LAND GRAB CRISIS SOURCE MATERIAL (2000-2001)
on CURRENT NATIONAL LEGISLATION PROPOSALS
= KEY DOCUMENT (Most Important)
|GO TO FIRST HALF 2001 SOURCES
|BRUCE ALPERT - Times Picayune (New Orleans) Washington Bureau - LAST DITCH EFFORT MADE FOR MORE LA COASTAL AID -- LAWMAKERS OBJECT TO EQUAL DISTRIBUTION
|ELIZABETH MANNING - Anchorage Daily News (Alaska) - 'CARA LITE' GETS THROUGH CONGRESS
|GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - CARA BILL DIES
|JOAN McKINNEY - The Advocate ÷ LOUISIANA NEEDS A NEW APPROPRIATOR - House and Senate appropriators, whom Landrieu and Vitter now seek to join, hated CARA because it would have robbed them of discretion to spend billions in federal royalties. CARA lost, primarily because those powerful House and Senate appropriators -- Democrat and Republican -- killed it. In the heat of battle, Landrieu in particular said harsh things about the appropriators killing her beloved CARA. Those appropriators don't control who serves on their committee, but they can privately make their opinions known...Vitter wasn't high-profile in the bruising CARA fight. His staff doubts that CARA has poisoned Vitter's relationships with House appropriators.
|FEDERAL PARKS & RECREATION - CARA WILL RETURN IN NEXT CONGRESS - The lead sponsors of the big conservation bill known as CARA fully intend to reintroduce it early in the next Congress - and to move it.
|JOAN MCKINNEY - The Advocate (Baton Rouge) - COASTAL FUNDING REDUCED - ...However, Louisiana congressional offices agreed that even if the big Commerce bill is revised, the coastal-funding agreements will not change...Louisiana's share "will not be bumped up," said an aide to U.S. Rep. Chris John, D-Crowley.
|BRUCE ALPERT - Times Picayune (New Orleans) Washington Bureau - COMMITTEE CAPS LA.'S COASTAL AID -- STATE TO GET ONLY ABOUT $30 MILLION
|MARK PRESTON - Roll Call - LOTT BRINGS IN ZIGLAR TO LEAD CARA NEGOTIATIONS
|SAM BISHOP - Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News Miner - STEVENS NOT GIVING UP ON NOAA FUNDS
|JOAN MCKINNEY - The Advocate (Baton Rouge) - TAUZIN MEDIATING TIRE-LIABILITY LEGISLATION - See CARA matters covered in "HELP FROM THE PRESIDENT?" at the end of the column
|CARL REDMOND [column] Political Horizons, The
Advocate (Baton Rouge) - LOUISIANA INC. COULD BE TURNED
CORRUPT - Rep. Vic Stelly, R-Lake Charles, has been
traveling the state touting an income tax increase
package. Stelly said he runs into the same resistance at
"People are outraged," Stelly said. "When it gets to the end of my little talk, I'm dreading it. ... Every single time, somebody in the audience is going to say, 'Why should we do so-and-so and so-and-so, when all you guys are corrupt and all we have is corruption in Louisiana?' It's not true. ... But, perception is reality. ... The people are outraged, and they feel like we have more corruption than other states."
|JOAN MCKINNEY - The Advocate (Baton Rouge) - DUPLICITY KILLED CARA BILL
|DAVID WHITNEY - Anchorage Daily News - SENATE APPROVES CARA ALTERNATIVE -- SUPPORTERS UPSET AT LOSS - The fight to enact the Conservation and Reinvestment Act crumbled Thursday when the Senate, following in the footsteps of the House, overwhelmingly approved a vague, less generous program as part of a 2001 Interior Department spending bill...Don Young urged House colleagues Tuesday to defeat the spending measure. Instead it sailed through the chamber on a 348-69 vote early this week...Washington Sen. Slade Gorton, Republican chairman of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, said the Interior bill will provide much of the money that CARA supporters wanted for conservation programs, though in a way that doesn't create new entitlement programs. "CARA is almost $3 billion annually in entitlements for 15 years," Gorton said. "Items in it were deemed to be more important than saving Social Security, education and health care. It is my view that these are utterly inappropriate for an entitlement that comes right off the top." Senator Frank Murkowski...made no comment on the Senate floor about CARA's fizzling in the shadows of the Interior spending measure, for which he voted. But Young, for whom passage of the conservation bill would have been the hallmark of his chairmanship of the House Resources Committee, continued to rail. Young and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., introduced legislation to abolish the White House Council on Environmental Quality...Young blamed the council's director, George Frampton, for persuading the White House to abandon its support of the CARA bill and to embrace the Interior spending measure.
|ALRA - American Land Rights Association letter to senators - SUPPORT INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL - OPPOSE "CARA" LAND GRAB - Dear Senator, The American Land Rights Association strongly recommends that all efforts to attach any portions of "CARA," the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, to any remaining legislation be rejected by the Senate...Claims from Louisiana's delegation for "coastal assistance" funds from oil royalties to mitigate the effects of oil drilling have almost no basis in science. The enclosed report demonstrates that Louisiana is indeed losing wetlands. However, OCS activities account for only about 10% to 15% of wetlands losses. Mississippi River levees that prevent the release of silt into the wetlands are the dominant reason for the losses...The CARA proposal remains what it has been all along: a gravy train for Louisiana and Alaska that tosses out nickels and dimes to a variety of other constituencies in order to buy them off. It is a massive, unprecedented and unbridled land acquisition trust fund that will permanently hand over to federal and state agencies the threat of Eminent Domain combined with the money to back it up. Please SUPPORT the Interior Appropriations bill, and OPPOSE efforts by Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and others to add any portions of CARA to any subsequent legislation in the closing days of this Congress.
|BRODY MULLINS - CongressDailyAM - 'SHORTCHANGED' DEMS TARGET CEQ - In an act of revenge, two key Democrats are seeking to punish the White House's environmental arm -- and its chairman -- for abandoning a landmark resources conservation measure in favor of a scaled-back version of the bill.
|BRUCE ALPERT - Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - LANDRIEU BLOCKS VOTE ON INTERIOR SPENDING BILL - Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., all but conceded defeat Wednesday in her efforts to win passage of landmark conservation legislation, but staged a mini-filibuster to push for approval of more money for coastal assistance and wildlife preservation programs in Louisiana and other states.
|CONGRESSIONAL RECORD [p. S9878 - S9917] - Full record of the second day of debate in the full U.S. Senate on the CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 4578, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2001.
|CONGRESSIONAL RECORD [p. S9795 - S9821] - Full record of the first day of debate in the full U.S. Senate on the CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 4578, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2001. A filibuster occurred by Senators Fitzgerald and Landrieu before the rejection of CARA and the substitute was approved that did not included the CARA land grab.
|BRODY MULLINS - CongressDailyAM - Senate Majority Leader Lott worked late into the evening Tuesday to sidestep dual insurrections from freshman senators who are threatening to tie up precious floor time as senior Republicans prepare to marshal the remaining FY2001 spending bills through the chamber.
|JOAN McKINNEY - The Advocate (Baton Rouge) - HOUSE VOTE MAY KILL COASTAL FUNDS PLAN - "I believe it's dead," U.S. Rep. Chris John, D-Crowley, said of the royalty sharing measure. "Well, scratch the ╬dead' part. I think that this was a major setback. ĚĚ I'm not sure where we go from here." Tuesday evening, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., began an informal filibuster in the Senate. It was intended to delay the Senate's consideration of a pending Interior Department appropriations bill...until the advocates for royalty-sharing can develop a comeback strategy...Landrieu and other pro-CARA forces in the Senate may try to insert CARA into another appropriations bill that would fund the U.S. Commerce Department, or they may try to place CARA in a year-end, catch-all budget bill. Prospects are bleak for any of these strategies, several Louisiana Congress members and aides said. Tauzin said that this late in the session, "You can't put CARA anywhere in the appropriations process. The appropriators won't allow it. They don't want to do mandates." If Tauzin is correct about the remaining appropriations bills, CARA's fate could rest with the big, year-end budget bill. However, Louisiana delegation members said that many of their colleagues will be reluctant to insist on CARA, if that means killing the budget bill and risking the shutdown of the entire government. Other lawmakers also will revolt against tactics that delay their returns home for re-election campaigns, the Louisianians said. "Realistically, the chances are not good" for CARA, Tauzin said.
