Transcript of public hearing, Joint Committee on Regional Government - Illinois State Legislature, April 11, 1978 Springfield, Illinois Pages 73 - 94
Rep Hudson : Thank you, Mr. Balen. Are there any questions from the members of the Committee here? If not, then we will move on to the next witness. Is Mr. Robert Pope here?
Mr. Pope : I have copies here of what I intend to tell you, and I will give them to you later, if that is the practice. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I thank you for affording us an opportunity to testify in this manner. This is one of the few things in thirty years... or a little more... of adulthood that government has done that I heartily approve.
My name is Robert Pope. I live in Champaign, where I have been engaged in the practice of law and various business pursuits for many years. I am here today to protest against what has come to be known as regional government. I am of the firm belief that our country has been through a revolution. We now hold to a few precious freedoms by some very slender threads. Without prompt and resolute action by men such as yourselves, the last traces of self-government will be wiped out completely.
Perhaps it is, even now, too late, but some of us keep trying to reclaim some vestige of those arrangements that made the United States of America different from all of the other countries in the world, past or present.
In the years 1948 to 1950, the big craze was to consolidate our school districts. I saw this move as a loss of local control over our system of education, and I attended the public hearings being held by the promoters of consolidation of school districts. The hearing officers, at that time, were largely drawn from the University of Illinois Schools of Education and Political Science Schools that even then were staffed by those of extreme left-wing and Statist and Proctovist views.
I testified that such centralization would lead to more State control, and eventually even to control by Washington, D.C. In those days, I had pretty dark hair, and no wrinkles. The hearing officers tried to intimidate me and belittle me because I was a young, fresh lawyer, hardly dry behind the ears. Now, today, when I testify before a group such as this, I am afraid the hearing officers will say that they don't want to hear from a grey-haired old dinosaur with turn-of-the-century ideas.
Nevertheless, we have totally, at this point, lost control of our schools in these past thirty years. Children graduate without basic skills. They are often without any comprehension of our history or traditions when they come out of the public school system. They hold their government in complete contempt, and often have the morals and the scruples of alley cats. This I believe, is the result of regionalizing just that one facet of our life... our system of public education.
On another matter, and this has to do with Zoning and Planning.
In 1958, our Champaign-Urbana newspapers began a concerted, mind- molding campaign to push local city governments and the Champaign County Board of Supervisors into adopting enabling legislation to fit the federal guidelines for participatory grants from Washington, D.C.
In 1966, the Champaign and Urbana Councils and the Champaign County Board of Supervisors began gifts of $130,000 yearly from public funds to the formation of the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission. Also, in that year, 1966, our Board of Supervisors officially voted to create our Regional Planning Commission. And then, as it has already been referred to, in 1969, President Nixon, by an Executive Order, #11647, created ten regional government jurisdictions.
Rep. Hudson : Excuse me, sir.
Mr. Pope : I was saying that the Nixon administration created by the Executive Order #11647 ten regional jurisdictions to be administered from existing federal departments with power to control by appointed officials nearly all facets of life throughout the United States.
In 1972, in Champaign County, a comprehensive plan was developed.
Sen. Carroll : Go ahead, excuse us. We're used to listening to both at the same time.
Mr. Pope : Look, I spent a long time preparing this. I'm pouring my heart out to you.
Rep. Hudson : Mr. Pope, the Chair apologizes.
Mr. Pope : Yes, I apologize for stopping, but I want somebody to hear me.
Rep. Hudson : I assure you, we are listening.
Mr. Pope : All right. I don't want to be rude -- don't misunderstand me, sir.
Rep. Hudson : Nor does the Chair. I was trying to answer a question here from Senator Carroll.
Mr. Pope : Pardon me for interfering. Do you want me to proceed?
Rep. Hudson : Yes, will you please?
Mr. Pope : Okay. Now, in 1976 the latter part of 1976 the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission held public hearings, out of which complete totalitarian goals were set in place by "engineered consent" methods. By this mechanism, so-called public hearings are called, and the testimony given allows our planning authority to structure our lives in just about any manner that they see fit, totally irrespective of constitutional guarantees against such law-making high jinks.
Here are two newspaper notices in last Sunday's newspapers of such dangerous conduct for public hearings on: one, Mass Transit, April 12, tomorrow night; and another on land use for Champaign City on April 25.
By this means, a fourth level I am sure you understand what fourth level government means, with Executive, Legislative, Judicial and now we have a fourth level, which is the bureaucracy, planted on us, and we have almost lost any restraint or control over our own governmental bodies, from the top right down to the bottom, and now we have been Federalized.
In recent years, I have been in every state of the union, of the continental United States, including Alaska, and I have looked into this thing; and believe me, the same process has been developing across our nation. The umbrella covers us all.
In 1966 -- just a little about the cost of this thing our Champaign County Regional Plan Commission hired a Regional Planner, Mr. Mallby they always come from other places from Michigan, at a cost of $10,000.
