Tahoe Regional Area Plan (TRAP)
by K. M. Heaton (Aug. 28, 1913 – Jun. 6, 2000)
(Note: This article was printed in the Outpost of Freedom newspaper on February 5, 1993. The date that it was written is unknown.)
While citizens around the country are becoming alarmed at the regional activity in their areas which threatens their own local government and their rights to use their property as they choose, there are some in El Dorado and Placer Counties in California, and in Douglas, Washoe and Ormsby Counties in Nevada who know only too well that the alarm is justified.
Those El Doradoans who live in what is known as “the Tahoe Basin” have come face to face with the hard reality of planning-by-government, and they rue the day when the Tahoe Regional Area Plan was placed over their Constitutional government.
Even those who wished for oversight to “preserve the beauty of the lake“, have lived to regret the imposition of the controls they thought they wanted to achieve that goal. The controls fell far short of their stated purpose, but laid a heavy hand on the lives of all the citizens in those five counties – even those who did not live in the Basin.
Like most of their fellow Americans, the residents of the Tahoe Basin lived a workaday existence. They exhibited minimal political awareness. Very few took any interest in partisan activities.
Surrounded by mountain peaks, Tahoe was isolated from the mainstream of American life, except for the summer tourist population, which in recent years had been matched in winter by skiers enjoying the snow-clad mountains.
Even longtime residents were at a loss when the California and Nevada Legislatures took the step that placed them and their future outside the protection of the United States Constitution.
There had been warning signs, of course. There always are, if people only knew. But such a radical step as took place under the Tahoe Plan was inconceivable.
It should not have been, for the fact that something was in the wind had not been a secret for many years, just as it is no secret today that government everywhere is facing a similar assault – and not just in the United States. When George Herbert Walker Bush announced the creation of a “New World Order“, he simply made official what students of the regional movement had known for years.
But the fact is that there were none on guard to read the warning signals, to look beyond them and find out why they were raised, and what they would portent.
At Tahoe, as elsewhere, citizens actually took part in the general planning for “economic development”, without knowing what that really meant, nor what the “plan” might be, nor how their personal futures were directly tied to what was being done. Certainly, no thought was ever entertained that it meant an end to their guarantees under the Constitution.
In El Dorado County, the “general plan” was brought in through a long-term effort, initiated at the federal level, but energized by some in the power structure of the county. The first direct move into the county took place without fanfare, and unknown to most citizens. There is a question if even the elected officials of the time were aware of it, for there is no indication of their complicity as a body. Of all the people whose involvement can be identified, none were elected and only one is a name recognized five years later in county activity.
Since this was the first overt step in El Dorado toward regional governance, and since it was taken by authority of the United States Department of Agriculture, and since it was part of “a nationwide inventory” reputedly set up by the Secretary of Agriculture, it has significance for every local government in the nation.
Throughout 1958 and ’59 (yes, it was that long ago, and even longer, as you will learn), groups of “Resource agency” representatives held meetings as part of a national program to provide data “useful to federal, state and local agencies and private interests for efficient planning, programming, research, administration and legislation, affecting soil and water resources.” So said the Report this group issued for El Dorado County. (And for how many others?)
Using the so-called “population explosion” as the stated impetus, these early planners laid the foundation for their final recommendations, saying that “nothing is more important to health, welfare, and general happiness of the people than to maintain the right relationship or balance between people and these basic resources.” (Apparently these ‘experts’ never head of the ‘Declaration of Independence’.)
The Report winds up with a ‘summary’ of their findings in a “Conservation Needs Inventory“. There it was predicted (with out substantive data to use as a base) that the El Dorado population would increase from 50 to 100% by 1975. (Quite a disparity there! and it did not). They stated that this increase would create new problems in land use and conservation. They asserted that this would affect as much as one third of “the county’s land” and influence its economy. Then they opined that “Long term land-use planning is needed“, and offered the data in their Report as a base for such planning.
The “data” they offered refuted their own premises, and confirmed that land use planning was the single goal.