|DAVID WHITNEY - Anchorage Daily News - YOUNG LOSES FIGHT FOR CARA - Tuesday's 348-69 vote probably ends two years of work by Alaska Rep. Don Young, who battled to save his sweeping CARA entitlement package that would have been the crowning achievement of his six-year term as chairman of the House Resources Committee..."This issue is not going away," Young vowed on the House floor in an angry tirade against congressional appropriators he accused of undercutting his 15-year, $45 billion CARA bill. "I'll be here long after you are gone," Young said. "I will win this battle for the American people. You can say how great you've done in this bill. What you've actually put in this bill is hollow, and when they find out I'll be back."
|BRUCE ALPERT - Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - ALTERNATIVE CONSERVATION PLAN MAY COST LA.- COASTAL PROJECTS TAKE A BIG HIT IN INTERIOR BILL - Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said CARA supporters ought to be happy they got much as they did. "There is a time in life when you have to settle for a little bit less than you consider perfect" Obey said. "This is not CARA, but CARA was a dead as a dodo bird in the Senate, and this (Interior) bill resurrected the effort" to increase conservation financing..."The mixed signals from the Senate leadership really killed us," John said.
|SAM BISHOP - Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner - HOUSE VOTE SILENCES YOUNG'S LANDS BILL - The U.S. House, voting 354-65 Tuesday, trounced Young's effort to stop the annual Interior Department appropriations bill. The bill pays for a smaller, less costly list of land conservation and purchase programs than would CARA...The Interior bill also dropped CARA's prohibition on federal agencies using the new funding to buy land from "unwilling sellers." Private property rights groups say CARA's property protection language was meaningless, anyway. They noted that it didn't apply to much of the money in the bill. And federal agencies could coordinate offers with state and local governments with condemnation powers to turn "unwilling sellers" into "willing sellers," they said...But Young puts much stock in CARA's protections, which the Interior bill cut. "It's so much worse than CARA," Young said in the Capital hallways after the vote. "How someone who is a private property advocate can vote for it I don't know."
|BRODY MULLINS & LISA CARUSO - CongressDailyAM - CARA BATTLE RAGES AS INTERIOR BILL HEADS FOR HOUSE FLOOR - Senate Majority Leader Lott and the House Rules Committee delivered a devastating one-two punch to the Conservation and Reinvestment Act late Monday, all but knocking down any chance that the bill will become law this year...Lott -- who supports CARA but will vote for the Interior bill -- allowed that the 63 CARA backers in the Senate might try to attach the authorization bill to another appropriations bill. But the House action shows that the House Republican leadership and congressional appropriators from both parties have teamed up to block the legislation...[Don] Young, Resources ranking member George Miller, D-Calif., and Commerce ranking member John Dingell, D-Mich., hope to tap the 315 House members who voted for CARA earlier this year in order to round up the majority votes they need...However, a White House endorsement of the Interior measure will make it tough for them to corral enough Democrats to block the Interior measure from sailing through the House today.
|CONGRESSIONAL RECORD [p. H8641 - H8649] - Full record of the debate in the full U.S. House of Representatives on H.Res.603. WAIVING POINTS OF ORDER ON CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 4578, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2001. This is a critical vote to adopt the rules for the debate on the Interior Appropriations bill that did not include the CARA land grab. The rule waived points of order and amendments that could be made by CARA supporters to delay the appropriations bill that incorporated the substitute for CARA.
|JOAN MCKINNEY - The Advocate (Baton Rouge) - WHITE HOUSE FENSE-STRADDLING MAY HURT CARA
|AHR - Americans for Our Heritage and Recreation - ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION PRESS RELEASE DOES NOT LIKE THE CLINTON - APPROPRIATORS SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CARA LAND GRAB.
|LAND RIGHTS NETWORK ALERT - YOU'RE AHEAD BUT CARA IS NOT OVER - LOUISIANA PIGS LOSE PORK AND SQUEAL!- President Bill Clinton has left Louisiana Congressman "Slick Willy" Tauzin twisting slowly in the wind...CARA was supposed to be an environmental protection bill, not a honeypot for Slick Willy Tauzin's political cronies. Under the President's program, Louisiana loses about 90% of this pork barrel slush fund...[story of Tauzin voting against his own property rights protection amendment when cash waved under his nose]...New Appropriations Committee lights BACK FIRE That May Head Off CARA... In what appears to be an effort to stop CARA, the Appropriations Committee lit a legislative backfire to stop the CARA Fire storm by attaching a whole new Conservation bill to the Interior Appropriations Bill. They used an old name for the new bill:--the Clinton Lands Legacy. The new bill language is called the Conservation, Preservation and Infrastructure Act (CPIA). President Clinton is much more likely to sign a bill if he gets the credit. No one is happy to use a backfire or prescriptive burn to burn their own ground. But landowners and firefighters have often used backfires to stop major fire storms. CARA is the mother of all land grab fire storms. It appears the appropriators used a major legislative backfire to try to head off CARA. And CARA is not stopped yet. You've got to go in and kill it off...The CPIA provides much less money for acquisition than CARA...It makes land acquisition compete with other national priorities each year. So if changing national priorities mean that other things become more important in the eyes of Congress, then there will be less appropriations for land acquisition.
|LAND RIGHTS NETWORK ALERT - Land Grab Deal - ALASKANS GET SHAFTED - The Laurel and Hardy of the United States Congress, Congressman Don "Buffoon" Young and Senator Frank "Sellout" Murkowski, were taken to the cleaners this week by President Clinton and congressional Democrats. It appears that the Great Debate over the Condemnation and Relocation Act (CARA), the great Pork Barrel Land Grab, is coming to an end. President Clinton has the Lands Legacy Land Grab he wants, the environmental movement has a pile of grant money to stuff their faces with, and Alaska gets - umm, uhh, well, Alaska got peanuts.
|AUDREY HUDSON - The Washington Times - WHITE HOUSE RETREATS ON LAND CONSERVATION - "We're delighted with the result," said George Frampton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Barring any "unanticipated surprises," he said yesterday that President Clinton will sign the legislation, which assures a steady funding stream for his land legacy initiative and national monuments, and for Republican conservation priorities...Sen. Larry E. Craig, Idaho Republican, told The Washington Times that the compromise plan satisfies Western senators opposed to CARA because it includes congressional oversight to preclude a bureaucratic land grab...Western senators had pledged to block any attempt to vote on the measure before Congress adjourns next month. "We clearly let our leader know ÷ a good many of us ÷ CARA in its pure form, to come to the floor, would take a good many days to pass," Mr. Craig said. "I don't think enough time remains for that."...Rep. Ralph Regula, Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Interior, said his committee is agreeable to the compromise plan. Asked if these funds were being added to the appropriations measure because of certain defeat of CARA in the Senate, he responded, "We're not billing it as such, but you can interpret it that way."
|JOAN McKINNEY - The Advocate (Baton Rouge) - CARA BILL CHANGES CHALLENGED - Congressional appropriations committees have drafted a radically scaled-back version of the [CARA] legislation, and a coalition of environmentalists, governors, mayors and sports-related business groups find the changes unacceptable..."What the House and Senate appropriators have done is not CARA," said Jim Lyon, legislative director of the National Wildlife Federation. "We are here to dispel the myth that what the appropriators are doing is conservation funding, and that the game is over."...While the appropriations bill would earmark the offshore royalties for the same general purposes as CARA, it would let Congress continue to control the annual disbursals of the money. The House and Senate appropriations committees would have first crack at recommending when the money should be released..."There is no way in hell that CARA is going to be on an appropriations bill," said a Republican spokesman for the Senate Appropriations Committee. Wisconsin Democrat David Obey, a senior member on the House Appropriations Committee, repeatedly delivered the same message to White House negotiators this week, according to several people involved in the closed-door discussions of the Interior appropriations bill...[Chris] John [D-LA] said Alaska Republican Don Young already has recruited at least 60 House members who are willing to obstruct the Interior spending bill. A stand-alone CARA bill has passed the House with 315 votes, indicating its supporters could win a procedural showdown, John said...The first of many skirmishes may come Monday. According to John's office, the House Rules Committee has tentatively scheduled an afternoon meeting to decide when to send the Interior appropriations bill to the House floor. The committee could also set the rules for debating and voting on the bill.
