphrase the ruling rendered by the fictional Judge Henry X. Harper from New York in open court in the classic holiday film ‘Miracle on 34th St.’ ‘Since the United States Government declares this man to be president, this court will not dispute it. Case dismissed.’”

It was the second time in eligibility cases that a judge appears to have abandoned legal fundamentals and simply ruled for Obama on no particular basis.

Several years ago it was Judge James Robertson in Washington who dismissed a case because, he wrote, “The issue of the president’s citizenship was raised, vetted, blogged, texted, twittered, and otherwise massaged by America’s vigilant citizenry during Mr. Obama’s two-year campaign for the presidency.”

Carroll’s ruling also did not address the fact that in the movie, the judge was determining that a resident of a nursing home hired to play Santa Claus at a Macy’s store was, in fact, Santa Claus. His ‘proof” was a pile of mail addressed to Santa Claus that the post office delivered to him, confirming his identity.

Attorney Larry Klayman, representing Voeltz in the case, immediately responded with a motion for rehearing, contending that the judge “prematurely and precipitously” dismissed the complaint without a hearing as outlined under state law.

“This act also flies in the face of this court’s own order of Dec. 13, 2012, which was law of the case,” noted Klayman, founder of FreedomWatchUSA.

“This court had a statutory duty under the Florida Election laws, the Florida and U.S. Constitutions, and 3 U.S.C. Section 5, to adjudicate defendant Obama’s eligibility and his alleged fraudulent acts expeditiously, timely, and before the electors met on Dec. 17, 2012, and before the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2013, Klayman explained. “Thus, this court also violated these law is dismissing the complaint summarily.”

Klayman suggested to the court its order “at a minimum creates an appearance that it simply jettisoned this case not only on the extrajudicial and non-legal premise that President Obama was president during the prior four year term, and has already performed many ‘presidential’ acts but also because this court did not want to be ‘inconvenienced’ by holding an evidentiary hearing.”

Klayman also questioned Carroll’s “off-the-cuff” remarks about a friend being appointed to a federal post by Obama as inappropriate.

He said the remarks about fictional judge Henry X. Harper in “Miracle on 34th St.” also were “inappropriate” and showed “a mindset simply to rid the court of this case.”

“This court seems to want to sidestep having to reach these serious and important matters before it,” Klayman said.

Klayman is seeking a rehearing and an evidentiary hearing in the dispute. He’s also seeking a temporary restraining order to halt the delivery of the Florida electoral votes to Obama until the court case is resolved.

He has submitted evidence by way of a sworn statement from Investigator Mike Zullo of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse in Arizona that there probably were two crimes committed in the creation and display of Obama’s long-form birth certificate, which was released by the White House and posted online.

Zullo’s testimony is that forgery was used to create the document, and fraud was used in “presenting to the residents of Maricopa County and to the American public at large a forgery the White House represents as “proof positive” of President Obama’s” birth documentation.

Arpaio’s affidavit also was presented to the judge.

The sheriff said: “My investigators and I believe that President Obama’s long-form birth certificate is a computer-generated document, was manufactured electronically, and that it did not originate in a paper format, as claimed by the White House. … There is probable cause that the document is a forgery.”

Klayman has argued that Obama “has never established his eligibility for the presidency of the United States … the only evidence of defendant Obama’s alleged birth within the United States has come in the form of a belatedly filed electronic version of a claimed long-form birth certificate posted on the Internet.”

He told the judge that the evidence suggests, however, the document is fraudulent.

The case claims that should the judge not address the facts, the plaintiff “can never be made whole again.”

“If defendant Obama is found to be ineligible, which is likely to happen since there is no evidence … Obama was born in the United States to U.S. citizen parents, the plaintiff’s vote in the 2012 presidential election will be nullified.”

He suggested state law calls for an expedited hearing in such cases.

Carroll, however, said the state of Florida does not have jurisdiction to “determine the issue of qualification for the office of president of the United States, particularly at this late date in the process.”

His comments came after another challenge filed by Voeltz earlier this year was dismissed because the judge ruled it couldn’t be addressed until after the election.”

“Klayman said he also will be trying to go directly to the Florida Supreme Court if Carroll does not reconsider.

“It’s truly ‘remarkable’ and an affront to the rule of law and all our founding fathers and colonial America fought and risked and gave their lives for. This type of conduct by the establishment, which thinks it can do as it pleases without consequences, is why we have entered into a revolutionary state 236 years after we declared independence from the king. They will soon from We the People learn that there are consequences,” he said.

Read more:

http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/eligibility-judge-quotes-famous-santa-case/#HSid5ipo2b70BbeE.99

Judge Kevin Carroll is either biased, incompetent or insane or some combination and should be removed.

Florida’s Sanity Clause.

Florida House of Representatives.

“The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, members of the Cabinet, justices of the Supreme Court, and judges may be removed from office by impeachment. The House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach. It may do so by a two-thirds vote of the members voting. The Senate tries all impeachments, with the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court presiding. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to convict. If convicted, the officer is removed from office.”

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/glossary/glossary.aspx?Filter=I

Florida 2011 Court Reform.

“What the Joint Resolution Does:

House Joint Resolution 7111 proposes a Constitutional Amendment to
address reforms to Florida’s court system. The Joint Resolution passed the
Florida House with a vote of 80-38 on May 3, 2011, and later passed the
Senate with a vote of 24-11 on May 5, 2011. Among other things, the Joint
Resolution:”

“As the body responsible for judicial impeachment proceedings,
grants the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, at his
or her request, access to the complaint files of the Judicial
Qualifications Commission at any time. The bill requires the
complaint files be kept confidential until the information is used in
the pursuit of impeachment.”

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Handlers/LeagisDocumentRetriever.ashx?Leaf=housecontent/opi/Lists/Announcements/Attachments/35/OPI%20Pulse%20-%20Court%20Reform%205-23-11.pdf&Area=House

Florida Code of Judicial Conduct.

“CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT
For the State of Florida
Online Version

Reports of misconduct by judges must be made to the Judicial Qualifications Commission at (850) 488-1581.

Print the Entire Code of Judicial Conduct in PDF.

The opinions of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee
are available on the Sixth Judicial Circuit Website.
Visit the web site to search the opinions.

