Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Property Rights and Newspeak

The only Democrat to toss his hat into the ring so far in the Kitsap County commissioner election is Josh Brown -- who is fluent in Newspeak.

As reported in today's Kitsap Sun, Brown had this to say about land-use regulations and property rights:

"Unfortunately, local politics have been under siege by special interests," he said. "I will fight to incorporate public policies which enhance our quality of life, while providing economic growth."

Asked what he meant by special interests, he said, "We have zoning and growth management policies in place that protect private property rights, and there are certain groups that want to dismantle decades of work.

"If you live in Seabeck or off Big Valley Road in Poulsbo and have a farm that your family has owned for a generation, if there weren’t zoning policies in place, someone who wanted to build an apartment building across the road would negatively impact your property. The point of zoning is to keep consistency."
(Emphasis added.)

He will go far in the Democratic Party with talent like that.

"Growth management policies...that protect private property rights" sounds almost like the man who would be his Republican opponent in the election of a commissioner -- if the would-be opponent can defeat the incumbent "Republican" commissioner, Patty ("Swing Vote") Lent in the primary election.

When the would-be opponent says "property rights," he refers to the right to use and develop one's property rather than having it set aside as wildlife habitat, or having it re-zoned to allow only one house per 20 acres to avoid "suburban sprawl" -- with no compensation from the public for this loss of use and value.

When Josh Brown says "property rights," he means the desire by those who got there first to keep others away so they can enjoy the feeling of owning significant acreage without actually buying it.

If Josh Brown and Jack Hamilton meet in the general election, you may need a program and a decoder ring to keep track of who said what, and what he meant when he said it.


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