A NECESSARY PRELIMINARY
In a book entitled “New Worlds for Old”, written in 1908, H. G. Wells, Fabian Socialist historian, and long-time promoter of the New World Order, described the techniques needed to achieve the Fabian goal. He wrote:
“…the reconstruction of our legislative and local government machinery is a necessary preliminary to Socialization in many directions.”
Those who refuse to accept the fact of the long effort to prepare the United States to surrender its sovereignty to a New World Order either have not done their homework, or they are collaborators or co-conspirators. The record is too clear to admit any other evaluation.
The roots of regionalism existed for almost a century, before the fruit began to ripen. From official reports, the flowering began in 1913. The “necessary preliminaries” are constantly referenced in their working papers, both in the past, and still today. This was also the case in the matter of the system imposed on the Tahoe Basin.
The care with which the wheels were greased in creating the machinery to turn this nation into a totally managed and controlled society in preparation for the time to come when it could be merged with third world countries was never more evident than in the source material leading to the so-called “Tahoe Compact”.
Lacking knowledge of the intent at the time the Tahoe grab was begun, the end would have been hard to foresee. As a collaborating legislator in California smirkingly told an irate citizen who demanded to know how the Tahoe Plan could have taken shape without those living there being aware of it:
“We played it close to our chest.”
That may have been the first honest statement he made in his political career, but it was the sad truth – not just about Tahoe, but about whole regional movement.
Who could have guessed, for instance, that the first successful attempts to provide subventions and grants-in-aid to the States would have established a precedent that would give the federal government control of local districts by means of perversion of the “welfare clause”?
Probably the last real president of these United States, Grover Cleveland, recognized the unConstitutionality of such a move, but even he did not see the bigger picture of a planned destruction of the United States Constitution, when he reported to the Congress:
“I return without my approval House Bill #10203. It is represented that a drought in the State of Texas (has resulted) in a failure of the crops… I am willing to believe that … a donation of seed… would serve… but I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering.”
“A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited… power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. Federal aid, in such cases, encourages the expectation of paternal care… and weakens the sturdiness of the national character…”
So you see, even in 1887, the tendency was “prevalent” to provide what was to become a “pork barrel” for federal and state officials to dip into, and to “spend and spend and elect and elect“. Once this protective barrier was broken in 1913, a flood of “federal money” was released – capable of buying, not just individuals, but whole sections of government.
Referring to the argument that such appropriations are Constitutional under the Constitution, then-Supervisor William V. D. Johnson of El Dorado County pointed out:
“There is no ‘welfare clause’… That phrase in the Preamble ‘to promote the general welfare’ simply means that we were adopting the Constitution to ensure the general welfare by clearly enumerating the powers given to the federal government and by reserving the remainder to the States…”
While the Constitution retained the intent of the Founding Fathers, that was the recognized meaning, as clearly enunciated by Grover Cleveland.
It was this phrase in the Preamble which, perverted by the Planners, made possible the usurpations of the Roosevelt ‘brain trusters’, made possible the usurpations of the Planners, and prepared the way for the Tahoe TRAP. But the programs of the 30s were too bold. They awakened resistance in a people still knowledgeable of the meaning of their government, and the way it should function. These began to ‘view with alarm’, and to react.
Then the regionalist adopted the argument of the Constitutionalists, and made it serve them! They demanded a return of the usurped means of taxation of the States and local governments, and then they created “intergovernmental cooperation” to divert State sovereignty for their own purposes. By this ruse they brought “interstate cooperation” into State legislatures, and succeeded in creating appointed “Commissions on Interstate Cooperation” to carry forward the work of 1913s, Council of State Governments.
It was the California Commission on Interstate Cooperation (CCIC) which spearheaded the reconstruction of our State and local government machinery, and to prepare for the planned change into appointive governance – and for the regional “compact” at Tahoe, sitting astride the boundaries of California and Nevada, and in so doing eliminating the border between the states there.