|STEVEN A. HOLMES - New York Times - COMPROMISE REACHED ON CONSERVATION BILL - White House and Congressional negotiators agreed today...to set aside $12 billion over six years for...conservation. White House officials and lawmakers who cobbled together the agreement...said the money would be fenced off in a special conservation account, similar to the Highway Trust Fund, intended to assure a steady, if not completely guaranteed, flow of money for protecting sensitive lands...Congress would still have to act each year before the money would be spent on specific projects. But if Congress decided not to spend the amount annually placed in the fund, the money would remain in the account and could be allocated the next year. White House officials and some lawmakers said the popularity of conservation programs would all but guarantee that the money would be spent every year..."The great challenge is to ensure that we have permanent funding," said Tom Cassidy, senior policy advisor at The Nature Conservancy, an environmental group. "From what I've seen thus far, it does not seem that we have that in the proposal that was reached today." ..The compromise also left it up to the appropriations committees to determine how the money in each account would be spent.
|SAM BISHOP - Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner ÷ CARA CHANGES DEBATED - Young and Murkowski have repeatedly defended their CARA bill from attacks by land rights groups by pointing to the language prohibiting the use of federal funds to buy condemned property. With that language missing from what is becoming more likely to be the final measure, the process of casting blame began. "This is what Young and Murkowski have handed us," said Mike Hardiman, lobbyist for the American Land Rights Association. If the influential Alaskans and other Republicans hadn't joined Democrats in supporting the measure already, President Clinton's efforts to insert his program into an end-of-the-year appropriations bill would have been more easily rebuffed, he said...Murkowski blasted the White House-backed version in a news release Friday, calling it "smoke and mirrors." "It is possible that none of the accounts might ever be appropriated at all," Murkowski said in the news release. His version of CARA contains language that creates incentives to spend the money and directs it more specifically. ALRA COMMENT: The overwhelming consensus of national property rights protection groups is that Young-Murkowski-Miller CARA contains NO effective protections against land acquisition abuse by government agencies. Murkowski complains about "smoke and mirrors" -- the reality is that for the past two years he and Young have generated the biggest smokescreen of all by claiming CARA "protections" that don't exist.
|BRUCE ALPERT - Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - LA. MAY LOSE ON CONSERVATION APPROPRIATIONS - PROPOSED BILL THREATENING TO CARA PROGRAMS - [CARA] Supporters...are considering blocking House consideration of an alternative proposal they say shortchanges coastal states like Louisiana...In the House [they] are considering voting against a procedural motion needed to bring the $19 billion Interior Department spending bill to the floor. They are concerned that if Congress approves the Interior bill, including the Dicks land conservation proposal, it will make it difficult to win passage of any other environmental bill, including CARA. Supporters hope that if the interior bill can be blocked, it would force the issue into a final round of budgetary negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders in which the CARA bill might get better consideration than from appropriators. Opposing a procedural motion is easy enough for members of the Democratic minority, but for Republicans like Tauzin, a subcommittee chairman, it is considered politically risky. Tauzin is looking to move up to Commerce Committee chairman if the GOP retains control of the House next year, and he will need the good graces of the leadership to accomplish that...The Clinton administration signed onto the Interior bill after appropriators agreed to drop or modify some environmental riders the president had opposed.
|DAVID WHITNEY - Anchorage Daily News ÷ CARA SUPPORTERS FIGHT TO SALVAGE ORIGINAL PLAN - Groups advocating enactment of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act...are opposed to a watered-down version added to an appropriations bill this week and will fight for the original $45 billion, 15-year entitlement program. ..backers...were reacting to actions by congressional appropriators Thursday to provide much of the bill's conservation funding but without the specific directions and certainty that the money would ever be spent. ..unlike the Young-Murkowski legislation, the money would be subject to annual review and approval by House and Senate appropriations committees, without any assurance that the money would go where pledged...Critics of the appropriations provision pointed to the text of Thursday's deal that said "the program is not mandatory and does not guarantee annual appropriations."
|RICHARD SIMON - Los Angeles Times - SPENDING PLAN DOUBLES CONSERVATION EFFORTS - Sen. Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, accused negotiators of substituting "smoke and mirrors" for the larger bill...Under the [new] accord, funds now are allocated only in broad categories: $540 million next year for land acquisition; $160 million for urban recreation, historic preservation and youth conservation corps; $300 million for wildlife conservation; and $400 million for coastal programs...Lawmakers, in conjunction with federal agencies, will decide later what specific projects will be funded...Among those praising the spending plan was Sen. Conrad R. Burns (R-Mont.), who said it would provide $150 million a year for maintenance of federal land.
|ALAN FRAM - Los Angeles Times - BUDGET FIGHT SHOWS GOP CHANGES - Five years ago, GOP leaders were emphasizing eliminating entire Cabinet-level departments, not increasing spending. Further underscoring the party's turnaround, it was Republican senators -including Lott and Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska - who delayed completion of talks last week on a new land conservation program by demanding extra money for coastal states. And when bargainers shook hands on the new program and the administration hailed it as a triumph, it was Murkowski who issued a written statement complaining that "none of the accounts might ever be" spent at all. LAST FIVE YEARS FED GOVT. SPENDING LEVELS
|NO CARA POSTER from American Land Rights Association - Oppose CARA, the Condemnation and Relocation Act -- a/k/a the Conservation and Reinvestment Act.
|HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - Report 106-914 - CONFERENCE REPORT ON INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS - Contains excerpt describing the substitute Clinton Land Legacy: The Conservation, Preservation and Infrastructure Act (CPIA).
|DAVID WHITNEY - Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News - LATE DEAL KEEPS YOUNG BILL ALIVE - ...congressional appropriators have steadfastly resisted the entitlement features of the Young-Murkowski legislation, instead turning to looser spending directives that would accomplish similar goals while still giving appropriators the ability to massage actual spending levels annually.
|SAM BISHOP - Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News Miner - LAWMAKERS AGREE ON LANDS DEAL - U.S. House and Senate negotiators agreed to place a major lands conservation program in the annual Interior appropriations bill Thursday. Alaska's Sen. Frank Murkowski said he still has hope for an alternative measure on which he and Rep. Don Young have labored for more than a year, but Sen. Ted Stevens says he doesn't see any opportunity to get it passed this year. If their CARA is not passed this session, Murkowski and Young have discussed filibustering the Interior Appropriations bill (which could result in a government shut-down) if CARA is not in it. Stevens, though, said he didn't think killing the Interior bill [would] be wise. "Their concept is that if they don't get CARA they don't want any of it," he said. "We have to find some way to compromise." Stevens said there isn't time to pass CARA in the Senate this year. Only the necessary appropriations bills will make it at this point, he said. Stevens has said he committed himself to voting for CARA if it came to the Senate floor, but, as an Appropriations chairman, he doesn't support the bill's dedicated funding for land purchases.
|SARAH FOSTER - WorldNetDaily - SHOWDOWN LOOMS OVER LAND-GRAB BILL? 63 SENATORS GIVE THUMBS UP TO CONTROVERSIAL CARA MEASURE - DeWine circulated his [pro-CARA] letter quietly among his colleagues and did not post it on his webpage. Nevertheless, he received considerable outside help as copies were somehow obtained by environmental groups who used it to their advantage. "A senator signing the DeWine letter does not mean he or she would vote for CARA," said [ALRA's Chuck] Cushman. "It depends on what they see in it. Many senators support the idea of soccer fields and recreation, but they might also oppose condemning your home or property to get the land for these. The DeWine letter generally supports CARA, but doesn't mention any of the controversial issues in it, like eminent domain or the fact that states and local governments will have to come up with matching funds for the grant money they receive." According to Cushman, many of the senators signed the letter after they knew it would never make it through the full Senate. "They signed it when they figured they had nothing to lose," he said.
