Harford County Charter Amendments 2012

QUESTION A
Charter Amendment Vacancy of the County Executive

To Amend the Harford County Charter by requiring the County Council to fill the position of County Executive within 30 days with a qualified voter of the same political party as the immediately preceding County Executive. In the event a vacancy is filled 90 days or more prior to the next congressional primary election, the position of County Executive will appear on that ballot. The appointed or elected County Executive shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

For the Charter Amendment

Against the Charter Amendment

QUESTION B   Charter Amendment Post Council Employment

To Amend the Harford County Charter by allowing County Council Members after they leave office to apply for employment with the Harford County Government.

For the Charter Amendment

Against the Charter Amendment

QUESTION C

Charter Amendment Eligibility for Redistricting Commission

To Amend the Harford County Charter by expanding eligibility for appointment to the Redistricting Commission for any political party with at least 15% of the total registered voters and a representative not a member of any political party already represented.

For the Charter Amendment

Against the Charter Amendment

QUESTION D Charter Amendment Exempt Employees

To Amend the Harford County Charter to modify the list of exempt personnel positions to be consistent with the pay and classification plan.

For the Charter Amendment

Against the Charter Amendment

QUESTION E
Charter Amendment Definition of a Pending Zoning Case

To Amend the Harford County Charter by defining a pending zoning case as a current case filed and/or pending with the Zoning Hearing Examiner, County Council, Circuit Court for Harford County and/or Court of Appeals.

For the Charter Amendment

Against the Charter Amendment

QUESTION F
Charter Amendment
Posting Requirements for Public Notices

To Amend the Harford County Charter by requiring public notices be posted in one newspaper widely circulated in Harford County and on an official site.

For the Charter Amendment

Against the Charter Amendment

QUESTION G
Charter Amendment Filing Dates for Annual Budget

To Amend the Harford County Charter by allowing an additional 15 days for the budget to be submitted by the County Executive and adopted by the County Council.

For the Charter Amendment

Against the Charter Amendment

Blaine Young, Candidate for Governor and More at September Meeting

Harford Campaign for Liberty

September 25, 2012

7pm

Knights of Columbus Hall

23 Newport Drive

Forest Hill, Maryland

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. -Abraham Lincoln

The country is different.

Accepted rules give way to questionable practice.

The old see their liberties trampled.

The young hear stories of freedoms they never knew.

 

Harford Campaign for Liberty invites old friends to reconnect and new friends to hear our message.

COME BACK TO LIBERTY

Guest Speaker Blaine Young, President of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners and announced candidate for the Governor’s seat in 2014, has been active in the fight against PlanMD.  He will speak in a town hall type setting, taking questions from the audience on a broad range of topics.

Other topics will include

  • Oath Keepers
  • Review of Harford County Referendum Issues

Cash bar available.     For more information visit www.harfordliberty.org

Harford Campaign for Liberty to Host Plan Maryland Critic Blaine Young of Frederick Council

Frederick Council President Active in Fight Against Plan Maryland

September 12, 2012 — Bel Air, MD—Harford Campaign for Liberty will host Blaine Young, Frederick Council President, for a town hall style question and answer session at their monthly meeting on September 25th. Young, described by the Gazette.net online news source as the “sometimes combative president of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners”, has served with that body since 2010. His opposition to Plan Maryland and founding membership in the Rural Maryland Counties Coalition has brought attention to the difficulties facing these area

Mr. Young will briefly address the audience with comments regarding his views and actions on property rights, economic development, and the role of government. These comments will be followed by questions from the assembled. Harford Campaign for Liberty invites all to this opportunity to explore the practice of liberty in other counties. The group encourages attendees to probe Mr. Young with insightful queries designed to fully comprehend the style of government currently practiced in Frederick County.

Harford Campaign for Liberty meets every fourth Tuesday. Their upcoming meeting is September 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 23 Newport Drive, Forest Hill, Maryland 21050. Cash bar is available.

For more information visit www.harfordliberty.org or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HarfordCampaignforLiberty.

