Iowans Still Have a Lot More to Learn About Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theorist Joni Ernst

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Des Moines – The Iowa Democratic Party today launched a web video focusing on state Sen. Joni Ernst’s acceptance of a “conspiracy theory” that has been thoroughly debunked in media outlets both in Iowa and across the country.

IDP Chairman Scott Brennan said, “It’s clear that Iowans still have a great deal to learn about Joni Ernst, and her embrace of the Agenda 21 ‘conspiracy theory’ proves that the more we find out, the less she resembles the carefully crafted image in her slick ads. When you look beneath the surface, Sen. Joni Ernst shares the extremist belief that this nonbinding plan signed by President George H.W. Bush is a threat.  As Ernst preps to give her first major speech since the primary election at Saturday’s GOP State convention, Iowans are no doubt wondering what more they have to learn about State Sen. Joni Ernst.”

The web video can be viewed at the following link: http://youtu.be/SZHzwLeTubo

Agenda 21 is a voluntary sustainable development initiative adopted by the United Nations in 1992. The initial version of the nonbinding plan was signed by President George H.W. Bush and 177 other world leaders.

In recent years, a number of fringe activists in the United States have promoted the idea that Agenda 21 is a threat to American sovereignty. As Iowa State professors Gary Taylor and Mary Louise Ryan wrote in an op-ed for the Des Moines Register, “The anti-Agenda 21 movement appears to be largely driven by media pundits and Internet conspiracy theorists…The Agenda 21 conspiracy is the gunman behind the grassy knoll. It is the Hollywood studio where Neil Armstrong’s fabricated moon landing was filmed. It is fluoridated water.”

At a campaign event in Ida Grove in November 2013, state Sen. Joni Ernst said that the implications of Agenda 21 in Iowa were “moving people off of their agricultural land and consolidating them into city centers, and then telling them that you don’t have property rights anymore. These are all things that the UN is behind, and it’s bad for the United States and bad for families here in the state of Iowa.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Cedar Rapids Gazette Op-Ed: Belief That Agenda 21 Could Take Away Property Rights Is “A Global Conspiracy Theory.” In a March 2013 op-ed published in The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Executive Director of the Iowa United Nations Association, Yashar Vasef wrote, “State Rep. Ralph Watts would have you believe that the United Nations aspires to take away our private property rights through a global conspiracy known as Agenda 21. Watts has introduced a bill calling for the abolition of any sustainable development initiatives that could be construed as a secret facet of the Agenda 21 plot. The Iowa United Nations Association would like to set the record straight. At the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, President George H.W. Bush and leaders of 178 countries worldwide signed Agenda 21, aiming to point the way to a more sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. Agenda 21 is a non-binding, non-enforceable document and is essentially a list of policy proposals and suggestions for more efficient city planning.” [Cedar Rapids Gazette, op-ed, 3/4/13]

Newsweek: Agenda 21 “Conspiracy Theory” Promoted by “Extremist Organizations.” In 2014, Newsweek reported, “Experts say the number and significance of conspiracy theories are reaching levels unheard-of in recent times, in part because of ubiquitous and faster communications offered by Internet chat rooms, Twitter and other social media… Extremist organizations latched on to Agenda 21 as an attempt by the U.N. and the “New World Order” to seize private property to advance the causes of communism and to crush all dissent.” [Newsweek, 5/15/14]

Des Moines Register Op-Ed: The Anti-Agenda 21 Movement Seems Driven By “Internet Conspiracy Theorists.” In February 2013 Des Moines Register op-ed, Iowa State professors Gary Taylor and Mary Louise Ryan wrote: “The anti-Agenda 21 movement appears to be largely driven by media pundits and Internet conspiracy theorists. They argue that the document represents the United Nations’ attempt to establish a new world order, and to eradicate private property rights and individual freedoms, even though it makes no such statements.” [Des Moines Register, 2/13/13]

Des Moines Register Op-Ed: The Agenda 21 Conspiracy Is Comparable To The Gunman On The Grassy Knoll, Faked Moon Landings, And Fluoridated Water. In February 2013Des Moines Register op-ed, Iowa State professors Gary Taylor and Mary Louise Ryan wrote: “The menace of one-world government, however, is not a legitimate concern about the plan. The Agenda 21 conspiracy is the gunman behind the grassy knoll. It is the Hollywood studio where Neil Armstrong’s fabricated moon landing was filmed. It is fluoridated water.” [Des Moines Register, 2/13/13]

 

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