In 1971, a Mr. Pinkerton was hired as our Regional Planner from Wisconsin, and our Regional Plan Commission cost around $225,000. From $10,000 to $225,000.
In 1976, the Regional Planning Commission in Champaign Country spent in excess of $578,000 under the current Regional Plan Director, James Friedlander, hired and imported from Colorado. During the last fiscal year, the Champaign Regional Plan Commission arranged and saw to the spending through local entities from Washington, D.C. $19,569,896, almost $20 million.
That just grew in a couple of years. Hardly today a decision is made in any local or county matter, hardly a dollar is spent, without approval by the Regional Plan Commission, and also, the Region Five Chicago offices and by a Washington, D.C. bureau or agency. Today, hardly a tree is planted in Broadlands, a little community in Champaign County, or a sidewalk installed in Royal, or a jail built in Urbana, or anything private enterprise builds, such as houses or business buildings, in the whole of Champaign County, without the involvement of the aforementioned machinery.
Today, hardly a matter concerning the Park District, a School District, a Drainage District, Human Relations Commissions, Hospitals, Police or Sheriff's Department, Housing to mention just a few items is determined except that it be considered as above suggested, and no village or other public hearing is held in our county, but what a Regional Plan Commission representative is present.
Does that strike you as national Socialism? Rarely can a person or business conduct private affairs for very long in our County without running afoul of the many rules and the regulations created by the above-described quasi-administrative-judicial boards and commissions.
During recent years people talk about all this money that comes in; how nice it is to get but in recent years, Washington has totally lost control over its spending. The federal debt was quickly skyrocketed from less than $50 billion in around 1950 to $752 billion debt limit. That's the debt, and deficits have gone from millions to billions -- untold billions of commitments are below these iceberg tips, and billions and billions of dollars have been literally flung out of Washington, D.C. in the wildest orgy of spending ever recorded.
I know of what I am speaking. The foregoing while it was planted on us from above the foregoing would never have happened, had it not been for encouragement and assistance from local levels of government. For more than a decade, now, Champaign and Urbana city governments, like others clear across America, have been moving to center stage in what has become a mad dervish to vest all decision making and tax policies in the hands of those in the Washington jungle.
The fourth branch of government today is enslaving us all. Today, I am a practicing lawyer, and I'm engaged in business, and I know... I have had so much experience with this. When you attack zoning or try to defend against zoning or planning, or the school district, or the park district, or any of the other myriad of governmental creatures, such as Human Relations Councils, Fair Housing Board, or any of this other alphabet of madness that has grown up around us, you are not only taking on City Hall, or the County Court House, but perhaps some of the 110 State of Illinois fourth level of government agencies.
And the regional apparatus of Region Five, which is in Chicago, and now they say it is going to be streamlined right into Washington D.C. but Washington, D.C. does well. And I believe that the underlying contempt, the doubt and the suspicion of government in our country today stems from the quasi-administrative-judicial building at all levels of government in these past forty to fifty years. The madness of Washington which we all know about that jungle of FTC and FCC and IRS and a jillion other agencies and commissions it has now spread down to the State level and the County level and the local level, as well; and I submit that our nation are people such as me and these people out here, and two hundred and some-odd million others. They just cannot longer survive these many straitjackets that have been placed on us.
You know, it just doesn't have to be this way, in spite of what the pro-planners the professionals are saying. You know, it just isn't right that we should have to grovel, hat in hand, before a kangaroo court of some kind, where there is no judicial rule of conduct, no rule of law, begging to use our property, or to pursue our constitutional rights, by leave of a gaggle of citizens vested with power only because they were appointed by some remote elected office holder.
I hold here a report of the Council on Foreign Relations, CFR. Perhaps some of you have never heard of this, but you should know of it. It grew out of the Fabian Socialist Movement of England. The Council on Foreign Relations, along with the Committee for Economic Development, are housed on East 68th Street in the old [Pratt] House in New York City, right across the street from another notorious organization the National Municipal League.
Chicago has its branch of CFR, as some of you from that area must know as do other big cities of the United States. But do you know that the stated purpose of CFR is to destroy the sovereignty of the United States of America. Every Secretary of State for at least forty years, now, has been drawn from CFR membership. Rusk is a member. The Dulles brothers, and Stettinius, and all the others were members of CFR.
Nearly every member of the Carter Administration is a member of CFR Califano, Blumenthal, Bergland, Mondale, Brown, Warneke, Sorenfeld, Brzezinski, then Federal Reserve retiring Chairman Arthur Burns, and his successor, William Miller, are members.
Gerald Ford's cabinet were mostly members of CFR. Nixon was a member, himself. John Mitchell was a member, and most of Nixon's cabinet. LBJ's cabinet was largely drawn from CFR, as were the members of the Kennedy, the Eisenhower, the Truman and the latter two administrations of FDR.