|H. JOSEPH HEBERT - Associated Press Writer - LAND CONSERVATION BILL SNAGGED - Despite overwhelming bipartisan appeal, prospects are fading for congressional approval of a widely heralded $45 billion land conservation proposal...supporters acknowledged Wednesday that the proposal as once envisioned was all but dead, with negotiations now focusing on a significantly scaled back land conservation proposal, whose fate also was uncertain...."We shouldn't create an entitlement program and say land acquisition is more important than education and health care," argued Gorton, whose subcommittee controls how money involving land policies is spent.
|DAVID WHITNEY - Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News - CARA COMPROMISE HITS OBSTACLES - The problem is that the Young-Murkowski bill is virtually dead in the Senate...appropriators have reservations about the bill...conservative Western Republicans deplore its land acquisition features that they fear will lead to land condemnations and more government-owned property...John Podesta, chief of staff to President Clinton, who vigorously backed CARA last week, emerged from the appropriations talks without much optimism that a spending bill would be the measure's ticket to enactment. "We'd like to pass CARA but we are dealing with Interior appropriations," he said...Land rights groups...saw no improvement that would cause them to lift their opposition. "Instead of 15 years of guaranteed pork, it is six years," said Mike Hardiman, lobbyist for the American Land Rights Association. "It is still massive and unprecedented money and power to condemn lands." ALRA COMMENT: The self-styled PR smokescreen "compromise" only involves discussions between CARA boosters, Young, Murkowski, Miller and Bingaman!
|SAM BISHOP - Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News Miner - STALEMATE STALLS HUGE LANDS BILL - Behind a stately wooden door on the Capital's first floor, senators, congressmen and top White House staff worked late into the evening Wednesday on a spending bill that was expected to provide money for President Clinton's "Lands Legacy Trust." The president's new program could cut the legs from beneath the similar Conservation and Reinvestment Act sponsored by Alaska's Sen. Frank Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, according to some congressional staff....Wednesday evening, senators, representatives and their staff occasionally came and went from the room, closing the door quickly behind them so no words from within leaked out. Some huddled in the elaborately painted hallways, their voices unintelligible echoes. Behan said he expected the meeting to go quite late. He said it was likely that some version of the president's Lands Legacy Trust to be attached in the end.
|PAULINE ARRILLAGA - FoxNews/Associated Press - OUTRAGE OVER CLINTON LAND PROPOSALS PROPELS ANGRY VOTERS INTO ACTION - "High-handed'' is a polite way of describing the Clinton policies, to some of the newly energized. "I have voted Democrat all of my life, but at this point ¸ no way,'' says Milligan of Anderson, Calif. "I call this the War in the West. We're fighting to keep the public lands open.''
|LISA CARUSO - CongressDaily - AS HOUSE PLANS CONTINUING RESOLUTION, WHITE HOUSE HOLDS SUMMIT ON INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL - More on the "dead of night" back room dealing over CARA.
|ALRA - Senate Energy Committee releases Committee Report #106-413. Statements here from dissenting senators against CARA. Very unusual for a minority statement to be filed from members of the majority party.
|JOHN HUGHES - Anchorage Daily News ÷ BILL PROTECTING HUNTING ON FEDERAL LANDS BECOMES TARGET - The Hunting Heritage Protection Act moving through Congress... has fueled a bitter debate between hunters and environmentalists... the Clinton administration opposes the bill, saying it would tie the hands of local land managers.
|SAM BISHOP - Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News Miner - YOUNG'S LANDS CONSERVATION BILL IN JEOPARDY - A House-Senate conference committee has tentatively agreed to put $1.4 billion into federal land acquisition and maintenance annually for six years, an action that could derail a larger lands conservation bill pushed by Rep. Don Young and Sen. Frank Murkowski..."It would pretty much kill it," Steve Hansen, spokesman for the House Resources Committee, said of the conference committee agreement's effect on CARA...Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said the conference agreement didn't bode well for CARA. He said he thinks [Rep. Norm] Dicks [D-WA] is doing the bidding of the White House, which has supported CARA to date. Stevens, a lukewarm supporter of the bill, is a member of the conference committee. "To a certain extent they're pulling the rug out from under a bill they're for," Stevens said of the Clinton administration.
|BRUCE ALPERT - Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - LA. TO LOSE MILLIONS FOR COASTLINE IF NEW CONSERVATION PLAN PASSES - A bipartisan agreement on financing for a long-stalled White House proposal to protect environmentally sensitive land posed a new threat Friday to a broader conservation measure being pushed by Louisiana lawmakers...Landrieu and other backers of CARA believe President Clinton will almost certainly veto the Interior appropriations bill, because it has several environmental riders he opposes...If the bill is vetoed, changes would be negotiated, not by the appropriators who put together the financing for the new conservation plan, but by the White House and congressional leaders. That would include Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who presumably would prefer CARA.
|SAM BISHOP - Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner - HUNDREDS RALLY FOR LANDS BILL AT CAPITOL - [Don] Young, speaking with reporters last week, said White House Chief of Staff John Podesta told him the bill was Clinton's second priority for this Congress, which is set to end in early October. "He said he'd die for this bill--those were his exact words," Young said...Alaska would get about $164 million a year, far more per capita than any other state. Despite this funding bonanza, Young and Murkowski also have only a lukewarm ally in their colleague, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "I said I'd vote for it," Stevens said earlier this month. "I really don't like it much, but I'll vote for it." Stevens said he disagrees with creating another entitlement. "He'll have to work with the leadership," Stevens said when asked whether he would try to attach Murkowski's version of CARA to an appropriations bill. "We will add no big bills in committee. The floor may see one."
|WILLIAM H. BEARDSLEY - Portland Press Herald - MAINE VOICES: FORESTRY, PARK ISSUES DECEPTIVE - An eloquent OpEd by the president of Husson College in Bangor, Maine. He describes and rejects the green activist strategy against Maine forest land owners ÷ "We do not have to win votes to close them down or make them uneconomic. All we need to do is create uncertainty, risk and delay and investors will put their money elsewhere. Holding repeated referendums and achieving regulatory delay and uncertainty is all we need to do. The rest is pure economics." ALRA Comments: CARA will fund the green groups and sympathetic agencies to use just this approach against ALL disfavored land owners, tourism service operators, farmers, and ranchers. CARA, the Condemnation and Relocation Act! Maine is facing an extreme referendum in the November election which, if passed, will place massive amounts of red tape and new regulations in the path of sound forest management, thus undermining the ability of the forest products industry of Maine to continue to compete and survive.
|CHENOWETH-HAGE LETTER TO SPEAKER HASTERT - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MOVES AGAINST CARA! In the House of Representatives, twenty-five CHAMPIONS of property rights are circulating a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert. It says that the House should have a full debate on the CARA land grab, since the Senate version is so different and has not been considered by the House. For the past few weeks, the focus has been on the Senate. Now it changes back to the House.
|PAUL ROGERS - San Jose (California) Mercury News - LANDMARK U.S. PARKS BILL RACES THE CLOCK - BACKERS, FOES GEAR FOR SENATE FIGHT - With less than three weeks before Congress is set to adjourn, time is running out for a landmark conservation bill that would more than triple federal spending to expand America's national parks...On Tuesday, scrambling supporters released a letter signed by 63 senators backing the bill. But a filibuster threat by a handful of western Republican senators could keep the measure from reaching the floor for a vote this year. ALRA Comment: How's this for the latest big government spinmeister-talk: The article describes past allocation of OCS revenues on other priorities like social security and deficit reduction as "hide[ing] the size of the federal budget deficit."
|BRUCE ALPERT - Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - OFFSHORE ROYALTIES BILL MAY NOT PASS - MORE NEGOTIATION NEEDED, LOTT SAYS - Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said Tuesday that legislation redistributing offshore royalty payments to Louisiana and other states can't pass "in its present form."
