A Journal for Western Man

 

 

 

 

Senator George Allen Pushing Anti-Property-

Rights Initiative

Peyton Knight

Issue LXXI- September 7, 2006

 

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Statement of Policy

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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 for Public Policy Research.
 "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.
 
Peyton Knight is the nation’s foremost expert on National Heritage Areas. He is also
director of environmental and regulatory affairs at the National Center for Public
Policy Research.
 
For more information, contact Peyton Knight: 
(202) 543-4110 or pknight@nationalcenter.org
 
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 http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA540HallowedGround.html, or 
"Assertions vs. Reality: The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National 
Heritage Area Act of 2006," by Peyton Knight, available online at 
http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA548.html.
 
 
Action to Take:
 
1. It’s urgent that you contact Senator Allen’s office to protest his 
sponsorship of  the “Journey Through Hallowed Ground Heritage Area” 
(Bill number S.2645). Tell him you oppose this massive land grab. Senator 
Allen is in a massive fight for reelection, so your calls and letters 
will have a powerful impact on him. 
 
We can stop this legislation in its tracks – but only if we act now!    
 
 Call or write his Washington Office at:
 
Washington D.C. Office:
204 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Main: (202) 224-4024
Fax: (202) 224-5432
 
You will also make a powerful impact on Senator Allen if you call or 
write any or all of his District Offices located throughout Virginia:
 
Central Virginia Office:
507 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219 
Main: (804) 771-2221
Fax: (804) 771-8313
 
Hampton Roads Office:
222 Central Park Avenue
Suite 120
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Main: (757) 518-1674
Fax: (757) 518-1679
 
Northern Virginia Office:
2214 Rock Hill Road
Suite 100
Herndon, VA 20170 
Main: (703) 435-0039
Fax: (703) 435-3446
 
Central Virginia Office:
507 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219 
Main: (804) 771-2221
Fax: (804) 771-8313
 
Western & Valley Office:
3140 Chaparral Drive
Bldg. C, Suite 101
Roanoke, VA 24018 
Main: (540) 772-4236
Fax: (540) 772-6870
 
Southwest Virginia Office:
332 Cummings Street
Suite C
Abingdon, VA 24210 
Main: (276) 676-2646
Fax: (276) 676-2588
 
Western & Valley Office:
3140 Chaparral Drive
Bldg. C, Suite 101
Roanoke, VA 24018 
Main: (540) 772-4236
Fax: (540) 772-6870
 
2. There is one hero in this fight to stop the Journey Through Hallowed 
Ground Heritage Area.  Maryland Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) has 
refused to sign on to the House version of the bill (HR 5195). The 
Heritage Area will go right through his District. So he is under tremendous 
pressure to give in and support it. He needs to hear from you. 
 
Call or write Rep. Bartlett and thank him for standing strong for 
property rights and against the Heritage Area. Tell him he has your support  
and urge him to continue to stand strong.
 
Washington D.C. office:
 
 2412 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2006
 
Phone: (202) 225-2721
Fax: (202) 225-2193
Internet: http://www.house.gove/bartlett/
 
District Offices:
 
Cumberland Office
1 Frederick Street, Suite 2
Cumberland, MD 21502
Phone: (301) 724-3105
Fax: (301) 724 –3538
 
Frederick Office
7360 Guilford Drive, Suite 101
Frederick, Maryland 21704
Phone: (301)694-3030
Fax: (301) 694-6674
 
Hagerstown Office
11377 Robinwood Drive
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Phone: (301) 797-6043
Fax: (301) 797-2385
 
3. Be sure to call or write your own member of Congress and your States 
two United States Senators. 
 
Tell them you are opposed to the Journey Through Hallowed Ground 
heritage Area.   House Bill number HR 5195. Senate Bill number S.2645. 
 
House Switchboard:
(202) 225-3121 (ask for your Representative by name)
 
Address:  
Congressman 
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
  
Senate Switchboard:
(202) 224-3121 (ask for your two Senators by name)
 
Address:
 
Senator
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 
We can stop this massive land grab, but only if we act now with force. 
We must show these members of congress that there is strong opposition. 
The proponents are rich, powerful and are putting massive pressure on 
Congress to pass the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Heritage Area. 
 
Please call today and pass this alert on to at least 10 more people. 
 
Urgent!  

This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.

Click here to return to TRA's Issue LXXI Index.

Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, at http://www.geocities.com/rational_argumentator/rc.html.