Preamble

Definitions

Canon 1. A Judge Shall Uphold the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary

Canon 2. A Judge Shall Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in all of the Judge’s Activities

Canon 3. A Judge Shall Perform the Duties of Judicial Office Impartially and Diligently

Canon 4. A Judge Is Encouraged to Engage in Activities to Improve the Law, the Legal System, and the Administration of Justice

Canon 5. A Judge Shall Regulate Extrajudicial Activities to Minimize the Risk of Conflict With Judicial Duties

Canon 6. Fiscal Matters of a Judge Shall be Conducted in a Manner That Does Not Give the Appearance of Influence or Impropriety; etc.

Canon 7. A Judge or Candidate for Judicial Office Shall Refrain From Inappropriate Political Activity”

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/ethics/index.shtml

Mission of the Florida Judicial Branch.

“The mission of the judicial branch is to protect rights and liberties, uphold and interpret the law, and provide for the peaceful resolution of disputes.

Vision of the Florida Judicial Branch
Justice in Florida will be accessible, fair, effective, responsive, and accountable.

To be accessible, the Florida justice system will be convenient, understandable, timely, and affordable to everyone.

To be fair, it will respect the dignity of every person, regardless of race, class, gender or other characteristic, apply the law appropriately to the circumstances of individual cases, and include judges and court staff that reflect the community’s diversity.

To be effective, it will uphold the law and apply rules and procedures consistently and in a timely manner, resolve cases with finality, and provide enforceable decisions.

To be responsive, it will anticipate and respond to the needs of all members of society, and provide a variety of dispute resolution methods.

To be accountable, the Florida justice system will use public resources efficiently, and in a way that the public can understand.”

http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/mi_vi/index.shtml

Procedures for filing a complaint.

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/jqc.shtml

Judge Kevin Carroll Ruling.

http://www.wnd.com/files/2012/12/12CA3857.pdf

Advertisements

Ellen L. Weintraub elected FEC Chair, Former Perkins Coie Counsel, Robert Bauer Obama 2007 matching funds advisory opinion, Obama controls FEC?

Ellen L. Weintraub elected FEC Chair, Former Perkins Coie Counsel, Robert Bauer Obama 2007 matching funds advisory opinion, Obama controls FEC?

“What if the country held an election and there was no one to make sure that candidates played by the rules — no agency that could issue regulations, write
advisory opinions or bring enforcement actions against those breaking the law?”
“The six-person FEC — three members from each party — enforces the rules it writes about how Americans are permitted to participate in politics. You
thought the First Amendment said enough about that participation? Silly you.”
“Four Senate Democrats decided to block the Republican, Hans von Spakovsky.”
“The Post wants von Spakovsky confirmed only to keep the FEC functioning. He is being blocked because four senators have put “holds” on his nomination. One of those four who might be responsible for preventing the FEC from being able to disburse taxpayer funds to Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and John Edwards is . . . Barack Obama.”…George Will, Washington Post December 11, 2007

“Why did Obama employ Robert Bauer of Perkins Coie, to request an advisory opinion on FEC matching funds that he was not eligible for?”…Citizen Wells

“Why has Obama, since taking the White House, used Justice Department Attorneys, at taxpayer expense,  to avoid presenting a legitimate birth certificate and college records?”…Citizen Wells

From the FEC December 20, 2012.

“FEC ELECTS WEINTRAUB AS CHAIR FOR 2013;
McGAHN TO SERVE AS VICE CHAIRMAN

WASHINGTON – At its open meeting today, the Federal Election Commission elected Ellen L. Weintraub as Chair and Donald F. McGahn II as Vice Chairman for 2013.

Commissioner Weintraub took office on December 9, 2002, after receiving a recess appointment. She was renominated and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on March 18, 2003. Commissioner Weintraub previously served as Chair in 2003. Commissioner McGahn was nominated and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on June 24, 2008. He was elected Chairman on July 10, 2008 and served in that capacity until December 31 of that year.

Prior to her appointment to the Commission, Commissioner Weintraub was Of Counsel to Perkins Coie LLP and a member of its Political Law Group. Commissioner Weintraub had previously practiced as a litigator with the New York firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel.

Before joining Perkins Coie, Commissioner Weintraub was Counsel to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for the U.S. House of Representatives (the House Ethics Committee). There, Commissioner Weintraub focused on implementing the Ethics Reform Act of 1989.  She was Editor in Chief of the House Ethics Manual and a principal contributor to the Senate Ethics Manual.

Commissioner Weintraub received her B.A., cum laude, from Yale College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Commissioner McGahn took office on July 9, 2008. Prior to his appointment to the Commission, Commissioner McGahn served as head of McGahn & Associates PLLC, a Washington-based law practice specializing in election law. Commissioner McGahn also served as General Counsel to the National Republican Congressional Committee and as Counsel for the Illinois Republican Party.

Before joining the NRCC, Commissioner McGahn practiced law at Patton Boggs LLP in Washington, DC. Commissioner McGahn has been recognized for his significant pro bono work for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Prior to Patton Boggs LLP, Commissioner McGahn served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Alexander of the Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania.

Commissioner McGahn attended the United States Naval Academy, the University of Notre Dame, Widener University School of Law and the Georgetown University Law Center.”

http://www.fec.gov/press/press2012/20121220newofficers.shtml

From Citizen Wells January 23, 2012.

WHY DID OBAMA REFUSE MATCHING FUNDS IN 2008?

PART 4

Obama, attorneys and Democrats control FEC

The devil himself could not have come up with a more devious plan.

Robert Bauer, of Perkins Coie, on February 1, 2007 requested an advisory opinion to keep Obama’s option for matching funds open. Bauer knew full well that Obama, not being a natural born citizen, was not eligible for matching funds. The FEC advisory opinion from March 1, 2007 responded in the affirmative.Ellen L. Weintraub, former staff member at Perkins Coie, was a Democrat appointee of the FEC at that time. She remained well beyond her scheduled tenure with the help of Barack Obama.
Obama, Robert Bauer, Democrats interaction with FEC timeline.
February 1,2007

Advisory Opinion Request: General Election Public Funding

From Obama attorney Robert Bauer to FEC

“This request for an Advisory Opinion is filed on behalf of Senator Barack Obama and the committee, the Obama Exploratory Committee, that he established to fund his exploration of a Presidential candidacy. The question on which he seeks the Commission’s guidance is whether, if Senator Obama becomes a candidate, he may provisionally raise funds for the general election but retain the option, upon nomination, of returning these contributions and accepting the public funds for which he would be eligible as the Democratic Party’s nominee.”