BAITING THE TRAP
Official interference with the lawful operation of the governmental machinery provided in the Constitution for the United States of America had its beginnings early in this century, but it was not until the 1930s that the Plan for turning elective government into appointive administrative governance was exposed. This was spelled out in a series of Reports issued by Roosevelt’s National Resources Committee (NRC, aka National Resources Planning Board, NRPB).
In the manner of the Tahoe Regional Area Plan, there is not only a direct linkage with the NRPB in the person of a “principal collaborator” of the NRPB, but there exists an entire series of Reports in California, which demonstrate a close relationship to the recommendations of the Board. These Reports show the shallowness of the purported reasons for usurping the legal government at Tahoe, and its replacement by the tyrannical Agency that now rules the Basin.
Among the numerous projects promoted by the NRPB and its Committees, (many of which are now only too familiar), was a Call for “intergovernmental cooperation” and the “greatest possible use” of 1913s, state Leagues of Cities and Municipal Officers. The States responded to this Call less than two years after it was issued, and several years before Congress apparently even became aware of it and repudiated both the Report and the NRPB!
The California Commission On Interstate Cooperation
The California Commission on Interstate Cooperation (CCIC) was established in 1939 and, according to its annual reports, was “substantially identical” to CICs in 43 other States. By 1948, all states had CICs.
CCIC was formed under a “uniform act” (one of 1913s so called “model laws”) as, it may be assumed, were the other States’ CICs. Under the California statute, the State was made a “participating member of the 1913 Council of Governments.
The stated purpose of the CICs was “to furnish a means” to deal with “interstate problems” specifically with interstate compacts, uniform and model legislation of the several states, promotion of regional programs, and reciprocal administrative acts or agreements to “develop interstate unity“.
In effect, the CICs are a “government within a government”, and have other goals and means than those provided for in the Constitution.
The first five years of CIC activity around the nation are summarized in the first Report of the California CIC, issued in 1945. Those who wonder “How could these things to on without our knowledge?” would wonder no more after reading the chronological record of those five years – years during which most Americans were intent on the events of WW 2, and were not even remotely thinking about losing their tried and true government.
But this is the story of Tahoe, so for the moment that narrative must be bypassed.
It was the 1949 Report of CCIC that first brought up the Plan for Tahoe. The Report does not say what the Governor of Nevada said to the Governor of California which led the latter to direct his CCIC to take on “a study of certain problems related to … suppression of diseases transmissible to humans from wild rodents, adequacy of good water supply, real estate subdivision practices, and pollution of the waters of Lake Tahoe…” but that was the beginning of the desperate twenty year battle to erase the first state boundary through regionalism, and to end representative government for that area.
CCIC and NCIC created a Joint Committee on Tahoe, and a year later, that body added the “population explosion” to the agenda. In succeeding years, fire protection, sewage and garbage disposal, fishing licenses, drainage and trucking were additional bait for the TRAP.
Endless surveys were conducted. Perhaps the most interesting of these was one purportedly intended to obtain “public input” on what would be a desirable level of the waters of the Lake! Strangely, the 1959 CCIC Report states that this was a “campaign to acquaint Lake Tahoe residents with the problems relating to the… Lake which affect them, and also to develop a desire among these residents to work together in proposing acceptable solutions to some of these problems. This Report also says that these surveys were made to contain the necessary information that would lead to “satisfactory completion of a compact.” No one interviewed about this remembered being told that!
But at long last, a proposal for a compact was finally developed in 1963, and legislation to implement it was introduced in both State Legislatures. However, while California was still debating the issue, Nevada’s Legislature killed the twin bill. On learning of this development, then occupant of the California Governor’s Office, Edmund G. “Pat” Brown”, Sr., expressed his regrets, but added, “This is not the end.”
And of course it wasn’t. Regionalists never give up on key issues, and Tahoe was one such. CCIC began immediately to explore further ways to obtain this goal. Creation of a bi-state park was an alternative they considered, but the prior eagerness of the two Legislatures seemed to have cooled and there was no enthusiasm for this.
