There is an obscure position in Virginia – Soil and Water Conservation District Director – that is elected. The Hanover/Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District is a government agency set up in the 1930s (I suspect it was elected by Harry Byrd to keep the patronage away from FDR in Virginia) and the directors are elected – some run in Hanover and some run in Caroline. (There are also appointed directors, too!) The top two from each county wins election. There are 47 districts throughout Virginia.
Here’s some of what the directors can do – here’s from the Virginia Code: (Va. Code Section 10.1-547)
Districts shall have the following additional authority:
1. To acquire by purchase, lease, or other similar means, and to administer, any soil conservation, flood prevention, drainage, irrigation, agricultural and nonagricultural water management, erosion control, or erosion prevention project, or combinations thereof, located within its boundaries undertaken by the United States or any of its agencies, or by the Commonwealth or any of its agencies;
2. To manage, as agent of the United States or any of its agencies, or of the Commonwealth or any of its agencies, any soil conservation, flood prevention, drainage, irrigation, agricultural and nonagricultural water management, erosion control or erosion prevention project, or combinations thereof, within its boundaries;
3. To act as agent for the United States or any of its agencies, or for the Commonwealth or any of its agencies, in connection with the acquisition, construction, maintenance, operation, or administration of any soil conservation, flood prevention, drainage, irrigation, agricultural and nonagricultural water management, erosion control, or erosion prevention project, or combinations thereof, within its boundaries;
4. To accept donations, gifts, and contributions in money, services, materials, or otherwise, from the United States or any of its agencies, or from the Commonwealth or any of its agencies or from any other source, and to use or expend such moneys, services, materials, or other contributions in carrying on its operations.
That’s a lot of power! Buying land? Clear potential for Agenda 21 nonsense. Additional authority to this found at Section 546:
Districts shall locally deliver the Commonwealth’s Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Assistance Program, under the direction of the Department, as a means of promoting voluntary adoption of conservation management practices by farmers and land managers in support of the Department’s nonpoint source pollution management program.
Think about what a Director could do to call out sustainability and Agenda 21 and ICLEI. The local media might laugh at you or I going to a meeting of the Board of Supervisors but cannot easily laugh at a ELECTED director speaking out. The elected director suggesting that farmers ought not sign conservation easements or agree to wildlands buffer zones or some other sustainability idea is news. If you run in a district that has ICLEI, the winner has a mandate to fight ICLEI as a director. Be a tribune to fight Agenda 21!
Also, if several liberty activists run and get elected, they can help other liberty activists run for office and give a huge boost to Rep. Paul or Gov. Johnson or even maybe Rep. Bachmann. Tea party activists can find good candidates to run for Soil and Water Commissioner. The liberty activists could use this as a springboard for a higher office.
Every director is up for election in 2011 (Hey, that’s this year, Sandy!) throughout Virginia. Alas, there is no salary for being a director but you do get expenses. You need only 25 signatures of registered voters in your district. (I would know and set up the proper accounts for campaigns to comply with the law – there are criminal penalties – please contact the state board of elections for help and forms.) I’ll be glad to blog about your campaign! It’s a low level non-existent election and it’s a prefect springboard for educating the people as to Agenda 21, sustainability and ICLEI.