|STATE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS RESOLUTION AGAINST CARA - Wyoming County Commissioners Association - Includes Sample Letter and Cover letter from former Senator Malcolm Wallop (WY - R). "WHEREAS, land acquisition has little to do with preserving the environment but has everything to do with acquiring and using power over people and their resources...", Wallop: "Senator Nighthorse Campbell believes as I do that CARA successfully cedes the constitutional power of Congress to the executive branch. Decisions about what land to buy and how much to pay for it would be made entirely by mid-level bureaucrats with no accountability to the American public."
|ED ANDERSON - Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - STATE LAWMAKERS MAY TAP DEDICATED FUNDS - Lawmakers looking for money to operate state government said Tuesday they may have to undedicate some of the $2.2 billion they have earmarked for specific programs during the last decade. ALRA Comment: Louisiana, the state that wants dedicated federal CARA funds is in the process of dismantling its own dedicated funds!
|FRED HASTINGS - The Downeast Coastal Press (Cutler Maine) - COLLINS ASKS SENATE LEADERS TO SCHEDULE VOTE ON CARA; 'Bill raises issues that are too important to receive less than full consideration' - Property rights defenders, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and market-oriented conservationists hate the bill. They describe CARA's purpose as an effort to establish under federal law a politically untouchable mechanism for converting, by force where necessary, massive amounts of private property to government ownership and control. The amount of funding and the way it would be distributed, they say, would increase already bloated public land and wildlife management bureaucracies and provide direct government subsidies to environmentalist organizations with which they collaborate.
|JOAN MCKINNEY - The Advocate (Baton Rouge) - ROYALTY SHARING BILL HAS ONE LAST SHOT
|FRED KELLY GRANT - Stewards of the Range - FATAL FLAWS II, CARA EXPOSED - Updated to reflect the Senate version of CARA. "Ironically, the leaders for passage are Alaska republicans Don Young in the House and Frank Murkowski in the Senate. The Clinton-Gore administration, the democratic leadership in Congress and the radical environmentalist organizations have delightedly stepped back to allow these proclaimed supporters of limited government to carry the battle." Topics: I. CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY TO APPROPRIATE CONVEYED TO EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATION -- CONSTITUTIONAL CHECK AND BALANCES ERODED. Comparisons made to voiding of line item veto by the U.S. Supreme Court. II. PERMANENT ENTITLEMENTS AND LAND ACQUISITION INCONSISTENT WITH LIMITED GOVERNMENT. III. NO PROTECTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY FROM ADVERSE IMPACT OF EXPANDING FEDERAL OWNERSHIP. In the Senate version...there is even less protection than in the House Bill...the Bill...does in fact authorize condemnation against the will of the seller. IV. PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS THREATS FROM SPECIES PROTECTION STATE PLANS.
|SENATE ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE - Committee Report: Senate Rpt. 106-413 on August 2000 markup of CARA.
|ADRIENNE MAND - FoxNews - FEDS TO HOMEOWNERS: MAKE ROOM FOR A VIEW. ...a road improvement plan that ballooned into a federal park project has threatened to force ...dozens of ...residents from their homes, all to create a better view. And the situation is not unique to West Virginia. "The whole thing is a disgrace," [Hardiman] said of the parkway project. "It is an absolutely perfect case study of the mentality of abuse of taxpayer money and of individual citizens at the park service, in particular over the last eight years." [ALRA Comment: This will be typical of our CARA-funded future]
|DAVID WHITNEY - Anchorage Daily News (Alaska) - YOUNG'S BILL IS IN TROUBLE -- TIME ON FOE'S SIDE IN FIGHT FOR CARA
|DAVID KOEPPEL - FoxNews - OHIO FARMERS TO FEDS: HANDS OFF OUR LAND - But there's a battle brewing in a once serene part of central Ohio, and it pits native farmers against a powerful government agency...many of them [are] Mennonite and Amish farmers whose families settled the area in the mid-1800s...When the feds proposed a national recreation area near Cleveland, they promised homeowners they could stay. Instead, hundreds were evicted...Many of the farmers have deep spiritual connections to the land and detest the idea of selling it. [ALRA Comment: CARA will fund it all]
|AUDREY HUDSON - Washington Times - PARK SERVICE PRESSURES FRIARS TO CEDE TRAIL PROPERTY - Graymoor welcomes hundreds of trail hikers every year, providing camping areas and free meals. Hikers also are allowed to roam the friars' property and park their cars there for day trips, said Rob Gordon, executive director of the National Wilderness Institute. "Instead of coveting their neighbor's property, the National Park Service would be far better served by learning how to be a good neighbor with the Franciscans," Mr. Gordon said.
|GREENWIRE -- CARA: ALASKA MEMBERS HEAR CRITICISM AT HOME - Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-AK) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) are facing strong criticism from conservatives back home who feel the Conservation and Reinvestment Act could spur new federal land purchases and constrain congressional budget writers. Just days after the bill cruised through the House with more than 300 votes, the Alaska Republican Party passed a resolution opposing CARA. Republicans in the state legislature also "sandbagged" a resolution supporting the bill. The resolution was written by Murkowski's daughter, state Rep. Lisa Murkowski (R). Conservative publications and the state's second biggest newspaper, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, have criticized the bill. Young calls the attacks "immature and unprofessional." He and Murkowski believe the vast majority of state residents support CARA (Brody Mullins, CongressDaily, Aug. 8). [NO HOTLINK]
|CONGRESSMAN DON YOUNG - ANCHORAGE ALASKA CAMPAIGN PORK FUNDRAISER - "Where I come from, green pork generally smells." (spokesman for Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.)
|ASSOCIATED PRESS - Anchorage Daily News ÷ YOUNG: EVENTS MAY BOOST LURE OF CABINET JOB - Don Young says...he isn't ruling out accepting a Cabinet post if fellow Republican George W. Bush becomes president.
|BRODY MULLINS - CongressDaily ÷ YOUNG, MURKOWSKI BATTLING GOP OVER CONSERVATION BILL - ... the bill has created strange bedfellows for the Alaskans. As Murkowski spoke with CongressDaily after his panel approved the bill, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., whispered to her frequent political opponent: "Great job today, Frank."
|JOHN ELVIN, Insight Special Report - STATES BRIBED IN HUGE LANDGRAB - Leading Republicans are behind a bill likely to be ratified by Congress that would give the government $45 billion to acquire billions of acres of land for so-called conservation.
|JIM FITZGERALD - Associated Press - FRANCISCANS FACE PARK SERVICE FIGHT - Since 1898, the Franciscans of Graymoor have been providing food, shelter and a spiritual atmosphere to homeless men and recovering alcoholics ÷ and more recently to the hikers who pass through on the Appalachian Trail. But now the friars are giving holy hell to the National Park Service for trying to take 18 acres of their land. Appalachian Mountain Conference supports Park Service condemning friars: "The friars there have a long tradition of being good to hikers and putting them up, but we support the park service protection program. It's something we've fought for for 30 years", Brian King, spokesman for the AMC.
KILGANNON, New York Times - FRIARS HOLD FIRM IN
16-YEAR LAND DISPUTE WITH PARKS SERVICE - Father Johnson
said the battle was not over money but over "the
principle that the federal government thinks it can come
in and take over our land." Allowing the Park
Service to have the parcel, he said, could open the
floodgates to future government land
acquisition..."It's like inviting someone for the
weekend," he said, "and all of a sudden they
stay and claim squatters' rights."
