Rep Allen pushes land grab in Eastern Maine; smears tax cuts as "mania"

July 19, 2003

Guest Editorial by Erich Veyhl

(Note: While this is written about Maine, it could be -- and likely IS -- happening wherever you live.)

Maine 1st District U.S. Congressman Tom Allen (D) has again sided with viros and growth of Federal power at the expense of rural Maine and other Americans, pushing for tax increases, huge increases in Federally funded acquisition of private property outside of his district, and massive government subsidies for politically active viro NGOs like the wealthy and politically influential Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Quoddy Land Trust.

In a press release Thursday on the House Interior Appropriations bill, Allen promoted the latest Federal funding for the massive acquisitions buying up Washington County -- far outside of his district -- and an incredible half-billion dollar increase in acquisition funding nationwide.

Allen supported the so-called Obey amendment which would have increased the appropriation for Federal "conservation" funding of $991 million by an additional $569 million, to be paid for by raising taxes on "the rich." Allen's shrill class-warfare rhetoric attacked those resisting his proposed increases in spending and taxes as guilty of "tax cut mania," arguing that Democrat-dominated Washington in 2000 had already "agreed" to higher future spending beyond that year's budget.

Republican leaders at the time were under pressure to head off the ultimately failed plan (CARA - Conservation And Reinvestment Act, also known as the Condemnation And Relocation Act) by the national viro lobby to establish a permanent $3 billion annual off-budget entitlement for unending government land acquisition and subsidies to viro activist organizations promoting increased acquisitions and other restrictions on private property, but their were no legal obligations guaranteeing increased funding in future years.

The supporters of the failed acquisition entitlement scheme had been cocky about getting their way, and arrogantly refused to protect property owners from eminent domain takings under the acquisition entitlement plan. The viros made it clear that, uninhibited by restrictions on funding, they would take what they wanted by force wherever necessary. Today, the viros, including radical politicians like Allen, act as if they had won and righteously demand funding they have no claim to.

Back in 1988 when the viros began their open assault to take over private property in Maine as part of the National Parks and Conservation Association (the private lobbying arm of the National Park Service) plan to massively increase the size, scope and power of the National Park Service across the country, annual Federal funding of land acquisition had rarely reached the level of $900 million. At the time, the viro lobby was pressuring Congress for a controversial $1 billion/year off-budget entitlement outside of the annual appropriations process. Over the next decade their demands tripled and spending has increased accordingly, even without the official off-budget entitlement they demand.

Allen nevertheless drops this context and shrieks that this year's proposed land acquisition funding of $991 million is the "lowest level in 20 years."

Meanwhile, Taxpayers for Common Sense reports, (
The Bush administration announced that it expects the current year's budget deficit will be a record-setting $455 billion, and next year's will grow to $475 billion, obliterating the $290 billion record set in 1992

In 1988, one of the national viro lobbyists' targets in Maine for a National Park Service takeover was most of Washington County. One priority area within it was the entire Machias River watershed (meaning _all_ the land draining into the river basin). That was planned to be a National River, along with the so-called "Downeast Lakes Region" planned as a "National Park" extending to the coast and the Canadian border -- all so-named as if the viros were "protecting water" rather than trying to take over hundreds of thousands of acres of private land. Today much of the region has been placed under a politically motivated Endangered Species overlay which the viros use as an excuse to harass and sue private businesses and takeover land. Now Allen is disingenuously referring to the Washington DC-spawned plan as the "Machias River watershed protection project, a major state priority," and falsely claiming that it arose by local popular demand across Maine.


Rep Tom Allen Press Release Thursday, July 17, 2003:

Rep. Tom Allen: "Conservation Priorities Fall Victim to the Republican Tax
Cut Mania"

Appropriations bill contains funds for Acadia National Park and Machias
River, but shortchanges other Maine projects

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Representative Tom Allen announced on 7/17 that he
will support an amendment by Wisconsin Representative David Obey to restore
$569 million in funding for key conservation priorities cut by Republican
House leaders from the Fiscal Year 2004 appropriations bill for the
Department of the Interior. The Obey amendment would fund the additional
conservation appropriation by reducing the recent tax cut for individuals
earning over $1 million in 2004.

"Maine and America's conservation priorities fall victim to Republican tax
cut mania," Representative Allen said. "This appropriations bill abandons
the historic, bipartisan agreement reached during the 106th Congress to
invest $12 billion over six years to fund important land and water
conservation projects. The amendment I support restores funds cut by House
Republican leaders to meet budget targets necessitated by their insatiable
determination to cut taxes for the wealthy. And the Obey amendment pays for
itself by reducing the recent tax cut for millionaires from $88,000 to
$85,000 in 2004."

Representative Allen noted that while the bill does contain some funding
that will benefit two important Maine priorities, overall Maine will
receive significantly less in new funding because of cuts made by House
Republican leaders.

"We were able to secure $7 million for much needed infrastructure
rehabilitation work at Acadia National Park," Representative Allen said.
"We also secured $2 million under the Forest Legacy Program for Phase I of
the Machias River watershed protection project, a major state priority. But
the total appropriated for the Forest Legacy Program under the bill is just
$45.575 million, $45.234 million below President Bush's request and $22.805
million below last year's funding level. That means there will be
significantly less overall funding available for projects under this
important program.

H.R. 2691, the Interior appropriations for FY2004, contains just $991
million for conservation-related funding. The Obey amendment would restore
$569 million, bringing the total for conservation projects in the bill back
to the $1.5 billion agreed to by Republicans and Democrats in 2000.

"H.R. 2691 funds federal land acquisition programs at their lowest level in
20 years," Representative Allen said. "Yet these are the very funding
programs that have enabled Maine to protect tens of thousands of acres for
future generations, aiding the efforts of state and local governments,
conservation public interest groups and local land trusts. By their
overwhelming support of funding initiatives like the Land for Maine's
Future Program, Maine voters have consistently demonstrated the priority
they place on these efforts. This appropriations bill is another example of
how out of step Congressional Republican leaders are with Maine people."

Contact: Mark Sullivan, 207-774-5019

Maine Address:
234 Oxford Street
Portland, Maine 04101
Fax: 207-871-0720

Washington Address:
1717 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Fax: 202-225-5590
E-mail contact form


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site