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Eminent Despotism (a column by Tom McClintock)
Tom McClintock ^ | July 19, 2005 | Tom McClintock

Posted on 07/21/2005 10:25:15 AM PDT by calif_reaganite

In the days of the old Republic, Americans lived secure in their homes safe in the knowledge that the fundamental responsibility of government was to protect their lives and property from anyone who threatened them – no matter how rich, powerful or well-connected. If a widow didn’t want to sell her home to a developer, she didn’t have to.

That was the end of the matter, unless the developer sent in thugs to beat her up. And government was there to protect her from the thugs.

Under the Kelo decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, government has become the thug. Americans’ property rights have been eroded for many years, but Kelo represented the final collapse. It is now entirely permissible for government to seize the home of one person for pennies on the dollar to give it to another – not for some vital over-arching public necessity, but simply because the new owner can pay more taxes than the old.

The decision completes the transition from the old America of individual rights to a collectivist society where government apportions property from those it doesn’t like to those it does. Stripped of all its sophistries and euphemisms, that is the underlying principle that has replaced the property protections in the Bill of Rights.

It now falls to the states to restore to their own citizens the fundamental right to property that the federal government has rescinded. In California, an amendment to the state constitution – SCA 15 – has been introduced in the state legislature with the bipartisan support of 45 Senate and Assembly co-authors. It restores the original property protections of the Bill of Rights, and specifically prohibits the seizure of one person’s property for the private gain of another.

The measure is opposed by the “California Redevelopment Association,” a group of local officials who are responsible for an epidemic of abusive property seizures across California. In Yolo County, for example, the Board of Supervisors has combined with the Rumsey Indian tribe to seize 17,000 acres of private land to be divvied up between the county and the tribe.

They argue additional protections are unnecessary because California law already requires that a property must be “blighted” before government can seize it. But “blight” is so broadly defined as to apply to any neighborhood in California.

Ask Mohammed Mohanna, who came to America from Iran 35 years ago seeking the promise of a free life in a free land. He became a flag-waving American who has spent three decades purchasing and remodeling small storefronts in downtown Sacramento with the aim of ultimately consolidating them into a gleaming new commercial complex. Recently a politically connected tycoon decided upon the same goal – but rather than going to the trouble of finding willing sellers the way Mr. Mohanna has done, he is using his political influence to seize Mohanna’s painstakingly assembled holdings instead.

Mohanna’s story is a common one. Governments today have the power to take the property of ordinary citizens to give to the rich and powerful – and are using that power. And thanks to the Supreme Court, the Bill of Rights no longer stands in their way.

SCA 15 still allows redevelopment officials to seize private property for a genuine public use such as a road or a school or a park.

It even allows them to acquire private property to give to a Walmart or a developer. The only difference is, in that case, they’re no longer allowed to use a gun. They have to do it the old-fashioned way, by negotiating a mutually agreeable price without making threats.

What can you do? Start by calling your local senator and assemblyman and find out if they are co-sponsors of SCA 15, and then let your friends and neighbors know. Because you can be sure of this: any public official who has no moral compunction of stealing your neighbor’s home or shop is also perfectly willing to steal yours.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: amendment; california; constitution; domain; eminent; eminentdomain; kelo; mcclintock; property; rights; scotus; senate; tyranny

1 posted on 07/21/2005 10:25:17 AM PDT by calif_reaganite
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To: calif_reaganite

We keep electing the same two parties over and over again, and then we are surprised that they nominate judges that think the government can do whatever it wants? That's like being surprised that the kid looks like the parent. America has voted time and time again for big government statism, and that's what was delivered.


2 posted on 07/21/2005 10:27:22 AM PDT by mysterio
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To: calif_reaganite

Comming soon - towns will put private property on ebay, so the private market can set the tax bill for any given property. Highest bidder gets the property after condemnation...


3 posted on 07/21/2005 10:28:44 AM PDT by frithguild (If I made one mistake, it was that I was too cooperative and waited too long to go on the offensive.)
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To: calif_reaganite

TERM LIMITS for ALL public porkers whose snouts grace the public trough.


4 posted on 07/21/2005 10:32:26 AM PDT by joesnuffy (The state always has solutions to the problems it creates...more freedom will never be a solution)
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To: calif_reaganite

Very well written


5 posted on 07/21/2005 10:35:52 AM PDT by Jim Verdolini (We had it all, but the RINOs stalked the land and everything they touched was as dung and ashes!)
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To: ALOHA RONNIE; ambrose; Amerigomag; antceecee; atomic_dog; AVNevis; B4Ranch; backtothestreets; ...

