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GIVE ME THAT OLD-TIME CONSTITUTION

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Killian first introduced private property bills in 1989 and 1990, but they went nowhere. This year, he pitched yet another version of the bill, but it was held up in the Rules Committee. Finally, working with Senator Gus Arzberger, a rancher from Willcox, Killian reintroduced property rights as a floor amendment tacked onto a bill entitled "State Lands Adjacent to Mines." The extractive industries threw in their support and it passed.

The particulars were left to the Attorney General's Office, which has until January 1, 1994, to set department-by-department guidelines that define takings.

Governor Symington's department heads opposed 1053. Betsy Rieke of the Department of Water Resources, Ed Fox of DEQ and Gordon Whiting, head of the Game and Fish Department, all testified against it in legislative hearings. On June 1, Symington signed the bill anyway. In an explanatory letter to Senate President Pete Rios, he wrote, "Private property rights lie near the source of liberty under which Americans are free to enjoy the God-given beauty of the Earth."

Despite the conviction of Symington's prose, rumors circulated that David McIntosh, the antienvironmental wunderkind from Vice President Quayle's Council on Competitiveness, or even Quayle himself had strong-armed the governor to sign.

Within two weeks of the bill's signing, the Sierra Club and Common Cause, the political-watchdog group, had mobilized against the bill and begun to collect signatures. Joni Bosh of the Sierra Club debated Killian at rubber-chicken political dinners; they called each other "extremists" and lobbed rhetorical scare bombs at the audience. At one such event, Bosh fretted that 1053 undermined all health and public safety regulations, while Killian droned on and on about your property, until a confused young man at the back of the room stood up and asked if they were talking about the same bill.

A shrill flier from the "Take Back Your Rights Committee," a joint project of Common Cause and the Sierra Club, which share offices, referred to 1053 as "the Polluters' Protection Act," and warned that "your tax dollars could go to pay big polluters to obey basic health and safety laws. (It's like paying criminals not to rob banks.)" The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest wrote letters warning the law would affect civil rights, women, people with disabilities, anyone applying for licenses, agencies monitoring emissions and pesticides; the group even worried that anyone who had his or her driver's license revoked could label it a "taking."

Killian pooh-poohed those arguments. "You have to evaluate who's not supporting this bill," he said. "The state agencies, the bureaucrats and special-interest environmental groups." His inflection indicated that these were evil--at best, flaky--entities.

But ask who does support this bill. On June 18, a full-page ad in the Arizona Capitol Times gushed, "I [heart symbol] Property Rights." It was signed by 48 trade and recreation associations, including the homebuilders, timber companies, mining companies, Cotton Growers, cattlemen, the Farm Bureau, the AFL-CIO, realtors, off-road vehicle enthusiasts--those people who have suffered the most acute abuses," as Killian says.

People who contribute to Killian's candidacy, and to Arzberger's--people affiliated with the Wise Use Movement.

@rule:
@body:The epicenter of environmental backlash in the United States is the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise in Bellevue, Washington. Its executive vice president and spokesperson, Ron Arnold, borrowed the phrase "wise use" from the writings of Gifford Pinchot, first head of the U.S. Forest Service--who was speaking of the wise use of natural resources--and superimposed it over the brown ground swell he saw growing up against the green. Opportunistically, he jumped into the center of attention.

Arnold is the antichrist of the environmental movement, a gnome of a man with white hair and beard, and his influence reaches right into the White House. He claims he once sat on the board of directors of the Sierra Club in Washington state until he became scandalously dismayed by the hidden agenda of the environmentalists.

"They're out to destroy all property rights," he says. "We're out to destroy the environmental movement once and for all." As such, his organization promotes agitation and litigation, provides a unifying voice for the movement and serves as a clearinghouse and disseminator of disinformation.

In 1988, Arnold and his associate Alan Gottlieb published a frightening tract called The Wise Use Agenda. Among demands for private property protections and rangeland grazing legislation, it called for "immediate wise development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge--meaning drilling for oil--and "passage of a Global Warming Prevention Act to convert in a systematic manner all decaying and oxygen-using forest growth on the National Forests into young stands of oxygen-producing, carbon dioxide-absorbing trees to help ameliorate the rate of global warming and prevent the greenhouse effect--meaning clear-cutting the old-growth forests.

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Michael Kiefer