Park Rangers vs Parker’s Rangers–Is the Constitution Void on Federal Land?

©Doreen Hannes

The First Amendment to the US Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

July 4th is the day that we are supposed to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence from tyranny at the hands of the King of England. That document, along with the Federalist Papers and the US Constitution are the foundational documents of this Nation. The US Constitution is rapidly becoming void where prohibited by law, and often treated as void when it isn’t actively prohibited. It simply isn’t being upheld by many of those who take oaths to do exactly that.

As a matter of fact, it was thoroughly trashed by the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act just prior to being soundly violated by both Sheriff’s Deputies and Park Rangers at the Army Corps of Engineer  (ACE) run Lake Wapapello in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District. It is very likely that this same type of challenger candidate suppression is taking place all across the country, and it is past time that the American people understand the depth of the hijacking of our political processes.

A little background

Southern Missouri has had the same Congressional Representative, Jo Ann Emerson,  for almost 16 years. Emerson was born in Washington DC, grew up to be a lobbyist and then married the late Missouri 8th District Congressman Bill Emerson. When he passed away she ran for his seat, and she has held onto Emerson’s name and Congressional seat ever since. This is a very conservative district, and the fact that Emerson has remarried Ron Gladney, a Democrat and prior Union lobbyist, had not been common knowledge.

Then, two years ago, she was challenged by Bob Parker of Raymondville, Missouri, and for the very first time, an upstart challenger with a shoestring budget, received 35% of the vote in the 2010 Republican primary, largely due to exposing Emerson’s actual voting record during her tenure. After the Primary, Parker continued about his business as a rancher, realtor, and property rights advocate, and began another serious run for the seat in early 2012.

In the 2010 election, Parker set the foundation for his growing posse of grass roots supporters, dubbed “Parker’s Rangers”. The 2012 election had tons of new supporters come on board and take it upon themselves to hit the streets and public events in this hot summer spreading the word that there is a real choice for conservatives in the Republican Primary on August 7th.  Their mission is to visit as many events as possible, sometimes several in one day, displaying large “Parker for Congress” signs in their pick up trucks, handing out information if allowed, and visiting with their fellow citizens about the upcoming primary. Simply put, they are intent upon creating visibility in the only way open to those who are not the favored choice of the now traditional political machine.

Mission Not Allowable

Several of the Parker Rangers found their mission took them to Lake Wapapello for the Annual 4th of July Fireworks display, and this is where they ran into Park Rangers, who denied them the ability to exercise their right to peaceably assemble and show their support for Parker at this large public event.

The Parker Rangers trucks lined up before being forced to leave Lake Wapapello under protest.

On June 30th, which we all know is not Independence Day, but simply the day the Army Corps of Engineers chose to celebrate our Nation’s independence, Eldon Wright and six other Parker Rangers pulled into the public parking lot at the Eagle Point Recreational Area at Lake Wapapello. Eldon says that not long after they’d parked their trucks, and snapped a few pictures, Park Ranger Becky Hays pulled up and told them they had to leave because there “is no politicking allowed” on Federal land.

Mr. Wright informed Hays that this was a violation of their Rights and went to the Bill Emerson Memorial Visitors Center to see if he could speak with someone higher in the Chain of Command. That was fruitless and he retuned to the parking lot for continued conversation with Becky Hays, who was now joined by two Sheriff’s Deputies and two other ACE Park Rangers.

The Park Rangers and Deputies initially insisted that the Parker Rangers leave the event. The authorities then requested that the Parker supporters show their identification. One supporter had the temerity to ask, “Am I being detained?” An official denied that they were being detained, and that particular supporter said, “Since I’m not being detained, I’m leaving.” The official then replied, “Well, you are detained now.”

Mr. Wright stated that he requested the identification and badge numbers of the officials, but they ignored his request. He later found the name of one of the Deputies from Butler County, which has a contract to assist the park when they ask for help, and was able to learn the names of three of the officials actively engaged in preventing the Parker supporters from displaying their signs in the public parking lot. They are Butler County Deputies Frank Castille and Tim Darnell and Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Becky Hays.

The officials ran checks on the supporter’s identification. Not surprisingly, the checks came up clean. The ACE Park Rangers also took photographs of all the vehicle’s plates of the Parker supporters and sent the one supporter who was not a driver away from the rest.

Some of the Parker Rangers at Lake Wapapello

Regrettably, the Parker supporters failed to take pictures of their exchange with the authorities. The supporter with the camera was understandably just shocked by being threatened with arrest over something so essential as our basic right to free speech.

When the Parker supporters were told they would have to leave, Eldon pointedly asked Ms. Hays on who was responsible for issuing the order to refuse access to those with campaign signs on their vehicles. Mr. Wright said, “She then went over to her car and made a call on her phone, then came back and said that it was against the law to display candidate signs on federal property. She never did give any of us the statute or regulation number that she claimed we were violating.” They also were never told who gave the order to enforce this regulation against freedom of speech at an Independence Day Celebration.