Officials in local governments involved with Tahoe had begun to smell something fishy. Some even recognized the determined effort to regionalize Tahoe and they balked – “…reluctant,” CCIC reported, “to relinquish their authority.” (Ed. comment: How reactionary!)
When the Bill which finally created the Tahoe Agency was submitted in California, it was met with as great opposition as had ever been seen in the State. Local governments clearly and precisely gave the lie to every argument put forward in support of this outrageous “taking”. They demonstrated that every claim made by the promoters of this monstrosity was either false, or had already been dealt with by local action. There was absolutely no support from local residents who, along with local governments and volunteer organizations, gave substantive opposition. The limited support all came from “conservation” groups, San Francisco interests, and the Governors of the two States.
AB 1362 received the requisite number of votes for passage, was matched in Nevada, signed by the two Governors, approved by Congress and became law with the blessing of the man sitting as President of the United States – and the citizens of Tahoe went under administrative rule. As you will see, that “law” did not just impact Tahoe and the States directly involved. It now rules the lives of all citizens of the United States, wherever they live with its boundaries. (The following excerpts from the body of the CCIC 1963-65 Report demonstrate the long-term process of undermining the foundations of representative government, which led to acceptance of the TRAP):
CALIFORNIA COMMISSION ON INTERSTATE COOPERATION
I am pleased to transmit herewith a copy of the Report of the California Commission on Interstate Cooperation for the period from July 1, 1963 to June 30, 1965.
Glenn M. Anderson, Chairman
ORGANIZATION OF THE COMMISSION
The California Commission on Interstate Cooperation was established in 1939 as a statutory agency of the State of California (Cal.Stats. 1939, Chap. 376). As amended in 1947 and 1959, the act setting forth the membership and duties of the Commission is contained in Title 2. Division 1, of the Government Code.
Under previous authorization, the commission is comprised of the seven members of the Assembly Committee on Interstate Cooperation including specifically the Speaker of the Assembly and the Chairman of the Rules Committee; the seven members of the Senate Committee on Interstate Cooperation; the five state officials appointed by the Governor to serve at his pleasure; and the Governor and one member of the California Commission on Uniform State Laws designated by the Governor as an ex officio, nonvoting member.
The commission is directed by statute to carry forward the participation of California as a member of the Council of State Governments both regionally and nationally, to confer with officers of other states and of the federal government, to formulate proposals for cooperation between California and the other states, and with the federal government, and to organize and maintain government machinery for such purposes.
RELATION WITH THE COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS
The California Commission on Interstate Cooperation also acts in a liaison capacity. With similar organization in other states, it promotes better understanding of federal-state problems. The commission and facilities the interchange among California, the other states and their national associations, of experiences and studies pertaining to the common problems of the states. Whenever findings or action on the federal, state or association level may have gainful application in California or an effect on its welfare, they are communicated to the responsible agencies of the state.
Much of the work of the California Commission on Interstate Cooperation is conducted through the Council of State Governments – an agency created, supported and managed by the states to facilitate the internal relations with each other and with other levels of government As a joint agency of all the states, the council makes available to them research materials and information on developments, problems and procedures in state government; staff services for regional and national meetings of state officials; and liaison and technical assistance effecting cooperation among the states and with federal government for the solution of interstate and federal problems.
THE FIRST QUARTER CENTURY
As noted in the introduction, the commission was created in 1939. Thus during the biennium covered by this report, the CCIC passed its silver anniversary.
During these years, the commission has participated in developing a broad variety of interstate joint programs and arrangements. Among these are programs that relate to crime, juvenile delinquency, education, civil defense, vehicle taxation, driver licensing and traffic safety, fisheries, and many others. Some are nationwide involving most or all of the states; some are compacts affecting only the western states, and a few are agreements between California and its immediate neighbors only.
(Note the wide range of activities in which these CICs were involved. Was this done with the knowledge and consent of the people – or just their ‘representatives’?)
