"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Man spends his unemployment check to fight bailout by suing the Federal Government

Published: Sunday, November 09, 2008

Larry Bumgarner didn't think his vehicle would make it to Camden.

Due to front-end damage, his 1995 Isuzu Rodeo grumbles like a blender grinding rocks.

Overloaded washing machines don't pulse this much. Any minute of the two-hour round trip could have been the vehicle's last, but the money needed to fix the vehicle was wadded in Bumgarner's jeans pocket. The 56-year-old Egg Harbor Township resident had something better to spend his unemployment check on - suing the United States of America.

"I had to do something," he said. "I just couldn't take it no more."

Bumgarner, laid off from his casino server job in September, is fed up with the economy, so on Oct. 24 he drove to Camden and filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, seeking relief from September's $700 billion government bank bailout.

"This one's for the lower middle class," he says.

It cost him $350 to file his 21-page claim. He says the government, by passing H.R. Bill 1424, is forcing citizens into debt servitude by having them foot the bill for the bailout - something that he says violates citizens' constitutional rights. His claim will appear before court Nov. 17, but it could be months before a decision is reached.

He's defending himself as a pro se, which means he's doing this without the help of lawyers.
More than 1,400 pro se cases were filed in New Jersey in 2007. Tom Haggerty, a supervisor for the Camden Courthouse where Bumgarner filed his paperwork, said the court received 39 nonprisoner pro se cases last year.

"This is the first I've heard of anybody suing against the bailout," Haggerty said.
Bumgarner's not afraid of taking chances. A few years ago he defended himself as a pro se against a former co-worker and Cooper Levenson, an Atlantic City-based law firm. The judge ruled in Bumgarner's favor, and that case is now in the appeals process.

His current mission began during the summer, when he used his economic stimulus check to set up his Web site, http://www.reenactmentof1776.com./ He describes his goal as a "spiritual, economic, ecological and social revolution." He wants to take power away from our country's ruling class and return control to average citizens, so he sent e-mails all over the country building support for his views.

It may seem radical, but for Bumgarner, a former Wall Street bond trader, this is his civic responsibility.

"There's an entire class of people out there that are seeing the same thing I am, but they're too scared to say anything about it," he said. "I'm saying it as loud as I can, and I want everyone in Washington to hear me."

Bumgarner faces a bumpy, noisy, uncertain trip ahead - but that's something he's already used to.

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