I am not kidding. I have been there. This is all clearly documented. The names I have given you are in here. This is their official document. This is a conspiratorial movement. Its purpose is to destroy the United States of America. This regional government concept it didn't just emerge. It didn't just happen overnight. It didn't happen with the Executive Order. It has been planned and it has been schemed for many years.
The purpose is to obfuscate the very constitutional guarantees that protected us in our state sovereignty and as individuals.
[CDR Note: Bear in mind the United Nations was schemed up - originally attempted after WWI as the League of Nations - by the International Elite including Rockefellers. The UN was a done deal even before the end of the war and the formal ratification by the US. The CFR was founded in 1921 as an American Arm of the Roundtable Group in London (started by Cecil Rhodes), which was a semi-secret lobbying group according to Dr. Carroll Quigley. The CFR's British counterpart was/is the RIIA (Royal Institute of International Affairs). Rockefellers founded the Trilateral Commission in 1973, naming Zbignew Brzezinski as the first TLC director, based on Brzezinski's projection of the future in his book, "Between Two Ages".
To confirm Mr. Pope's statements above, we quote from the first "Book of the States" in 1935, published by the Council of State Government (CSG) and The American Legislators' Association, Drexel Avenue and 58th Street, Chicago, Illinois. The CSG was allegedly founded by Henry Toll, a State senator from Colorado, although in actuality he was just another performing seal for the Rockefellers and their ilk. Toll was a Uniform Law Commissioner in Colorado from 1931 until 1975. The Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB - bill drafting apparatus) in each State government was created by the Uniform Law Commission, established in 1892 by the American Bar Association.
From the CSG "Book of the States", Vol I, 1935, pg 131 re: funding,
"On January 23, 1930, the Spelman Fund of New York, which is intimately associated with the Rockefeller Foundation and with the [Rockefeller's] General Education Board, made a substantial appropriation to the work of this Association".
Further on page 131 re: the Legislative Reference Bureaus...
"The Association is the proper agency to study the means for improving the machinery of our legislatures: their personnel, their organization, and their facilities. This, also, is a work of national necessity which will require an expert staff. The Association has announced its intention to maintain a service man who knows the technique of legislative reference service. Upon request he will visit the legislative reference bureau of any State, in order to assist its Director to develop the most effective organization. An important by-product of this service will be greater uniformity among the legislative reference services of the various States...."
Page 91 re: Ten Regions...
"Here are three points which seem almost obvious:
"First: All interstate commissions in the same general area should be brought together as much as possible. And this will eventually require perhaps ten regional headquarters in various parts of the United States.
"Second: All interstate commissions which are dealing with the same subject such as minimum wages in different parts of the country, should be kept in as close contact as possible. And this will require a central, coordinating office.
"Third: No one of these ten regional headquarters should confine its efforts simply to the work of the sporadic interstate commissions which it is serving. Each of these agencies should do everything that it can appropriately do to bring the state governments in its area into more intimate touch with one another and into a closer working relationship, in all significant matters of policy and operation. And the central coordinating office should correlate all of the work of all of the regional headquarters.
"Through such an arrangement, the planning and consummating of appropriate compacts could be fostered, as well as the carrying out of those same compacts after they have been consummated." [their emphasis)]
"A PATTERN FOR COOPERATION BETWEEN THE STATES"
"To repeat, there should be about ten regional headquarters in various parts of the United States, each of which would serve as the operating center for the appropriate interstate commissions functioning in that vicinity, and for other cooperative interstate projects; and there should be one central office through which contact would be constantly maintained, not only between the various groups of regional commissions which were dealing with similar problems, but also as to all cooperative activities of states in the same region."
"THE TWO PATTERNS ARE SIMILAR"
"We have expressed the belief that the functions which the states now perform will be harmonized in one of two ways either through absorption by Washington, or through active cooperation by the states. We have suggested the type of organization which might result from federalization, and we have suggested the type of organization which might result from interstate cooperation.
"The interesting point is this: The two types would probably be strikingly similar, in structure, although not in social consequences. Under one alternative, the federal government may take over the major functions of the states, and build an organization from the top down: Washington at the top, ten regional offices below it, and the forty-eight states below them.
"Under the other alternative, the states may retain many of their major functions, and build an organization from the bottom up; the forty-eight states as the base, related to each other through ten regional headquarters, which in turn would be related to each other through a central headquarters."
End quoting Book of the States. Mr. Pope was correct... Regionalism is NOT a new idea, as evidenced in the above CSG literature from 1935. The ratification of the U.N. by the U.S. Senate in 1945 through the machinations of the CFR gave the internationalists the tool they needed to "further their global schemes", as was so succinctly stated in the book, "Foundations - Their Power and Influence". [See #1 - Illinois Committee Hearing transcript of Mr. Norman Dodd testimony of 9-78]. Resume Mr. Pope's testimony]
So now, when one goes before one of these fourth level of government boards or commissions or agencies, and has his rights interpreted by appointed members who have no respect for the rights probably no history of the 700 years from the Magna Carta, and so plainly refined and beautifully set forth in the United States Constitution and in our original State Constitution and so by the time a person gets through pursuing his administrative remedies via these quasi-judicial funny farms, he just doesn't have the money or the energy to develop a project. I have represented people like that.