McClintock Ping List -- Please freepmail me if anyone wants on or off this list


6 posted on 07/21/2005 10:58:52 AM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: calcowgirl

Welcome back!

You missed some excitement around here lately. LOL

Semper Fi,
Kelly


7 posted on 07/21/2005 11:05:51 AM PDT by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: calcowgirl

My Assemblyman, Doug LaMalfa, has introduced the Assembly version - ACA 22. My local Republican party group is modifying it slightly for local County and City adoption.


8 posted on 07/21/2005 11:08:17 AM PDT by marsh2
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To: calif_reaganite
Until Kelo is reversed, I say all Americans who understand the vital importance of private property should fly the Gadsden flag, following the example of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation.


Bob Williams, president of Evergreen Freedom Foundation, helps raise the Gadsden flag in front of its headquarters

9 posted on 07/21/2005 11:14:47 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady." - Tolkien)
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To: mysterio

Tom McClintock is a member of one of those two parties.

The problem is not with the existence of those parties, it is with the fact that they have politicians running them.

In the case of the Dems, the socialists run the party under the guise of Democracy.

In the case of the Republicans, the libertines in the party are always trying to wrest control from the true conservatives, even if it means both losing to the liberals. They agree with the concept of economic libertarianism, but wrestle over social libertarianism and often yield to the socialists because they are too busy fighting each other.

Take McClintock versus Schwarzenegger as an example.

Both ran for Governor. Schwarzenegger won by pulling Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents over to vote for him. In other words, he stole the Republican party name for a few years.

So the problem is not Dems vs Republicans, its liberals versus conservatives with the libertines taking the pie on occasion.


10 posted on 07/21/2005 11:22:11 AM PDT by Paloma_55
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To: calif_reaganite

McClintock BTTT.


11 posted on 07/21/2005 11:27:03 AM PDT by StoneColdGOP ("The Republican Party is the France of politics" - Laz)
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To: calcowgirl

BTTT!!!!!!


12 posted on 07/21/2005 11:28:13 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: calcowgirl

the first sentence almost sounds like a movie script about a time long ago...!

sadly, we no longer live in a republic nor are we secure in our rights.


13 posted on 07/21/2005 11:40:38 AM PDT by ken21 (it takes a village to brainwash your child + to steal your property! /s)
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To: calif_reaganite
In the days of the old Republic, Americans lived secure in their homes safe in the knowledge that the fundamental responsibility of government was to protect their lives and property from anyone who threatened them – no matter how rich, powerful or well-connected. If a widow didn’t want to sell her home to a developer, she didn’t have to.

This simply isn't true. In the early days of the Republic, barge canal companies and railroads were big beneficiaries of eminent domain. In fact, Abraham Lincoln made his name as a lawyer rigging precisely such deals.

14 posted on 07/21/2005 11:57:04 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: kellynla

I'm still catching up. Did I miss something good?


15 posted on 07/21/2005 12:03:40 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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To: calcowgirl

the usual but the Supreme court nominee has been top of the charts...


16 posted on 07/21/2005 12:07:10 PM PDT by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: Carry_Okie
This simply isn't true. In the early days of the Republic, barge canal companies and railroads were big beneficiaries of eminent domain.

Don't forget the oil companies and mining companies.

That line jumped out at me as well. At least now there is a way to legally contest having your property taken. Back then it was "Sell it to me cheap or I bash your skull, burn the house, and then take your property."

McClintock strikes me as a phony and an opportunist.

17 posted on 07/21/2005 2:55:34 PM PDT by Zevonismymuse
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To: Zevonismymuse; calcowgirl
McClintock strikes me as a phony and an opportunist.

I'm a big fan of Tom, but he is a politician trying to get public energy up for passing something important. I don't know if he is in this instance, simply ignorant, or is willing to bend the truth. Either one isn't encouraging.

18 posted on 07/21/2005 3:22:14 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: Zevonismymuse
Don't forget the oil companies and mining companies.

That was after the "old republic" had died with the fraudulent adoption of the 14th Amendment.

19 posted on 07/21/2005 3:23:12 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: Zevonismymuse

McClintock strikes me as a phony and an opportunist.

