My family arrived in this country fleeing Cuban Communism. The government forced, literally, my maternal grandparents out of their house with regulatory terror. They affixed a seal on the door of their home because they refused to pay a revolutionary tax. That piece of paper hangs in my law office today, right near my desk, as a constant reminder of the sacrifices our families made to live in freedom.
Margaret “Peggy” Richardson, a former Clinton-era IRS Commissioner, recently said that the IRS audit of a Virginia farmer is a “coincidence”. This is the same official who, by coincidence, happens to sit on the Board of the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) — a Virginia environmental group. The PEC wants to shut down Liberty Farms, a facility operated by a conservative farmer named Martha Boneta.
Using local, state, and federal environmental regulations, the PEC and its officials, by coincidence, has targeted Liberty Farms because they want the facility in its “natural” state (i.e., not growing anything of value). As a matter of law, the PEC seems to have exceeded its non-profit tax status by engaging in a lot of activity that may be clearly outside the scope of its non-profit status.
Coincidence? Remember friends, these are the same type of people that, to this day, quibble about the meaning of the verb ‘is’. Property rights are under attack throughout the United States by non-profit groups such as the PEC. This is part of a larger property rights struggle that has been taking place for quite some time, by design, under the political radar.
By the way, the PEC, by coincidence, complained when Liberty Farms discovered a slave cemetery on the land, cleaned it up and fenced it so that family members or others in Virginia could visit. Why did they complain? Some PEC officials said it polluted the viewshed. Viewshed is a technical term used by city and other planners to preserve certain vistas for historic and other reasons.
In politics, there are no coincidences there are just events that one analyzes in context. For the PEC and Ms. Richardson, the laws of politics have placed a lot of sunshine on a matter that they soon hope will go away. Coincidence or not, does not matter, the facts are that a conservative farmer who happens to be on property they want out of the area was audited by the IRS. Virginians, indeed all Americans, want to know what happened there and why.
I have been tracking property cases in the United States for some time. I only recently learned the details of Boneta case. It is compelling. As a Virginian, I found the whole thing disturbing and it should upset every American. My family arrived in this country fleeing Cuban Communism. The government forced, literally, my maternal grandparents out of their house with regulatory terror. They affixed a seal on the door of their home because they refused to pay a revolutionary tax. That piece of paper hangs in my law office today, right near my desk, as a constant reminder of the sacrifices our families made to live in freedom.
There is more coming to this story from Virginia and from many other farms around the United States. Stay tuned. These cases have an interesting connection to Agenda 21 — a global effort to implement what is known as sustainable development through local governments and non-profits groups. This has been ongoing since the 1970s and American property rights have been negatively impacted by it ever since. There is a lot out there on this movement, some of it down right wrong, some of it bordering on conspiracy theory. But worth a look no less. There are enough people in the radical environmental movement who use these international documents to advance flawed policy, laws, and regulations.
It does not matter if your a Republican or Democrat. Property rights and rule of law are American as apple pie.