Leidiger catches Agenda 21 and Tenther fever

Bills filed in the waning days of the odd-year legislative session are often considered throw-away bills — filed weeks after deadlines for committee hearings and passage in the current year, most of them are left in the dustbin when the even-year session comes around.  But they can provide some useful insight into the workings of the minds of the legislators who file them — in terms of what their ideology is or who they feel they need to appease.

Mayer’s State Rep. Ernie Leidiger was listed as an author on two bills to be introduced today — H.F. 1833 and H.F. 1834 — which are, well, interesting.  Both bills are chief authored by freshman Rep. Jim Newberger (R-Becker).

H.F. 1833 is designed to protect Minnesota from the scourge of United Nations Agenda 21.  To most of the world, Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented United Nations effort to encourage sustainable development practices.  The practical impact of such efforts have been uncontroversial and common-sense things like state or county level requirements for comprehensive land use plans for local governments and ENERGYSTAR ratings for applicances.  But to a few, it’s something far more sinister: the end of America as we know it.  Glenn Beck, for instance, has turned Agenda 21 resistance into its own cottage industry — tying all his media platforms to it.  And, sadly, it’s not just talk radio blowhards getting in on the act.  Bluestem Prairie’s Sally Jo Sorensen has been on Minnesota links to this movement — see here and here.  Newberger himself has long been a proponent of such ideology, as documented here.  Even State Rep. Cindy Pugh (R-Chanhassen) has gotten in on the act, back in her SW Metro Tea Party days.  (Incidentally, the SW Metro Tea Party will be holding another Agenda 21 session next week –postponed from April.)

Meanwhile, H.F. 1834 is a resolution designed to restore what proponents see as the rightful purpose of the federal government as limited by the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.  Followers of this ideology — known by some as “Tenthers” — believe that many of the things the federal government does today, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, veterans programs, and federal drug enforcement, are not valid.  This is milder version of legislation from last session that sought to give the state the right to nullify federal laws that were judged by the Legislature to be outside of its purview.  The nullification issue, though, has long been settled from a legal perspective, however, and was settled once and for all by the Civil War.

After a fairly quiet session that seemed to start productively with his working with county elected officials on transportation issues, it’s too bad that Leidiger hasn’t been able to contains these extreme urges and find ways to work to move productive legislation through the House.

[Photo courtesy Wikipedia, of recommended headgear for Agenda 21 conspiracy buffs and Tenthers.]

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10 Responses to “Leidiger catches Agenda 21 and Tenther fever”

  1. From your own Agenda 21 link:

    The Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution opposing Agenda 21, and the Republican Party platform stated that “We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty.”

    Explains a few things you might have overlooked with your Leidiger fetish. Being a member of the party and all, I would he and other GOP leaders to be on board with this action.

    Perhaps a picture of yourself with a dunce cap would be more appropriate here than a tin foil cap. Or perhaps walking around in a medical gown and walker with a Governor Dayton-like appearance on your face would be better suited to represent your dementia.

  2. Have noticed the number of other states who are taking on Agenda 21? This is hardly a fringe issue, as you try to make it with your foil hat nonsense.

    • Thus far, there is one state with an Agenda 21 ban (Alabama) and one that will have one soon (Missouri).

      I have yet to see a coherent reason that explains how Agenda 21 is a threat to our nation’s sovereignty. It’s not a treaty, so we are not legally bound to do anything to implement it. To me, it seems like — at best — it’s just fear-mongering to protest policies that just aren’t liked. At worst, it is venturing into tinfoil hat conspiracy theory land, especially people peddling doomsday Agenda 21 scenarios.

      Do you believe Agenda 21 erodes American sovereignty?

      • And many more passed a ban in one house or another… This isn’t a fringe issue.

      • I believe anything in the UN has the potential of eroding American sovereignty. I’ve seen no evidence that it already has to any degree. But it’s also interesting how many states have pursued or passed legislation banning it from occurring. I’m not sure what that would even mean at this point. Then again, I can’t imagine the whole State of Alabama is wearing tinfoil hats either. Perhaps some case of over reach occurred there that brought this forward. I do not know the history behind this, nor have I even read the bill you mention above.

        But my party has passed resolutions against the Agenda. But it also doesn’t lay out very well what that really means.

        I imagine the greatest reason comes about on the climate change folly that carbon taxes could be implemented and collected by some world governance, which seems to be the greatest point made in the resolution. Global taxes certainly would be erosive of all country’s sovereignty. And while most nations do participate in UN funding at some level, and volunteer funds for relief efforts, the control of what is deemed to be sustainable by outside forces would certainly above and beyond what most countries would state is their right to control.

        I mean that’s exactly why Kyoto was never ratified in this nation. Clinton may have signed the treaty, but there was already a resolution in place forbidding such a loss of sovereignty that passed the Senate 98-0 or something like that.

        Nationally, I believe that resolution would also apply in some degree to banning Agenda 21. But other states passing their own such resolutions prevents a federal over reach on this type of state sovereignty and given the way this administration operates, I can certainly understand where they are coming from.

  3. Might be a bit of a reach to state the Energy Star ratings system comes from Agenda 21. That originated at the EPA not the UN. Are you saying the EPA came about as part of Agenda 21? I know the current EPA is travelling down the Agenda 21 path rather vigorously, but that rating system just plain makes sense where much of what is coming out of this Agenda is just plain ridiculous.

    • Of course the EPA didn’t come about as part of Agenda 21.

      It’s difficult to tie back individual policies to Agenda 21, because Agenda 21 doesn’t give a lot of specific policy details — it’s a lot of “try to promote these good things” and “try to discourage these bad things”. It doesn’t give you a road map to get there, though. The reality is that if someone pushes some sort of environmental protection bill, you could tie it back in some way to one of the Agenda 21 initiatives. (Which, I would argue, is the point of some of these anti-Agenda 21 legislative efforts — shutting down any new environmental laws.)

      EnergyStar ratings could be seen as an attempt to work towards the Agenda 21 goal of “Changing Consumption Patterns” by encouraging people to buy more efficient appliances, and in fact the UN has cited EnergyStar in its report on how countries are doing on Agenda 21.

      • When it comes to the EPA, we’ve got a lot of initiatives that need to be shut down, but as to whether or not they came about from the UN is probably more coincidental from drinking the same kool-aid.

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