More information can be found online at http://www.HarfordLiberty.org

 

Illegal & Unconstitutional Detainment of Former Marine Brandon J. Raub

Brandon J. Raub, Former Marine, Detained After Anti-Government Facebook Postings

By LARRY O’DELL

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/brandon-j-raub-marine-detained_n_1817484.html

RICHMOND, Va. — A former Marine involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation for posting strident anti-government messages on Facebook has received an outpouring of support from people who say authorities are trampling on his First Amendment rights.

Brandon J. Raub, 26, has been in custody since FBI, Secret Service agents and police in Virginia’s Chesterfield County questioned him Thursday evening about what they said were ominous posts talking about a coming revolution. In one message earlier this month according to authorities, Raub wrote: “Sharpen my axe; I’m here to sever heads.”

Police – acting under a state law that allows emergency, temporary psychiatric commitments upon the recommendation of a mental health professional – took Raub to the John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. He was not charged with any crime.

A Virginia-based civil liberties group, The Rutherford Institute, dispatched one of its attorneys to the hospital to represent Raub at a hearing Monday. A judge ordered Raub detained for another month, Rutherford executive director John Whitehead said.

“For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon,” Whitehead said.

Raub’s mother, Cathleen Thomas, said by telephone that the government had overstepped its bounds.

“The bottom line is his freedom of speech has been violated,” she said.

Thomas said her son, who served tours as a combat engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan, is “concerned about all the wars we’ve experienced” and believes the U.S. government was complicit in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. One of his Facebook posts, she said, pictured the gaping hole in the Pentagon and asked “where’s the plane?”

Whitehead said he found nothing alarming in Raub’s social media commentaries. “The posts I read that supposedly were of concern were libertarian-type posts I see all the time,” he said.

The big concern, Whitehead said, is whether government officials are monitoring citizens’ private Facebook pages and detaining people with whom they disagree.

Dee Rybiski, an FBI spokeswoman in Richmond, said there was no Facebook snooping by her agency.

“We received quite a few complaints about what were perceived as threatening posts,” she said. “Given the circumstances with the things that have gone on in the country with some of these mass shootings, it would be horrible for law enforcement not to pay attention to complaints.”

Whitehead said some of the posts in question were made on a closed Facebook page that Raub had recently created so he questioned whether anyone from the public would have complained about them.

“Support Brandon Raub” Facebook pages have drawn significant interest, and other Internet sites had numerous comments from people outraged by the veteran’s detention.

Raub’s supporters characterized the detention as an arrest, complaining he was handcuffed and whisked away in a police cruiser without being served a warrant or read his rights. But authorities say it wasn’t an arrest because Raub doesn’t face criminal charges.

Col. Thierry Dupuis, the county police chief, said Raub was taken into custody upon the recommendation of mental health crisis intervention workers. He said the action was taken under the state’s emergency custody statute, which allows a magistrate to order the civil detention and psychiatric evaluation of a person who is considered potentially dangerous.

He said Raub was handcuffed because he resisted officers’ attempts to take him into custody.

Maryland’s Climate Policy: Politics Posing as Science

The Premier blog of conservative and Republican politics and ideas in the Free State, named one of Maryland’s best political blogs by the Washington Post

Monday, July 30, 2012

Maryland’s Climate Policy: Politics Posing as Science

Maryland’s plan to address global warming is based on a flawed process, which produced unreliable science.
The Greenhouse gas Reduction Act of 2009 requires Maryland to reduce GHG emissions 20% from a 2006 baseline by 2020.  Both the GGRA draft plan report and the Maryland Commission on Climate Change—the report on which the General Assembly approved the GGRA—base their assessments and recommendations on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The final plan is due to the General Assembly in December.
However, The InterAcademcy Council, a multinational organization of science organizations, reviewed the IPCC’s process and procedures* and found serious flaws and problems, which cast serious doubt on the soundness and reliability of “science” of the IPCC, and therefore the conclusions of the Maryland’s climate commission and GGRA process.
The IAC found such problems as a lack of a formal process or criteria for selecting authors, lack of a conflict of interest disclosure policy, and problems with transparency.
Scientists from developing nations reported “frustration” that their governments did not always appoint the best scientists and that “political considerations are given more weight than scientific qualifications.”
Reviewer comments were not adequately addressed by lead authors, in particular the fallacious statement in the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report stating that the Himalayan Glaciers could melt by 2035.  It turns out the IPCC relied on a 2005 report from the World Wildlife Fund, not peer-reviewed science.  Alternative views were not cited in a chapter, if “the Lead author does not agree with them.”   The IAC also found severe flaws with how the IPCC handled issues of uncertainty and probability.  For example, the IAC found:

Many of the 71 conclusions in the ‘Current Knowledge about Future Impacts’ section of the Working Group II Summary for Policy Makers are imprecise statements made without reference to the time period under consideration or to a climate scenario under which the conclusions would be true… In the Committee’s view, assigning probabilities to imprecise statements is not an appropriate way to characterize uncertainty. If the confidence scale is used in this way, conclusions will likely be stated so vaguely as to make them impossible to refute, and therefore statements of “very high confidence” will have little substantive value [emphasis mine].

The report also noted that the Summary for Policy Makers, the report widely cited by the media and climate activists, drew “more concerns and suggestions for improvement…than any other part of the IPCC assessment process.”  Many respondents to the IAC survey noted concern that reinterpretations of the scientific assessment report in the Summary for Policy Makers “might be politically motivated.”  Nor is the the Summary for Policy Makers written and approved in a transparent manner.  The report is approved in a marathon session lasting several days, ending with an all night session, “Thus, the individuals with the most endurance or the countries that have large delegations can end up having the most influence on the report.”
The IAC also noted the variance in content between the Summary for Policy Makers and the underlying scientific assessment reports, and the political reasons for that variance.

Another concern of respondents to the Committee’s questionnaire was the difference in content between the Summary for Policy Makers and the underlying report. The distillation of the many findings of a massive report into the relatively brief, high-level messages that characterize the Summary for Policy Makers necessarily results in the loss of important nuances and caveats that appear in the Working Group report. Moreover, the choice of messages and description of topics may be influenced in subtle ways by political considerations. Some respondents thought that the Summary for Policy Makers places more emphasis on what is known, sensational, or popular among Lead Authors than one would find in the body of the report. A recent review by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, for example, observed that the Working Group II Summary for Policy Makers in the fourth assessment is more focused on the negative impacts of climate change than the underlying report, an approach agreed to by participating governments (PBL, 2010) [emphasis mine].

Similar problems were noted with the Synthesis Report, which is intended to synthesize the finding of three different working groups.  “Scientists” the IAC wrote, found the Synthesis Report “too political.”
The IAC report confirms what many concluded way back in 2007, The IPCC was was politics posing as science.
The disturbing problems noted by the IAC mirror the flawed, opaque process I’ve been following in Maryland over the last five years.
The process started in 2007 when Governor O’Malley signed and executive order creating the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. O’Malley’s order outsourced climate policy to an outside advocacy group Center for Climate Strategies.   From day one, the O’Malley administration tried to keep details of the process hidden from public scrutiny.  The Maryland Department of the Environment withheld documents from my colleague Paul Chesser’s Public Information Act request seeking documents pertaining to the state’s dealing with CCS.  The process was clearly slanted from the beginning.  One of the documents Chesser did obtain, a memo from CCS to MDE stated, “participants will not debate the science of climate change.”
I followed up with my own PIA request and MDE told me I could have the documents Chesser wanted, now ballooning to 3,700 pages from the original 11 it withheld from him …for a hefty fee of $1,381.  After the legislature passed the GGRA, Environment Maryland, chief Brad Heaver boasted about being “lead policy/lobbying group” to get it passed.  I submitted another PIA request to MDE to find out if Heavner and any other environmental advocacy groups were involved in writing the regulations.  All I got was another bill, this time for $1,353.
Perhaps O’Malley’s MDE doesn’t want the public to know that his climate commission and climate law were paid for and written by the radical environmentalists at The Town Creek Foundation located in Easton, MD.  According to its latest IRS tax return Town Creek has investments in several oil and gas companies, including Exxon-Mobil.
The Town Creek Foundation gave CCS $100,000 to facilitate the work of Maryland’s climate commission, and another $350,000 to influence GGRA regulations.  Town Creek also funded Environment Maryland and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, two of those “lead policy/lobbying groups” $225,00 and $325,00 respectively to agitate and lobby for the GGRA and its regulations.

