Pot, Kettle, Environmentalist

Recently I commented on a Center Maryland piece on the origins and culprits of the fiscal mess in Queen Anne’s County by my fellow county resident Clayton A. Mitchell,

Now, Center Maryland has published a response by Jay Falstad, Executive Director of the Queen Anne’s County Conservation Association (QACA).

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Falstad—a nominal Republican—jabs Mitchell a Democrat for invoking William F. Buckley Jr. by invoking Patrick Moynihan’s famous dictum that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

Falstad should heed his own advice.

Falstad claims that the traffic from the proposed Four Seasons development on Kent Island would outweigh any economic benefits. Yet the only “facts” Falstad cites in his keen economic analysis are the number of potential cars that may be added to the traffic on Route 50/301. Given that Queen Anne’s County is facing a budget deficit between $18-21 million, it’s hard to argue that traffic concerns outweigh the benefits of jobs, money injected into the local economy, and the expanded tax base the project would bring.

To paraphrase the aforementioned Buckley, I won’t insult Falstad’s intelligence by suggesting he really believes what he wrote.

As for the FASTC project, again I was not as sanguine on the economic prospects as Mitchell, but Falstad mangles the truth about the facility. Going by Falstad’s absurd logic, picnickers at Tuckahoe State Park would need to don hurt locker suits.

Falstad’s ally, the execrable Sveinn Storm, uses similar hyperbole to demonize any growth in the county as tantamount to turning the Route 50 corridor into the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex.

But alas that type of deception is the modis operandi of Falstad and the environmentalists. They say they are for “smart growth” which merely a euphemism for no growth, because they in fact oppose all attempts to grow the county.

Witness the signature measure of their puppet commissioners, county ordinance 08-25, which would have restricted the transfer development rights of farmers, rendering the value of their land—which they use to obtain credit to finance their operations—worthless. Naturally, QACA offered a report full of cooked statistics to support their case for 08-25.

Falstad accuses Mitchell for being a mouthpiece for “developer interests.” However, that begs the question for what special interests is Falstad playing useful idiot?

How about Allan Griffith, the former executive vice president of the Bank of New York and head of BONY’s international banking sector. Griffith lives on a million dollar waterfront estate in Centreville. Griffith was named in a federal lawsuit involving bank executives and Russian mobsters laundering billions of dollars through BONY accounts.

Griffith is a board member of Falstad’s employer QACA, and a generous donor to the web of political action committees that fund the anti-growth movement, including the Republican Environmental Alliance PAC Falstad used to chair. Falstad had to resign his chairmanship of the PAC because he violated state ethics laws by making illegal transfers while being a registered lobbyist.

And, interestingly enough, Griffith also happens to own Falstad’s mortgage.

Then there is former Freddie Mac fraudster Leland Brendsel, a prolific donor to Falstad’s PAC, QACA’s PAC, and anti-property rights candidates. In 2005, Brendsel who, leased his home at the historic Wye Hall property in Queenstown from the state, came under state scrutiny for violations of the terms of the lease by performing illegal landscaping and paving to the ecologically sensitive property.

Note the irony of Falstad the statist, who would restrict what property owners can do with their own land, taking money from a man who feels entitled to do whatever he pleases with land that he does not own.

Lastly, QACA has received nearly $150,000 in grants over the last four years from the Easton based Town Creek Foundation. Town Creek is the same radical environmental donor group, which provided funding to the Center for Climate Strategies, the global warming alarmist outfit to which Governor O’Malley outsourced state climate policy. Town Creek paid CCS to recommend a menu of tax increases, burdensome regulations, and economy killing land use restrictions.

Falstad’s screed would be laughable if it weren’t such a cynical ploy to hide the fact that he’s as much a tool for well-funded special interests as he accuses Mitchell.

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