Tuesday, March 04, 2003

name that tune

The Yubanet link (here) re the Preserving the American Dream (anti-smart growth) Conference led me to this other report, with quotations. See if any of this sounds familiar -
The emerging assault on smart growth does not appear to have the laudable aim of getting planning to function more intelligently and effectively. Instead, it appears aimed at discrediting the entire notion of using government to promote beneficial development patterns.

One of the speakers in the "Preserving the American Dream" conference, David Strom of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, urged opponents of smart growth to "be relentless in undermining the credibility of your opponents." Strom said a campaign that the Taxpayers League ran against a mass transit proposal in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area depicted pro-transit leaders as practitioners of social engineering. "No one knew what social engineering was," Strom said, "but it sounded bad. We made it sound like they were a bunch of commies."

Strom told smart-growth opponents to wage merciless attacks. "We often make the mistake of assuming this is a battle over who has the better facts," he said. Quite the contrary, whether smart-growth policies are adopted will hinge, he asserted, on whether voters can be persuaded that the typical smart-growth leader is "a pointy-headed intellectual fascist" trying to ruin people's lives.

Michelle Thaxton, executive director of the South Carolina Landowners' Association, told the group to avoid engaging in complex discussions about smart growth. "You don't give any human more than three to five points, or you lose them," Thaxton said. "The press likes sound bites, phrases," she said. "They write that thing [newspapers] on an eighth-grade level."

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