Town Creek even got one its own board members, Donald Boesch, on the commission.  Boesch led the commission’s Scientific and Technical Working Group. Town Creek also funds Boesch’s employer the University Center for Environmental Sciences.  Town Creek’s board approves all grant funding.  Did Boesch approve his own funding?

What did Town Creek get for its $1.2 million investment?  A 360 page set of proposed taxes, fees, regulations, and mandates that will undoubtedly harm the state’s already fragile economy.
The Commission findings were received with much fanfare, and minimal scrutiny.  However, the Beacon Hill Institute analyzed CCS’ underlying economic assumptions in the commission report and found:

1. CCS failed to quantify benefits in a way that they can be meaningfully compared to costs;2. When estimating economic impacts, CCS often misinterpreted costs to be benefits;3. The estimates of costs left out important factors, causing CCS to understate the true costs of its recommendations…For policymakers, the CAP report offers no worthwhile guidance. The report fails to quantify the monetary benefits of reduced GHG emissions rendering its cost savings estimates implausible if not downright unbelievable. The faulty analysis contained in the CAP report leaves policymakers with no basis on which to judge the merits of the CAP report’s recommendations for action on the mitigation of GHG emissions [emphasis mine].

Nor did lawmakers heed the skeptical analysis of the non-partisan Department of Legislative Services.
DLS found that the commission’s recommendations were “largely command-and-control policies rather than incentive-based policies.” Like the Beacon Hill report, DLS also found similar flaws in the commission’s economic analysis such as omitted costs, improper benefit-cost valuation, and forecast errors.

However, despite a significant amount of research, considerable uncertainty remains over the ultimate economic impacts of such a policy. In addition, the choice and design of the specific mitigation programs implemented will affect the magnitude and distribution of GHG mitigation costs. Policies that are not incentive-based (i.e., command-and-control) and/or do not implement economy-wide regulations will be much more costly. The distribution of costs within the economy will depend on several key factors, including the energy- and carbon-intensity of energy consumed by each sector.In Maryland, the manufacturing sector will likely experience a greater amount of employment and output losses relative to the rest of the economy as a result of GHG reduction policies. However, policies that attempt to mitigate these losses and exempt the manufacturing sector will only increase the total cost of GHG mitigation and shift the burden to other economic sectors. Ultimately, the cost of GHG mitigation policies, even those imposed on businesses, will be borne by individuals [emphasis mine].

Like the IPCC, the Maryland Commission on Climate Change represents the creation of a political consensus through a non-transparent process based on shaky science, and even shoddier economics.
*The IAC revised its original report watering down the severity of its initial conclusions.  Why? That question has never been answered.  Still, even the watered down findings cast serious doubt on the process.

Fighting Against Agenda 21 Is Only Part of the Battle

No. 2628 December 1, 2011

Focus on Agenda 21 Should Not Divert Attention from Homegrown Anti-Growth Policies

Wendell Cox, Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D., and Brett D. Schaefer

Abstract: Agenda 21, adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, unabashedly calls on governments to intervene and regulate nearly every potential impact that human activity could have on the environment. However, Agenda 21 is non-binding; it depends on governments for implementation. If opponents focus excessively on Agenda 21, it is much more likely that homegrown smart-growth policies that undermine the quality of life, personal choice, and property rights in American communities will be implemented by local, state, and federal authorities at the behest of environmental groups and other vested interests. Preventing American implementation of Agenda 21 should therefore be viewed as only one part of a broader effort to convince U.S. government officials to repeal destructive smart-growth pro- grams and prevent the enactment of new ones.

Radical environmentalists, local business groups, and the ever-present Not in My Backyard crowd have been trying for decades to reshape American communities to conform to their preferred “smart growth” policies. These advocates work to impose land use regulations that would force Americans into denser living arrangements, curtail freedom of choice in housing, discriminate against lower-income Americans, and compel people to pay more for their houses and give up their cars in favor of subways, trolleys, buses, and bicycles.