This Thursday night the night after tomorrow night I am supposed to get a ruling in a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing that has been "yo-yoed" up and down for over a year on some real estate north of Rantoul. In a very gross and bizarre record of the matter in this case, there stands out an instance that should shock anyone familiar with judicial procedures.
That is that an Australian boy, who is a student at Parkland College in Champaign, not a citizen, but active in Champaign environmental groups, and having no qualifications as an expert witness, has been heard by the Board three times, and his testimony is written at length in their reports. He has testified that a gravel pit it is not a pond, or anything the topsoil was scraped off by the State that it is a "magnificent prairie land".
Now, this really staggers the imagination, and this isn't really too singular. I've had this kind of thing, and observed it happening so many times. You know, if you rent, or if you even have possession, or if you own a piece of property, and someone trespasses, or they vandalize it, you seek your remedy in a court of law. If someone challenges your ownership, or your right of possession to your house or your cottage, you insist that our courts apply the laws of ownership. When you die... when you're done... you expect the laws of descent and probate to be applied to protect your estate in proper distribution of your property, of your belongings.
In these instances, or any of a hundred others that you can propose, would you want a Kangaroo Court, which has no rules of admissible evidence or testimony, no safeguards against perjury whatsoever, no judge with a knowledge of the law in charge of the hearing to entertain your case and render a decision thereon as to how you can use your property? I don't think you would, and yet that's what you're faced with when you go before a Planning Commission or a Board of Appeals. In less than fifty years, we have allowed a web of zoning laws to be woven across America that have now virtually... virtually wiped out our whole body or laws on real estate; and they are so precious to defend the smallest and the biggest.
[CDR Note: To ground Mr. Pope's comments the following three paragraphs are taken from the foreword of a 1967 UN report titled "Planning of Metropolitan Areas and New Towns". The foreword is
"based on the statement made by the representative of the Secretary-General before the United Nations Group of Experts on Metropolitan Planning and Development at Stockholm, Sweden, 9-14-61".
The report also includes findings of the "United Nations Symposium on the Planning and Development of New Towns, Moscow, 8/24 - 9/7, 1964". - Communist Bolshevist Russia set the mold for Regionalism in America today. Page iv of the foreword states that :
"Another front presenting renewal opportunities to co-ordinate development activities is the region. Planning on a regional scale may help guide both urbanization and industrialization, that is, provide a common meeting ground for linking local physical planning and national economic planning, as well as the planning for social services and community development. However, we must recognize that our administrative machinery is still woefully inadequate to bring about the level of integrated planning and action which is required."
".... There is, consequently, an urgent need for national land policies which can help guide this transition into desired channels. The physical planner's role in this crucial period is an extremely essential one. Through appropriate land-use planning, it is his job to help this transfer of land to occur in an orderly fashion by reconciling the rights of the individual with the interests of the community.
"In addition, by operating on the regional rather than the local scale of planning, the planner can help to obtain a desirable balance in the urban/rural relationship. We will, however, have to add new work tools to planning, in addition to zoning, building codes and subdivision regulations, to achieve efficient location of industry and commerce; the development of transport, power, and utilities; and suitable arrangements for public administration on a regional rather than local scale."
" (2) Our world society must learn to guide the process of urbanization through judicious regional development of industry and agriculture;..."
"... Where adequate techniques do not exist, new ones must be developed, not by building bigger installations, but by new departures: faster rapid transit connecting the essential centres of a metropolitan region; abandonment, if necessary, of homes in their present form and creation of their contemporary counterparts in taller buildings covering less ground to return efficiency, beauty and sanity to our cities."
It behooves us to remember that the same people - with their money, power and influence - who created and control the United Nations, also control the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), aforementioned in Mr. Pope's testimony, and in following remarks. Resuming transcript of Mr. Pope:]
We are proceeding, I believe, at a suicidal clip toward the gutting of the safeguards on property ownership written into our federal and into our state constitutions. We've virtually destroyed the judicial due process of law, and we have created discord... literally, discord, in almost all communities of our land. I've seen people "yo-yoed" up and down for over two years, exhausting what they call... the planners gleefully call "administrative remedies".
While I was a member of the Champaign City Council a few years ago, I saw people lose their shirts on taxes and interest while exhausting these administrative remedies, and never even yet get into court. I've seen interest rates on construction loans and mortgage rates go from 4% to 4 1/2% up to 8% and 10%, and even 12%, in those days, while a property owner was getting this kind of due process, and still these petitioners hadn't even reached a court of law.
I have also seen influential petitioners get some mighty quick and favorable decisions. It happened in Champaign County just the other day. I've been "yo-yoing" something up and down for over a year, and a big enterprise came in and got something that isn't nearly so much as my client... as justifiable as he would have. They got it in less than a month, I believe it was. I've seen things go before a plan commission in the afternoon, if somebody is wired right, and the City Council approves it that night. I've seen some people with ready cash and inspired knowledge buy up the leavings of those on the wrong side of the planners, when their money and their patience had run out.