The California Commission, through these and similar programs and activities, endeavors to strengthen and improve state governments and through mutual agreements, to solve problems common to California and neighbor states.
(Under what authority are the CICs permitted to “solve the problems common to the states”?)
The commission, under current authorization, is somewhat different from its initial makeup. Then, it provided for the commission to be composed of five members from each house, plus five to be appointed by the Governor from the administrative branch. The National Conference on Uniform State Laws has existed, in one form or another since the last decade of the 19th century.
(Note the admission of when this process actual began – in the 1890s! Did you know that?)
Though California had been informally participating in the national conference, it was not until 1927 that the Legislature authorized California membership.
(For “informal participation”, read “without legislative approval” – unlawfully.)
The Council of State Governments had been organized in 1913 and had been growing steadily in state affiliations, and had demonstrated that interstate co-operation through voluntary agreements among the states glowed with promise. However, by the time California became an affiliate, a dark shadow – international relations – the threat of war – tended to diminish the glowing promise; problems to be solved through mutual agreements among the states were abundant, but the threat of war became the overriding problem.
(The history of the “social science” movement, of which TRAP is an operational segment, suggests that WW 2 was critical to activation of the Plan for a New World Order.)
(California’s CIC was dissolved around 1969, yet every year for many years, this no-longer-existing Commission received a regular contribution of taxpayers’ money, funding this link to regional HQs for some obscure reason. In 1981, the sum of $76,000 passed through this shadow body to the Council of State Governments.)
The “New” American Revolution
“Would you believe me if I were to tell you that I live under a government that has taxing, police and legislative powers, but I do not elect the governing board?”
“Nor do I have recall rights against my governors, nor initiative nor referendum rights against the laws they ‘pass’. Yes, I do have that distinction, and I do live in the United States – at Lake Tahoe.”
Those are the words of William Van Dike Johnson, at the time a Supervisor from the 2nd District in El Dorado County, in a speech he made many times around the State of California. He first made those remarks to the Federal Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR), in opposition to their program for “substate redistricting”.
There was an audible gasp from the throng attending the ACIR Hearing in San Francisco.
There is no man in this country better qualified to speak to the ramifications of regionalism than Bill Johnson. When (as a private citizen) he first began to recognize an intent for government to take over plans for private property, he accepted a position on the County Planning Commission, publically stating that he believed there should be a voice on such bodies which spoke for the people.
As a Planning Commissioner, Bill testified to the State Senate Local Government Committee that such bodies are too prone to become a solid front against the people’s interest and that his vote always took into consideration the rights of the owners of property, and their expressed desire to use their property in their own best interest. He served with such distinction on the Commission that the people of his district wisely selected him to represent them on the Board of Supervisors, where he served three terms.
On that Board, he worked long and hard – not just to do the job for which he was elected, but also to alert other county officials and citizens in general to the source and the nature of the problems, which seemed to mount daily as a result of edicts handed down from other levels of government.
It was Bill Johnson who first called the attention of his Board – and the public – to what he described as one of the most infamous pieces of effrontery ever perpetuated by any ‘governing body’ in the United States – Ordinance #10 issued by the Tahoe Regional Agency.
It was Bill who led the El Dorado Board of Supervisors in unanimously denouncing Ordinance #10 in no uncertain terms, in a two-page “White Paper”, which began:
“At first glance, the document strikes the reader as an absurd, humorous ‘put-on’… Nevertheless, we are forced to recognize that the proposal is being advanced in deadly earnest…”
“We are not dealing here with matters of pollution, erosion control, housing density, waste disposal, or the customary building or housing codes…”
“We are confronted with a Plan to deny citizens the right to develop their own design concept, choose their own materials, and believe it or not, the color scheme to be used… Controls are spelled out in exquisite detail, ranging from the shape and style of the buildings to requiring approval of plant material used in landscaping the backyard…”
“…the crushing necessity for this outrage is attributed to the need to “effectuate the adopted regional Plan”. There is even a finding that an emergency exists requiring immediate action.”