Talking Points

  • Among other priorities, smart-growth policies impose land use regulations that suppress housing supply and drive up home prices, in turn imposing unnecessary costs, especially on middle- and lower-income households. These policies contributed to and aggravate the real estate bubble by putting inflationary pressures on housing prices.
  • Agenda 21, adopted by various nations after the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, advocates changes similar to those of smart- growth advocates.
  • Agenda 21 and similar-smart growth policies greatly extend the government’s regulatory reach and impede economic growth, construction, consumer choice, homeownership, job creation, and flexible community development strategies.
  • Agenda 21 represents just one part of the broad- er fight. The entire spectrum of crippling smart- growth policies, many of which predate the United Nations and Agenda 21, have already been implemented or are being proposed in American communities and should be opposed.

December 1, 2011

These efforts—often described as “New Urban- ism,” “sustainable development,” or “open land preservation”—have long been resisted by some members of the community due to their negative impact on economic growth, competitiveness, and the nation’s standard of living. As The Heritage Foundation has documented, communities implementing smart-growth policies have significantly higher home prices, which precludes moderate- income households from homeownership. In turn, these high home prices have forced buyers to take on excessive levels of mortgage debt, which has contributed to the default and foreclosure problems that have led to the current recession. Indeed, the foreclosure problem is at its worst in states with the strictest land use constraints: Florida, California, Arizona, and Nevada.1

In recent years, however, many smart-growth opponents working at the local level have shift- ed their focus toward opposing the 1992 United Nations voluntary initiative called Agenda 21, which advocates many policies that reflect smart-growth principles. They should recognize that Agenda 21 is simply another facet of smart growth and not allow it to divert them from opposing the more ubiquitous, overarching agenda of homegrown environ- mental extremists.

Principles Outlined in Agenda 21 Are Smart-Growth Principles

Agenda 21 is a remarkably broad, ambitious action plan that was presented at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and adopted by the attending nations as “a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations

System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.”2 At well over 300 pages, Agenda 21 sets forth hundreds of specific goals and strategies that national and local governments are encouraged to adopt.3

These policies are presented in four sections:

  1. Social and economic dimensions (e.g., inter- national cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries, com- bating poverty, changing consumption pat- terns, promoting sustainable human settlement development);
  2. Conservation and management of resources for development (e.g., protection of the atmosphere, planning and management of land resources, promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development);

3. Strengthening the role of major groups (e.g., women, children, indigenous people, workers and trade unions); and

4. Means of implementation (e.g., financing, technology transfer, promoting education and public awareness, international legal instruments).

In sum, UNCED was explicitly focused on getting governments to “rethink economic development and find ways to halt the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources and pollution of the planet….

The Summit’s message [was] that nothing less than a transformation of our attitudes and behavior would bring about the necessary changes.”4 Agenda 21 unabashedly calls on governments to intervene and regulate nearly every potential impact that human activity could have on the environment.

If implemented, the types of policies encouraged in Agenda 21 would significantly expand the role of government in economic decision-making, impede

  1. Wendell Cox and Ronald D. Utt, “Don’t Regulate the Suburbs: America Needs a Housing Policy That Works,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2247, March 5, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/03/Dont-Regulate-the- Suburbs-America-Needs-a-Housing-Policy-That-Works.
  2. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development, Agenda 21, at http:// www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/ (November 7, 2011).
  3. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development, Agenda 21, June 1992, at http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/english/Agenda21.pdf (November 7, 2011).
  4. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, June 3–14, 1992, at http://www.un.org/ geninfo/bp/enviro.html (November 7, 2011).

development and economic growth, and undermine individual choice and policy flexibility for local communities. Opponents should be concerned about efforts by the U.S. government to implement these policies, both nationally and locally.5

If implemented, the types of policies encouraged in Agenda 21 would significantly expand the
role of government in economic decision-making, impede development and economic growth, and undermine individual choice and policy flexibility for local communities.

However, Agenda 21 is non-binding; it depends entirely on national, state, and local governments for implementation and therefore poses little threat in and of itself. It is the policies endorsed by Agenda

21 that are of most concern, and these policies are not confined to Agenda 21. On the contrary, those policies undergird the smart-growth agenda that has gained widespread acceptance in many parts of the U.S. to the detriment of local economies.

