Friday, July 18, 2008

Jerry Brown's War on Suburbia

The Wall Street Journal on California Attorney General Jerry Brown:

"Mr. Brown is taking aim at the suburbs, concerned about the alleged environmental damage they cause. He sees suburban houses as inefficient users of energy. He sees suburban commuters clogging the roads as wasting precious fossil fuel. And, mostly, he sees wisdom in an intricately thought-out plan to compel residents to move to city centers or, at least, to high-density developments clustered near mass transit lines.

"Mr. Brown is not above using coercion to create the demographic patterns he wants. In recent months, he has threatened to file suit against municipalities that shun high-density housing in favor of building new suburban singe-family homes, on the grounds that they will pollute the environment. He is also backing controversial legislation -- Senate bill 375 -- moving through the state legislature that would restrict state highway funds to communities that refuse to adopt 'smart growth' development plans. 'We have to get the people from the suburbs to start coming back' to the cities, Mr. Brown told planning experts in March."

It's more than a little scary for someone in high public office to be using the legal system to coerce people into living where he thinks they should live.

As for Attorney General Brown, he is following the classic liberal pattern of instructing others to do what he refuses to do himself: "Mr. Brown himself, not long ago, moved from a loft in crime-ridden downtown Oakland to a bucolic setting in the Oakland Hills."


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