Monday, June 06, 2011

TEA Party takes heat at Council meeting

Carol Thorpe speaks April 15, 2010 at Second Tax Day Tea Party

Charlottesville, Va. – In public comment, a deluded Jack Marshall characterized the Jefferson Area TEA Party as deluded. Marshall’s 3-minute speech was one for the ages, to be memorized by students of rhetoric because he used every trick in the book. It was political theater to energize the “radical ideologues” in the TEA Party. Such reckless rhetoric often backfires.

Marshall spoke right after Carol Thorpe, president of the Jefferson Area Taxed Enough Already Party. Marshall called the party, and hence Thorpe, reckless, insulting, anti-history, anti-intellectual, a “conspiratorial absurdity,” along with other epithets.

Mayor Dave Norris joined the negative rhetoric in council comment following public comment. Norris said he likes and has had lunch with Thorpe. But she should see that Sustainability is a “pretty core conservative value.” Conservation saves the City “hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.”

Norris claims “nothing nefarious” and hopes the TEA Party will return to legitimate issues and move away from “extreme conspiracy theories.”

Carol Thorpe explained that her group supports lower-case “sustainability,” principles of conservation and good stewardship of the environment. But, if it’s upper-case “Sustainability,” a set of specific laws mandating right action, then that would be a problem. Thorpe said the livability agenda threatens private property rights.

But Thorpe didn’t specify what property rights are. Besides she was speaking to a 5-member City Council who routinely violate those rights and revise the history of those violations.

Most recently on May 2, the property owner for Kmart, Hillsdale Drive and the new Whole Foods, asked Council to use eminent domain against himself for 110 parking spaces Kmart had been renting before the new road was built. The action would nullify the landlord-tenant agreement and circumvent legal negotiations ongoing between Kmart and landlord Meadowbrook Creek.

What are those property rights? In the United States the foundational rights are public use, just compensation, and due process. They balance individual rights versus group needs. The first two rights are called eminent domain, the only exception for due process and only for property that the society uses.

Due process requires you be found guilty of a crime before your life, liberty, or property can be taken. If society needs your property for the public to use, the only crime you’re guilty of is having property they need. As a safeguard against rampant abuses through history, the American Revolution changed eminent domain to public use, not public good, public benefit, economic development, jobs, blight, or anything else. The revolution added just compensation so if your property is seized, you’re paid an amount that would justify the violation of your due process.

How is Sustainability a threat to due process? In order to protect the environment, your land is designated wetlands and off-limits to you. In effect your property has been seized but you still own it and pay taxes on it. These infringements happen every day; it’s not just academic. If you trespass on your own land, you could be arrested. But what charge – trespassing on your own property?

So you’ll never be charged. Eminent domain will be invoked and the meaning changed. Instead of public use, it will be public good or for the good of the planet and its climate. Instead of just compensation, it will be fair market value, a price that applies only when the seller and buyer are not under any coercion, such as threat of court actions.

The Sustainability advocates claim the draft ordinances resulting from three years master planning will not be binding. A letter in The Daily Progress on Sunday listed the United Nations documents where Sustainability principles have been traced. But they don’t list the Bill of Rights or Declaration of Independence. That’s because they don’t recognize the God-given rights described in those documents.

What’s more important? The environment, the planet, the weather, the global nations? Or you – the most tiny minority of all – only one person? One person can make a difference – for the worse if Jack Marshall prevails and for the better if Carol Thorpe can articulate the radical ideals our forefathers set as the supreme law in our national constitution.

Video of June 6, 2011 City Council Meeting

19-item, 130-page Council Agenda June 6, 2011 with background materials

12-item, 97-page Council Agenda May 16, 2011 with background materials

Previous reports:

Council invokes eminent domain for Hillsdale dedication, May 2, 2011.

Sustainability comes to Council for $1 million, Apr. 18, 2011

Sustainability Fair at old Lane High School, Apr. 27, 2011


Blogger ApricotRse said...

The Jefferson Area Tea Party was successful tonight in convincing the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to revoke its paid membership in ICLEI. They booted it out by a 4-2 vote.

Thanks for your blog post.

Carole Thorpe
JATP Chairwoman

6/09/2011 1:19 AM  

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