Radical Environmental Principles Predate Agenda 21 Proposals

The smart-growth policies echoed in Agenda 21 originated among liberal European and American intellectuals and significantly predate the adoption of Agenda 21. In fact, the British version of these policies—which had a strong influence on American liberals and the international environmental activists that largely wrote Agenda 21—had its origins in the 1920s. As Britain’s Prince Charles has written:

For more than eighty years, the Campaign to Protect Rural England has been leading the fight to preserve the remaining delicate fabric of the countryside. The foresight of the founding fathers was extraordinary—in 1926 Clough Williams-Ellis, whom I remember well and admire greatly, published Eng- land and the Octopus, an anti-sprawl polemic, and in the same year Sir Patrick Abercrombie wrote his paper, The Preservation of Rural Eng- land. The fight has continued since then and great successes have been won.6

These policies, embodied in the Town and Country Planning Act, enacted by a socialist government in 1947, which forced nearly all subsequent development into existing urban footprints, have been an economic disaster. The citizens of the United Kingdom now have the smallest and most expensive housing of any advanced country in the world.7

America’s smart-growth movement emerged in force in the early 1970s when communities in California and Oregon began to replicate Britain’s anti- sprawl policies through restrictive zoning practices to discourage suburbanization. Bit by bit, it spread around the country as more and more communities adopted polices to deter suburban growth for all but the well-to-do. Growth control efforts under- way in these communities were driven not only by a distorted view of the environment, but also by the desire of those already in place to prevent newcomers from arriving and spoiling the rural ambience of their suburban communities.

By the 1980s, these policies led President George H. W. Bush to create a commission, overseen by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jack

  1. A number of conservative groups have expressed growing concern over Agenda 21. A grassroots effort has arisen to convince local U.S. governments to cease their endorsement of Agenda 21 and end their participation with its most prominent implementing partner, the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). All told, there are 1,196 “global members” of ICLEI, of which nearly half (562 counties, cities, and municipalities) are in the U.S. See Rachel Alexander, “Agenda 21: Conspiracy Theory or Real Threat?” Townhall.com, July 2, 2011, at http://townhall.com/columnists/ rachelalexander/2011/07/02/agenda_21_conspiracy_theory_or_real_threat/page/full/ (November 7, 2011); ICLEI, “Members,” at http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=11454 (November 7, 2011).
  2. Charles, Prince of Wales, Icons of England, ed. Bill Bryson (London: Black Swan, 2010), p. 13.
  3. Ronald D. Utt, “Will Obama’s ‘Livability’ Program Bring Britain’s ‘Hobbit Homes’ to America?” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2601, September 1, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/09/Will-Obamas-Livability- Program-Bring-Britains-Hobbit-Homes-to-America.

Kemp, to investigate the impact of these policies on growth and communities and make recommendations. Its report, “Not in My Back Yard”: Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing,8 was a powerful critique of policies now known as “smart growth.”

While recklessness was certainly a factor in
the U.S. housing bubble, smart-growth policies played a major role in creating and exacerbating the bubble and the subsequent recession.

Nonetheless, smart-growth policies continued to advance in the U.S. As they became more prevalent and restrictive, their impact on housing prices and construction likewise expanded. An explosion of exclusionary zoning throughout the U.S. encouraged many communities to adopt zoning policies to ensure that they maintained a certain demographic

“profile.” Such zoning limited real estate development to higher-cost homes in order to “price out” moderate-income households, which included a disproportionate share of minorities.

In the wake of the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne wryly noted that Britain escaped the sort of housing bubble and crash that staggered America because, whereas America recklessly expanded its housing stock, “We were saved by the fact that you can’t build anything in this country.”9 While reck- lessness was certainly a factor in the U.S. housing bubble, smart-growth policies played a major role in creating and exacerbating the bubble and the subsequent recession. In fact, the states and metropolitan areas with the strictest smart-growth land

regulations were the ones that suffered the greatest home price bubbles (notably in California, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada) and the most serious foreclosure problems once the bubble burst.10

Missing the Real Target

Opponents of Agenda 21 should not be distracted from the more tangible manifestation of the smart-growth principles outlined in that document. If they focus excessively on Agenda 21, it is much more likely that homegrown smart-growth policies that date to the early 1970s and undermine the quality of life, personal choice, and property rights in American communities will be implemented by local, state, and federal authorities at the behest of environmental groups and other vested interests.

