Yesterday I commented to an article in the Richmond-Times Dispatch on the denial of free speech in the Sussex homeowners association that is denying a Medal of Honor and WW II veteran, Col. Barfoot, the right to fly the American flag. I wrote, in part,
I'm wondering how President Obama feels about this very important issue. I understand he likes to deal in substantive issues. After all, he IS the President of these United States, isn't he?
Who reigns supreme over this country? Private agreement HOAs that only require posting to the clerk's office in order to bind citizens to a surrender of their rights? Or the Constitution? Since when can private parties contract to circumvent the Constitution? If allowed to stand, why do we need a Constitution?
Why are there special laws for these private governments that can operate outside the constitutional protections that apply to all other forms of political government? Where the immunities and privileges of citizens are denied, and where citizens must fight to restore lost rights.
Which law is supreme in the US and Virginia? Constitutional law or the real estate laws of equitable servitude that apply to HOA covenants?
At yesterday's WH briefing, Robert Gibbs was asked if President Obama supported Col. Barfoot, the WW II veteran. The Dispatch reported,
"I think its silly to think that somebody that's done that couldn't have a flagpole," said Gibbs, the White House press secretary, referring to Barfoot's service in three wars.
Gibbs said he has not spoken directly to the president on the issue, but said that "the president believes, I think all of us believe, that the least we can do is show our gratitude to someone who served our country so admirably."
The very serious concerns that I raised remain to be answered. Neither the public interest firms, the media pundits, the national pro-HOA lobbying organization, Community Associations Institute (CAI), the state legislatures, Congress nor the White House have addressed these concerns.
I've been told that many representatives still don't know what HOA stands for? That's unbelievable! With more than 18% of Americans living under private government, authoritarian regimes today, our government is in the dark. Unbelievable! I hope they know what a planned community or a condominium is, and that they are governed by a homeowners association (HOA). Perhaps they should be reading the other side of the story not being promoted in the media, as I have published in my Commentaries at HOA Constitutional Government.
I hope the President does respond to the broader constitutional issues raised by this one incident. Questions like, "For what America are our troops fighting for in Afghanistan?" For the ever increasing HOA private governments that deny constitutional protections? Or for the America that is rapidly disappearing, the America of our Founding Fathers where the individual, not the state backed by corporate interests, comes first?