UPDATE: Members of the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon rejected a proposed ban on Agenda 21. Only three lawmakers voted in favor of the bill. Rep. Jarrod Crockett (R-Bethel) said he believes the bills supporters will have a future opportunity to discuss the bill before the full House.
AUGUSTA – Maine Democrats maneuvered during Tuesday’s meeting of the Judiciary Committee to kill a Republican-backed ban on implementation of United Nations “Sustainable Development” Agenda 21 in Maine.
Rep. Ricky D. Long (R-Sherman) introduced L.D. 220, An Act To Ban the United Nations Agenda 21 in Maine. in order to prevent any state actor from adopting or implementing policies originating in the United Nations Agenda 21 or other international laws that restrict private property rights without due process. L.D. 220 has ten co-sponsors including Assistant House Minority Leader Rep. Alexander Willette (R-Mapelton).
Although the eight Democrats on the Committee clearly did not want Long’s bill to pass, they also did not want to be on record as supporting in any way Agenda 21. So they instead embarked on an endeavor to reject L.D. 220 in the most polite – least accountable – fashion.
Democrats had the Committee clerk draft a platitudinous resolution that will do virtually nothing to halt the incremental adoption of Agenda 21 policies in Maine and suggested it replace Long’s bill. (see below)
When the Committee clerk informed them that bills cannot be transformed into resolutions at the Committee’s whim, they then considered whether to table debate on L.D. 220 and discuss it at a later date or to give it its inevitable ‘ought not pass’ recommendation.
“I think the bill needs to go ought not to pass,” said Committee Chair Sen. Linda M. Valentino (D-York). She said she would not commit to signing the resolution, but that she would tell Democratic leadership to give Long the opportunity to introduce the resolution her Committee clerk drafted.
Long never indicated he supported the resolution and learned about it just minutes before the work session began.
“I think the thing to do is send this out with an ought not pass,” said Rep. Stephen W. Moriarty (D-Cumberland). He said L.D. 220 would simply add to Maine’s current statutes protecting home rule.
Rep. Kimberly J. Monaghan-Derrig (D-Cape Elizabeth) said the bill was too extreme for her. “If you believe we’re influenced by [Agenda 21], I think you’re mistaken,” she said.“I don’t support this bill.”
Rep. Matthew W. Moonen (D-Portland) was brazen in his opposition to the bill. He opposed tabling the motion and said his colleagues were wasting their time debating exactly how to kill the bill.
“I think we all know this bill is going to end up ought not pass,” said Moonen. “If people want to spend their time on the minority report, then that’s their choice,” he said.
Republicans on the Committee acknowledged there were difficulties with the language of the bill as written. Rep. Jarrod S. Corckett (R-Bethel) said the bill should have a vote. “It’s a matter of letting it die gently or forcefully,” he said.
Rep. Anita P. Haskell (R-Milford) urged Democrats to respect the views of the people who turned out to testify at the bill’s March 5 public hearing.
“Those people think we’re their last chance,” said Haskell. “I would like to see this not be thrown out so blasé.”
Moriarty said in response that the people who came out to testify in favor of the bill don’t really matter.
“We each represent about 87,000 people, about 1.2 million statewide,” said Moriarty. “Those who testified in favor of the bill were not representative of all Mainers.”
Not all of the people present for the hearing testified in support of banning Agenda 21.
Ann Mitchell of the Maine Municipal Association testified that Maine’s towns and cities should be free to adopt policies whether they come from Agenda 21 or any other source.
Said Mitchell, “The supporters of LD 220 apparently believe that certain efforts of the United Nations ostensibly designed to encourage practices that fall under the umbrella of ‘sustainable development’ are more accurately described as an international effort to erode individual property rights.”
President of the Maine Association of Planners (MAP) Beth Della Valle said, “L.D. 220 is based in misguided paranoia about planning and distrust of the public process, such as the one taking place here today.”