“cc: Chairman Robert Lenhard
Vice Chair David Mason
Commissioner Michael Toner
Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky
Commissioner Steven Walther
Commissioner Ellen Weintraub

Note, in the above advisory opinion request, Robert Bauer was a Perkins Coie attorney and Ellen Weintraub was a former Perkins Coie staff member.
March 1, 2007

FEC advisory opinion

From Robert D. Lenhard to Robert Bauer

“The Commission concludes that Senator Obama may solicit and receive private contributions for the 2008 presidential general election without losing his
eligibility to receive public funding if he receives his party’s nomination for President, if he (1) deposits and maintains all private contributions
designated for the general election in a separate account, (2) refrains from using these contributions for any purpose, and (3) refunds the private
contributions in full if he ultimately decides to receive public funds.”
December 11, 2007

George Will in the Washington Post writes.

“Paralyze The FEC? Splendid.”

“What if the country held an election and there was no one to make sure that candidates played by the rules — no agency that could issue regulations, write
advisory opinions or bring enforcement actions against those breaking the law?”

“The six-person FEC — three members from each party — enforces the rules it writes about how Americans are permitted to participate in politics. You
thought the First Amendment said enough about that participation? Silly you.

The FEC’s policing powers may soon be splendidly paralyzed.

Three current FEC members, two Democrats and one Republican, are recess appointees whose terms will end in a few days when this session of Congress ends –
unless they are confirmed to full six-year terms.

Four Senate Democrats decided to block the Republican, Hans von Spakovsky. Republicans have responded: “All three or none.” If this standoff persists until
Congress adjourns, the three recess appointments will expire and the FEC will have just two members — a Republican vacancy has existed since April. If so,
the commission will be prohibited from official actions, including the disbursement of funds for presidential candidates seeking taxpayer financing.”

The Post wants von Spakovsky confirmed only to keep the FEC functioning. He is being blocked because four senators have put “holds” on his nomination. One of those four who might be responsible for preventing the FEC from being able to disburse taxpayer funds to Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and John Edwards is . . . Barack Obama.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/10/AR2007121001559.html?hpid=opinionsbox1
June 19, 2008.

“Obama to Break Promise, Opt Out of Public Financing for General Election”

“In a web video to supporters — “the people who built this movement from the bottom up” — Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, announced this morning that he will not enter into the public financing system, despite a previous pledge to do so.”

“In November 2007, Obama answered “Yes” to Common Cause when asked “If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?”
Obama wrote:

“In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party
candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election.”

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2008/06/obama-to-break/

June 24, 2008

Senate confirms FEC Nominees.

From the Wall Street Journal.

“The Senate confirmed five new members to the Federal Election Commission, ending a bitter political battle that had hobbled the elections watchdog for
months.

But the Senate action came with a final twist: Republicans accused Democrats of delaying the confirmation vote one day to allow the Democratic National
Committee to file a lawsuit against the presidential campaign of Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

The six-member elections agency had been without a quorum since December as Democrats objected to Republican nominee Hans Von Spakovsky for what they said was his partisan handling of voting-rights matters in his former job as a Department of Justice attorney. The dispute prevented the two parties from reaching an agreement to vote on any of the nominees.”

“Other commissioners confirmed Tuesday included Democrats Steve Walther and Cynthia Bauerly. The new Republican commissioners are Mr. Petersen, Don McGahn and Caroline Hunter. They join sitting commissioner Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat. The commission needs at least four members to take official action on election complaints, new campaign-financing rules and requests from campaigns for legal guidance.”

http://www.democracy21.org/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC=%7BAC81D4FF-0476-4E28-B9B1-7619D271A334%7D&DE=%7B620D20F2-742F-4979-B8D6-6597558A6716%7D

From Fox News.

“Since the beginning of the year, the commission has only had two members: Republican Chairman David Mason and Democrat Ellen Weintraub.”

August 18, 2008

From Citizen Wells FEC FOIA request.

The individual, redacted, is requesting an advisory opinion from the FEC on Obama’s eligibility to be president. An email was sent with the request. The
email provides information on why Obama is not eligible. It begins with

“It seems that Barack Obama is not qualified to be president, after all, for the following reason:”

It ends with

“Interesting! Now what? Who dropped the ball or are we all being duped? Who do you know whom you can forward this to who might be able to help
answer this question?”
August 21, 2008

Philip J Berg files lawsuit in Philadelphia Federal Court

Defendants: Obama, DNC, FEC

Obama is not a Natural Born Citizen and therefore ineligible to be President.
August 22, 2008

From Citizen Wells FEC FOIA request.

An email from David Kolker, FEC counsel, to Rebekah Harvey is certainly interesting. Rebekah Harvey was the assistant to Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub . Prior to being appointed to the FEC, Weintraub was on the staff of Perkins Coie LLP and a member of it’s Political Law Group.

“Victory in Berg v. Obama”

August 27, 2008

Complaint served on the U.S. Attorney for DNC and FEC

August 27, 2008

From Citizen Wells FEC FOIA request.

FEC response to advisory opinion dated August 18, 2008.

“The Act authorizes the Commission to issue an advisory opinion in response to a complete written request from any person about a specific transaction or
activity that the requesting person plans to undertake or is presently undertaking.”

“your inquiry does not qualify as an advisory opinion request.”
November 11, 2008

“Obama to Most Likely Avoid FEC Audit”

“The Federal Election Commission is unlikely to conduct a potentially embarrassing audit of how Barack Obama raised and spent his presidential campaign’s record-shattering windfall, despite allegations of questionable donations and accounting that had the McCain campaign crying foul.

Adding insult to injury for Republicans: The FEC is obligated to complete a rigorous audit of McCain’s campaign coffers, which will take months, if not
years, and cost McCain millions of dollars to defend.

Obama is expected to escape that level of scrutiny mostly because he declined an $84 million public grant for his campaign that automatically triggers an
audit and because the sheer volume of cash he raised and spent minimizes the significance of his errors. Another factor: The FEC, which would have to vote to
launch an audit, is prone to deadlocking on issues that inordinately impact one party or the other – like approving a messy and high-profile probe of a
sitting president.

So, by declining public funding, Obama decreased the odds of an audit. And the FEC may not investigate due to political party affiliations of the FEC
commission members.”

http://obamashrugged.com/?p=267

May 1, 2009

“At midnight Thursday, the terms of Federal Election Commissioner Donald F. McGahn II (a Republican) and FEC Chairman Steven T. Walther (a Democrat) expired. Combined with Democrat Ellen L. Weintraub’s seat — she remains on the commission even though her term expired two years ago — President Obama has the opportunity to make his first three appointments to the six-member commission. Though FEC terms are set for six years, members are free to stay on until replacements are selected by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.”