“Seldom has a more blatant sophistry been employed by any government – anywhere…”
At that time, there was nothing more the Board could do. The Legislatures of California and Nevada, the Governors of both States, the Congress and the president of the United States had joined together in taking from them their Constitutional duty to represent the citizens who had elected them.
Alerted by the White Paper, though, the citizens stormed the next meeting of the Agency. To still the protest, Ordinance #10 was not approved at that meeting, as intended. Had the Board not sounded that alarm, those controls would have been placed over them unannounced. Proof of that is the fact that, one by one, they have been quietly passed since then, and Tahoe went under that kind of control.
El Dorado had opposed the Agency from the beginning. Twice it sought relief from the Courts. For years, the County refused to tax its citizens who did not live in the Tahoe area to pay its expenses – required by the law that created the Agency. The Board encouraged then-State Senator John Schmitz to prepare a bill to dissolve the Agency, and supported him in his effort to get it passed. It was all to no avail.
Until the citizens of this nation come to realize what regional planning will mean to them, individually, and become aware that they are electing men and women who permit such things to go on, all the protests and the legal action are simply an exercise in futility.
Tahoe was a test case. The Court said so. The legal decisions made on Tahoe are precedents for all such agencies – in existence or to be created.
This is revolution – the “new” American Revolution – within the form of our lawful government, but without the consent of the people.
The Price of a Lake
How can the cost of the “common good” be assessed when individual rights are in the balance?
In which column are the shattered remnants of a thousand dreams to be placed?
How are the ‘rights’ of public access weighed against the rights vested in private property?
How is the value of a treasured heritage of representative government measured against a monstrous parody, which retains some of the familiar outlines, but from which the essential elements have been removed?
These are issues which should be at the forefront in campaign rhetoric of every candidate for office in the United States today – but are rarely mentioned – if ever. If they were, would there be mad repudiation at the polls of those who would not discuss them?
What would happen to those in office if their opponents demanded an accounting for their cooperation in the massive regional attack on the historic, lawful American government?
These things would be discussed, if every American knew what the property owners at Tahoe learned firsthand. The general public is simply not aware yet that powers that belong to them are being granted to regional bodies by the people they elect.
Worse than that, it is not generally understood that there are certain matters (which the Founders of this nation called “inalienable rights”), which even those elected are not free to dispense.
Even worse than that, it seems most people do not yet understand why that is important.
Ti is important because “all men are granted certain inalienable rights by their creator” – rights which they, themselves, cannot ‘alienate’ (or give away). If the possessors of those rights cannot give them to anyone else, how is it possible that their agents are doing it?
This vital question is ignored in all political discussions. Ignored, too, is the effect – not just on the body politic, but on the lives of the citizens who have been disenfranchised – by the autocratic decisions which are made, using those usurped powers.
It would take a book to tell the myriad stories of distress caused by the ‘autocratic’ decisions made by the Agency at Tahoe, but for a case in point, consider the plight of one woman there, who owned a piece of paper deeding her five acres of prime land. When she and her husband acquired that piece of paper, they thought they had bought those acres for their own use. The paper said that 40 residential units could be built on each acre. The area was booming, and it looked like a good investment for their future.
The land increased in value, and the first to recognize that was the county assessor. Soon they were paying taxes on a valuation of two hundred thousand dollars, and their dream had new luster.
Then tragedy struck, and, as usually happens, not singly. Her husband died, and the regional authority was created – and began to impost “its” plans on the citizens.
Down zoning was imposed on the property to “limit population growth“, supposedly to “protect the Lake”. The widow learned that now only 15 units per acre could be built – no matter what her paper said. The Agency did not propose refunds for all the taxes they had paid for the higher use.
Before she recovered from that blow, another mandate was issued, which made the deed to per property all but worthless. The new edict prohibited construction of more than one unit per acre until all the buildable land in the area had been developed. Under those circumstances, there was no hope at all that she could even sell the property for anywhere near what they had paid for it years before. Building under the present ukase would be folly. But the taxes go on, and the mortgage must be met.