Is that capricious, and is it arbitrary in these Planning Commissions? You bet it is. Is it whimsical? Yes, very much so. Corrupt? Sometimes. You all must know of some of those instances. We have them in Champaign. Is it fair and is it safe? No, this kind of system is not very safe. Does it bring order out of chaos, as the planners like to promise us, and have for so many years now? No, it does not. In about fifty years, we have truly created chaos out of what had been a pretty orderly circumstance.
Yet... just a couple of minutes more... a man named Professor Carroll Quigley wrote a long history of 1300 pages. It is hard to read, and in here is a log of history on this Council on Foreign Relations which I have been talking about, and a lot of similar groups. He was a member. Carroll Quigley was a member of CFR. He was a rather illustrious professor. The title of this book is, "Tragedy and Hope". He was a teacher at Harvard and Princeton and other universities.
Now, usually, this CFR, Council on Foreign Relations, is very low profile. But Professor Quigley... a member of the organization, mind you, he broke the silence with the reasoning this is his reasoning in here that the truth could be told now, since the conspiracy had such a stronghold that American patriots could not successfully counter-revolt.
Perhaps he was correct, and if he was, our meeting here today is in vain. But interlocked with this CFR thing that I'm talking about, and its sister organization, the Brookings Institute, are those centering in Chicago under the broad name of "1313", located at 1313 East 60th Street in Chicago, and satellite offices are now being scattered around the city. I've been there it's a little hard to find. It really doesn't face on 60th Street, but its there, and you can find it.
Under the 1313 umbrella is the International City Managers Association, and a whole host of other organizations, and if you haven't, you should make a study of this menagerie because it's all part and parcel of what we are here today to talk about.
Now, some would make light of what I am relating. I know that. But I am saying the truth. Over a period of thirty years, I have made it a point to inquire into this nearly unbelievable story. I've checked it, and it is true. It is a vile, sordid affair, and it seeks to destroy all that the founders of this nation set out to assure us by the Declaration of Independence and our United States Constitution.
Elected officials such as you gentlemen sitting here have sworn to uphold our Constitution of the United States. I urge that your task is clear. Declare our state's rights, as was mentioned earlier here today, to be inviolate. Throw off the chains that have wrongfully been placed on these citizens. Help us once again to establish a constitutional republic of limited government. The odds, I know, are nearly insuperable, but we must free ourselves, in some manner, from this regional government. Thank you very much.
Rep Hudson : Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Pope. Are there questions of the witness?
Sen Rupp : Could I ask... in your statement, is that all recorded? Do you have a copy of it?
Mr. Pope : I have copies here for each of you. I thought that was a requirement, so I did it.
Sen Rupp : Well, I would like to see that because you made one statement in there that made me a little bit itchy. You said, "all local officials dedicated to all decision-making in Washington". That's not true.
Mr. Pope : No, no, no.
Sen Rupp : That's why wanted to see a copy. It may not have been meant to come out of your mouth that way, but that's what came in my ears.
Mr. Pope : Senator, if I said that, I did not mean that. Because that would be like saying everybody here is in a conspiracy... everybody out here. No, if I said that...
Sen Rupp : Well, that's what I heard, and that's what I wrote down.
Mr. Pope : Well, I am giving you a true copy of what I came to say, and I don't think...
Sen Rupp : Are you for or against home rule for citizens?
Mr. Pope : Well, sir, I think that phrase has been played around with. I heard you talking about it earlier, and you know, the different states under their different constitutions...
Sen Rupp : Illinois.
Mr. Pope : Well, Illinois. We used to be subject to the Cities and Villages Act, and if you were a city that was incorporated, like Champaign, as a city, unless you were one of the originals, you were governed strictly by that Cities and Villages Act. You could not go beyond that. Now, I think under the new Constitution, we have done some real funny things about home rule and the possibilities for that, and a lot of people are saying "we've got home rule", and they're saying that can do anything... anything they want in the way of legislation. That, to me, is wrong. Does that get to your answer?
Sen Rupp : No. You didn't tell me yet whether you are for it or against it.
Mr. Pope : I would be for home rule within the confines of a constitutional provision that sets forth just how far a city or a county could go. I am not for totally saying to a city, "You can do anything you want. You can license anybody". Does that answer it? You are asking me a question like, "Are you still beating your wife".
Sen Rupp : No. I understood you to say that you were a Councilman for...
Mr. Pope : Yes, I was. As a matter of fact, the new Constitution was adopted my last year in office.
Sen Rupp : Well, didn't you sit in review of those zoning decisions?
Mr. Pope : Oh, yes. Yes.
Sen Rupp : Well, now, is that the system that you recommend?
Mr. Pope : No, I'm not for it.