LINK TO FRIARS OF THE ATONEMENT WEBSITE - Links to other news articles, press releases, background on the Park Service attack.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND LINKS ON THE PARK SERVICE ATTACK ON GRAYMOOR FRIARS OF GARRISON NY
AMERICAN LAND RIGHTS ASSOCIATION COMMENT ON THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ATTACK ON GRAYMOOR FRIARS OF GARRISON NY. Included is a history of the nationally deteriorating relationship between the Park Service and trail landowners: "First the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) and its predecessors started out as good neighbors asking landowners to work with them to establish the trail. And landowners responded in kind. It was a very good working relationship. But things changed. The ATC, Park Service and other agencies got greedy and helped pass the National Trails Act in 1968 allowing them to buy land up to 25 acres per mile. But that was not enough. The ATC and the Park Service went back for more and in 1978 National Trails Act amendments allowed them to buy (condemn with eminent domain) 125 acres per mile. But that's not enough. Now [they] are saying it is an average of 125 acres per mile. Since they have purchased corridors only a few yards wide in some places, the Park Service says they can buy a corridor miles wide at the Saddleback Ski Area in Maine, gutting the ski area and the local community of Rangeley. The way the Park Service and the Appalachian Trail Conference have acted on the Appalachian Trail is anti-conservation and anti-good stewardship. Why would landowners trust trail groups who come and say, "don't worry, we only want a small easement." Then, once the trail is in place, they work with Congress to expand their power over and over again. As in the case of the Friars, entire landholdings are often jeopardized with the landowners driven out entirely."
AUDIO CLIP - Listen to this interview on WAMC Albany NY - Northeast Public Radio
|MARK UDALL and BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL - Rocky Mountain News (Denver) - BILLIONS FOR PARKS? - Two Op Ed articles - CARA BOOSTER, DEMOCRAT MARK UDALL IN FAVOR: Repeating the usual Big CARA Lies including: "Require[s] no increases in taxes since it uses revenue from existing federal royalty programs." REPUBLICAN SENATOR BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL OPPOSED: A CARA cosponsor who took a closer look: "All too often the legislative process can be like buying a car. The advertisement in the paper looks good, but when you sit down with the salesman and go over the figures, you find the deal is a great deal more expensive...I cannot support a bill that violates the Constitution I took an oath to protect."
|SEN. FRANK MURKOWSKI - Anchorage Daily News - LANDMARK LANDS BILL CAN AID COASTAL TOWNS, WILDLIFE - "...coastal impact assistance...could help restore the lands or help build and repair infrastructure and roads -- the choice would be up to the communities". ALRA COMMENT: Actually, Bruce Babbitt will make the final decisions. "CARA contains provisions designed to curb the federal government's voracious appetite for gobbling up precious private lands in Alaska...the bill will decrease federal land acquisitions in Alaska from the high rates of the past decade." ALRA COMMENT: In reality, there is nothing in CARA that limits federal land acquisitions in Alaska.
|PEOPLE FOR THE USA - Missouri Convention - GETTING OUT THE RURAL VOTE - PFUSA National Chairman Bruce Vincent said that America is having a "Collision of Visions." There are people in our nation who want to protect the places they've fallen in love with -- that's rural America. When people leave their urban jungle in Chicago and drive through places like Missouri they fall in love with the land and the rural culture. So America is developing a vision for preserving these "last best places." But that vision has a fatal flaw -- there is no provision for protecting the "last best people" who live in rural America, and that ultimately will destroy the environment and rural culture that city people want to protect.
|ERICH VEYHL - PROPERTY RIGHTS IN CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE COMPARISON OF CARA BILLS - CARA does nothing to stop the increasingly widespread practice of inverse condemnations in which government takes control of land without compensation under various regulatory authorities. Environmentalists publicly refuse to acknowledge this concept of regulatory takings and steadfastly resist all attempts to compensate landowners who lose control of their property in this fashion. The environmentalists would therefore have no incentive to use CARA funds to compensate property owners for new or past regulatory takings, and would instead use CARA money for new acquisitions where they lack the authority to conveniently take property through regulations. [6/12/00 CRS Report]
|INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY, Editorials - PROPERTY RIGHTS LAND GRAB BY ANOTHER NAME - It's called a conservation law. And it must be because that word is right there in the title. But if it were more precisely named, it would never get through Congress. Nobody would vote for the Land Grab Act of 2OOO..."It's the granddaddy of all land grabs," said Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He added that "Democrats didn't propose "anything this bad" while they ran Congress for 40 years.
|SARAH FOSTER - WorldNetDaily.com - SENATE COMMITTEE OKS LAND BILL - CONTROVERSIAL CARA MEASURE ON WAY TO UPPER CHAMBER. "This bill reeks of socialism," Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) said. "It cedes the constitutional authority of the legislative branch to mid-level bureaucrats. It would take private property off the tax roles without any input from the local communities or their elected officials." Campbell pointed out some significant differences between CARA and other trust funds. "Other federal trust funds, like those that fund highways and aviation have five year life-spans, while CARA's is 15 years," he said. "That amount of time for an entitlement program is unparalleled in American government, with the exception of Social Security. It prioritizes buying private property with taxpayers' money ahead of national defense, educating our children, the war on drugs, providing for natural disasters, and prescription drugs for seniors. All of those initiatives must go through a yearly appropriations process."
|THE CONGRESSIONAL GREEN SHEETS ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY DAILY REPORT - CONSERVATION FUNDING BILL CLEARS SENATE ENERGY COMMITTEE - Good summary of CARA Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee markup and votes.
|MIKE SORAGHAN, Denver Post, Washington Bureau - SENATE PANEL OK'S PARKLAND BILL - But the biggest supporter in the Senate has been Energy Chairman Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska... Opponents say the bill has been loaded with goodies for Alaska in order to maintain Murkowski's support. ...the American Land Rights Association, a property rights group that opposes the act, distributed a flier reading "Alaska's snout in the trough."
|SAM BISHOP, Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, Washington Bureau - SENATE TO ARGUE BILLION-DOLLAR LANDS CONSERVATION BILL - Audience members applauded the U.S. Senate committee following its approval of a $3 billion-a-year dedicated fund for conservation work Tuesday, while a voice in the back of the room offered a less complimentary comment. "Oink, oink, oink," came a soft refrain from Mike Hardiman, a lobbyist who has fought such bills for several years by portraying the legislation as pork...Landmarks and legacy were certainly on Rep. Don Young's mind Tuesday. He said he'd like the legislation to be known as the Young-Miller bill, just as previous major conservation bills have been dubbed, for example, the Magnuson-Stevens Act or the Dingell-Johnson Act. ...Despite Tuesday's vote in committee, few people predicted that CARA would pass the full Senate as stand-alone legislation. Instead, both Hardiman and O'Brien said it likely will be wrapped into a reconciliation bill, the legislation often used at the end of Congress to complete various budget actions. But Hardiman, of the American Land Rights Association, said he figures Alaska will lose much of its projected $163 million in funding if CARA is passed that way. "I think the environmentalists are going to get what they wanted and Alaska is going to get shafted," he said.
|BRUCE ALPERT, Washington Bureau, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - COMMITTEE PASSES LANDRIEU'S BILL ON OFFSHORE ROYALTIES - ..."This is a $45 billion pile of pork," decried Mike Hardiman, lobbyist for the American Land Rights Association. "We are going to fight this bill down to the last ditch."...Opponents said the bill would hurt the rights of land owners and that it is unfair to commit future Congresses to spend money on the programs outlined in the bill, giving them a higher priority than education, health care and public safety.
|DAVID WHITNEY, Daily News Reporter, Anchorage Daily News (Alaska) - CONSERVATION BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE BILL - ...Murkowski acknowledged that Republican attacks will follow the bill to the Senate floor, starting with a filibuster that will eat precious time off the Senate clock and that requires 60 votes to stop...Another talked-about option is for Murkowski and the bill's supporters to skip the Senate floor. Instead, they would go to work with the House, where Alaska Rep. Don Young pushed through a similar bill in May by a wide margin, on a compromise to attach to a must-pass budget bill in late September. Young, chairman of the House Resources Committee, called the budget-bill approach "more likely."...For five days Republican critics used arcane Senate rules to prevent or restrict committee work sessions. And over the course of the bill's consideration, Murkowski sat patiently as his Republican colleagues took turns castigating the measure as "disingenuous" budget trickery.
|DAVID WHITNEY, Daily News Reporter, Anchorage Daily News (Alaska) - MURKOWSKI PLANS CONSERVATION BILL VOTE - Faced with more Republican stonewalling Monday on his bill to reallocate federal offshore oil drilling revenues into parks and conservation, Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski announced that he will force the controversial measure to a vote today...After Murkowski announced 10 days ago that he was bringing up a compromise version of the legislation that he had negotiated with the Democrats, Republican opponents went to work to subvert its progress...Murkowski's decision was hailed by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., the panel's senior Democrat. He called the delay tactics unprecedented..."This is all part of his [Murkowski's] larger capitulation to environmental groups in exchange for a fat pile of cash for Alaska," Hardiman said.
|SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES - Press release for Murkowski's CARA Bill
|ERICH VEYHL - Downeast Coastal Press (Cutler, Maine) - "NO STRINGS ATTACHED" -- AND HOW NOT TO GET IT. "...a small portion of funding for "ball fields" and "playgrounds"...were cynically added as pork-bribes to buy off and co-opt competing special interests. The total for all urban park funding, while carefully selected by the viro lobby for promotion as if it were a centerpiece, is only 2 1/2% of the CARA funding...The viro political pro's in Washington knew very well that they couldn't get enough support for a massive entitlement just for themselves to indefinitely take over private property. They tried that in the late 1980's with the Billion Dollar Trust Fund and failed. The "playgrounds" and "ballfields" in CARA are the political catalyst -- the spin that gives them political cover to publicly promote the legislation while avoiding public discussion of CARA's actual intent, legal content and consequences."
|COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE - SENATE COMMITTEE THREATENS PRIVATE LANDOWNERSHIP - "It is an affront to American taxpayers and a threat to property owners and anyone who wants to own property in the future," said Myron Ebell, Director of Environment and Trade Policy at the CEI. "The seven Senators who voted No -- Senators Domenici, Nickles, Gorton, Craig, Burns, Campbell, and Thomas -- are to be applauded for putting principles above special interests." Republican Senators Murkowski, Bunning, Gordon Smith, and Fitzgerald joined all nine Democrats on the committee to pass the bill...Property rights advocates are particularly concerned by the bill, which provides billions of dollars for additional government land acquisitions. The committee rejected Senator NicklesÔs amendment restricting federal land acquisition to land offered by willing sellers only. Nickles said, "This bill does not protect land. That is a guise or head fake. Landowners are going to find their lands are taken quite often." R.J. Smith concluded, "Senators Murkowski and Fitzgerald sacrificed sound fiscal policy and property rights for pork. Their new GOP mantra is ╬pork over principles.Ô"
|ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS (ALASKA), Editorial - MURKOWSKI'S TURN - SENATOR FEELS THE HEAT FROM HIS ALLIES - "Like Rep. Don Young before him, Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski finds himself at odds with his own Republican Party...The economic and social health of the United States depends on respect for both private and public lands, a common-sense mix of private property and public parks, of development and conservation". ALRA COMMENT: Apparently the Anchorage Daily News thinks that 90 percent government ownership in Alaska is too low and that CARA money is needed to increase the size of the government land estate.
|DAVID WHITNEY, Anchorage Daily News (Alaska) - LAND BILL FACING HEAVY FIRE - Murkowski reacted to some of the attacks...He said he wanted to set the record straight in published comments that his bill had been denounced as "dishonest." He was referring to remarks by Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., who had dubbed the measure a "dishonest entitlement" because it skirted Senate rules to require such spending be offset by cuts in other parts of the federal budget...The bill gets around the rules by requiring Congress to approve the annual $450 million for federal land purchases, an action that would automatically trigger release of the remaining $2.5 billion...But Gorton launched into another attack on the bill's entitlement trigger. This time, he condemned the Murkowski provision as a "disingenuous" exploitation of a loophole in congressional budget rules...it placed Murkowski at odds with his party and in lockstep with the Democrats. ALRA COMMENT: Also describes Senator Gordon Smith's (R-OR) preparations to sell his rural landowners out to the Democrats and Murkowski.
|BRUCE ALPERT, Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - OPPONENTS' STALLING TACTICS THREATEN ENVIRONMENTAL BILL - "...the bill, which enjoys strong bipartisan support, including President Clinton's, could emerge as part of omnibus legislation at the end of the session when last-minute deals often are made."
FOX NEWS - "VANISHING FREEDOM - WHO OWNS
AMERICA". Fox News aired this outstanding
one-hour special. It is the best film ever done
about land use abuses by the Federal land agencies. The
following article in the leading media review journal,
Brill's Content, describes the background and guiding
principles behind the producers, the Fox News network. Finally,
we may have balanced coverage of resource issues, the
environment, and Rural America by at least a part of the
mainstream TV media!
RIFKA ROSENWEIN - Brill's Content - FEATURES: THE NEWS THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME "There's a certain sameness to the news on the Big Three and CNN," says [John] Moody...who is in charge of Fox News's day-to-day editorial decisions. That's the message, Moody says, that "America is bad, corporations are bad, animal species should be protected, and every cop is a racist killer. That's where ╬fair and balanced' [Fox's slogan] comes in. We don't think all corporations are bad, every forest should be saved, every government spending program is good. We're going to be more inquisitive."
|JIM BARNETT, Oregonian (Portland) staff - SMITH LANDS IN CENTER OF GOP SPAT ON CONSERVATION - Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore, found himself Friday in the middle of a Republican family squabble over a sweeping conservation bill that would divert $3 billion a year to states..."I can't go home to country folks and say, 'I gave the government more money to harass you,'" Smith said. ALRA COMMENT: But only three days later that's exactly what he voted to do!
|SARAH FOSTER - WorldNetDaily.com - LEVIATHAN USA: CONGRESS FACES MAJOR LAND-BILL VOTE - ANALYST: GOP 'SURRENDERED' TO DEMOCRATS BEFORE NEGOTIATIONS BEGAN. Ridenour predicted the main Republican sponsors, notably Rep. Don Young and Sen. Frank Murkowski, both of Alaska -- because of significant opposition within their own ranks -- would cut deals with Democrats in order for their versions, or any version, of the bill to be approved. "They'll make compromises, they'll accept changes ÷ language protecting property rights will be probably stripped out, and things the Democrats want -- like programs, grants, and more land acquisition -- will be kept in," Ridenour warned. He was right..."This is a Democratic bill, one that permanently finances the environmental movement ... a core Democratic Party constituency. ... A GOP Congress is willing to fund the environmental movement with a $100 million per year guaranteed trust fund". -- Mike Hardiman, lobbyist, American Land Rights Association.
|SAM BISHOP, Washington Bureau, Fairbanks News-Miner (Alaska) - REVISED LANDS BILL SURVIVES - To entitle something as non-essential as battlefield restoration is "breathtaking," said Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash and also an appropriations committee member. "What the chairman of the committee is saying is 'We don't trust any Congress for the next 15 years,"' Gorton said. "We're saying we're smarter than anyone else, we're smarter than our successors, we're smarter than our predecessors."
|ALRA - Press Release - MURKOWSKI BILL DIES IN COMMITTEE - What? No, not Frank Murkowski. Not yet anyway. It's Alaska State Representative Lisa Murkowski, the Senator's daughter. Even with all the pork Alaska will stuff its face with under CARA the Alaska legislature wouldn't move Ms. Murkowski's resolution in favor of CARA. The Alaska House Resources Committee Chair Rep. Beverly Masek (R-Wasilla) said: "I have many grave concerns about HR 701 that not only include the land issues involved, but also the appropriation of money without any real oversight by the legislative branch of our government. It also seems to me that placing public moneys into an entitlement fund with limited uses available for these funds does not constitute goad public policy."
|DAVID WHITNEY, Washington Bureau - Anchorage Daily News (Alaska) - CONSERVATION BILL FINDS LITTLE REPUBLICAN SUPPORT - "I support wildlife conservation, but I think it should be subject to appropriations and not turned into an entitlement," Nickels said. "You turn it into an entitlement, and Congress loses control. This bill cedes control to the administration more than any other measure I've seen." "I am not going to dispute your contentions," Murkowski replied..."These are entitlements, make no mistake about it," Murkowski declared..."This bill is a big money grab and a big land grab," said Mike Hardiman, lobbyist for the American Land Rights Association. "That's not what Republicans used to stand for."