What price should a widow have to pay to “preserve the beauty of a Lake“?
The basic facts of her plight could be multiplied thousands of times at Tahoe – and in other areas of the country where land-use-planning by government has stolen individual rights in property. Land which brought fabulous prices before government usurped the decision-making process, becomes a drug on the market – just as it as intended, when the Agency was created for Tahoe. Those who had bought before then were unable to use their property for any feasible purpose, and default was a dark threat. More than that, if they try to sell it, the prospective buyer will find an army of bureaucrats standing between him and any plan he might have for it. He would be a fool to pay what it is “worth”. Or is it “worth” anything?
One resident at Tahoe who had a large herd of cattle had to liquidate his holdings. Having paid over a half a million dollars in taxes in the ten years before the ‘compact’ – he could not afford to keep them anymore. Many smaller ranchers were in the same boat.
What price, the beauty of a Lake? All of the costs of the Tahoe Agency are not recognized – not even by the public. One of those costs is the imposition of taxation without representation. Who remembers that this was the smoldering fire that sparked the tinder to cause the America Revolution?
Under the legislation that created the Agency, some of its funding comes from State taxes – all of California citizens are hostage for that. The Agency decides how much it will need each year, counts up how much will be received under the provisions of the legislation, and then, under the compact, demands the remainder from the counties out of which the regional body was carved – from citizens outside its jurisdiction.
Like an ominous harmonic, the inequities of the costs and controls of the Agency are underscored by the constant refrain that the need for it for any of the stated purposes was never proven:
- The Lake is not – nor ever was – “stagnant“.
- Waste Control was already well underway by local governments.
- Runoff waters were already being diverted.
- Rodent control was a continuing effort.
- Planning and zoning were a fact.
Nor is there any substantive reason to believe that the Agency can guarantee “preservation of the Lake” – short of removing the entire population and closing the access roads.
What value, then, the beauty of a Lake?
The People vs. the County of El Dorado
The appeal by El Dorado County for a legal decision on the “taxation without representation” issue was held in limbo, until the State Attorney General brought a mandamus proceeding to “compel the County to pay its fair share” of the costs of the Tahoe Regional Agency. At that point, the Court granted the writ, and took the whole matter of the County’s complaints as well as those of the State, under advisement.
The case should have been called “The People vs. The People“, since that was the essence of the proceedings. It might as well have been The People of the United States vs. The People of the United States, for the Court began its “opinion” by stating that the issues presented were of great concern to the entire country.
And so they were. And are.
The decisions regarding the Tahoe Agency are precedents for all succeeding actions against regional bodies, everywhere in this country.
Since El Dorado County made its appeal on behalf of all its citizens, and not just those who were under the regional compact, the decisions of this court also have meaning for all Americans.
The decisions on the matters involving Tahoe also bring new significance to the pressures to make all State Constitutions uniform. Without such uniformity, there will be labored twistings to apply the California decisions in States which do not succumb to the new revisionism, but the nature of these decisions gives assurance that even in citizens in those States which retain their ‘outmoded Constitutions” will face a troubled future.
Up front, the Court had to stretch the meaning of “mandamus” to make it cover this case, since there was “an absence of adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law“, and a pressing necessity to end the El Dorado resistance to the Agency.
Having granted the writ, the Court then found that the two counties involved in the Compact had to pay the Agency demand, since (the Court pontificated), “…limitations of the California Constitution do not prevent the Legislature from authorizing a district to impose taxes for a State purpose“. Conveniently, the legislature had recorded in the bill that created the Agency that the preservation of the Lake was a State interest, and the reason for the Agency.
The Court also found that taxing citizens not under the Agency’s umbrella was legal, even though there was no direct relevance. (Taxation without representation!) The court said it was legal because the monies were not for county or local needs, but for regional purposes.
In these two decisions are the basis for trouble whenever regional bodies are created. Because, you see, the “unauthorization” was, in fact, a mandate by the Legislature, included in the bill as passed, just as was the funding for the Agency, which imposed a tax on the whole of California. Designating the purpose of the Agency as “regional” by passes any Constitutional constraints on spending.
