Monday, November 29, 2010
BS Alert by Brett Narloch
Issue: Property Rights
As the Northern Plains Heritage Foundation goes through the motions of soliciting public input for management of the Northern Plains National Heritage Area (NPNHA), the Plains Daily - a North Dakota-based internet news service - picked up on the story and got an interesting quote for a major Heritage Area proponent, former State Senator Tracy Potter. Here is the quote:
“[The contention that the NPNHA will have an adverse effect on property rights] is a lie spread by the Farm Bureau. They misread the legislation and then others like Rob Port of Say Anything [www.sayanythingblog.com] and Narloch whipped up a frenzy.”
Narloch - of course - referring to yours truly.
This is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. The frenzy that was whipped up by Rob Port and me - yes, it was a frenzy - would not have been as intense if Potter himself would have been more truthful about the NPNHA in the first place. If you recall, the NDPC busted him for being short on facts in June 2009.
According to our report:
"Northern Plains Heritage Foundation Director and North Dakota State Senator Tracy Potter organized a lobbying effort to get more than half a million acres of private property designated as the Northern Plains Heritage Area in March... by the US Congress, without disclosing such efforts to the IRS, which is required by law. He also convinced a congressional subcommittee, in 2007, that such a designation had widespread public support, when it did not." Potter's group, Fort Abraham Lincoln, hired lobbyists to pass the bill that designated the Heritage Area, but checked the "no" box on the foundation's Form 990 - non-profit tax return - where it asked if the foundation had been engaged in political activity.
Then he told a congressional sub-committee that there was support for the designation when there clearly wasn't.
They did not tell landowners that their land would be included in the area. It wasn't until groups like the North Dakota Farm Bureau, the Landowners Association of North Dakota, and the NDPC and bloggers like Rob Port (SayAnything Blog) alerted the public that landowners realized what was happening to their land.
We have all of this documented in the link provided above.
So does the existence of the NPNHA have a negative effect on property rights? Of course it does. The Northern Plains Heritage Foundation will now receive millions of federal dollars to bribe local governments with. The board can also give those federal dollars to groups like the Sierra Club, who are known for being anti-property rights.
The Northern Plains National Heritage Area is BS. But what's worse is the Pot(ter) calling the kettle black. That's BS.