Aug 31: Dinner Speaker Senator Tim Sheldon

Senator Tim Sheldon of the 35th District will be meeting with KAPO members and others for dinner starting at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Aug 31, 2017 at McCloud’s, Grill House, 2901 Perry Ave. Bremerton, WA. 98310.  Senator Sheldon will be sharing his thoughts on the Hirt’s Decision. (this is a fight to the finish for rural water rights).  He also has his views on budgets, taxes, school funding and environmental issues of the State.

There is no RSVP required.  Just bring yourself and your Questions and stay for dinner.  Contact Jackie at (360) 990-1088 for more information. KAPO is a nonpartisan 501 C3 organization  protecting individual property rights in Kitsap County.

WSJ Opinion: Westchester Beats Obama

The feds concede that the suburb’s zoning laws aren’t discriminatory.

Westchester County Chief Executive Rob Astorino spent seven years fighting Obama-era Department of Housing and Urban Development accusations that his county’s zoning laws are racist. Now HUD has conceded that the suburban New Yorker was right all along.

In a one-paragraph memo sent to Westchester recently, HUD Regional Director Jay Golden accepted the county’s latest report demonstrating that local zoning laws are race-neutral. Westchester was required to produce this “analysis of impediments” to housing as part of a 2009 legal settlement between Mr. Astorino’s Democratic predecessor, Andrew Spano, and a liberal activist group.

Mr. Astorino called HUD’s memo a “vindication,” and it is—not least because Westchester demonstrated as early as 2010 that the county didn’t have racially exclusionary zoning practices. Westchester’s residents live where they want and can afford to live. Between the 2000 and 2010 censuses (the most recent available), the county’s African-American and Hispanic populations rose 56%.

The Obama Administration had a larger social and political agenda, which was to use federal anti-discrimination law as a battering ram to rewrite local zoning laws. Westchester would be the model for the rest of the country, and as a Republican Mr. Astorino was an ideal foil to portray as a racist and then point to as a precedent to force racial housing quotas on neighborhoods across America. Continue reading

“Affordable Housing” background: The 800 – pound HUD Gorilla

The 800-Pound HUD Gorilla

They say the states are supposed to be the laboratories for legislative creativity.   We can watch what works and what doesn’t, emulate the best and avoid worst, and improve the lot of everyone.

But what happens when the mad scientist is the federal government, cramming an experiment down the throat of a particular state and county?  What if their process is textbook “arbitrary and capricious“, and yet they clearly aspire to go national with the results, regardless of efficacy?

Such is the saga going on in Westchester County New York, where County Executive Rob Astorino is embroiled in a nearly four-year-old legislative and financial nightmare brought on by his predecessor Andrew Spano.   Astorino, a Republican, defeated the three-term incumbent Democrat by an odds-crushing 16 points in November of 2009, and gained unprecedented voter support by vowing to challenge what became law very late in his campaign.   Astorino described the source of the problem, in his recent “State of the County” speech:

“If you think Albany is bad, wait until I tell you about Washington and the housing settlement.  A quick history:  The County was sued in 2006 under the False Claims Act of 1863.  The charge was that the County accepted Federal dollars from the department of Housing and Urban Development, but failed to study whether race is a factor in housing opportunities.  In 2009, former County Executive Andrew Spano and the Board of Legislators settled the case, and critically important, there was never a finding of wrong-doing on the part of the County, or an admission of guilt in the settlement.  Instead of going to court, the County and the Federal government both agreed to settle under the following terms:  The County would spend at least $51 million dollars to build 750 units of housing for lower income people in 31 so-called eligible or mostly white communities by the end of 2016.”