“Josh Zaharoff, deputy program director for Common Cause, argues that, short of complete overhaul, such a proposal would be the best way to ensure real
enforcement of election laws. The long-standing existing practice “ensures that the commissioners are likely to be loyal to their political party rather than
to election laws and the American people as a whole.”

After seven months without a quorum, the restocked FEC has drawn significant criticism from campaign-finance-reform advocates for its lack of serious,
independent enforcement. There have been a series of 3-3 deadlocks on key issues, resulting in a significant increase in the percentage of dismissed cases.”

http://www.iwatchnews.org/2009/05/01/2875/president-obama%E2%80%99s-opportunity-mold-fec
April 4, 2011

“More FEC Terms Expire, But Replacements Unlikely”

“The terms of Chairwoman Cynthia Bauerly (D) and Commissioner Matthew Petersen (R) expire at the end of April. The terms of Donald McGahn (R) and Steven Walther (D) expired almost two years ago.

The longest-serving commissioner is Ellen Weintraub (D), whose term expired almost four years ago. The only commissioner who will be serving an unexpired term at the end of the month is Republican Caroline C. Hunter, whom Bush nominated in 2008, for a term that expires in April 2013.

Further complicating the confirmation process is a large list of pending issues before the FEC that will affect Obama’s own re-election campaign.
One of the biggest issues is how the FEC will write new rules in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which would set boundaries for how
hundreds of millions of dollars can be spent by third parties in the presidential election and Congressional campaigns. The issue was so important to Obama
that he admonished the Supreme Court a few days after its decision in the case during his 2010 State of the Union address.”

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_105/-204592-1.html?zkMobileView=true
April 16, 2011

“FEC Launches Audit Of Obama’s 2008 Campaign”

“The FEC’s decision to audit the campaign is not surprising, given that it was the largest federal campaign in history, raising more than $750 million in
receipts. If Obama’s campaign were not audited, it would have been the first presidential nominee’s campaign to escape such scrutiny since the public
financing system was created in 1976.

The potential for the FEC’s audit became increasingly more likely as the FEC questioned some of Obama campaign filings. In all, the FEC wrote 26 letters to
Obama for America warning the campaign that if it did not adequately respond to the agency’s questions that it “could result in an audit or enforcement
action.””

“As of the end of March, Obama for America had spent nearly $3 million on legal fees since the 2008 election. In all, the president’s campaign spent three
times more on lawyers after Election Day than in the two years preceding it.

The lion’s share of Obama’s legal spending went to Perkins Coie, a well-known Democratic legal and accounting firm. Perkins Coie is representing the Obama
campaign in all major legal matters, including seven of the FEC’s known investigations involving the White House bid. In each of these cases, the FEC voted to dismiss the case or found “no reason to believe” that the Obama for America or related committees had violated any laws.

Perkins Coie may be also representing Obama for America in the FEC’s spending investigation of a Republican National Committee complaint. A few weeks before the election, the RNC alleged that Obama’s campaign accepted donations from foreign nationals, received contributions that had exceed limits and submitted fictitious donor names to the agency. The status of this investigation is unknown, though the FEC confirmed it received the complaint.”

http://www.rollcall.com/news/FEC-Launches-Obama-Campaign-Audie-205014-1.html
Jan 12, 2012

“Election Watchdogs Assail Obama on FEC Appointments”

“The groups are demanding that Obama shake up the board of commissioners at the Federal Election Commission, the only agency able to enforce campaign laws.
They say political divisions among the agency’s panel of six leaders have rendered it toothless.

“The bottom line is nothing can happen to change the commission unless the White House names new commissioners, and they are refusing to do so,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a nonpartisan advocacy group. “The result is going to be an election with no enforcement.””

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/election-watchdogs-assail-obama-on-fec-appointments/

Why would Obama, as we know him, replace the FEC board. Since early 2007, Obama has been shielded by Robert Bauer and Ellen Weintraub. That’s right, as you read above, Weintraub is still on the FEC board, four years after her term expired. And don’t forget, after Obama secured the White House, he hired Robert Bauer as general counsel. Bauer has since returned to Perkins Coie to continue helping Obama keep his records hidden.

This is a clear conflict of interest!!!

And what about attorney ethics?

As stated above, Robert Bauer knew about Obama’s natural born citizen deficiency in February of 2007 and yet he filed a request for an advisory opinion on Obama’s behalf regarding Federal Matching Funds. This is fraud!

From Citizen Wells June 2, 2011.

“From the American Bar Association.

“A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent””

“Model Rules of Professional Conduct
Maintaining The Integrity Of The Profession
Rule 8.4 Misconduct”

“It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional
Conduct or other law; or

(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/robert-bauer-leaving-white-house-counsel-position-perkins-coie-attorney-helped-obama-hide-records-bauer-assists-obama-2012-campaign/

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/obama-ga-ballot-challenge-natural-born-citizen-status-judge-michael-malihi-why-did-obama-refuse-matching-funds-in-2008-part-4-obama-attorneys-democrats-control-fec/

Connecticut Illinois Norway gun laws don’t work, Evil sick people are problem, Religion moral compass void, Obama hypocrisy, 446 school age children shot in Chicago

Connecticut Illinois Norway gun laws don’t work, Evil sick people are problem, Religion moral compass void, Obama hypocrisy, 446 school age children shot in Chicago

“Then-state senator Obama had backed a bipartisan bill called the Safe Neighborhoods Act. It would have raised the crime of illegal transport of a firearm from a misdemeanor to a felony. But on the crucial day of the vote, Obama was out of town–and on vacation, in Hawaii. The bill failed by only three votes, and the media pounced–as did Obama’s rivals. It was the moment, Obama later said, when he knew he would lose the race.”…Breitbart.com June 21, 2012
“Jews (§5 of the First Regulations of the German Citizenship Law of 14 November 1935, Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 1333) are prohibited from acquiring, possessing, and carrying firearms and ammunition, as well as truncheons or stabbing weapons.  Those now possessing weapons and ammunition are at once to turn them over to the local police authority.”…Nazi Weapons Act of 1938
“We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.”…George Orwell, “1984″
Norway strictly regulates guns.

In 2011 69 people were killed and 110 injured at a summer camp.

There was no one armed there to protect them.

Connecticut gun laws are among the nation’s strictest.

From the Washington Post December 17, 2012.

