The DeWeese Report -- Insider's Report June, 1998 by Tom DeWeese, President, American Policy Center
"In pursuit of what's deemed as worth objectives, decent people often pave the way for tyranny. The process usually begins by the piecemeal destruction of the foundations of liberty: private property, rule of law, voluntary exchange and limited government. Those basic rights often stand in the way of do-gooders' objectives."
Recently, during a television interview in Prescott, AZ. I was asked a profound question by the host, Tom Strawn, talk show host of "On Target" on KUSK, held up a long list,. He said, " here is a list of fifty or sixty property-rights groups just from Arizona alone. With all of that fire power, why are we losing?"
The question is a vital one, because it is a question frustration, of despair and of growing resignation of defeat. Worse, it's a question being asked more and more by Conservative grassroots activists across the nation, In short, the question is "what's going on?"
The answer can be presented in many ways : misplaced trust: lack of attention to the details: back room politics: lack of moral character: compromise for the sake of compromise: deceit. But perhaps the word that sums up the problems best is " betrayal".
Of course, most grassroots activists learned a while back that Republican leadership in the Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and House Speaker Newt Gingrich couldn't be trusted to fight our battles. But when is taking more time to learn is that some organizations we support to lead our battles can't always be trusted either. Many grassroots activists hae ground that, if they ask questions or challenge the positions taken by these self appointed leaders, they are vilified, silenced, and cast aside. As a result or movement is becoming splintered and fragmented as our message becomes loss in backroom deals and spin doctors.
Some examples? I have several.
1. The Fight To Fix The Endangered Species Act (ESA) I won't re-write it here as it is irrelevant to us
2. The Betrayal of the Fly In For Freedom
How better to make sure the grassroots stay silent than by making sure the activists don't hear about the betrayal perpetrated by the timber industry? One of the most respected and influential members of the property-rights coalition has been the Alliance for America. And on e of its most effective projects has been the Fly In For Freedom, held annually in Washington, DC.
Each year the Fly In has brought together activists from across the nation to hear the leaders of the movement tell of the latest outrages by the greens, the latest legislation to oppose or support, and to plan the agenda for the fight in the coming year. A protest in front of the White House is always held. The Fly In ends with delegates taking to the halls of Congress to pay visits to their elected officials and deliver the property rights message.
The Fly In has been instrumental in making the property rights coalition a formidable voice on Capitol Hill. But it is almost entirely funded by the big timber industry-- the same industry that betrayed property rights activists in order to get an ESA bill that is friendly to big timber.
A funny thing has begun to happen to the Fly In. In recent years, spokesmen from the property rights movement have begun to disappear from the agenda - replaced by spokesmen for the green movement. The message is changing too. Strong principles of limited government and property rights are being replaced with the need for a new "environmental vision".
In 1996, before I, and others in the property rights movement, threatened to expose this new agenda, Fly In schedule contained spokesman from the National-Religious Partnership for the Environment. This organization was created by the green movement for the sole purpose of infiltrating property rights groups and churches to neutralize our attacks. The American Policy Center had spent several thousand dollars to expose this group. Now we found they were invited to speak to our own conference. To make it even worse, some of the nation's leading property rights spokesman were stopped from asking questions of speakers - including House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The fix was in.
After a vigorous debated was held at he annual Alliance national board meeting, a compromise was reached. The conference was to be divided into equal time for property rights and for natural resources us--which included the timber industry.
But for the 1998 Fly In, the truce has been broken as property rights spokesmen again are disappearing from the agenda. But there will be presentations made by two radical greens, Mike Jackson and Linda Blum. Both of these radicals have direct ties to the most vicious elements of the green movement and both have expressed all out opposition to property rights. Why are these dedicated enemies of the movement there? Perhaps the title of the conference reveals the answer most clearly - "Local Vision ... Global Hope".
The movement is now being told by our new masters in the timber industry that we must "tone down our rhetoric", that we must "demonstrate that we share the same environmental values that most Americans know about environmentalism only by what they've learned from the biased reporting of CNN. Never mind that the green movement is not really about saving the environment.
Today, the property rights movement is being told that it must now share the green rhetoric to fix a non-existent problem that they invented. In short, the movement is systematically being taken over by the money of big industry so that the grassroots can do industry's dirty work to put their competition out of business-- all in the warm and fuzzy rhetoric of saving the planet. Pretty smooth.
3. Is Big Timber's Fix in For The Quincy Library Group
A few years back, a timber industry forester, a county supervisor and an environmental attorney in Northern Ca. Had a vision of bringing the warring environmentalists and industry forces together in hopes of reaching a workable compromise. Their discussions led to the formation and the promise of the QLG.
It was supposed to be a coalition of property-rights and resource groups working together with environmentalists to find local solutions for the common goals of stable economies and a protected environment. The greens are good at these " consensus-building scams". Unfortunately, our grassroots activists aren't.
The greens, led by the aforementioned Mike Jackson and Linda Blum, set about employing their divide and conquer traps- this time, working to pit big timber against ranchers. In fact, Jackson hates cows. He wants them off all public lands. He wants to ban them from even using streams that run through ranches. He had a bumper sticker on his car that read, "Cows kill Salmon". Today, to many it appears that Jackson is the undisputed ruler of the QLG. True or not, that perception has led to the end of any hope of compromise and goodwill between the opposing forces.