To the Parker Rangers, it seemed very inconsistent. Just a few weeks prior to the Independence Day Celebration at Lake Wapapello, there had been a Wayne County Republican Committee Candidate Forum at the lake, and a myriad of signs were displayed and large amounts of literature changed hands at that event.

During conversation with the ACE Park Rangers and the Deputies, the threat of a fine was communicated as well. One of the officials pointed to another pick up in the parking lot with a sign promoting Democratic Candidate for Judge, Steven Mitchell in the truck bed and said, “We couldn’t find the driver of that truck, but he has a ticket waiting for him.” You can click on this link for the pdf of the ticket, and then this link for the sheet that has the regulation circled that is cited as their authority to prevent campaign signs. Legal action is likely in process on this issue.

Interestingly, after threatening the Parker Rangers with arrest, demanding their identification papers, photographing their vehicles and generally intimidating them, the Park officials then said that they could all stay at the event; but there was a catch. Mr. Wright explained, “They said we could stay, IF we parked our trucks inside this grove of trees where no one could see them.” None of the Parker supporters were thrilled with this offer. Eldon said, “ Finally, we just told them no. I told them we will leave, but we will leave under protest; you are violating our Constitutional rights, and we will leave under protest.”

Since Bob Parker has been actively engaged in protecting private property rights for more than a decade there is some basis for a suspicion that was voiced that the Parker Rangers were being specifically targeted by ACE. Parker isn’t often kind to the Army Corps of Engineers when they interfere with private property use. You can read a very descriptive article on the intentional breach of the Bird’s Point Levee here and see why this may be a legitimate concern for Parker supporters. This is an issue that may come more to the fore as events unfold regarding the actions of the ACE Rangers at Lake Wapapello on June 30th.

Full Speed Ahead

These same Parker Rangers joined other Parker supporters and continued to attend numerous Independence Day Parades and celebrations all across the largest Congressional District in Missouri on the 4th of July. Despite being shut down at one of the largest celebrations, they are determined to keep spreading their message of  true independence throughout the District. Like lovers of liberty across the nation, they are tired of non-representative representatives. Politics as usual is simply not an option any longer.

There is a very high probability that legal action will be lodged against both the Deputies, who reportedly said, “We’re just doing what they tell us to do” and the ACE Park Rangers involved in this event.

Eldon Wright told one of the Deputies, “The fact of the matter is you’ve committed a Federal level criminal act, and I am not going to quit on this.”

Elected Representatives all over the nation, at every level of government, are receiving the same message, “We are the People, and We are not going to quit.”





16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gladneymustgo
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 10:21:01

    This should be a matter of grave concern for all citizens.


  2. InalienableWrights
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 10:39:16

    The churches of Missouri are apostate. You will never hear them talking about this important moral issue or how Christs teachings apply to it.

    If Christians and their preachers would get a clue, and a backbone this situation would resolve itself overnight.


  3. CharliesAngel
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 18:20:50

    Seems pretty cut and dry to me. The Parker Rangers were in violation of a law and asked to leave. The officers gave them an out to hide their trucks (still breaking the law) and remain at the event but Eldon Wrigt made a big fuss about it and went on home. This law makes sense at it is taxpayer paid for property. I would not want my tax dollars being used to facilitate a campaign event for Barrak Obama or anyone else for that matter…


    • truthfarmer
      Jul 08, 2012 @ 01:08:59

      The problem with your take is that there is no capacity to violate the right to free speech and freedom of assembly via regulation. Rights do not devolve from regulation, but from the Almighty and are secured by JUST government…not regulated out of existence. Your tax dollars are not used for campaign signs.


    • InalienableWrights
      Jul 08, 2012 @ 06:05:34

      I guess the violation “of a law” justifies anything CharliesAngel. When the Chinese government comes around and murders a woman’s second child because she can’t afford the $6,000 fine, I guess that is all right in your book “because it’s the law”. I suggest you bone up sir on the difference between legal and lawful and Inalienable rights for that matter.

      Your remark about it being tax payer property… well guess what? The Parker Rangers are tax payers so they were in effect on their own property exercising their God given rights.

      Lastly your tax dollars, unfortunately, do pay for events for all of the major political candidates. They get subsidized to the tune of millions of the tax payers money. Although candidates like Ron Paul that have a moral compass have refused to file for this money that he is legally (but in his opinion not morally) entitled to.

      Looks to me like the guberment schools and the media have done their job exceptionally well in dumbing down the population…. but that’s just my opinion. Am I allowed to have it on the tax payer created Internet?


    • Eldon Wright
      Jul 08, 2012 @ 08:07:13


      Give me the “law” you are talking about that trumps the State and US Constitution or shut your mouth!


      • InalienableWrights
        Jul 08, 2012 @ 10:54:56

        This is perplexing since the feds are not authorized in the Constitution to own land at large. Looks like the feds are the criminals in this case and the guys in clown suits were acting illegally under color of law.