“Democrats in Congress are moving quickly to introduce new gun legislation in the aftermath of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

But gun rights advocates — once they start speaking out more publicly — will note that the state in which the tragedy took place has among the most stringent gun control laws on the books.”

GunLawsMap

“Connecticut is one of just a few states with at least a partial ban on assault weapons.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/12/17/connecticut-gun-laws-among-the-nations-strictest/

And Chicago, Obama’s hometown and where he served in the IL Senate.

From from Fireandreamitchell.com December 18, 2012.

“446 school age children shot in Chicago so far this year with strongest gun laws in country – media silent”

“The cesspool known as Chicago probably has the toughest gun laws in the country, yet despite all the shootings, murders, and bloodshed, you never hear a peep about this from the corrupt state run media. In Chicago, there have been 446 school age children shot in leftist utopia run by Rahm Emanuel and that produced Obama, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, etc. 62 school aged children have actually been killed by crazed nuts in Chicago so far this year with almost two weeks to go. So why isn’t this news worthy? Is it because it would embarrass those anti second amendment nuts who brag about Chicago’s tough gun laws? Is it because most of the kids who were shot and killed were minorities? Or is it because the corrupt media doesn’t want to show Chicago in a bad light? Amazingly, no Obama crocodile tears either.

For those of you too dense to get the point of this post, it’s to make the point about gun laws. No matter how tough the gun laws are, the crazed, nut jobs will find a way to get them and if they so chose, use them. No draconian law can stop this, no matter how well intentioned the law is, or if it’s just about leftists grabbing power from citizens and taking away their constitutional rights.

THE LIST OF MURDERED SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN 2012
18 YEARS OLD- 15

17 YEARS OLD- 16

16 YEARS OLD- 16

15 YEARS OLD- 6

14 YEARS OLD- 4

13 YEARS OLD- 2

12 YEARS OLD- 1

7 YEARS OLD- 1

6 YEARS OLD- 1

446 School Age Children Shot in Chicago so Far This Year
THE LIST OF SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN SHOT IN 2012

18 year old- 110

17 year old- 99

16 year old- 89

15 year old- 62

14 year old- 39

13 year old- 21

12 year old- 10

11 year old- 2

10 year old- 3

9 year old- 1

7 year old- 3

6 year old- 2

5 year old- 1

4 year old- 1

3 year old- 1

1 year old- 2

Slaughter of the innocents in Connecticut Israel Nazi Germany American abortion clinics, Evil not guns cause, Lack of moral compass, Creator of universe ignored

Slaughter of the innocents in Connecticut Israel Nazi Germany American abortion clinics, Evil not guns cause, Lack of moral compass, Creator of universe ignored

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”…Ephesians 6:12

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”…Jesus, John 8:32

The Slaughter of The Innocents Matthew 2:13 – 17

“13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod.

And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.””

Slaughter of the innocents in Nazi Germany

“Of the 69,000 French Jews sent to Auschwitz and other camps, 10,800 were under the age of 18. The children were deported by the Vichy Government from March 27,1942, to Aug. 18,1944 — more than two months after D-Day. Of 2,500 camp survivors, a handful were children.”…NY Times January 25, 1995

Slaughter of the innocents in America

3500 – 4000 children are aborted every day in America.

Slaughter of the innocents at Sandy Hook School

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324481204578181244231543014.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories

Guns are not the problem.

Evil is.

Lack of moral compass.

Disobedience of Creator of Universe.

Higher Tax Rates Will Sabotage Economic Growth, Tax Foundation study, December 18, 2012, Raising taxes has negative effects on revenue collection

Higher Tax Rates Will Sabotage Economic Growth, Tax Foundation study, December 18, 2012, Raising taxes has negative effects on revenue collection

A tax increase to a company results in some combination of the following:
Product and service price increases.
Employee and hours cutbacks.
Reduced hiring.”…Citizen Wells

“I absolutely reject that notion [mandate is a tax].”…Barack Obama

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

From The Tax Foundation December 18, 2012.

“Higher Tax Rates Will Sabotage Economic Growth”

“High tax rates lead to lower economic growth, and high rates on personal and corporate income are especially damaging, according to a new study by the Tax Foundation. A review of 26 academic studies over the last 30 years confirms that lower-tax economies are more productive and that raising taxes has negative dynamic effects on revenue collection.

“Nearly every empirical study of taxes and economic growth published in a peer reviewed journal finds that tax increases harm economic growth,” said Tax Foundation chief economist William McBride.

The consensus among experts is that taxes on corporate and personal income are particularly harmful to economic growth, with consumption and property taxes less so. This is because economic growth ultimately comes from production, innovation, and risk-taking. By these standards, the U.S. has probably the most inefficient tax mix in the developed world.

The U.S. also has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. If that rate were to come down 10 points – still higher than most of our trading partners – it would add 1 to 2 points to GDP growth, and likely not lose revenue because the tax base would expand from in-flows of foreign capital as well increased domestic job growth and investment.

Rather than moving to lower rates, however, we are facing a fiscal cliff that would give us the highest dividend rate and nearly the highest capital gains rate in the industrialized world.  It would also push the combined top marginal rate on personal income to over 50 percent in some states, such as California, Hawaii, and New York – higher than all but a few of our trading partners.

Such steeply progressive taxation reduces productivity and economic growth.  Further, the U.S. is unique in that a majority of businesses and business income is taxed under these progressive individual rates, e.g. businesses such as sole-proprietors, partnerships, and S-corporations. All of these factors are a drag on the economy, slowing the nascent recovery and preventing a return to full employment.”

http://taxfoundation.org/article/higher-tax-rates-will-sabotage-economic-growth

Connecticut shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mainstream media lies and misinformation, Where is proof that Adam Lanza guilty, Killer wore mask and silent

Connecticut shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mainstream media lies and misinformation, Where is proof that Adam Lanza guilty, Killer wore mask and silent

“I am convinced that if squirrels had opposable thumbs, that based on their superior intellect, they would be overqualified to be journalists in the mainstream media”…Citizen Wells

“If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world but I am sure we would be getting reports from hell before breakfast.”… William Tecumseh Sherman

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote:

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984”

I received the following article from a retired military officer friend of mine.

I am neither saying yea or nay to the conclusions arrived at. I have no corroboration.

However, this article is just as, or more believable than the lies and misinformation that have been spewed by the mainstream media. The article also raises many good questions.

From Help Free The Earth December 16, 2012.

