Unelected bureaucrats, creating rules and regulations, running an extreme agenda in a government agency on the taxpayer’s dime. We’re talking the Tea Party’s view of EPA, right? Nope. We’re talking about the Tea Party itself in Bonner County.
Bonner County’s “Property Rights Council” is meeting tonight (a lengthy pdf agenda here) in Sandpoint. It is a new creature of Bonner County government with big plans “to review county government activities and inter-governmental activities to determine whether they may cause adverse impacts to private property rights.” Pam Stout, a Tea Party favorite – she was on David Letterman’s show last year – was recently hired by the County to run the new council.
The Council’s preliminary plans, posted on the Bonner County website, are elaborate and expansive, and borderline incoherent. Evidently, the Council will set up “review committees” to do legal research, hold hearings and meetings, and generate “Property Rights Impact Statements.”
The Council has also set up an online discussion group “to discuss a broad array of county relevant property rights issues utilizing market-oriented resources.” But in order to participate as a member of the Council, a Review Committee, or even the discussion group, ideological “free market and property rights” orientation and training will be necessary. Seriously.
For example, Councilors, whatever they are, are required to get a special certification:
PRC councilors must complete all stages of certification required of County resident volunteers as a condition of ongoing council membership. This ongoing requirement ensures that PRC councilors meet the same high standards as the volunteers assisting them. This requirement helps PRC councilors demonstrate their commitment to free-markets and private property rights. (emphasis added.)
The Council has promised to use expert advise from “free market think tanks” with a helpful link to the far-right State Policy Network and a list of “property rights and free market concepts” we can only assume would be part of the certification process.
KEA has sent a public records request to this new arm of Bonner County Government asking for budget information and the legal authority for the Council. We’ll let you know what we find out.