I smell a rat…

This afternoon I checked the mail and found a flyer under my mailbox that was offensive… and I smelled a rat. The flyer used repulsive and inflammatory language to describe people who are currently trying to rezone land in our neighborhood for the Amana Academy charter school.

But there is something fishy about that flyer. It doesn’t pass the sniff test. It smells like a rat.

The note is purportedly from a group identified as the “Milton County Tea Party Patriots Citizens Council”. Why would a group name themselves after a county that doesn’t exist? They wouldn’t. There is no such group.

According to Google there is not one single mention of such a group anywhere on the web and there is no such group identified on the Teapartypatriots.org website. I pay pretty close attention the political groups and figures around Alpharetta and not once has anybody ever mentioned the existence of such a group.

So what would be the purpose of distributing an inflammatory flyer and attributing it to a group that doesn’t exist? Could it be an attempt to get the attention of all the Federal Department of Justice investigators who have swarmed into Alpharetta looking for signs of prejudice after last year’s mosque case?

Perhaps. It would certainly make sense. Obama’s minions have been swarming around Alpharetta like killer bees looking for any evidence they can find to prove how racist these North Fulton conservatives are. What better way to get their attention than to distribute an offensive flyer and attribute it to the Tea Party?

I do know some people that oppose having the Amana Academy dropped on their doorstep. Some of those people also opposed the Windward Mill project, The Metlife project and the subsidized senior housing project. But none of the people I have spoken to would ever be associated with the stuff circulated in our neighborhood today. In fact the people that object to the school zoning on reasonable, legal grounds had previously expressed fear that something like this would be used to discredit them because it only serves to offend people in our community.

So that leads me to two possible conclusions.

The first possibility is that there really is a lone nutjob out there stupid enough to think name calling and making up groups would help stop the school zoning. That rules out anyone around here that has voiced opposition to the school because they know this will hurt their cause. It also rules out anyone around here smart enough to tie their own shoes because you would have to be an absolute moron to think such a flyer would help your cause in Windward. But it is possible that such a person does exist so I can’t rule it out.

On the other hand the flyer could have been distributed by a person or group of people that thought distributing such material and falsely attributing it to a Tea Party organization would achieve some other goal. Perhaps smearing legitimate zoning opponents, drawing media attention, influencing lawsuits or attracting the Justice Department.

I don’t know and probably never will know who distributed the flyer in my mailbox today. It could have been one dumb person or a conniving opportunist with a hidden agenda. But based on personal experience I’d say the conniving opportunists in Alpharetta outnumber the people dumb enough to pull a stunt like that by about 1404 to 1.

I smell a rat.

P. S. I hope that if anyone knows the real source of the flyer send me a note.

Feds investigating Alpharetta mosque decision

AJC has this article about the federal government’s intrusion into the local expansion of a mosque that was denied by the Alpharetta City Council.

The underlying issue is complicated and I don’t feel strongly about the outcome one way or the other. When it comes to zoning issues that don’t directly impact my wallet or family I prefer to let the people who do feel strongly about it work it out.

But I do think some people may misinterpret what is going on here. The problem is that when mosque supporters originally asked to zone the property for that use the neighbors welcomed them into their community based on promises that the mosque would not be expand into something more intrusive. Now the mosque supporters want to expand into something that will dramatically increase the size and impact. I don’t blame the neighbors for being mad about that so for me it just comes down to the fact that the mosque backers made promises to their neighbors and the city decided to make them live up to those promises.

I am not naive enough to think that the building being a mosque doesn’t matter to any of the opponents but I do remember when the Jewish Temple on Kimball Bridge Road wanted to expand dramatically  and their nearby community fought it too. Trying to make this a religious discrimination issue is an oversimplification. I also wish the federal government would spend more time trying to balance their checkbook instead of imposing their will on local zoning issues.

But regardless of the outcome I do savor this opportunity to watch some of the same people that have staunchly defended the private property rights of politically connected developers as they now staunchly defend the right to trample those rights. Schadenfreude anyone?