“Elementary School Shooting: Who, How, Why”

Adam’s family and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is as much a work of fiction as the 1960’s Addams Family TV show.

Adam Lanza was an honors student living in a prosperous neighborhood in a small picturesque town in Connecticut with his mother.

Now, 20 year old Adam is suspected of shooting his mother in the face, then gunning down 20 children at a Newtown elementary school before taking his own life.

The fact that the killer was wearing a MASK raises BIG questions. Like the Batman movie theater shooter, the elementary school shooter was wearing a mask and couldn’t be identified during the shooting.

Witnesses say the masked gunman didn’t utter a word…so nobody heard the killer’s VOICE or saw his face. Sound familiar?

The professional killer (Black Op) may have been the same masked gunman and his accomplice that pulled off the Batman movie theater shooting in Colorado. Since that didn’t win enough support for changing the gun control laws, shooting 20 innocent kids ought to do the trick.

ADAM

Adam Lanza moved to “Conn” from Kingston, New Hampshire, with his parents and older brother Ryan. He enjoyed soccer, skateboarding and video games. He had no known criminal record or history and has been described by his family, friends and classmates as a “polite”, “bright”, “nice” guy. No one believed he was capable of committing such horror.

A former classmate told CNN affiliate WCBS that Lanza “was just a kid” — not a troublemaker, not anti-social, not suggesting in any way that he could erupt like this.

Adam Lanza belonged to a technology club at Newtown High School that held “LAN parties” – short for local area network – in which students would gather at a member’s home, hook up their computers into a small network and play games.

Gloria Milas, whose son Joshua was in the club with Adam, said that Adam’s mother, Nancy, hosted one of the parties. Joshua Milas, who graduated from Newtown High School in 2009, said Adam Lanza was generally a happy person but that he hadn’t seen him in a few years.

“We would hang out, and he was a good kid. He was smart,” Joshua Milas said. “He was probably one of the smartest kids I know. He was probably a genius.”

THE REAL “MASKED” CHILD KILLER

On December 14th, in the darkness before dawn, a professional hitman wearing 2 sets of black battle fatigues and 2 bullet proof vests was dropped off by his “Black Op” accomplice and gained entry to the home that Adam Lanza shared with his mother Nancy.

The hitman shot Nancy Lanza in the face and took Adam hostage at gunpoint. The gunman removed the extra set of army fatigues and the extra bullet proof vest that he was wearing and ordered Adam to put them on. The gunman then confiscated the weapons registered in Nancy’s name.

At approximately 9 AM, the gunman packed Nancy Lanza’s Glock, Sig Sauer 9mm handgun and her Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle into her car and forced Adam to drive the car to Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman’s accomplice followed them to the school in another car.

The gunman told Adam to park his mother’s car near a school window where he knew a new security system had just been installed (1). The gunman then handed Adam a black mask and ordered him to put it on. The gunman pulled another black mask over his own head, then took Adam at gunpoint over to the window and by-passed the new security system to gain entry to the school (2).

The gunman who knew the school layout, escorted Adam into an empty room where he shot him in the head.

Without a word, the masked gunman moved swiftly down the hall and slipped into a classroom filled with children. He shot and killed 20 children in rapid fire using Nancy Lanza’s two handguns. He also shot the principal, the school psychologist and 4 other adults. It was over in minutes.

In the midst of the screams and chaos, the shooter returned to the room where Adam Lanza lay dead, placed the two discharged handguns next to him, then made a dash for the waiting car driven by his accomplice. The pair sped away.

After receiving a 911 call, the dispatched police and SWAT team arrived ten minutes later. By that time, the gunman and his accomplice were long gone. The police found Adam Lanza with a bullet in his head laying next to the two firearms used in the shooting – Nancy’s Glock and Sig Sauer.

The police reported that the gunman  entered the school wearing all black, a mask and a bullet-proof vest while carrying Glock and Sig Sauer 9mm handgun. A third weapon, a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle, was found in Nancy Lanza’s car.

THE MOTHER – NANCY LANZA

There is widely reported misinformation about Nancy Lanza’s connection to the elementary school. The false reports are now stuck in the public’s mind. The false reports claim that she was a teacher at the Sandy Hook Elementary School – specifically that it was her class that Adam Lanza massacred. These are factual errors according to the Journal

“A former school board official in Newtown called into question earlier reports that Nancy Lanza had been connected to Sandy Hook Elementary School, possibly as part of the teaching staff. “No one has heard of her,” said Lillian Bittman, who served on the local school board until 2011. “Teachers don’t know her.”

Neighbor Gina McDade also confirmed that Nancy Lanza was a “stay-at-home mom” and not a teacher or part-time employee of Sandy Hook Elementary, as some media reports stated.

Nancy Lanza had earlier worked in finance in Boston and Connecticut, said a friend who knew her well but who didn’t want her name published. Nancy Lanza had retired or was on a break from her career, but she was not a teacher, the friend said.

This raises the obvious question: Since Adam’s wealthy mother Nancy had no connection to the school and was far too well-off to be working there, what possible motive could the 20 year old have had for slaughtering 20 elementary school kids????

Adam and his mother, Nancy, lived in a secluded well-to-do part of Newtown, a prosperous community of 27,000 people about 60 miles northeast of New York City. Nancy Lanza divorced her husband Peter in 2009 when Adam was 17. Aunt Marsha Lanza said the divorce left Nancy well off and that Nancy purchased guns because she was living alone in a big house.

Aunt Marsha described Nancy Lanza as a good mother and kind-hearted. She said that her nephew, Adam, was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he had needed it. Former classmates said that Adam had attended the local high school in Newtown at least through part of the 10th grade. According to Aunt Marsha, Nancy had home-schooled Adam after pulling him out of the Newtown public school system.

THE FATHER – PETER LANZA

Peter Lanza, who drove to northern New Jersey to talk to police and the FBI, is a highly paid vice president and tax accounting director at (General Electric) GE Capital. He had been a partner at global accounting giant Ernst & Young.

Peter married Nancy Lanza in New Hampshire in 1981, and had two sons, Adam and his older brother Ryan, who is now 24.

The Lanzas divorced in 2009 after 28 years of marriage due to “irreconcilable differences.” Peter Lanza now lives in Stamford, Connecticut with his second wife.

THE BROTHER – RYAN LANZA

Adam’s older brother Ryan Lanza, 24, has worked at Ernst & Young for four years, apparently following in his father’s footsteps and carving out a solid niche in the tax practice. He too was interviewed by the FBI. Neither he nor his father is under any suspicion.

