Northwest NEWS

July 13, 1998

Editorial

Taxpayers should not be footing the bill for destruction of private property rights

   Washington State taxpayers should not pay $10,400 for Senate minority floor leader Democrat Betti Sheldon to attend a three-week session at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard for senior executives in state and local government.
  
   In June, I attended a Madison, WI seminar sponsored by the University of Wisconsin/Madison and by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, which holds training sessions world-wide for professional planners. The president of the Lincoln Institute, Dr. H. James Brown, is a former professor at the Kennedy School of Government.
  
   The title of the Madison seminar was 'Who Owns America,' and the theme of Dr. Brown and speakers who were professors at various universities in the United States, Canada, Central and South America or government officials from those countries, was strongly socialistic. The underlying thread was that private property rights are a cultural myth, depending for substance on community desires and public/social needs, which are gradually usurping private rights.
  
   Taxpayers should not be subsidizing the legislators to attend planning sessions that undermine the rights upon which our government is based. We should not be paying to help the destruction of the private property rights that have been the basis of the best country in the world.
   Maxine Keesling, Woodinville