Feb 21 2006

Stop Kelo Or Get Fired

Published by at 12:23 pm under All General Discussions

The NY Times seems shocked States are scrambling to curb Eminent Domain abuses and make it harder for the government to steal land from the middle class and cede it to rich developers.

In a rare display of unanimity that cuts across partisan and geographic lines, lawmakers in virtually every statehouse across the country are advancing bills and constitutional amendments to limit use of the government’s power of eminent domain to seize private property for economic development purposes.

The measures are in direct response to the United States Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 decision last June in a landmark property rights case from Connecticut, upholding the authority of the City of New London to condemn homes in an aging neighborhood to make way for private development of offices, condominiums and a hotel. It was a decision that one justice, who had written for the majority, later all but apologized for.

The reaction from the states was swift and heated. Within weeks of the court’s decision, Texas, Alabama and Delaware passed bills by overwhelming bipartisan margins limiting the right of local governments to seize property and turn it over to private developers. Since then, lawmakers in three dozen other states have proposed similar restrictions and more are on the way, according to experts who track the issue.

Well, since land owners and home owners represent the majority tax base and voting base – you better believe states are listening. The Kelo case was unconstitutional and a travesty of justice. Taking personal property because someone is living in it as opposed to building rental units and generating more taxes is unthinkable. But it is being done.

Who knows what kinds of retirement deals government officials are getting under the table from developers. So who do you think ‘we the people’ will fire if our property rights are not protected and ASAP? State and local officials know (a) they are closest to the wrath of the people and (b) it is their comrades stealing land in other locals. We the people know where to go to get our pound of flesh.

The National League of Cities, which supports the use of eminent domain as what it calls a necessary tool of urban development, has identified the issue as the most crucial facing local governments this year. The league has called upon mayors and other local officials to lobby Congress and state legislators to try to stop the avalanche of bills to limit the power of government to take private property for presumed public good.

The National League of Cities doesn’t vote. The group wants to foster government – not individuals or the private sector.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is the oldest and largest organization representing municipal governments throughout the United States. Its mission is to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance.

Anbody see any mention of individual opportunity, individual rights, individual freedom? Nope – just governance.

Today, the unique partnership among NLC, the 49 state municipal leagues, and the elected leaders of the 1,700 member cities and 18,000 state league cities provides a powerful network for information sharing and for speaking on behalf of America’s cities in Washington, DC and all state capitols.

Do they speak for the people? No, just elected officials. Why do elected officials need this organization? Who pays for this group and what do they get in return? Why do these people speak for cities and not Congressmen and Senators?

Personally, I think we need to vote to disband this group which evidentally makes a living off of taking people’s property. All of those in favor say ‘ Aye’!


The Political Pitbull notices the Washington Post also praying Justice Stevens will hang in their and save the opportunity for government to steal property from the middle class and give it to the developer class.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Stop Kelo Or Get Fired”

  1. The Washington Post, Justice Stevens, and Kelo

    The Washington Post has a front page story today practically begging Justice John Paul Stevens not to retire:

    Stevens’s remarkable staying …

  2. sbd says:

    Redevelopment: The Unknown Government

    The Unknown Government
    Chapter 1
    There is an unknown layer of government in California, which few understand.

    This unknown government currently consumes 8 percent of all property taxes statewide, $1.5 billion in 1997. It has a total indebtedness of over $41 billion.

    It is supported by a powerful Sacramento lobby, backed by an army of lawyers, consultants, bond brokers and land developers.

    Unlike new counties, cities and school districts, it can be created without a vote of the citizens affected.

    Unlike other levels of government, it can incur bonded indebtedness without voter approval.

    Unlike other government entities, it may use the power of eminent domain to benefit private interests.

    This unknown government provides no public services. It does not educate our children, maintain our streets, protect us from crime, nor stock our libraries.

    It claims to eliminate blight and promote economic development, yet there is no evidence it has done so in the half century since it was created.

    Indeed, it has become a rapidly growing drain on California’s public resources, amassing enormous power with little public awareness or oversight.

    This unknown government is Redevelopment.

    It is time Californians knew more about it.

    State law allows a city council to create a redevelopment agency to administer one or more “project areas” within its boundaries. An area may be small, or it can encompass the entire city.

    These project areas are governed by a redevelopment agency with its own staff and governing board, appointed by the city council.

    Thus, an agency and city may appear to be one entity. Often city councils appoint themselves as agency members, with council meetings doubling as redevelopment meetings. Legally, however, a redevelopment agency is an entirely separate government authority, with its own revenue, budget, staff and expanded powers to issue debt and condemn private property.

    Out of California’s 471 cities, 359 have created redevelopment agencies. No vote of the residents affected was required. No review by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) was done.

    Californians often confuse redevelopment with federal “urban renewal” projects typical of large eastern cities of the 1940s-’60s. Sadly, the methods and results are often similar. Yet redevelopment is a state-authorized layer of government without federal funds, rules or requirements. It is entirely within the power of the California legislature and voters to control, reform, amend or abolish.