“Ryan is a tax guy and he is clean as a whistle,” a source familiar with his work said.

Police had initially identified Ryan as the killer. Ryan sent out a series of Facebook posts saying it wasn’t him and that he was at work all day. Video records as well as card swipes at Ernst & Young verified his statement that he had been at the office.

Two federal sources told ABC News that identification belonging to Ryan Lanza was found at the scene of the mass shooting. They say that identification may have led to the confusion by authorities during the first hours after the shooting.

THE MOTIVE

No crime is ever committed without a motive. What was Adam’s motive?

What do we know about the elementary school child killer? He was masked. That means he couldn’t be identified during the shooting. The killer was a sharp-shooter who didn’t miss. Was Adam Lanza a sharp-shooter? Was Adam the kind of consciencless monster who could walk into an elementary school and kill 20 innocent kids in cold blood? Was there any evidence that Adam was that kind of monster?

What kind of a monster would do such a thing and why? Only a highly paid, professionally trained killer would commit such a heinous act. Who would pay a professional killer to kill 20 innocent children and why? The motive for this slaughter is the same motive for all of the other fictitious “lone gunmen” stories.

The motive is to win the public’s permission to strike down the second Ammendment of the American constitution and leave the public defenseless. “

Read more:

http://www.helpfreetheearth.com/news677_lanza.html

NC Healthcare service costs soar, Hospitals buy out doctors, Medicare rules let hospitals charge more than independent doctors, Indigent care cost shifting

NC Healthcare service costs soar, Hospitals buy out doctors, Medicare rules let hospitals charge more than independent doctors, Indigent care cost shifting

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”…Barack Obama

“If you’ve got health insurance we’re going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2,500 per family per year.”…Barack Obama

“Can we stop calling ObamaCare the Affordable Care Act now?”…Ron Meyer

From the Raleigh News Observer December 16, 2012.

“Doctors join hospitals, and prices soar”

“North Carolina patients pay more for many tests and procedures if their physician is employed by a hospital, an investigation by The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer has found.

It’s true whether the health care offered is a heart stress test or a routine visit to a doctor’s office. And it’s part of a national shift that experts say is raising costs but not quality: Hospitals are increasingly buying doctors’ practices, then sending bills for routine services that are significantly higher than those charged by independent doctors.

By one count, the percentage of doctors nationally who are employed by hospitals has doubled over the past decade. No similar statistics are available in North Carolina, but it’s clear that more and more doctors are affiliating with hospitals.

For example, in the Triangle, about 90 percent of cardiologists work for hospitals, which can charge more for procedures than private practices.

As a result, the cost of many routine medical tests and services has soared, according to Medicare data and insurance claims reviewed by the newspapers.

The same service performed in the same location by the same doctor can cost more than double what it did just a few years ago.

“Prices are increasing, often for no other reason than the sign on the door changed,” said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group representing the insurance industry.

Here’s why: Medicare and private insurers pay more for outpatient care – which includes an allowed facility fee for hospital infrastructure – than for the same procedure in a doctor’s office, which cannot charge a facility fee. A hospital can increase revenue by acquiring a practice and changing the billing to outpatient. Or the hospital can simply convert its doctors’ offices to hospital facilities.

In the Triangle, Duke University Health System has been most aggressive in converting its doctor practices to outpatient entities.

“Outpatient visits (in 2010) increased 12.1 percent over 2009, which was due entirely to converted clinics,” according to a 2011 Duke bond document.

One example: For a common echocardiogram procedure, Duke Hospital submitted 4,879 claims to Medicare in 2010, up 68 percent from the year before. Medicare allows $471 for outpatient echocardiograms, more than twice the $200 allowed for those performed in physician offices.

Hospital officials contend they deserve to be paid more because they have expenses and obligations not shared by independent physicians. They must comply with more regulations, keep many departments staffed at all times and treat all patients, regardless of ability to pay.

Experts agree that hospitals should be reimbursed for the extra services they provide.

But there’s a limit, said Robert Berenson, an analyst at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center. For many routine services, Medicare pays hospitals about 80 percent more than it pays independent doctors, he said. But he said the additional expenses for a hospital don’t justify that kind of payment difference.

The newspapers’ latest findings underscore the lessons of the newspapers’ previous investigations, which found that the growing market power of nonprofit hospital systems is one of the factors in the rising cost of health care.

Now some public officials are questioning whether hospital systems have grown too big for the public good. Among them is state Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is examining whether to use antitrust laws or push for new legislation to reduce health care costs.

In the meantime, experts say, it’s likely that hospitals will continue to buy doctors’ practices at a rapid clip.

“It’s only going to grow, and it’s going to grow substantially,” said Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change. “It raises the amount people pay. And I don’t think there’s a redeeming benefit to it.”

Jenny Palmer of Durham had been seeing a Duke neurologist for years for her epilepsy. She was furious when her $50 copay turned into a $425 payment applied to her deductible. The visit was less than 10 minutes, Palmer said, as she told the doctor her health was good and she received a prescription for a year’s worth of medicine.

Her bill made no mention of a facility fee, but Duke confirmed it in a letter after she complained.

“This clinic is now owned by Duke University Hospital (DUH) and in addition to the professional fee, there is also a facility fee charged in conjunction with each visit. Both charges are billed as an outpatient service as opposed to an office visit.”

“It makes no financial sense for me to see Duke doctors now,” Palmer wrote to her neighborhood Listserv. “BUT there aren’t many non-Duke doctors in Durham. ARGH!”

Palmer, 41, an administrator of a nonprofit, eventually found a neurologist in Raleigh.

Duke would not comment on Palmer’s case. It has acknowledged the fees in the past but said they were legitimate because of the increased costs of running the doctors’ practices.

‘I was just shocked’

Gay Miller thought she knew what to expect when she received a heart test earlier this year – until she got the bill.

After a heart valve replacement eight years ago, she has been getting periodic echocardiograms at her cardiologist’s office in Shelby to ensure the valves still work properly. Under her insurance plan, the tests used to cost her a $60 copay.

Not this year. During Miller’s annual checkup at the Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute in February, her doctor told her she would need to go to nearby Cleveland Regional Medical Center for her echocardiogram.

At the hospital, Miller received the usual 30-minute test. And the usual technician conducted it.

But there was nothing typical about the bill: Miller wound up owing $952.

“I was just shocked,” said Miller, 64, who lives in Lincoln County west of Charlotte. “I feel like I got taken advantage of.”

