Local Liberty elaborates on the principles of citizenship needed in a free republic. We champion constitutional self-government, property rights, morality, and citizen common sense. To guarantee our constitutional right to limited government, we champion the rights of 1776 against the excesses of bureaucratic regulation at all levels of government, especially the local.
Between 2002 and 2006 Local Liberty was published quarterly with occasional special issues by the Center for Local Government at the Claremont Institute.
Illegal Immigration Focus I
Our Backs Against the Border—Arizona is America
A unvarnished description of just how bad things are north of the border, and how the Minuteman have helped, by E. Anderson, a native of an Arizona border town and a national security consultant in Washington, DC.
Illegal Immigration Focus II
Sanctuary Cities: A New Civil War
A shocking account revealing how cities are illegally harboring illegal immigrants, effectively giving aid to violent gangs, by Edward J. Erler, a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute.
Illegal Immigration Focus III
Open Letter on American Identity
John Fonte, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, criticizes conservatives who "over-emphasize economics" and promote soft solutions to the immigration problem while neglecting the fundamental issue of citizenship.
Kelo in California
How will the Kelo case effect property rights in California? C. Robert Ferguson, a land use attorney and lecturer on redevelopment issues, explains the bad news.
Self-Government The Future Of Local Newspapers
Journalist and blogger Conor Friedersdorf analyzes the online revolution's effect on local journalism.
The Economic Case for Direct Democracy
Does the initiative process lead to less taxes and smaller government—does it even reflect the will of the people? Steven Frates, President of the Center for Government Analysis, reviews For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy by John G. Matsusaka to find out.
Christian Charity: When The Saints Go Marching In
Eloise Anderson, Director of the Claremont Institute's Program for the American Family, reviews a book about faith, charity, and America: Street Saints: Renewing America's Cities by Barbara J. Elliott.
John Eastman, director of our Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, elaborates on the true meaning of citizenship and highlights the Claremont Institute's recent litigation in his continuing column.
From the Editor
Local governments across the nation desperately need a revival of constitutional standards. The Director of the Center for Local Government, Ken Masugi, illustrates the point by giving a tour of this issue of Local Liberty.
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California Dream: Opportunity and Freedom
Local Liberty interviews Tom Fuentes, former head of the Orange County Republican party. Fuentes elaborates on the need for less government in California, voters' moral compass, and his hopes for the Governor's plan to reform the redistricting process. Now a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute, Fuentes heads up our Orange County office.
Faith-Based Social Work: Going Beyond the Myths
How do faith-based organizations surpass government agencies in resolving our nation's social problems? Professor Joseph M. Knippenberg, Adjunct Fellow at the Ashbrook Center, reviews Putting Faith in Partnerships by Stephen V. Monsma and A Revolution of Compassion by Dave Donaldson and Stanley Carlson-Thies to find out.
Local Liberty's senior correspondent Conor Friedersdorf cites laziness, confusion, and manipulation as reasons for incomprehensive, jargon-filled newspapers and publications.
John Eastman, director of our Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, highlights recent litigation such as the case against Los Angeles County over the cross on the county seal; the debate over the right to display the Ten Commandments in public spaces; and the eminent domain controversy as seen in the Kelo case now before the Supreme Court.
Claremont Property Rights Brief: Kelo v. City of New London
An excerpt from the Claremont Institute's brief in the controversial eminent domain case, Kelo v. City of New London, co-authored by John Eastman, Director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and Eric Claeys of St. Louis University School of Law.
From the Editor: The Libertarian Seduction
Dr. Ken Masugi reviews libertarian attorney Clint Bolick's latest book, Leviathan: The Growth of Local Government & the Erosion of Liberty and blames a blurred definition of liberty for the weakness of libertarian philosophy.
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Lattes at the Regulatory Cafe
Local Liberty's senior correspondent Conor Friedersdorf attributes the spread of corporate chains—such as Starbucks and Wal-Mart—to the highly regulated economy that Californian's know all too well.
Illegal Immigration and Crime
James R. Edwards, Jr., adjunct fellow of the Hudson Institute, and coauthor of The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform reveals the connection between illegal immigration and crime.
They Take a Village: Redevelopment in "Blighted" Claremont
C. Robert Ferguson, a land use attorney and lecturer on redevelopment issues, explains why his hometown (also home of the Claremont Colleges) has classified its upscale Village as 'blighted' for the sake of redevelopment plans.
The Design Dilemma
Elliot Banfield, Art Director of the Claremont Review of Books, relates the ugliness of modern architecture to the "godless nature of modern philosophy."
What a Revolting Redevelopment
Dr. Ken Masugi reviews Steven Greenhut's The Abuse of Power, which explains how local governments blatantly misuse eminent domain to seize private property and churches in order to transfer the property to retail giants such as Wal-Mart and Costco.
John Eastman, director of our Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence gives another update on current litigation: the San Diego Boy Scouts may lose their summer camp and millions of dollars to the City of San Diego; Los Angeles removes the cross from the county seal; and the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of eminent domain for private gain.
From the Editor: Property Rights and the New Regulation
Dr. Ken Masugi contrasts the regulation of smart growth, which increases housing costs and actually hinders growth, to the New Urbanism movement that could become the new ally of anti-regulatory forces.
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The $1.3 Billion Solution
Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby explains that while the Governor proposed draining $1 billion in property tax revenues from local government to balance the state budget, $2.5 billion is spent annually on corporate welfare, better known as redevelopment.
Fighting Graft for the Price of the Morning Paper
Did you know you might be funding your city council's steakhouse dinners, trips to Rio de Janiero, or fraternity reunions? Local Liberty's senior correspondent Conor Friedersdorf suggests you employ an efficient yet inexpensive watchdog—purchase your local newspaper.