|DON BONKER & ROD CHANDLER, Guest Columnists, Seattle Times - A COMMITMENT TO CONSERVATION. ALRA COMMENT: THIS COLUMN JUST SPINS MORE CARA LIES: "...without adding to the tax burden or resorting to mandated actions that infringed on the rights of private citizens...And it is worth noting that all the money for this bill comes from existing federal royalties on offshore oil and gas profits - not from new or existing taxes."
|DAVID WHITNEY, Daily News Washington Bureau, Anchorage Daily News (Alaska) - REPUBLICANS LINE UP AGAINST MURKOWSKI, CONSERVATION BILL IS CALLED DISHONEST - They called the bill, a compromise Murkowski worked out with Democrats last week, crafty, dishonest and an attack on private property rights...To make sure appropriators spend all of the $450 million a year for new land purchases, that sum would have to be approved on the annual Interior Department spending bill -- an action that would "trigger" the automatic release of the other $2.5 billion in recreation, coastal protect (sic) and other programs to the states..."This is a statement that conservation is more important that education, health care -- more important than anything else we do," said Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., chairman of the appropriations subcommittee..."Almost all of this $3 billion we're going to give to other states to spend, rather than to pay down our own debt," he said. "We'll be giving it to states that have huge surpluses." Gorton cited the case of Alaska, which "gives away" its proceeds from Prudhoe Bay in annual dividends to residents. The Murkowski bill will ship the state about $164 million a year.
|BRUCE ALPERT, Washington Bureau, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - OIL ROYALTIES BILL STALLED IN COMMITTEE - $170 MILLION A YEAR WOULD COME TO LA - Opponents of legislation to redirect federal offshore oil and gas royalties to environmental programs pulled out all the stops Wednesday, using a procedural technique to block an Energy Committee vote and warning that the bill would rob the nation of money to meet other critical needs...Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NM: "It is an automatic expenditure of $3 billion a year," Domenici said, noting that "such earmarking" was unfair considering all of the other "conflicting funding interests," including education, Social Security and health care.
|JOAN MCKINNEY, Advocate Washington Bureau, Baton Rouge Advocate - REVENUES BILL IN TOUGH FIGHT - Key fiscal-policy leaders contend that this guaranteed allocation of funds would rob Congress of the flexibility to address other social needs...the Murkowski-Bingaman compromise also has a "trigger" mechanism...none of the states would get their royalty-sharing money if Congress failed to fund all $450 million of the federal land-buying program...The linkage is designed partly to re-assure environmental activists, who feared that Congress might shortchange the federal land-buying program...But that linkage angered Budget Chairman Pete Dominici, R-New Mexico, who's also an Energy Committee veteran..."You have done an ingenious thing," Domenici told Murkowski. "We will appropriate $450 million (for federal land buys), which will automatically trigger another $3 billion (to the states)... I don't know how we're going to run the government if everybody figures this out... We'll have triggers all over the place."
FAIRBANKS NEWS-MINER (ALASKA), Editorial - TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? - ...the sheer breadth of Young's legislation gives us pause. The process of forging a compromise has steadily enlarged CARA's constituency. We won't criticize senators if they should conclude the bill has become too big to swallow. A trimmed-down version could always be reintroduced in the next Congress. ALASKA'S SECOND LARGEST NEWSPAPER OPPOSES CARA!
|SENATOR CONRAD BURNS R-MT - LETTER TO CONSTITUENT - "...However, is buying land more important than educating our kids with special needs? More important than making sure our enlisted men and women don't have to live on food stamps? More important than breast cancer research? More important than prescription medicines for low-income senior citizens? By requiring Congress to spend money as it does, CARA says buying land is more important than all of these programs, and the thousands of other good reasons we spend federal tax dollars. I don't oppose using LWCF to protect special places; I do oppose putting LWCF on autopilot...Despite all its problems, CARA enjoys widespread support. The proponents have created a pork barrel with a wide enough mouth that just about everybody can get their hands into it. That makes for good politics, but it's not responsible public policy."
|BRUCE ALPERT, Washington Bureau, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - A report commissioned by opponents of legislation that would redirect federal offshore oil and gas royalties to a host of environmental programs says the bill is too generous to Louisiana and that offshore drilling is only a minor cause of wetland loss in the state.
|7/19/00 to 7/25/00
NATIONAL JOURNAL CARA MARKUP REPORTS -- Comprehensive reports on the July 19 to 25, 2000 CARA markup in the Senate Energy Committee by the National Journal. They provide complete coverage of every House and Senate subcommittee and committee markup session with individual reports on every bill, with roll call votes on amendments and final passage. These reports are like a drama that take you through each day as the Western Republican Senators try to hold off Senator Murkowski and his band of sellouts day by day. You'll learn a lot by taking the time to read the entire story. You'll also see how your Senators really responded.
|SAM BISHOP, Fairbanks News-Miner Washington Bureau - SENATE TO HEAR REVAMPED LANDS CONSERVATION BILL
|JOHN O'SULLIVAN, Chicago Sun-Times - A SNEAKY LITTLE BILL WITH A SHADY BIG-DOLLAR MOTIVE - Every now and then Congress passes a bill with some such reassuring title as "The Motherhood and Apple Pie (Improvement and Extension) Bill." When that happens, my advice is to take cover..."[Don] Young argued that without CARA these revenues simply would "disappear" into Washington's general revenues. Yes, they would "disappear" into financing defense, Social Security, Medicare, etc. Unless CARA's proposers also are proposing to cut some of these services by the billions lost annually to finance state pork and a federal land grab, they will have to get those billions from the taxpayer--i.e. you, gentle reader."
|MIKE SORAGHAN, Denver Post Washington Bureau - FEDERAL GREEN SPACE BILL EYED - "It's a pork barrel with a wide enough mouth for everyone to get a hand in," said Larry Akey, spokesman for Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont. "Green pork would be a good way to describe it. Where I come from, green pork generally smells."
|DON YOUNG and RAY KREIG [PDF] - Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner - Two Op Ed articles about Young-Murkowski CARA which creates seven trust fund entitlements for $45 billion in new automatic--go to the head of the line, trample the women and children--federal spending on environmental programs including government acquisition of private land. Don Young in favor; Ray Kreig against. HTML EXPANDED VERSION
|ROBERT H. NELSON, Anchorage Daily News (Alaska) - CARA - AN IRRATIONAL SPECTACLE OF TAXPAYER ABUSE AT ITS WORST - The pattern of funding defies any rational understanding. Pennsylvania - which borders on a small part of Lake Erie - would receive $7 million while Oregon, with its long and beautiful Pacific coastline, would receive $6 million...It is all a spectacle of Congress at its worst. Pay off enough members, CARA is telling us, and it seems that you can get virtually anything passed.
|MARTHA LEVENSALER & JOHN SCHOEN, Anchorage Daily News (Alaska) - CONSERVATION BILL PUTS OIL, GAS MONEY TO WORK FOR WILDERNESS - Later this month Sen. Frank Murkowski will have a golden opportunity to be a champion for responsible conservation in Alaska and across the nation... [HERE IT IS AGAIN, THE COMMON CARA-BOOSTER LIE:] "The investments will not require a dime in new taxes." Instead, CARA draws all its funds from the nearly $5 billion the government receives each year from offshore oil and gas leases.
|TOM RANDALL - Environment & Climate News - EDITORIAL: DONNY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE - Few really understood Young when he told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in July 1998 that his more moderate Republican colleagues "are, very frankly, spineless individuals." ...the remark--made when Young was just beginning work on CARA--may have foreshadowed his intention to roll many of his colleagues with favors and pork. Once upon a time..., Don Young once supported those who believed in smaller government and local control. They thought him an ally. Many must now be saying to themselves: "Donny, we hardly knew ye."
TOM RANDALL - Environment & Climate News - CONGRESS APPROVES BILLIONS TO BUY LAND - AS MISMANAGED FEDERAL LAND GOES UP IN SMOKE, HOUSE VOTES TO BUY MORE - As thousands of acres of federally owned land in New Mexico burned out of control, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) and 314 of his colleagues in Congress passed legislation aimed at putting even more private land in the hands of the federal government.
|GO TO FIRST HALF 2000 SOURCES
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