Casey Hamlin

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Casey Hamlin
1st President of the Oasis Islands
In office
November 22, 2012 - April 19, 2014
Predecessor Office created
Successor Office dissolved
Senator from Oasis
In office
December 2, 2012 - April 19, 2014
Predecessor Office created
Successor Office disestablished
Secretary-General of the IMTO
In office
January 23, 2012 - April 11, 2012
Predecessor John Gordon
Successor Office disestablished
Personal details
Birth name Casey Hamlin
Citizenship United States of America
Nationality American
Political party Unaffiliated

Casey Hamlin is a Oasis Islands politician and businessman who served as the President of the Oasis Islands.

On March 28, 2011, Hamlin founded and became President of the Hamlinian Republic, winning re-election in his own right in October of that year. As President, Hamlin oversaw an expansion of the nation on the intermicronational stage, including a high-profile bid for the 2013 Micronational Games. He would go on to be elected Secretary-General of the IMTO in 2012. Hamlin declined to seek re-election in the 2012 presidential election, instead joining the ticket of Daniel Stefanko. The ticket would go on to defeat Titus Smith, with Hamlin becoming Vice President of the Hamlinian Republic. After a period of constitutional inactivity, Hamlin threatened a coup d'état if Stefanko didn't step down, seizing key government assets as a show of force. Stefanko would resign in September of 2012, with Hamlin ascending back to the Presidency. After a brief stint as an autocratic state, the Hamlinian Republic collapsed on October 24, 2012.

Hamlin's public image, which was already damaged by the war and his conduct in office, would further deteriorate after the integral part he played in the IMTO Dissolution Scandal, in which he had planned to use a coordinated leak of information, via President of Kozuc Riley Small, to court public pressure upon then-Member's Inspector Yaroslav Mar to vote in support of the embattled organization's dissolution. As a result of the scandal and the collapse of the Republic, Hamlin took a leave from the community.

On November 22, 2012, it was announced that the Republic of the Oasis Islands was created, with Hamlin serving as President for a year to guide the nation forward. Hamlin's presidency continued through a landslide re-election victory and wavering support from the population. During his time as President, Hamlin guided the nation and community through a conflict with the Holy Empire of New Israel, classified by said nation as a war, over Emperor Markus II's attacks on his homosexuality and support for LGBT rights. He led the nation through great periods of economic and physical expansion, creating a sustainable capitalist economy and acquiring many islands in an archipelago to create a dedicated nature preserve. As leader of the military, he oversaw a navy that was large by micronational standards, comprising of eight vessels and over a dozen personnel. Hamlin's public image also improved substantially during his Presidency, being seen as a respected micronationalist and a principled leader, as well as a champion of LGBT rights and commonsense conservatism.

Amid a sudden cascade of macronational responsibilities and selections to various leadership positions, Hamlin resigned from the Presidency, dissolved the Oasis Islands and retired from micronationalism on 19 April 2014. Although he was leaving his professional positions in the community, he hoped "...to continue visiting and commenting on events happening in the community as a casual observer, as opposed to as an active participant."

Business career

Hamlin was the founder and spent much of his life serving as the President of Middle Branch Media, a multimedia company. During his time at Middle Branch Media, he grew the company from producing exclusively live entertainment to producing films, music, interactive entertainment experiences and video games along with the addition of a book publication service. Hamlin also served as the the Executive Vice President of the Grant Firearms Company, which caused controversy during his Presidency as the company secured contracts with the Oasis Islands military while he was in office.

Political positions

Hamlin identifies as a moderate conservative, and is a registered member of the United States' Republican Party, endorsing their party's nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections respectively, as well as endorsing Republican Governor John Kasich of the US state of Ohio for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He broke with the party in the 2016 general election, opting to vote for Fmr. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Republican nominee Donald Trump, who Hamlin called "...completely unqualified for and undeserving of the office". Although he is a registered Republican, he has criticized the party for moving too far to the right of the political spectrum, urging the party to return to the center-right politics that the party has showcased in the past.

Abortion

Although he personally holds pro-life views, Hamlin respects the decision made by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States, although he still supports a late-term abortion ban. He has said that if the decision Roe v. Wade was never made, he would support an abortion ban with exceptions for rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother.

Economics

Hamlin is an outspoken fiscal conservative, believing in minimal spending, a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility over government assistance. He supports a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution, and always kept balanced budgets while serving as President of the two nations he served. He is against a minimum wage increase, saying that "If I had to pay my cashiers fifteen bucks an hour, they'd be replaced with computers almost immediately." He opposes the concept of the income tax, the inheritance tax and sales tax on entities such as Student Councils, which stems from his Treasurership of his school's Student Council.

