Conservative opponents of the July 31 referendum on a 1-cent sales tax to fund Atlanta's regional transportation plan are smearing the efforts as no less than a United Nations plot to “outlaw private property and redistribute wealth.”
From the Georgia Republican convention last month to recent debates, politicos have labeled the regional transportation plan and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), an agency coordinating plans of the metro area's 10 county governments, as an extension of the UN's “Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.” Also known as Agenda 21, the UN plan for developing a sustainable world environment was adopted by 178 countries in 1992 at a conference in Brazil.
Atlanta-region politicians characterize Agenda 21 as revolution through rezoning and land-use restrictions, and associate elements of Atlanta's potentially $6.14 billion regional transportation plan with it.
If candidates for state senate seats or chairmanship of the Cobb County Commission describe the regional transportation plan in anything less than Tea-Party-extremist language, opponents castigate them as sympathizing with insurgents bent on destroying America's way of life.
For example, at a debate in Paulding County two weeks ago, state Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen) criticized Republican challenger Bill Carruth for labeling Agenda 21 a mere “conspiracy theory.”
“It’s not a conspiracy. This is the real McCoy,” said Heath, in dead earnest. “Their vision is to essentially conquer the world through limiting everything we do, incrementally taking our liberties away from us.”