Members of the Judiciary Committee ultimately decided to table the bill for 24 hours. Moonen and Monaghan-Derrig voted against the motion to table, but only because they would rather have killed the bill then and there.
For Democrats Agenda 21 is a joke, just another conservative conspiracy theory, but for conservatives Agenda 21 represents the visceral fear of western decline and the ascension of dangerous globalism.
The following chart is a conservative depiction used to argue against federal policies alleged to have originated in Agenda 21 deliberations. The great fear is that environmentalists’ desire to reduce man’s impact on the environment will fuel the drive for global government, the U.N. being the vehicle.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 21 - now know as Agenda 21 – originated in a 1987 U.N. report and was first offered up as U.N. policy in 1992 at the U.N.’s Earth Summit.
More than 178 nations have adopted Agenda 21. President George H.W. Bush signed it, but Congress did not adopt it. Still, the policies of Agenda 21 have crept into federal, state and local government institutions. President William J. Clinton, for example, issued Executive Order #12852 to create the President’s Council on Sustainable Development in order to harmonize U.S. environmental policy with the U.N.’s directives.
Agenda 21 works primarily through nongovernmental and transnational organizations.
“Because the United nations has accredited and enlisted numerous nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies related to Agenda 21 around the world, the bill prohibits the State or any political subdivision from entering into agreements or financial arrangements with those organizations,” according to the summary of An Act To Ban the United Nations Agenda 21 in Maine.
Although Long was not permitted to speak at the work session, he said he would continue to resists the usurpation of private property by state and interstate actors. His bill is not expected to pass Wednesday morning. But Long said he will not support any attempt to replace his bill with a meaningless resolution because he wants his colleagues to have a vote on the bill.
“If they oppose it, that’s fine,” said Long. “But people should know where they stand.”
Those who speak favorably of Agenda 21 have in the past expressed alarming sentiments about Agenda 21’s impact on local land-owners.
“Private land use decisions are often driven by strong economis incenttives that result in several ecological and aesthetics consequences… the key to overcoming it is through public policy,” according to a report from the President’s Council on sustainable development.
But Agenda 21’s supporters also realize that successful implementation of Agenda 21 policies means the U.N. can not appear responsible.
J. Gary Lawrence, advisor to President Clinton’s Council of Sustainable Development has said, “Participating in a UN advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy-fixated groups and individuals in our society… This segment of our society who fear ‘one-world government’ and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21. So we call our process something else, such as comprehensive growth planning, growth management or smart.”
In the case of the draft resolution the Democrats wanted to use instead of Long’s outright ban of Agenda 21, advocates of sustainable development chose to invoke Thomas Jefferson in order to advance central planning.
JOINT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING HOME RULE AND LOCAL CONTROL IN LAND USE
Whereas, the Constituion and Laws of Maine recognize the ability of the People of this Staste to make their choices about how their land should be used; and
Whereas, there is a strong tradition of Home Rule in Maine; and
Whereas, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the right of self-government… This, like all other natural rights, may be abridged or modified in its exercise by their own consent, or by the law of those who dispute them, if they meet in the right of others.”; and
Whereas, the Maine laws provide that any limitations on how property may be put to use can only be imposed through the public action of the electoral body of each community and their duly elected representatives; and
Wherereas, any recommendations based on international discussions and guided by the United Nations do not automatically limit the people’s right to use their land and to propose future purposes; now, therefore, be it
Resolved: That we, the Members of the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Legislature of the State of Maine now assembled in First Regular Session, on behalf of the people we represent, express our understanding of the importance that the people of the State of Maine place on controlling the destiny of lands and their communities; and be it further
Resolved: That suitable copies of this resolution, duly authenticated by the Secretary of State, be displayed at the office of the Secretary of State on behalf of the people of the State of Maine.
G:COMMITTEESJUDAMENDMTSLD 220 Jt Res.docx (4/7/2013 8:48:00PM)
By S.E. Robinson
MAINE WIRE Reporter