Friday, August 18, 2006

George Allen: Only The Rich Should Have Property Rights

In a press release today from the National Center for Public Policy Research, George Allen is revealed to be anti-property rights. Surprised? I didn't think so. {emphasis added in following quoted text}

Washington, D.C. - Nearly one year after the U.S. Supreme Court's shocking Kelo v. New London decision touched off a firestorm of bipartisan support for stronger property rights protections, some anti-property rights groups are receiving support from a surprising source: Senator George Allen (R-VA).

Senator Allen is the chief sponsor of legislation that would create a massive federal "National Heritage Area" that would stretch from Charlottesville, VA, through Frederick County, MD, and end in Gettysburg, PA. Such areas are best described as heavily regulated corridors where property rights may be strictly curtailed.

Allen's bill would deputize special interest groups -- many with clear anti-property rights agendas -- and federal employees to oversee land use policy in the corridor.

"Senator Allen often describes himself as a 'Jeffersonian' conservative, which he defines as someone who doesn't like 'nanny, meddling, restrictive, burdensome government,'" said Peyton Knight, director of environmental and regulatory affairs at the National Center. "However, if you fail to support your rhetoric with substance, you're all hat and no cattle."

Sen. Allen's initiative in some ways resembles a pork-barrel earmark, as it disburses funds to pre-selected preservationist interest groups. Unfortunately, it is even worse than an earmark, as it would threaten property rights by:

1) Creating a "management entity" to oversee land use policy in the area composed of groups that have a record of being hostile to property rights.

2) Directing this management entity to create an inventory of all property it wants "preserved," "managed" or "acquired."

3) Giving the management entity the authority to disburse federal funds for the purpose of land acquisition and restricting land use - an enticement for such activities.

"This is a transparent effort by "not in my back yard" elitists to milk millions of dollars from the nation's taxpayers to mandate gentrification of their rural landscape. These bluebloods want their pretty views and bucolic fields preserved in perpetuity at the expense of property rights, small landowners and farmers, and taxpayers," said Robert J. Smith, a senior fellow at the National Center.

"It is remarkably similar to the exclusionary zoning for 'green space' and 'open space' that roiled New Jersey politics and communities for a quarter century," Smith adds. "Such policies were ruled unconstitutional by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the Mount Laurel decisions for being economically and racially discriminatory, and as an effort to lock out low and moderate income families and especially people of color, blacks and Hispanics."

Mychal Massie, national chairman of the African-American leadership network Project 21, which is affiliated with the National Center, notes the impact of Allen's bill will be felt disproportionately.

"Senator Allen's Heritage Area scheme is further evidence of the chasm that develops between working families and elected representatives once they are in office," said Massie. "Allen's measure would restrict and limit land use to all but the very wealthiest, and would severely and unjustly handicap families and individuals of moderate means."

Dr. Roger Pilon, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Constitutional Studies, notes the irony that overzealous preservationists at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello are corrupting Jefferson's legacy, ostensibly in an effort to protect it: "They want to traduce Jefferson's views in order to save his views."

Citizens of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania might look to property owners caught within the boundaries of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area in Arizona to catch a glimpse of their possible future.

The Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources has filed a report explaining the situation in Yuma. The report, which accompanies legislation designed to amend the Yuma Heritage Area in order to protect property owners, states:

"When the Yuma Crossing Heritage Area was authorized in 2000, the public in Yuma County did not understand the scope of the project and was surprised by the size of the designation... Concerns were raised by citizens about the size of the designation and the potential for additional Federal oversight. The fear of adverse impacts on private property rights were realized when local government agencies began to use the immense heritage area boundary to determine zoning restrictions."

Thomas Jefferson was quite clear in his views regarding property rights when he wrote: "The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management."

Robert J. Smith adds: "No one supporting such plans and legislation attacking the underlying principles of a free society can conceivably then have the hubris to attempt to wrap themselves in the mantle of Mr. Jefferson's belief in individual liberty, or in Ronald Reagan's inclusive conservative Republicanism."

"It dishonors 250 years of American history and freedom-from Abraham Lincoln's genuine Hallowed Grounds in Gettysburg to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello mountaintop," he said.

Whew! I know that's a lot to digest. This is the gist of it: George Allen only wants property rights for the wealthy and privledged class, where he considers himself to reside. All his wealthy buddies and donors. He is above the citizens he represents, so naturally, he would be in favor of restricting property rights.

This has to be stopped. Call Allen's offices. Email George Allen about this outrage. Read more about this at the links below. We can't let the snobby elites in this country take our property rights away.

As this press release states, "All hat and no cattle".

For more information on this issue, see "The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area: An Example of How Pork-Barrel Politics Can Threaten Local Rule and Property Rights," by Peyton Knight, available online at, or "Assertions vs. Reality: The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Act of 2006," by Peyton Knight, available online at

Friday, August 11, 2006

Snippets from the Fifth - including a Party!