But then, you see, the Court applied the same logic to the powers given to the Agency, and put them out of the reach of any State or Constitutional restrictions aimed at limiting regional powers.
The Court also found that the citizens under the Tahoe umbrella “are not entitled to the right of initiative, recall or referendum“, or to “the operation of the one-man-one-vote principal, in view of the interstate nature of the Agency, and of the interest of non-residents in the preservation of the Lake Tahoe Basin“.
And so, the court said, the Compact “properly provided for the appointment, as distinguished from the election of its governing board.” And so, this Court gave a double whammy to representation, and that is an issue that should be given the closest scrutiny.
There was one item in this holding that is easily passed over, with such huge wounds inflicted on our lawful government, but it should be noted, for it is an ominous portent for a larger concern.
That is the recognition by the Court of “the interest of non-residents” in the affairs of Tahoe. It is not unthinkable that this interpretation could at some point in time zoom out to impact our national government with “the interest of non-residents“. Think about that.
Perhaps though, the most significant ruling by the California Court was this:
“The concept of equal protection of the law means simply that persons similarly situated with respect to the legitimate purpose of the law receive like treatment.”
Are you listening, Florida: New Jersey? Washington State? Texas? You other States where regionalism is being promoted. Do you hear the chains rattling for you?
“A district” said the Court, “is excluded from the initiative, referendum, and recall, if it has been formed under a law that does not provide for elections… if members of an official body are elected, the one-man one-vote principle applies, and if they are appointed, it does not apply.”
It is as simple – and as horrendous – as that. “…whether the activities to be performed are legislative or administrative in nature is immaterial.” Thus spake the Court.
Since it was “not only the Legislatures of California and Nevada, but also Congress” which conspired to create this monstrosity, the Court found that the broad delegation of powers were not unlawful. It assumed Constitutionality, because of the source.
Lawsuits involving hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to individuals in the Basin brought up some very interesting points of law, but there is little hope for people whose lives and hopes, yes, and fortunes, hang on the decisions of Courts, which can make such decisions. It is a clear and present warning to all citizens everywhere. The best way to escape such a perversion of the precious heritage of representative government is to prevent regional bodies being superimposed on it.
These decisions on Tahoe make it obvious that there is no remedy in sight after the fact, except to figure out some way to remove the cancerous growth – a much harder way to go.
From the 1963-5 minutes CCIC’
“Mr. Matthews expressed surprise at being called upon because he thought he had just come for an airplane ride”
(Isn’t that what has happened to all of us?)
The illustration on the front cover of this Report, the map on page 5, and the inserts identified as “minutes” are from the official documents for the Plan for Lake Tahoe.
The statement in script on the cover gives a message from the Planners, The major error in this message lies in ignoring the fact that Plans like this are designated to deny Man the right to use that ability they define.
There is an identifiable Master Plan (of which this is a part):
“to commence the remodeling of the lives of American freemen… to mix the lives and hopes and dreams of human beings with physical resources, and attempt to measure and modify and restrict men and their intangibles…” 1
The Plan for Lake Tahoe was a pilot program for that Plan.
John L. Rankin “If this program, proposed by our so-called National Resources Planning Board, were put into effect, it would wreck this Republic, wipe out the Constitution, destroy our form of government, set up a totalitarian regime, and pile on our backs a burden of expenditures that no nation on earth could bear…”
Clare Hoffman: “That horde of bureaucrats which promulgates the multiplicity of orders, rules, regulations and directives… have presumed to take solely unto themselves the prerogative of interpreting the intentions of Congress – reading into its enactments meanings never even thought of…”
Noah H. Mason “…It is a scheme to give the federal government control of every activity in this nation, with the States pushed back into a position of impotence, if not entirely obliterated… A State that does not cooperate… is to be policed from Washington…”
And Congress repudiated the Plan, and eliminated the Planners – or so they thought… What do you think now?