Across North Carolina and the U.S., hospitals are increasingly billing for heart tests like these. Experts say the higher bills for those tests are a telling illustration of a structural shift that is leaving patients with higher bills for identical procedures.

In 2005, doctors with Sanger – Charlotte’s oldest and largest group of cardiologists and heart surgeons – became employees of Carolinas HealthCare System, the hospital system that runs Cleveland Regional.

At the time of the merger, officials said Sanger patients wouldn’t notice any difference. Now, however, some Sanger patients who need echocardiograms are diverted to higher-charging hospitals.

Officials for Carolinas HealthCare did not address questions about the case. But in general, the system said, Sanger has been nationally recognized “for cost effectiveness and delivering the most appropriate care to each patient.”

Flocking to hospitals

Until recently, the large majority of physicians worked in doctor-owned practices. But that’s swiftly changing.

Last year, 47 percent of physicians in the U.S. were employed by hospitals – roughly twice the percentage in 2002, according to surveys by the Medical Group Management Association.

That trend is expected to continue, with one health care recruiting company predicting that hospitals could employ as many as 75 percent of all doctors within two years.

About 35 percent of North Carolina cardiologists work for hospitals – almost three times the percentage who did so five years ago, according to a recent survey by the American College of Cardiology.

The irony, some doctors say, is that federal efforts to reduce health care costs have helped drive the trend.

In 2010, Medicare reduced payments to physicians for various cardiology tests while raising payments to hospitals. That prompted many independent doctors to sell to hospitals, which could collect significantly more for the same tests.

Many doctors, however, have been unhappy about the trend. In a recent Physicians Foundation survey, 75 percent of North Carolina doctors said they disagreed “somewhat” or “mostly” with the premise that hospital employment of physicians is a “positive trend likely to enhance quality of care and decrease cost.”

While money helps explain why many doctors have opted to join hospitals, other factors also play a role. By joining hospital systems, many overworked physicians have been able to shorten their workweeks and share on-call duty. Hospitals also take over the complicated back office functions such as billing, negotiating with insurance companies and managing the expensive transition to electronic medical records.

Hospital systems have plenty to gain as well. Purchasing doctors’ offices helps hospitals enlarge their referral networks and boost profitability. It will also help them become Accountable Care Organizations, networks of doctors and hospitals that the architects of President Barack Obama’s health care plan believe will improve quality and efficiency.

Many experts predict that hospital acquisitions of doctors offices will boost prices still higher.

“This is really a historic change in the practice of medicine in the U.S.,” said Dr. William Zoghbi, president of the American College of Cardiology. “It’s more costly to the whole health care system, including patients.”

Dr. Daniel Wise has been on both sides. He was an independent cardiologist, then an employee of Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, and now he’s independent again. He left the hospital because he didn’t agree with its priorities.

But the reduced Medicare reimbursements make him wish he had stayed.

Wise said cardiologists’ incomes have declined by 30 percent to 40 percent in the past three years. “It doesn’t make economic sense anymore to try and do it in the office,” he said.

Two labs, two prices

In late 2011, Bruce Stanley was invited to an open house at WakeMed’s new Brier Creek facility. He nibbled cookies and toured the facility. He liked the convenient location and pleasant staff.

In January, he had two routine blood tests done there. He did them in advance of a physical and wanted to be able to discuss the tests with his doctor.

The results pleased Stanley. The bill did not.

Stanley owed WakeMed $240.82 for two routine blood panels. Three months earlier, he had paid $13.73 for the same tests done at the LabCorp office near Rex Hospital. Stanley didn’t know he would be charged full hospital prices.

“I thought it was a satellite clinic,” said Stanley, 58, a Raleigh businessman.

Debbie Laughery, a WakeMed spokeswoman, said the hospital can’t compete with LabCorp, partly because hospitals have more expensive facilities. Laughery also pointed to the practice of “cost-shifting,” where hospitals pay for charity care for the poor by collecting more from insured patients.

“We have to pay for all of our indigent care somehow,” Laughery said.

Is cost bump justifiable?

For many tests and services, the difference between what hospitals and independent physicians can collect is vast.

Hospitals, for instance, can get about 80 percent more from Medicare than independent physicians for a 15-minute office visit – and more than twice as much for many cardiac tests.

The payments to hospitals are also higher from private insurers. For a common outpatient echocardiogram in 2012, Duke was paid an average of about $1,800 by a private health plan. WakeMed was paid about $1,500; UNC, about $900, according to thousands of private insurance claims reviewed by the newspapers.

The same data showed the average payment to an independent cardiologist for the same test was $480.

Experts say private insurers have little choice but to pay hospitals more. When negotiating contracts with health care providers, insurers can survive without a single doctor’s office in their networks. But they must be able to offer customers access to major hospitals. That gives hospitals power to negotiate higher payment rates.

The employers and workers who share costs for health insurance wind up footing much of the bill. Patients, meanwhile, are left with higher out-of-pocket costs.

Hospital officials say there are valid reasons they can collect more. They say they’re obligated to serve all patients, regardless of ability to pay, while independent doctors can be more selective about which patients they treat.

“Provider-based services are also under state and federal regulatory oversight, while free-standing physicians and clinics are not,” the N.C. Hospital Association said in a written statement.

The association stresses that its members are merely following Medicare rules. Doctors’ offices owned by hospitals are generally allowed to bill Medicare at the higher outpatient rates if they are within 35 miles of the hospital campus and integrate their operations with the hospital.

But some experts and insurers question whether that’s reason enough for patients and taxpayers to pay dramatically higher prices.

Margie Maxwell, president of Aetna’s Southeast market, said: “There is no logic and there is no reason to allow a higher payment because it has now become a hospital billing. … It should not be happening.”

‘Harming consumers’

In a review of Medicare and private health plan data, the newspapers found that North Carolina hospitals are increasingly billing for routine office visits and for echocardiograms.

The number of office visits that North Carolina hospitals billed to Medicare climbed by more than 40 percent from 2007 to 2010, according to data compiled by the American Hospital Directory. And at Duke University Hospital, the number more than tripled.

During the same period, the number of echocardiography claims that North Carolina hospitals billed to Medicare increased more than 20 percent. At Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, the number more than quadrupled.

Berenson, of the Urban Institute, sees nothing redeeming in the trend.

“That’s taking advantage of the payers and really harming consumers,” said Berenson, who previously served as a commissioner of MedPAC, which advises Congress on Medicare policy. “It is not promoting more efficient care.”

Read more: