Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Doggett, Castro Push Fed Land-Grab in San Antonio

Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35 Austin) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20 San Antonio) are among the sponsors of H.R. 885, `San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Boundary Expansion Act of 2013,' a bill proposing the expansion of the San Antonio Missions National Park.

The proposed expansion is up to 137 additional acres. The bill includes appointing a commission to explore further expansion and land acquisition.

H.R. 885 passed a house vote and is headed to the US Senate for consideration. During the 112th Congress, a Senate Bill proposed a similar expansion, but was voted down.

The national park includes several historic missions including the famous Alamo, an iconic tourist attraction near Downtown San Antonio,TX.

The expansion of a national park seems beneficial in that it may increase tourism as well as better preserve this historic monuments.

However, these buildings and grounds are already under the protection of federal laws.

Here is the main portion of the bill's language:
    `(3) The boundary of the park is further modified to include approximately 137 acres, as depicted on the map titled `San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Proposed Boundary Addition', numbered 472/113,006A, and dated June 2012. The map shall be on file and available for inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
    `(4) The Secretary may not acquire by condemnation any land or interest in land within the boundaries of the park. The Secretary is authorized to acquire land and interests in land that are within the boundaries of the park pursuant to paragraph (3) by donation or exchange only (and in the case of an exchange, no payment may be made by the Secretary to any landowner). No private property or non-Federal public property shall be included within the boundaries of the park without the written consent of the owner of such property. Nothing in this Act, the establishment of the park, or the management plan of the park shall be construed to create buffer zones outside of the park. That an activity or use can be seen or heard from within the park shall not preclude the conduct of that activity or use outside the park.'.
Amend the title so as to read: `A bill to expand the boundary of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, and for other purposes.'.


Concerns With San Antonio Mission National Park Expansion

With federal spending already beyond the means of the federal government, this move leaves open several concerns. The so-called "sequester cuts" reduced man-hours and equipment available to maintain and secure the national park. Operating hours were also threatened with reduction due to those cuts. Expanding the ground may require more personnel, therefore more financing, than is reasonably affordable.

The Alamo is already partially manned by volunteers.

Another concern is what land the federal government will confiscate through an eminent domain claim. Many of the missions are bordered by private property. Some of it is commercial use. Other properties are private residences. This begs the question on if the expansion is worth the toll it will have on these local businesses. Furthermore, what toll will it have on these individual private homeowners who face eviction from their own property?

An Ideological Support For Confiscation Of Private Property

One needs only take a cursory glance at those sponsoring the bill to understand their answer. The ideology of the left opposes private property, private property rights, and individual natural rights.

The irony cannot be lost. History buffs who "remember the Alamo" will acknowledge the battle and the resulting war were fought over individual rights, to include individual property rights. Mexico sought to claim Texas and confiscate the lands for their own purposes. The patriots gathered at the Alamo defended against this seizure by force, dying for their belief in individual natural rights. Now, those very rights they fought to retain face this legislative threat.

Why doesn't the mayor of San Antonio oppose this proposed legislation? He supports it. His twin brother is one of the sponsors. The Castro twins have a history of switching places. In one case, Mayor Castro was required  to participate in a parade as well as attend a campaign fundraiser. His brother, Joaquin, fraudulently impersonated Julian at the parade so that Julian could beg for money (to finance his personal quest for power).

It appears that Julian cares little for the citizens of San Antonio, preferring aiding in expansion of federal authority over the city. This very well could be in an effort to combat several Texas state level laws, including reducing his ability to enact measures counter to the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. Other new state level laws place his Pre-K-SA under state Board of Education review along with the controversial CSCOPE program.

What is surprising is the lack of opposition among San Antonio and Bexar County residents. Unless your average business or home owner regularly checks the federal congressional records for filed legislation and activity, they may remain unaware of the bill until it is passed into law and they are ousted from their property. Citizens may want to address their local, county, and state elected officials regarding the expansion.