Sen Rupp : Well, okay. Now, where is the decision to be made? In Washington? Maybe that's...
Mr. Pope : Oh, no. Not in Washington.
Sen Rupp : Well, if it's not going to be local, and it's not going to be you, that's elected by these very people who sit in your neighborhood. You are the ones elected by them. Why shouldn't you make the decision on zoning?
Mr. Pope : Well, sir...
Sen Rupp : What is your option?
Mr. Pope : Let me have a minute on that. I have written a tract here which explains the history of zoning and planning, I think, pretty well. For instance, in Champaign County, not too many years ago, and here as one of the City Attorneys in Champaign, going back 25 or 30 years, I think we only had two categories of property commercial and residential. I think today we have about 24 in Champaign... the City of Champaign... and it seems to me that there should be state legislation that would confine the cities from enumerating so many different classifications of property, and then keep it confined there. Let them run it, yes. But I don't think...
Sen Rupp : Let who run it, the State?
Mr. Pope : No, the City.
Sen Rupp : Then why shouldn't the cities decide how many categories? You see, what I have trouble with is that this is a Committee on Regionalism. The opposite of regionalism is local. And you haven't told me exactly what...
Mr. Pope : Yes. Well, that isn't quite right. Pardon me for disputing that, but I might say that my history of the various...
Sen Rupp : Might I interrupt you once and say that I was Mayor of Decatur for ten years, so I need all the help I can get. Please feel free.
Mr. Pope : Oh, I know you were. I met you when you were the Mayor. I'm not trying to flatter you, but I think you were one of the few Mayors around the State of Illinois that seemed to be really doing a good job. You tried to keep your city within the realm of reasonableness. But I believe that under the new Constitution of the State of Illinois, there is almost not just a likelihood, but a probability that a whole can of worms if going to be opened under this thing that is called "home rule".
Now, this was not possible, as you know, under the other theory of government. A state... a city could only be created by getting a charter from the State, and that city would be confined to just certain areas of government, just like the federal government is supposed to be confined just to certain areas. And in this case, our State, I think... I liked the way it was before. I don't like this thing of giving total home rule to a city. No, I don't like it. I would like to go back to the time... or forward, and make it a little better... when a city could have a measure of home rule, but subject to those rules, the confinements, set forth in the State of Illinois Constitution and the Cities and Villages Act.
So, you are asking me a question I don't think I can answer. Under the present circumstances, I am afraid of what cities and villages are doing. They need to be confined, just like the federal government needed to be confined, and it was confined under the plain reading of the Constitution. And then it said, what, Article VIII and IX... IX and X of the Bill of Rights, those things which are not delegated to the federal government are left to the states and to the citizens thereof.
Okay. So the states, as I thought was so well-described today by Mr. Horton, the states do have broad powers, and you have exercised them and even adopted a new Constitution. I think we went wrong in that new Constitution, in spite of some of the faults of the prior Constitution. One of them is in this thing of giving immeasurable powers to cities under this thing of home rule.
[CDR Note: Home Rule, along with Initiative and Referendum (participatory democracy), along with the Intergovernmental Relations Clause, and some dangerous changes in the Judicial sections of our State constitutions, as well as eliminating the description - defining - of State borders was advanced in 1968 by the ACIR (Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations) and the CSG, which was also headquartered at 1313 E. 60th Street in Chicago.
The ACIR and CSG have worked in tandem to further the demise of American Constitutional government via Regionalism. Initiative and Referendum, although it sounds good, is a two-edged sword. If the People can make or repeal laws by circulating petitions, a majority could force unconstitutional legislation, destroying the Constitutional protections of the individual.
Uninformed Citizens can be manipulated to "want" a particular law believing it is to their advantage. Influential and monied individuals can forward their own agenda and call it "the will of the people". America then, without Constitutional amendment, becomes a democracy - which historically slides into Socialism and tyranny.
Paul Weyrich, a powerful national leader of phony conservatives, promotes participatory democracy. Weyrich, who wants a Constitutional Convention because he says we need a "shadow government - a Parliamentary government" for America, obviously realizes the power of 'participatory democracy' to undermine our Constitution.
Home Rule Law in Pennsylvania gives local governments - including regional districts defined as municipalities - unlimited taxing power. A rash of current (1997) "tax reform" bills seek to encourage school districts to apply for Home Rule Tax Charter. If any of these bills pass, Pennsylvanians will experience taxation without representation in its purest form.
In short, that is the end result of Regional Governance: loss of control by the People to elect (or un-elect) local government officials; loss of God-given, unalienable rights of the individual acknowledged and secured by the Constitution; loss of personal property; unrestrained taxing power by bureaucrats; and finally the elimination of the Sovereign States in exchange for TEN FEDERAL REGIONS, which will ultimately pay obeisance to the world dictators. Its spelled T-Y-R-A-N-N-Y.]