Early on in the meetings of the QLG, ranchers were verbally assaulted by Jackson and Blum. Cattlemen wanted assurances that grazing and water rights would be protected. They were told by Jackson that such assurances could not be given. Jackson actually made a public statement, insinuating that rancher wanted the timber folks to go out of business. Jackson and Blum are absolute opponents of ranching on public lands. As a result of this deadlock, the rancher's issues were tabled by Jackson. That action left them no voice on grazing issues, which would threaten the very existence of cattle ranching. So the ranchers abandoned the QLG process, leaving the field to the greens and the timber companies.
The Quincy Library Group is a classic example of the employment of the Delphi Technique, a psychological process I which a predetermined outcome is decided and all discussion and decisions are made to lead the group to that consensus. The greens controlled the process and the timber industry fell for it hook, line and sinker.
Now, after five years of "debate" legislation has come out of the QLG effort. Senate Bill 1079 is cleverly called the "Economic Stability Act" Republicans on the Hill have been told that the bill is the one best chance to break the logjam and help ranchers and timber people save their homes and businesses. It's being hailed as a great compromise. No criticism of the bill is being tolerated by the powers of the Congress. Timber is paying some mighty dollars to assure it's passage.
But timber is trading the cutting of a few board feet of timber for the life of the ranching industry, which has no protection from the bill. But such facts are not what Timber funded activist groups are telling their members.
One of the largest activist groups pushing for passage of the bill is People for the West (now, People for the USA) PFW receives major funding from the timber industry.
In a fax alert that calls on grassroots activists to support the bill, PFW Executive Director Jeff Harris said that the QLG was made up of "loggers, concerned citizens, county representatives, and yes, even 'local environmentalists." He went on to say, "They came up with a reasonable 'forest health and community stability' plan that all parties can live with".
Harris makes it sound like it was our movement, tolerating a few local greens, which put this sell-out together. Such a statement is a major twist of the facts. Just ask the ranchers who refused to participate in preparing their own funeral.
Harris is a life long company man who has taken one of the nation's most effective grassroots organizations and turned it into a mouthpiece for compromise and capitulation to the ever-growing green monster. In an article, Harris praised the "new environmentalism," calling for a "new vision" which be described as based "on hope instead of fear, solution instead of conflict, education instead of litigation, science instead of emotion, and employing resources instead of destroying human resources."
Harris's warm hug with the greens ignores some basic facts. They never compromise, they pay no attention to science and their agenda calls human resources a cancer on the earth. But, Harris represents the new timber-paid leadership of what was once a formidable coalition of Americans fighting to save their property and their industry from a green monster that declared war against both. The result has been retreat and disaster.
These are just a few of the examples of betrayal to the Right: by our own leadership. Our grassroots troops are hungry for victory. They seek common-sense answers and instant black and white solutions. Many believe that by making he effort once, by protesting or picketing a meeting, that they have done their part. They go home and expect all to be right with the world.
Worse, the Right places its trust in others. They believe the patriotic rhetoric coming from certain elected leaders and self appointed leaders of private groups, they cheer blindly and excitedly again and again---and trust those leader to carry our message. The Right is good at creating false prophets, allowing them, time and again, to betray their trust.
To win, the Right must stop doing that. We must wipe the slate clean: stop the votes: stop the flow of money and enforce one golden rule: make elected leaders earn OUR respect BEFORE they get our vote and BEFORE they get the money.
Billie Jean Redemeyer, a courageous grassroots activist fighting for ranchers' rights in Northern CA. Has put together the perfect guidelines to determine the sincerity of self-appointed potentates. She asks, "do they seek honor or honors?"
People for the West, Alliance for America and many more tell us that they represents millions of concerned Americans. The proof of their sincerity lies in their actions, not in their rhetoric.
Slay the false prophets--or continue to lose.
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Obviously there is alot here that can be tossed out the window with the bath water, and other statements that I have to respond to, and even more statements that have nothing to do with the QLG and probably will cause a laugh or two amoung some of you. That's ok, I have finally calmed down a little and have thought that some of this stuff is laughable---especially the stuff concerning the Fly In----it sounds to me like a bunch of little boys in the sand box argueing over who has the biggest truck.
Our friends are the ones I hope we can give some support to, Jeff Harris and Bruce Vincent both have done us alot of good with their networks and ability's to articulate, from afar, our mission. Both have a great admiration for us for carrying our proposal, ideas and principles as far as we have, as well as a strong conviction that local voices need to be heard over and above the government bureaucracy.
The Insider's Report website address is: www.americanpolicy.org email for Bruce Vincent is firstname.lastname@example.org web site for Jeff Harris is www.pfw.org, I've miss placed his email address
I have heard from several folks around the country who have received the report. Some say it needs a response others say it doesn't deserve one. I have already decided to respond because there is too much crap in the report that is half truth, or untrue all together. If any of you feel the need to respond you are more than welcome to, please forward me your respondes. Please ask others to respond if they disagree with this report and/or the Reidnour statements. I would really like a letter from Congressman Herger and other Republican represenatives that voted to support the bill. Anyway after you have finished reading this take a day to calm down and then write.
Sunday, January ,(, /),( 0(:,(:,( AM