Drug decriminalization

Hamlin supports the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana, citing the economic benefits as well as the crunch it could place on drug cartels. He does not, however, support the legalization of harder drugs such as heroin, meth and cocaine. He has also been a strong critic of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes, calling it "outrageous" that murderers and non-violent marijuana possessors could theoretically have the same sentences. He is in favor of rehabilitating some drug convicts as opposed to jailing them. Hamlin has refused to answer questions regarding any potential personal drug use, often responding simply with "no comment".

Foreign policy

Strongly believing in the "peace through strength" philosophy of US President Ronald Reagan, Hamlin supports the building and maintenance of a strong military force, with a focus on modernizing technology to hold an advantage over less-advanced militaries. However, he has urged restraint in foreign intervention, believing heavily that intervention in places where intervention isn't in the national interest only serves to make the situation worse. While he does not support the War in Iraq and believes that the Vietnam and Korean Wars (in which his father and grandfather served respectively) were mistakes, he advocated heavily for US involvement in the Syrian Civil War after the use of chemical weapons was confirmed in the conflict, intervention that in hindsight he believes could have helped stunt the growth and rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

Presidency

After the collapse of the Hamlinian Republic on October 24, 2012, Fmr. President Casey Hamlin began plans for a new nation, repeatedly deeming the Oasis Islands as the best spot for the new nation. After dropping several hints about a return, Hamlin officially created the nation on November 16, 2012.

LGBT rights

Hamlin has been a vocal supporter of rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. He has supported multiple bills pertaining to rights for these groups, and has worked for awareness in the United States and micronationally.

Foreign policy

Hamlin is an advocate of a non-interventionist foreign policy, but has been known to break from that path should he feel it necessary. A good example of this was the belligerent direction his administration took during the so called "Second Spice War", when throughout the course of early 2013, the nation's diplomatic relations with the Republic of Freedomia (now New Israel), deteriorated. On February 2, 2013, under the advice of Ambassador to Freedomia Titus Smith, President and Secretary of State Casey Hamlin suspended relations with the nation. But on April 1, 2013, Markus, Emperor of New Israel, declared war on the Oasis Islands, citing Smith's involvement in the country and his "militant pro-gay views". Hamlin fired back, calling Abernathy "on the wrong side of history", and refusing to recognize, or take part, in any war.

The tensions had been continually escalating, with Hamlin openly condemning the nation and authorizing the Department of State to put forward all resources needed to reduce the tension. Over time, the tensions decreased and the situation tampered out temporarily.

On July 13, 2013, New Israel was severely criticized by the MicroGroup community after attacking President Hamlin unprovoked, who in their words supported "perversions" for supporting gay rights with a video equating the argument against same-sex marriage and homosexuality using farm animals and analogies, thus starting the controversy again on a larger level. Their "war" with the Oasis Islands continued with the nation attacking the Oasis Islands for factually nonexistent inactivity and the nation's positive reaction to the overturning of the US Defense of Marriage Act. The Oasis Islands, as it did in April 2013, still refused to acknowledge the war as legitimate.

In late July, Hamlin began to become wary of the effects of the conflict on his nation and its standing in the micronational community, believing that the conflict had become too overblown. Contact began between Hamlin and Abernathy with Oasis Island News reporting on July 21st that the two nations were close to an agreement to end the conflict. These talks continued until July 23rd, when New Israel's internet assets suddenly disappeared and contact ceased.

On August 8, 2013, New Israel's online presence came back up with their new news website, New Israel Today. Shortly after that, the President and Abernathy began contact again and on August 26, 2013 it was announced that the two nations had officially ended the conflict.

In his first Executive Office address, President Hamlin addressed the nation on then-likely military strikes on Syria by several nations in order to end the Syrian Civil War, voicing his support for such strikes. His approval ratings tanked, showing a decrease from nearly ninety percent to hovering around forty percent. His support for the strikes led to unsuccessful calls for Vice President Smith to primary Hamlin in the 2013 elections and led to independent Laura Horsley of Oasis challenging Hamlin and emerging as his main challenger. Hamlin won re-election by a wide margin despite the controversy.

Diplomatic expansion

On September 29, 2013, Hamlin announced that the first major attempt to secure diplomatic relationships to expand the nation's international prominence would begin effective immediately. Foreign relations were secured with the Kingdom of Thesevale and the Kingdom of Florenia soon after, with more relations being negotiated at the time of the nation's dissolution.

Travel

Hamlin has shown an affinity for traveling, visiting various locations on non-diplomatic and diplomatic trips. Hamlin has taken diplomatic trips to the U.S. city of Washington, D.C. and non-diplomatic trips to locations in the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Canada and the United States, including a notable trip to Columbus, Ohio in November 2013 where long standing rumors of politician Greg Bradley getting a Senate seat were dissolved. Post-presidency, he has travelled to Alaska, the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland. He never embarked on an official state visit to any other micronation or to any micronational conference, citing a lack of government and personal resources to take such trips.