        So much for sheriff Macs effort to get sheriffs to uphold their oath to the Constitution. (Furthermore I think that they have a conflict of interest in taking federal drug interdiction money for THAT unconstitutional program.)

        BTW They should look into suing all the parties involved for deprivation of civil rights under color of law or authority under Title 18 USC 242. The problem with that though is that as far as I know the criminal gun running, justice department has to start the proceedings and never enforces it.. Could they have violated any state laws that a grand jury could indict on?

        Perhaps it is time for Missouri to nullify the Feds owning land in this state, as it is clearly unconstitutional. Throw in a jury nullification notice requirement like New Hampshire has, and Missouri could some day stop looking like a banana republic run out of of Washington DC.

  4. Gary E Berry
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 08:45:47

    Regardless of my political views, I am upset and disgusted that more and more of our rights are being taken from us. If the constitution no longer applies to us as citizens then it is time that we reclaim that which our forefathers fought for. It does not matter if it is police, part rangers or anyone else. They have the obligation to protect our right to peaceful and free speech not take it away from us as in the case of this article shows.


  5. InalienableWrights
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 11:41:48

    Americans do not understand rights it seems….Rights cannot be taken from you Gary, they can only be trampled, but they never are taken. Also the Constitution was never meant to apply to citizens. It is merely an enumeration of powers delegated to the Federal government. Sorry to pick on you Gary, but when the citizens do not understand our form of government at even a fundamental level is it any wonder we are in the mess that we are in?

    Yes you are right something needs to be done. For starters people need to learn what kind of government we are supposed to have before they try to fix it. I suggest that everyone take a look at this Constitution class taught by presidential candidate Michael Badnarik:

    FYI YOU are the only one that is going to protect your rights. History shows that governments rather than protect rights are the most likely usurpers of rights. Governments in the 20th century have murdered more of their own citizens than have been killed by disease, criminals, and wars combined.
    There is also a documentary called “Innocents Betrayed” that you may want to see before it goes completely down the Orwellian memory hole.

    “Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” ~ Frederic Douglass


  6. Trackback: Parker’s Rangers vs. park rangers - Military News | Military News
  7. Trackback: Parker’s Rangers vs. park rangers |
  8. aldermanlacy
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 20:57:49

    None of the operational procedures cited by the Corps explain why they were checking identification, and taking pictures of peoples license plates.

    This is a common tactic by the feds and bootlicking non for profits like the SPLC as someone who has been involved in Southern Heritage political activities, I can tell you I have experienced this first hand.

    It is a tactic that they use to try and intimidate citizens.

    It’s sad that Parker should know this, but judging by many pro-Lincoln quotes he has posted on his Facebook page, it is clear that he doesn’t.

    How is he supposed to fight tyranny when he can’t even recognize a tyrant?

    I wish him much luck in his campaign but if he fails to overthrow Jo Ann Emerson I ask that all Parker supporters rally behind Libertarian candidate Rick Vandeven.

    I recently (re)joined the LP party after a hiatus of many years but I did some long hard thinking and came to the conclusion that I agree with over 90% of their platform.

    The other 10% I don’t have to agree with and if I’m ever a candidate again, will make that clear.

    That being said they are for individual liberty, and would not condone such actions as the Corps of Engineers committed against the Parker Supporters on the 4th.

    There is a lesson to be learned here. It was Independence Day that this harassment occurred, a day in which America celebrates freedom.

    I guess the Corps celebrates it by shining its jackboots with the Constitution.

    Clint Lacy- Editor, Marble Hill Constitution-News


    • truthfarmer
      Jul 15, 2012 @ 21:30:56

      Clint, if Bob doesn’t win the Primary on the 7th, I will join you in throwing support behind Vandeven. I will not join any party as I really detest the party mindset, and ideally think it should be candidates and not parties. Having said that, I do like the Constitution Party and the Libertarian parties the best….BUT we continue to live in a duopoly as Vandeven points out quite often.

      What I would like to ask of all in the 8th District is that regardless of party affiliation, since Libertarians are unopposed, a great deal of Democratic candidates are unopposed, and the Constitution party candidates are unopposed, is that if Parker more closely lines up with your ideals than does Emerson, PLEASE pull a Republican ballot and say no to Jo.


  9. InalienableWrights
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 21:53:12

    “…It’s sad that Parker should know this, but judging by many pro-Lincoln quotes he has posted on his Facebook page, it is clear that he doesn’t….”

    Most “patriots” don’t have a clue. We really need some way to educate the newly awakened.

    “…I recently (re)joined the LP party after a hiatus of many years but I did some long hard thinking and came to the conclusion that I agree with over 90% of their platform…”

    Beware my friend. Parties are always co-opted. I would stay very far away from all of them. Look at the candidate and the heck with parties. And make sure you have a track record as there is no easy way to recall a liar and there are plenty of those out there.


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