---

I liked you better as ZevonFan.

Keep it up or I'll give ya a couple more spare names for use in the future ,, lol. :-P


20 posted on 07/21/2005 3:23:53 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... "To remain silent when they should protest makes cowards of men." -- THOMAS JEFFERSON)
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To: NormsRevenge
I liked you better as ZevonFan.

So did I! I had to change my name to solve a login problem...I'm not trying to pull a fast one.

I could be wrong about McClintock. He rubs me the wrong way. Either way, I am a fan of personal proprerty rights. I am just usually not a fan of new laws.

21 posted on 07/21/2005 3:50:42 PM PDT by Zevonismymuse
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To: Zevonismymuse

LOL.. I hate it when logins and passwords go pooof.

If I had my way, I'd put a moratorium on any new laws and make legislators go back thru all the old laws and clean 'em up.

They might even learn something from a review of what came before and see their inefficacy and agree, we need reform. :)


22 posted on 07/21/2005 3:54:23 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... "To remain silent when they should protest makes cowards of men." -- THOMAS JEFFERSON)
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To: Carry_Okie
I don't know if he is in this instance, simply ignorant, or is willing to bend the truth. Either one isn't encouraging.

They are all ultimately politicians and therefore difficult to trust.

And you are right, it is difficult to decide if lying is more admirable than ignorance. Tough call.

23 posted on 07/21/2005 3:54:35 PM PDT by Zevonismymuse
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To: calif_reaganite

McClintock bump!


24 posted on 07/21/2005 3:57:05 PM PDT by k2blader (Was it wrong to kill Terri Shiavo? YES - 83.8%. FR Opinion Poll.)
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To: NormsRevenge
They might even learn something from a review of what came before and see their inefficacy and agree, we need reform. :)

Here! Here!

The eminent domain issue is sticky business. My husband and I are currently in the crosshairs. Long story, but there are always many considerations when deciding legal issues.

In our case it will have to be decided if using the land in a good way, and holding title trumps some cousin coming out of the woodwork claiming his father has a right to 1/3 of current market value because he supposedly has a quit claim deed from 1948 showing he has a 1/3 interest.

Of course the relatives never claimed any interest in ownership when taxes were due or when repairs were needed.

Our lawyer thinks we have a strong case for adverse possession but thinks we should try to settle because it will cost us $50,000 to $250,000 to go to court.

Sorry to go into my long personal tale of woe, but this is why I have a special interest in what the courts are saying about use of land and right to title issues.

25 posted on 07/21/2005 4:03:28 PM PDT by Zevonismymuse
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To: calif_reaganite
What can you do? Start by calling your local senator and assemblyman and find out if they are co-sponsors of SCA 15, and then let your friends and neighbors know. Because you can be sure of this: any public official who has no moral compunction of stealing your neighbor’s home or shop is also perfectly willing to steal yours.

BTTT!

26 posted on 07/21/2005 4:13:27 PM PDT by janetgreen
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To: Zevonismymuse

Sorry to go into my long personal tale of woe, but this is why I have a special interest in what the courts are saying about use of land and right to title issues.

---

Not a problem. My Dad, after years of working a 160 acre plot of land, dairy and grain farm mostly, ended up losing almost half of it to a local highway and an interestate freeway and later, hugh power lines came thru as well.

We lost what used to be some prime wildlife and woods area.

But that's progress, as they say.

The financial end of things, he got screwed as far as what he got for the land.

Today it has a number of motel/hotels,Target store and numerous toher businesses on it.

The moose, deer, ducks etc habe long snce moved on,, but mymemories of them as a kid are vivid. ;-)


27 posted on 07/21/2005 4:26:35 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... "To remain silent when they should protest makes cowards of men." -- THOMAS JEFFERSON)
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To: calcowgirl

Please add me to the McClintock Ping List.


28 posted on 07/21/2005 4:54:49 PM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: NormsRevenge
My Dad, after years of working a 160 acre plot of land, dairy and grain farm mostly, ended up losing almost half of it

That makes me sad. Our situation involves what is left of the family home and business. I know there are some things we can't do anything about but it is just so hard to see the end of a family legacy. I guess it is that thing "progress" I keep hearing about. Glad you have the memories.

29 posted on 07/21/2005 7:21:44 PM PDT by Zevonismymuse
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