Update: On Facebook, Senator Linda Higgins (DFL-Minneapolis) has noted SF2117, which passed out on Quist congressional rival Mike Parry's committee. SF2117, authored by David Brown, established the Legislative Commission on United Nations Agenda 21 Establishment. Now we're really not sure why Harris thinks the pamphlet was the first shot, since the convention took place after the session closed. See Missing in Minnpost Part II: Parry is co-sponsor of SF2117, establishing the Legislative Commission on United Nations Agenda 21 for more. end update.
Southern Minnesotans collectively are baffled as to how intelligent Twin Citians miss so much of the richness of Allen Quist's intellectual endeavors. Next to frac sand, hogs or field corn, it's one of our richest raw commodities, but it takes national attention to one of his periodic bids for office for the rest of the state to appreciate this. Again.
Were they devoted Quisters (sort of like birders, except we keep life lists for Allen and his Quistian followers), things like the menace of Agenda 21 would come as no surprise. Opening up the worldview of the Quistians is as rewarding as getting permitted for a frac sand mine, though hardly as lucrative.
Take poor Marlys Harris at MinnPost, who believes that a pamphlet handed to her as she headed to the "powder room" by a "man in a dark blue sports jacket" marks the beginning of something new. She writes in Agenda 21 and looming battles over urban development:
The pamphlet may be the first shot across the bow in Minnesota on behalf of a movement sweeping the country. Anti-Agenda 21 and anti- sustainability, it has its roots in the Tea Party and other libertarian groups who oppose any kind of smart growth, urban planning, density, mass transit and environmental regulation.
Well, if it's the first time she saw it, it must be the first shot, given that Harris has a lot of credentials valued by Minnpost, including experience as an investigative reporter, a masters degree and institutional underwriting for her column at Minnpost by not only the McKnight Foundation but the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative as well.
Sadly no. This isn't the first shot by nearly a decade.
Allen Quist, who led the balloting at the end of the epic 23-round Thrilla in Vanilla at the Republican CD1 convention at the historic Kato Ballroom, lately has been touring Minnesota's Tea Party circuit for months, warning about the terrors of Agenda 21, as well as lecturing about it from the bully pulpit of his congressional campaign website, after being one of the founding fathers of the Blue Helmet Fear Club, Agenda 21 Chapter.
Warnings about Agenda 21 have been standard fare among Minnesota's Tea Party gatherings, have been for months.
For instance: somehow Harris's keen investigative research skills missed this presentation to the North Metro Tea Party's October2011 monthly meeting:
And this wasn't Quist's first Agenda 21 talk to a Minnesota Tea Party gathering. Back on July 11, 2011, the SW Metro Tea Party hosted Quist's presentation (Facebook notice here and SW Metro Tea Party page here).
And in a January post, January thaw: Minnesota Tea Party events boldly explore classic paranoid style political bugaboos, Bluestem wrote about Behind The Green Curtain, a meeting sponsored by the primary statewide tea party organization in Minnesota, the North Star Tea Party Patriots. The discussion centered on property rights.
But despite this recent froth of anti-Agenda 21 meetings by major Tea Party chapters in Minnesota, Bluestem supposes that the Smart People in the Twin Cities will follow Harris's leading and take her narrative of wondering who is behind the obscure New World Order conspiracists at KeepMNFree.
This site appears to have begun posting about Agenda 21 in Srring 2012., but the Great Morrow forbid that information that doesn't support an writer's angle in presenting a new shiny object be considered--and so better for a writer to take up an obscure group than to ask North Star Tea Party Patriot spokester Walter Hudson, who probably wouldn't be shy about answering Harris's questions.
And the Tea Party meetings reflect a long-term concern about Agenda 21 on the North Star State's rightwing. Quist's been campaigning on Agenda 21 for months--and talking about it for years with his Minnesota friends.
In December, Quist wrote in UN Gun Control:
President Obama is supporting a UN arms treaty that could bring international gun control to the United States and slap America’s gun owners with severe restrictions. This treaty is part of the Agenda 21 master plan which requires that international gun control be applied to all countries. . . .
Oh noes! In his bio, Quist claims authority about Agenda 21:
Quist is a nationally recognized author and speaker on numerous topics including the federal No Child Left Behind law, the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the myth of global warming, Agenda 21, integrated math, and the controversial International Baccalaureate curriculum.
Indeed, a Nexis search revealed that the discussion of Agenda 21 by Quist and his mentee, Michele Bachmann, predates the creation of the Tea Party itself. Veteran Bachmann watcher Bill Prendergast, then writing at Dump Bachmann cited a 2008 Canada Free Press column in Bachmann, Ron Paul, Phyllis Schlafly, EdWatch--They'll All Be There...>
If you choose freedom, then there is a counter to Agenda 21 and its Sustainable Development program. It’s called Freedom 21, and it’s quickly growing into a “freedom movement.” Freedom 21 is not an organization. It is a loose coalition of groups and individuals who believe that our nation’s Founding Fathers had it right when they established this nation as one with tightly controlled reins on government. The Founding Fathers believed that all individuals were born with their rights of individual liberty, and that government’s job is to protect those rights as individuals pursue their own dreams and goals. That’s the basis for the Freedom 21 agenda.
Freedom 21 was organized nine years ago by Henry Lamb (Environmental Conservation Organization), Tom DeWeese (American Policy Center), Craig Rucker and David Rothbard (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow), and representatives of Eagle Forum. Today, this group is joined by The Chicago-based Heartland Institute, Edwatch of Minnesota, Freedom Advocates from Santa Cruz, California, Sovereignty International, Stewards of the Range, OKSAFE of Oklahoma, and the American land Foundation, based in Texas.
But the record goes even farther back before Quist is explicitly named--but Edwatch, the group Julie and Allen Quist helped found, is there from the get-go on nationwide anti-Agenda 21 activism. The Quists and EdWatch were there at the beginning on uberconservative organizing against Agenda 21, as was Bachmann.
MoJo's Tim Murphy took a look in 2011 at the connection between Freedom 21, EdWatch and Michele Bachmann's anti-sustainability agenda. Murphy wrote:
Bachmann's penchant for asking conspiratorial questions didn't go unnoticed by her colleagues. Her Democratic opponents in the state senate came up with a nickname for Bachmann and her followers: "Black Helicopter Republicans"—a nod to fringe types who believe the United Nations is running covert missions in their backyards.
In the state Senate, Bachmann took up another favorite issue of Agenda 21 opponents—mass transit, which they believe will prompt the displacement of citizens into confined areas and the elimination of privately owned automobiles.
As the Minnesota Independent reported, Bachmann bashed "impractical and expensive" public transit in her campaign literature and called light rail a "black hole" for funding. She voted to cut off funding to a commuter rail project connecting St. Cloud to the Twin Cities—a line that cut through the heart of her future congressional district—and cosponsored a bill to abolish the regional rail authority.
Perhaps Harris and her sources--and MinnPost's editors--haven't noticed, but the Bachmann-Quist wing of Minnesota have been fighting their fears of an Agenda 21 planet for nearly a decade in Minnesota. Maybe Harris needs to get out to more Republican and Tea Party events--or Nexis--or state senate video archives--more often if she wants to refrain from shooting blanks about the first shot in Minnesota's Agenda 21 skirmishes.
Update: At least one GOP-endorsed candidate for the Minnesota House has connected Agenda 21 with the Met Council. Given the voter index, it's unlikely he'll win, but it doesn't support that notion that there's no anti-Agenda21 chatter out there.
Images: Allen Quist, by Ken Avidor (above); the North Star Tea Party Patriots' January Agenda21 program.