I am writing this to update everyone on some things. There is a podcast of the debate the other day with Al Weed and Virgil "I didn't know they were illegal" Goode. Others here have commented on that debate, as has Ben Tribbett and RK's own Lowell Feld. I also have crossposted yesterday's diary on Raising Kaine about that debate.


We are also having a house party this Sunday for Al Weed here in Cumberland County. Here are the details:

What: House party for Al Weed for Congress

Where: 1304 Sports Lake Rd. (Cartersville area)

When:  Sunday, August 13, 2006 4-6PM

Light refreshments and beverages (including Al Weed's own wine from Mt. Cove Winery exclusively) will be available.

Come and listen to Al speak and tell Al what you think about today's issues and the Congressional Campaign.

If you need more information and/or directions, please email me at beautiful_mind AT hughes DOT net.

Things are looking better for Al all the time. Virgil Goode is a horrible Congressman and representative to the Fifth District. Virgil's latest report to the district talks only about making English the official language of the United States. He is also behind a lot of efforts to build a wall or fence between us and Mexico as a way of addressing the immigration problems this country faces.

Remember, Virgil said recently, something about raising the minimum wage in this country would provide a 'green light' to illegal immigrants to come to this country. He is so out of touch with reality, it is no wonder he didn't think the donations to his campaign were illegal.

Crossposted at Raising Kaine

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Al Weed Debates Virgil Goode (R-MZM)

According to the Daily Progress and Bob Gibson, around 300 people showed up last night for a debate between Al Weed and Virgil "I didn't know they were illegal" Goode at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

A largely partisan and divided crowd of about 300 people at the Senior Center of Charlottesville heard Weed attack Goode as a career politician who takes questionable contributions and supports Bush more than 80 percent of the time, including on the war in Iraq.

Weed, who has a son about to serve a second tour as a surgeon in Iraq, said Goode “follows the Republican lead at every turn” and has never questioned Bush on his war policy in “the failed occupation of Iraq.”

One of the main subjects for debate was the now-infamous MZM contract with the Defense Department, who recently cancelled the contract for the Foreign Supplier Assesment Center (FSAC) and closed the doors the following Monday, July 31, 2006.

Wade’s guilty plea stated that he made the illegal pass-through contributions to Goode’s campaign and that of Rep. Katherine Harris, R-Fla., because he believed they “had the ability to request appropriations funding that would benefit MZM.” Goode denied knowing the contributions were illegal and has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

They also discussed immigration, and Virgil had the predictable answers that have made him the laughing stock (along with Tom Tancredo (R-CO)) of the country when it comes to real debate on that issue.

Virgil IS in denial about the financial windfall he received from Mitchell Wade, the convicted felon.

The Republican said he had “never heard somebody so uninformed as Mr. Weed was in his comments about [MZM and Martinsville]. He said I got nearly $100,000 in illegal contributions. Not so. It was about $46,000 that was straw contributions, but I gave every donation that I could tell was related to MZM to charities around the 5th District.”

Why did you give away over $90,000 then, Mr Goode? For good measure? Do you think that since you gave away more money than you now claim to be 'straw' donations, people will forgive you? Again, do you think we do not know differently?

Virgil Goode is a horrible Congressman for a great District in Virginia. We need to change that to match, with Al Weed, a great man, representing us in the Fighting Fifth District.

Weed blasted Goode for taking what the Democrat called “nearly $100,000 in illegal contributions from a now convicted felon [Wade], and in return got that man $15 million for a useless federal contract - $15 million that could have bought proper body armor for our troops in Iraq.”

“Now that the felon is in jail, the Pentagon has terminated the contract and the taxpayers of Martinsville may owe up to a half-million dollars” for the facility that the defense contractor and its successor abandoned, Weed said. “We deserve better.”

Goode joked that Weed must be smoking marijuana if he thinks MZM got anywhere near $15 million. “Let’s get to his assertion that MZM got $15 million. Totally false,” Goode said. “He must be smoking something like what he’s named for."

Uh, Mr Goode, are you really asking us to believe that things didn't happen the way they have been publically disclosed? Or is it that you still think that none of us can read or use the internet to find out the real truth? The truth is, you accepted almost $100,000 in contributions from the employees and PAC of MZM. You say you had no idea they were illegal, but I find that statement as hard to believe as anything your boss George W. Bush says.

Not only that, but do you really think that it is seemly to criticize Mr. Weed by making jokes about his name? How childish. You yourself made long and loud complaints in the 2004 race because you felt someone was making fun of your name. Maybe that is the standard for a turncoat that calls Republicans his best friends (like George Allen) and refuses to listen to the illogic of his own statements.

If you really think that we believe that you didn't know that the contributions were illegal, then you are too dense to be in Congress. If you did know, then you are a criminal, and should go spend time with your buddy, convicted felon Mitchell Wade.

If you think for a moment that you scare us or that we are going to roll over and cede this race to you, you are mistaken. We will be taking it to you in every way we can. On the internet, in the streets, and at events. There will be no shortage of volunteers to unseat you.

Cross Posted at Daily Kos