Energy policy

Hamlin supports the growth and continuation of conventional energy solutions such as oil, natural gas and coal. He supports expanded offshore drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline which, if constructed, will bring oil from Canada to the United States and is against oil subsidies (as part of a larger opposition to subsidies altogether). Although he has stated that he would support the expansion of the role of renewable energy such as solar and wind power, although does not believe that government funds should go towards such projects. Hamlin is known to be fond of the idea of electric cars, although he has said that the Toyota Prius is a "...horrible car", adding that he has however "...sat in a Tesla Model S, and [I] loved it".

IMTO

On January 17, 2012, newly elected Secretary-General John Gordon abruptly decided to dissolve the IMTO, stating that "The SIA (Sakasaria Intelligence Agency) DID have direct involvement in the destruction of the IMTO. it was a secret mission to infiltrate the high ranks and destroy it from the inside under the mask of stability issues and unprofessionality sic". Later were published several official documents, stating that the IMTO was not dissolved. On January 19, Gordon resigned and issued his official apology. On January 21, the new Secretary-General Election started,[1], with Hamlin securing a solid victory.

During the Hamlin administration, the organization saw a period of disarray due to uncertainties in membership after the January 17th Incident. Activity slowed for most of February 2012 and picked back up in early March 2012. Under the Hamlin administration, a new charter had been written and ratified, the IMTO Court of Justice was dissolved and membership began to recover. On March 2, 2012, Star McKinley of Starland was elevated to the position of Vice Secretary-General of IMTO. During the end of February and the beginning of March, the feud between Casey Hamlin and Danny Clarke picked up after Hamlin released a scathing account of Clarke's tenure as Secretary-General, leading to a public copyright battle over the logo and flag of the IMTO, which Clarke backed off of.

Dissolution scandal

On the night of April 10, 2012, Hamlin conversed with President of Kozuc Riley Small, requesting him to leak information about the IMTO's secret dissolution process with hopes that the knowledge of the imminent dissolution would point public pressure on Yaroslav Mar to support a resolution to dissolve the embattled organization. In the process, Hamlin also called the IMTO a "sick dog", saying it needed to be "put down", also saying that he was "very much so" happy to get it the dissolution process over with.[2]

On April 11, 2012, the St.Charlian Observer released an article revealing the conversation to the community. Outraged by the revelations, Mar pulled the Republic of Lostisland out of the IMTO, giving Hamlin the votes needed to end the organization, declaring it dissolved at 3:34pm EST.

The micronational media lauded the end of the IMTO, which had been openly predicted for some time before the scandal, while at the same time criticizing Hamlin's handling of the situation as bizarre and secretive. Occurring after the dissolution of the Organisation of Active Micronations, the Grand Unified Micronational was the only remaining major organization of the MicroWiki community.

Retirement and legacy

Facing a slew of leadership opportunities and added responsibilities in current leadership positions in the macronational world, Hamlin announced his retirement from active participation in micronationalism on April 19, 2014. In a statement, Hamlin stated his hope to keep up with the community and to stay in contact with many of the fellow micronationalists he had met throughout his years of involvement in the community.

Throughout both his Presidency of the Hamlinian Republic and his term as Secretary-General of the IMTO, Hamlin was heavily criticized around the micronational community for his unprofessional, overly-hostile and often erratic behavior, rhetoric and actions. For much of the first half of his career in micronational politics, Hamlin remained a controversial figure with low public approval in the community at large, in the organizations he was a part of and in the nations he served.

It was throughout his Presidency of the Oasis Islands that Hamlin's public image and approval ratings improved substantially. Returning to the micronational stage more mature and with a less combative attitude led Hamlin to engage more positively with the intermicronational community and to drop his habit or railing against the "elites" and "big wigs" of the community that he previously denounced. He became a vocal advocate for LGBT rights, Rockefeller conservatism and giving assistance to new micronationalists to, in his words, "...keep them from becoming who I was when I first entered the arena." Upon his retirement, several micronationalists expressed gratitude for Hamlin's contributions to the community and expressed well wishes for the future.

Subsequent activities

Since leaving office, Hamlin has continued to watch the MicroWiki community and comment on affairs occurring within it. On 14 August 2014, it was announced that Hamlin was appointed as the Chief of Staff to President Ariel Yaari of the Republic of Promesa. Outside of micronationalism, Hamlin took a position on the Board of Directors for a regional not-for-profit, became a contracted columnist for a local newspaper, took a position on a committee in his town's government, and served as Treasurer of his school's Student Council for one term before being elected President of the body in May 2015.
  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Newelect
  2. 'Hamlin/Small Conversation PDF', St.Charlian Observer, 11th April 2012