Adding to the problem, the Obama Administration has warmly embraced smart-growth policies and, more broadly, increased environmental regulation and restriction of use of natural resources. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is the Administration’s point man in selling smart-growth policies to the American people.11 He and other key Administration officials are abetted by state and local elected officials and numerous interest groups, including the Urban Land Institute, local Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Smart Growth America, the American Public Transportation Association, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and shortsighted local business associations.

Opponents of these policies have been very effective in their work. A good example is the state of Florida, where Governor Rick Scott (R) and the state legislature repealed a 25-year-old smart-growth law a few months ago.12

  1. Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing, “Not In My Back Yard”: Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991), at http://www.huduser.org/portal/publications/RBCPUBS/ NotInMyBackyward.html (November 7, 2011).
  2. George Will, “In ‘Merrie Olde England,’ Economic Pallor,” Free-Lance Star (Fredericksburg, Va.), August 12, 2011, at http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2011/082011/08122011/644603 (November 7, 2011).
  3. Cox and Utt, “Don’t Regulate the Suburbs.”
  4. Ronald D. Utt, “Obama Administration’s Plan to Coerce People out of Their Cars,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2536, July 10, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/07/Obama-Administrations-Plan-to-Coerce-People-out- of-Their-Cars.

12. Wendell Cox, “Florida Repeals Smart Growth Law,” New Geography, October 7, 2011, at http://www.newgeography.com/ content/002471-florida-repeals-smart-growth-law (November 28, 2010)

If implemented, the types of policies encouraged in Agenda 21 would be detrimental to economic growth and prosperity. Thus, preventing American implementation of Agenda 21 at the national level and membership by U.S. counties, cities, and municipalities in the International Cder effort to convince U.S. government officials to repeal destructive smart-growth programs and prevent the enactment of new ones.

—Wendell Cox, Principal of the Wendell Cox Consultancy in St. Louis, Missouri, is a Visiting Fellow in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D., is Herbert and Joyce Morgan Senior Research Fellow in the Roe Institute. Brett D. Schaefer is Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs in the Mar- garet Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for Inter- national Studies, at The Heritage Foundation and editor of ConUNdrum: The Limits of the United Nations and the Search for Alternatives (Rowman & Little- field Publishers, 2009).

 

Harford Campaign for Liberty Meeting July 24th

,

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which grant[s] a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.   James Madison

Harford Campaign for Liberty

July 24, 2012

7pm

Forest Hill Knights of Columbus Hall

23 Newport Drive, Forest Hill

It is likely that Mr. James Madison would frown on the recent actions of our county government.  Join us this month and learn how Harford County taxpayers have funded an $850,000 gift to Smith’s Detection.  We’ll also update you on:

  • The evils of The Federal Reserve and the recent Audit the Fed vote.
  • State nullification.
  • What’s new with casino legislation or “How the State Gambles With Your Money”
  • More mischief from the United Nations.

Cash bar available.      Visit us at www.harfordliberty.org and sign our petitions that encourage good government in Harford County.

Harford Handouts to Big Business

Did you see the County Council meeting last Tuesday? Here’s a quick video recap:

Bel Air, MD July 16, 2012
Harford Handouts
On July 10th the Harford County Council voted 5-1 on a Resolution to grant up to $100,000 from taxpayers of Harford County to a multi-billion dollar company that manufactures TSA-used body scanners in Edgewood, MD.
The Harford Campaign for Liberty opposes this use of taxpayer dollars and will continue to work to inform the public about this legislation.
Resolution 12-15 was introduced by Council President Boniface, R – At-Large, at the request of Harford County Executive David Craig, R, via the Economic Development department. This resolution also authorizes the State of Maryland to lend $750,000 to Smith’s Detection Corporation, a London-based firm that specializes in Detection equipment like x-ray scanners and bomb-detection equipment. While it is called a loan the $750,000 is actually a gift. The “loan” requires no payments during the first 10 years & the “loan” is forgiven after 10 years. The “loan” gift from the state of MD required a 10% match of funds from Harford. Yet for some reason County Executive Craig proposed an increased tax payer gift from $75,000 to $100,000 from Harford.
The motion to approve the handout to Smith’s Detection was entered by Councilman “Capt’n” Jim MaMahon, District C. It was seconded by Councilman Dion Guthrie, District A. The roll call vote to pass 15-12 was as follows: For: Guthrie D-A, McMahon R-C, Shrodes R-D, Slutzsky R-E, Lisanti D-C. Against: Woods
You can see the video of the Harford Handout here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIJDFByKvdI
The role of government is to protect the rights and freedoms of the people and not to give taxpayer-funded handouts to large, wealthy, multinational businesses.
A vote in favor of this resolution was a vote in favor of crony socialism that works opposite the best interests of a free society & free markets. With this resolution the County Council is picking winners and losers in Harford County, and ought not be suffered by free people.
For information on the bill, see it here:

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Fiscal note here:

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Some Facts about Smith’s Detection–
Smith’s Group, PLC, is a multi-million dollar company based in London, UK. In 2011, they reported profits of $661MM. Here’s their website and the Consolidated Income Statement for 2011: http://www.smiths.com/ar11/consolidated-income-statement.aspx
-On 7/2/ 12 announced a $16.9MM contract with the federal government at Aberdeen Proving Ground to produce chemical agent detectors.
-On 6/29/12 announced a $248.5MM contract ,the largest ever, with the Army, for “non-intrusive inspection systems and hardware” to scan people, vehicles, and cargo in Afghanistan. The Army is expected to take delivery by 8/31/14 (The Obama administration has stated that almost all of our troops will be out of Afghanistan by 2014).

-On 4/9/12 announced a $27.5MM contract for chemical agent detectors, communications adapter kits, another military items.

-On 3/26/12 Announced a $122MM contract to supply detection systems to the Doha Airport in Qatar, UAE

-On 12/1/11 announced a Navy contract of $9.4MM for meteorological devices
Smith’s Detection’s location in Edgewood, MD received an Enterprise Zone Tax Credit. Since 2006, they have paid only 20% of their property taxes due to the County and State. This will phase out over time by 2016. They are also eligible for an income tax credit equal to at least $1,000 per employee hired at this location, and $6,000 per ‘economically disadvantaged’ employee over three years.
Clearly, Smith’s Detection is not in need of a $750,000 gift from the state of Maryland courtesy of the tax payer to expand their Edgewood facility nor $100,000 from Harford taxpayers to train their workers.
The Smith’s Detection Edgewood location currently employs 215 people, with plans to add 100 more jobs that will be moving to Edgewood from a location in Canada. There is no guarantee those workers will live in Harford. The average wage for these jobs will be $74,000 of which only $54,000 impacts the purported revenue stream to Harford County.
Call the County Council today to let them know your thoughts on the wealth redistribution from Harford & Maryland taxpayers to large multi-million dollar, multi-national corporations & their generosity with your money.

Council President Billy Boniface:
410-638-3525wkboniface@harfordcountymd.gov

District A
Dion Guthrie
410-638-3521
dfguthrie@harfordcountymd.gov

District B
Joe Woods
410-639-3520
jmwoods@harfordcountymd.gov

District C
James “Capt’n Jim” McMahan
410-638-3523
jvmcmahan@harfordcountymd.gov

District D
Chad Shrodes
410-638-3524
cshrodes@harfordcountymd.gov

District E
Richard C. Slutzky
410-638-3522
rcslutzky@harfordcountymd.gov

District F
Mary Ann Lisanti
410-638-3526
malisanti@harfordcountymd.gov

County Executive David Craig
countyexecutive@harfordcountymd.gov
410.638.3350

The mission of Campaign for Liberty is to promote and defend the great American principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a noninterventionist foreign policy, by means of educational and political activity.
The Harford Campaign for Liberty meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at 23 Newport Drive in Forest Hill, MD at 7PM.