Sen Rupp : What you are saying is that the... that power, and what I feel... and what I want to say, too, and this is just a little aside. One reason I wanted to come over here was that I hoped to get some of the sense... whatever you were saying that we were doing in Decatur... trying to get it on the State level. That was one reason I wanted to get over here. But it is a little bit different ball game. I found that out.
Mr. Pope : I am certain it is.
Sen Rupp : It seems to me that I would have more control over my city officials than I would over state officials, as a citizen and as a voter.
Mr. Pope : If you had home rule in the city?
Sen Rupp : Regardless of what it was. And if it were not a home rule questions, it might be some other question. But, I think that I am more familiar, and was and I think the people in Decatur were more familiar with what I was doing as Mayor than they are with what I am doing over here in the Senate.
Mr. Pope : Yes, but you remember in the days when we had the initiative in the referendum. People, they could withdraw a law. Then we got into the City Manager thing, and they wiped out a lot of that. You just don't have those local remedies that local citizens can do. Yes, if we had some of those powers still left in this home rule atmosphere, then I would say I would be more for it. But there is hardly any way that citizens can go and withdraw a measure that has been passed, and, of course, now in this regional concept, there is no way. I mean, the citizen, he is nobody.
Rep Hudson : Senator Berning.
Sen Berning : Yes. I have great compassion for much of what you said, and probably we agree on the same wavelength to a very large degree, but there are some things that you allude to that I want to emphasize a little more. For instance, you are critical of Planning Commissions, be they County or Municipal, either for recommendations pro or con, as I interpret it. So I say to you, recognizing that we do live in a very complex society today, and there are a whole lot more of us than there used to be, all I have to do is look at my little village.
[CDR Note: Sen. Berning appears to be well-meaning. However, his comments about our living "in a very complex society today..." were spoon-fed to him and his colleagues both then and now by the CSG, NCSL, ALEC, etc. That idea was promoted for decades to justify the necessity for Regionalism. Sadly, our State legislators, and local government officials have fallen for it.]
Mr. Pope : Twice as many as when you and I were kids.
Sen Berning : Yes, and in my little village, there are ten times as many, so how do we how do you and I and our fellow citizens get anything accomplished if we don't rely on somebody. Gone are the days when my little village of Deerfield, up in Lake County, was about 1500 or 2000, and the Village Board met once a month for a little while. The Village Clerk was there during the rest of the week, and one Police Officer was there, and they ran everything.
Now, we have a Village Manager, and we have all of the other Boards and Commissions that anybody else has. I contend that if we did not have them, the Village Board now meets at least twice a month, and more often every week, from about 8:00 to 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. So, my question is simply, are we not beyond the point where we can leave decisions to you as a citizen, me as a citizen, or a village to function totally as it desires?
Mr. Pope : No, sir. Not at all.
Sen Berning : Well, then, tell me how we do it.
Mr. Pope : You know, even while we were colonies, we had big settlements. They got very dense, you know Boston and New York got very dense, Philadelphia...
Sen. Berning : What do you mean by dense?
Mr. Pope : With population. And we had them over in Europe for years, you know. There were dense cities, dense population.
Sen Berning : Yes, but they were not run by the individual citizens, I think.
Mr. Pope : Well, they were here in the early days, and they certainly were here in Illinois. We had our busy cities here in Illinois. They were growing and they were big. You had a lot of people come in. You had sewer problems, sanitary district, school problems, and that was before the days when we had some kind of a Commission or group or a hearing board for every cockeyed thing that somebody got in his mind that he was unhappy about.
And, furthermore, I believe that it was structured then in a proper way, so that if you could not settle a thing, then you went into a court... a court that was governed by law. You didn't go before a bunch... just, as I call them, a "gaggle" of citizens that you go out and draw off the street and say, "Come in here. Bob Pope's going to tell you his problem, and we want you to decide it".
It might be a very complex problem involving real estate, and this bunch of citizens, sitting as an official board, with no direction, no rules against perjury or anything like that, no judge with a knowledge of real estate laws, can say, "Well, we don't think he ought to be able to use his property this way". Yes, the use is determined without any reference to real estate law, which took us hundreds of years to develop.
Sen. Berning : But is that entirely true? I have, I think recollection of several instances in my County of Lake where the Planning Commission and ultimately then, the County Board, acting on the Planning Commission's recommendations, were totally upset by the Court.
Mr. Pope : Yes, and when I was on the City Council, I used to be one of those who was always trying to upset the Plan Commissions's ruling, because I always figured or generally figured there was only one decision, I think, where I didn't figure this way if a man owned a piece of property, he ought to be able to use it, unless he was going to hurt somebody else.
You see, in those days, if a person created a nuisance, you know, by the use of his property, he could be restrained. There could be injunctions issued. We got along pretty well. Now, then, it takes... you know, you've got to go before all these hearing boards. You've got to get involved in the EPA and a dozen others there are 110 of them here in Illinois that you might get involved with. Then you get into your federal strata. I don't think it's working out. Our nation, really is broke.
Sen Berning : Oh, I agree with you on that.