The New Urbanism: A Skeptic Responds
Steven Hayward, F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of The Age of Reagan, responds to our interview with Phil Bess. While Hayward questions the popularity of New Urbanism movement and warns of its tendency towards utopianism, he also says thinks the movement has merit if it "resists being absorbed by smartgrowth planners."
Conservatives' Problems with Special Districts
What would Jefferson do? Dr. Brian Janiskee, a fellow of the Claremont Institute and co-author of Democracy in California, explains how conservatives misunderstand the highly structured Jeffersonian idea of local government—the rise of special districts is part of the problem of local governance today, as there's "more to liberty and freedom than decentralization."
Self Government is Local Government
David Tucker reviews Willi Paul Adams' The First American Constitutions. Dismiss the idea of a miracle in Philadelphia around 1787—the traditions and habits of principled local governance before the Revolution contributed to the framing and success of the U.S. Constitution.
John Eastman, director of our Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, reports on developing litigation: Nevada urged by the Supreme Court to ignore its Constitution, wildfires may rage in order to prevent toad homelessness, and a lesbian and atheist couple challenge the Boy Scouts in San Diego.
From the Editor: The Crisis of California Local Government
by Ken Masugi
On a quest for revenue, city councils and local governments have resorted to dubious redevelopment plots and misuses of eminent domain, all of which have contributed to California's housing shortage, long commutes, and the spread of big-box retailers.
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The Right Size for L.A.: An Exchange
Howard F. Ahmanson, President of Fieldstead & Company and Senior Counselor of the Center for Local Government, weighs in on secession in L.A. and the proper size of local governments: Allow for the break up of large cities, but grant more authority to the governing counties. Look to the Articles of Confederation for the proper relationship between cities and counties.
The Right Size for L.A.: Rejoinder
Dr. Brian Janiskee, a fellow of the Claremont Institute and co-author of Democracy in California, responds to Howard Ahmanson's suggestions: increase the role and authority of counties, but ensure that the political branches of government and not administrative bodies do the governing.
The Challenge of the New Immigration
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich explains how the devastating effects of the lack of border control and funding from state and federal government on Los Angeles County. The cost of illegal immigration in terms of education, criminal justice, and health care reach $3 billion in California.
Postmodernism at the Pentagon
Our nation's capitol is preparing a postmodern tribute to the victims of 9/11. Elliot Banfield, Art Director of the Claremont Review of Books, explains how "[t]he person who comes to mourn and the person who comes to eat a ham sandwich will be equally welcome.
The New Urbanism: From Aristotle and God to Baseball
Local Liberty interviews Philip Bess, author and now the Graduate Director of Notre Dame's School of Architecture. Bess maintains that despite criticism from the left and right, New Urbanists are an essentially Tocquevillian association formed and organized to promote the virtues of traditional urbanism.
John Eastman, director of our Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence on developing litigation: the Governor of Nevada attempted to pass $1 billion tax increase, sued the state legislature, and wound up in a heated constitutional battle; a Californian is prevented from constructing a fence on his property as it might prevent toads from traversing the land.
From the Editor: Mexifornia: Reclaiming California
Dr. Ken Masugi says that Victor Davis Hanson's Mexifornia contrasts the ambition and lower cost of living that immigrants bring to California and the nation with the need for an "aggressive program of Americanization".
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Suburb Secession: The Real Argument
Who's right in the heated debate over secession movements? Is it the Consolidationists or the Public Choice theorists? Dr. Brian P. Janiskee
Red and Blue: Housing Costs vs. Regulation
Studies show that increased housing costs are synonymous with areas imposing the highest levels of housing regulation, says Steven Hayward, F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of The Age of Reagan. In addition, the map depicting states with high housing costs and regulation closely resembles the red vs. blue map as traditionally seen in presidential elections.
Remember September 11! A Proper Memorial
As the nation calls for a 9/11 Memorial, debates arise between the classical and modern school of design about public architecture. Elliot Banfield, Art Director of the Claremont Review of Books explains and points us to a fitting memorial.
Redevelopment: Fetch the Vet?
Local Liberty correspondent Adam Fuller tells the story of a Claremont veterinarian who almost lost his practice and property to the city's redevelopment plans. The vet refused offers that he did not consider 'just compensation' and relied on public support to strike a fair deal.
Religious Liberty Wins in Cypress
The Cottonwood Christian Center, once in jeopardy of losing its recently purchased church property to their city council, can now proceed with their construction plans. The battle ended with a religious discrimination lawsuit against the city, filed on behalf of the Becket Fund. Local Liberty interviewed Anthony Picarello, now President and General Counsel of the Becket Fund, and asked him for his advice to churches.
Our Enemy, the Car?
Dr. Ken Masugi reviews Randal O'Toole's The Vanishing Automobile and Other Urban Myths and finds that while 'Smart growth' cities are notoriously fond of public transportation, restrictive zoning, and regulation, this often leads to costly and inept local governments.
"One nation under God?" John Eastman, director of our Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, gives a brief update of our attempt to preserve the Pledge of Allegiance, property rights, and just local governance.
From the Editor: Local Liberty
Dr. Ken Masugi, Director of the Center for Local Government, provides the vision of Local Liberty:
Each issue's articles and commentary will explore the vices and virtues of local government today, notably here in southern California but also throughout the nation and around the world. Our concerns include the traditional ones of the friends of freedom and limited government: property rights, zoning, eminent domain, regulation, and taxation. But we will also explore dimensions of urban life such as public architecture and the critique of contemporary urban planning offered by the "new urbanism." We aim to enhance not just private life but local public life as well.
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