Combating this “mostly white” designation, by any means necessary, is apparently the crux of HUD’s mission.   To HUD’s way of thinking, surely these communities are “mostly white” only because of racial discrimination, or as Astorino went on to describe, zoning practices that they think have the net effect of being racially discriminatory:

“The Federal government has a very different agenda and vision for Westchester.   In fact, HUD calls us, its ‘Grand Experiment.’  That means Washington bureaucrats, who you will never see or meet, want the power to determine who will live where, and how each neighborhood will look.  Now what’s at stake is the fundamental right of our cities, towns and villages to plan and zone for themselves.  This ‘home rule’ is guaranteed by the New York State Constitution.  HUD thinks it can trample on Westchester, because it has the misguided notion that zoning and discrimination are the same thing.  They are not.  Zoning restricts what can be built, not who lives there.” Continue reading

The Pain and Dubiety of Hirst

The Supreme Court’s erroneous decision in Hirst http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/914753.pdf  has been a lesson in pain demonstrating poor judicial decision making can cause a web of unintended punishments that go far beyond what is possibly the original intent.  Yes, the environmental cartel’s (tribes, futurewise, agencies, and uncaring politicians) dreamed of result of halting growth in rural Washington was acheived.  And those who stand to profit from the improper route of regulatory legislation from the bench will feel no pain. http://proprights.org/blog/stealing-our-water-one-lawsuit-time-hirst-heist-and-our-diminishing-legislature Yet this decision has caused suburban and rural Washingtonians to doubt the integrity and functionality of our system of governance, spurring a close look at how such a result can come about that has been instructive to those paying attention. Continue reading

July 27: Dinner Speaker Randy Neatherlin @ McClouds 5PM

Randy Neatherlin is our Dinner Speaker for July 27, 2018 at  McCloud’s Grill House, 2901 Perry Ave. Bremerton. We all know Randy from the beginning of his career. He stayed focused to get where he is as Commissioner in Mason County. We all told him it was his destiny and he kept moving forward. “Yeah Randy”, now you have to urge us on. You see that we do have a path forward. Please remind us and send us forward.

So we start the conversation. Randy, what moves us? It is our belief that people own their Property and they are the best stewards. They respect mother nature and they believe as Americans who have fought for the American Dream that no hill is too tall and no regulation is too big. Thank you Randy. Help us get ready to move forward. No RSVP needed.

Questions, call Jackie at 360-990-1088.

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PLF appeals to Supreme Court over feds’ ‘phantom frog’ regs

TAMMANY PARISH, LOUISIANA, July 12, 2017: Pacific Legal Foundation today asked the Supreme Court to review the federal government’s unprecedented designation of private property as “critical habitat” for a species that isn’t found there, and for which the property isn’t usable in any case.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set aside a large area in St. Tammany Parish for the dusky gopher frog — even though there haven’t been any dusky gopher frogs in the entire State of Louisiana since 1965.  The closest place where the frog can be found is in the neighboring State of Mississippi.

PLF attorneys represent, free of charge, Markle Interests, LLC, one of the owners of the more than 1,500 acres that have been labeled as “critical habitat” for this frog that doesn’t exist there.  PLF’s petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court comes after the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling en banc, declined to reverse the illegal habitat designation, over the objection of six judges who favored the landowners.

“We’re asking the Supreme Court to shut down an unprecedented abuse of the Endangered Species Act,” said PLF Senior Attorney Reed Hopper.  “Regulators are seeking to impose control over privately owned property in the name of a phantom frog — a frog that is nowhere to be found on the property or, indeed, anywhere in the state.  Moreover, the property is not suitable for frog habitat in its current state.   Never before have federal officials attempted to rope off private property as ‘critical habitat’ where the land cannot sustain that species and the species is nowhere to be found.”

A land grab that threatens everyone’s property rights Continue reading

PLF renews property rights battle in Wisconsin announcement

PLF lauds proposed legislation; pledges nationwide campaign to undo Murr’s damage

MADISON, WI; July 20, 2017: Joining a press conference today on new property rights legislation by two Wisconsin state lawmakers, John Groen, Pacific Legal Foundation’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, announced that PLF is launching a campaign to restore and buttress property rights nationwide.

The legislation introduced today responds to the U.S. Supreme Court’s disappointing decision in the PLF case of Murr v. Wisconsin, in which Groen argued at the High Court on behalf of the Murr family. The measure’s authors are State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake). Two members of the family were also on hand at the press conference — Donna Murr and her brother Mike Murr.

The press conference was streamed live at 8:15 a.m. (CDT) and can be viewed  here.

Continue reading