Mr. Pope : We can't stand this thing any longer, and what I fear... I feel as frustrated about some of these problems, I am sure, as some of the hippies I used to hear lecturing over on the Quad during the revolution about seven or eight years ago on the campus there. They were able to verbalize a lot of their apprehensions and their anxieties, and I agreed with them. But I don't believe that it is going to solve our problems for very long to give a lot of our personal rights away to a bunch of citizens to sit there with broad powers, such as Human Relations Councils or Fair Housing Boards... that sort of thing. It's not going to help us as citizens.
Eventually, this is just like that one young lawyer testified about what is coming out of Washington. It's here, and our next position is flat on our back. Do you know, they've debauched our currency completely. You can take the dollars bills in your pocket and they really aren't worth anything except just the hope that they may pay your Washington taxes. Once they get all of this land gathered, just like they did the school systems and all lines lead to Washington and then they take all or ours guns away, and freedom is dead... is dead, and there is no question about it.
So, I say, yes, we will have problems under this traditional, safe kind of government which was revolutionary in its day that we had in this country. We will have real problems, but we are safe as individuals. We can be free men. I want my rights. I want you to have your rights. I don't want to be hampered by some appointed officials.
Sen Berning : I don't think we disagree too much. What I'm concerned about is how we would be able to function under the primitive situations that you and I continually relate to. Our Courts are bogged down now. We don't have enough judges to allow you to get into Court if you have a dispute with your neighbor. For instance, if you were to do as you want with your property, as long as you don't do harm, and what you think... well, when I was a young fellow, a young married man in Deerfield, I built a chicken house not on my lot, on the one next to it, and I had hundreds of chickens there, because this was just coming out of the Depression and it was something that I felt was going to be good.
Mr. Pope : I raised rabbits.
Sen Berning : Well, if my neighbor had objected, or if he had put a hog in his yard, this might become objectionable to the next neighbor. Where do you start, then, or where does your right to impinge on mine, and how do we, without the advice, hopefully, of trained people whose interest is in the total good, how do we function without it?
[CDR Note: Regional Planners are the 'trained people' to whom Sen. Berning refers. The top Regional Planners are trained at the 1313 Headquarters in Chicago under the guidance of International Socialists.]
Mr. Pope : Sir, I really appreciate what you are saying. It's easy for me to sit down here, you know, and be an armchair Senator or Representative and say this is what you ought to do. I'm not saying that. I'm trying to articulate what I feel so deep, and what I have had with growing awareness through these years. I think in that instance there could be local ordinances. There always have been. I can't keep a chicken in my yard in Champaign, and I don't want to. Well, I want to... maybe I'd like to have a few.
The man across the street from me an ex-coach from the university he has about a dozen quails and some wood ducks in his yard, and I don't object to that. I think it's fine. He lets them loose and they run around the neighborhood, and I think that's great. I don't think that he's going to try to set up a whole hatching complex over there and raise chickens, and if he did, I am sure there is a city ordinance that would prevent this. Now, I don't object to that. I'm not an opponent of law.
Sen. Berning : That's simply my point. That someplace, somebody is going to object, whether it's the Mayor, or the Council or just the guy next door. Somebody is going to complain, and we have to have some kind of controls. If we cannot do it on an individual basis, between you and me...
Rep. Hudson : Gentlemen, I think we are tending to carry on a dialogue here, rather than ask questions. I don't like to do it, but I think I'll have to cut this off.
Sen Berning : I apologize.
Mr. Pope : I do, too.
Rep. Hudson : I would like you to respond to me just briefly, if you will. I am talking about home rule. I don't know whether you said you favored it or don't favor it. I think you said you didn't favor it.
Mr. Pope : I do not favor it.
Rep. Hudson : How do you relate home rule to regionalism? If you can give me that...
Mr. Pope : Well, sir, the way it relates, as I see it, is that the city has authority which is too broad. We are not controlled within the confines that we formerly were, prior to the 1971 Constitution, and cities can do just about anything they want, and they are prevailed upon, it seems to me, by the planners, the social tinkers are humanitarians with a guillotine who, if you don't do what they want, they'll chop your head off.
Those people, they are wanting to do everything in our life. And the way they can get it done is to go to Washington under some kind of a grant and bring the money in, and then we have lost control over our government. And with these boards and commissions and these kinds of things, there is hardly any way for a citizen to get redress, it seems to me, because, as somebody mentioned it is so hard to get into the Courts. You have to exhaust your administrative remedies before you can go to Court. I still remember the day when we had the JP's, and I was practicing law. Even though it had its shortcomings, it was a lot better than having all these commissions and agencies that we have now. Thank you.
Rep. Hudson : Thank you, Mr. Pope. We have a proponent by the name of Joan Severns, and I wonder if she would come forward, if she is here. It was her wish to give oral testimony.
End of Pope testimony. Further testimony transcripts will be forthcoming.
Next: Part 4 - Eve Lyn Moerlien Testimony