Skip to comments.Donald Trump's Eminent-Domain Empire (Say No To Trump)
Posted on 04/22/2011 4:16:39 AM PDT by Kaslin
Don't be fooled by The Donald. Take it from one who knows: I'm a South Jersey gal who was raised on the outskirts of Atlantic City in the looming shadow of Trump's towers. All through my childhood, casino developers and government bureaucrats joined hands, raised taxes and made dazzling promises of urban renewal. Then we wised up to the eminent-domain thievery championed by our hometown faux free-marketeers.
America, it's time you wised up to Donald Trump's property redistribution racket, too.
Trump has been wooing conservative activists for months and flirting with a GOP presidential run -- first at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington and most recently at a tea party event in South Florida. He touts his business experience, "high aptitude" and "bragadocious" deal-making abilities. But he's no more a standard-bearer of conservative values, limited government and constitutional principles than the cast of "Jersey Shore."
Too many mega-developers like Trump have achieved success by using and abusing the government's ability to commandeer private property for purported "public use." Invoking the Fifth Amendment takings clause, real estate moguls, parking garage builders, mall developers and sports palace architects have colluded with elected officials to pull off legalized theft in the name of reducing "blight." Under eminent domain, the definition of "public purpose" has been stretched like Silly Putty to cover everything from roads and bridges to high-end retail stores, baseball stadiums and casinos.
While casting himself as America's new constitutional savior, Trump has shown reckless disregard for fundamental private property rights. In the 1990s, he waged a notorious war on elderly homeowner Vera Coking, who owned a little home in Atlantic City that stood in the way of Trump's manifest land development. The real estate mogul was determined to expand his Trump Plaza and build a limo parking lot -- Coking's private property be damned. The nonprofit Institute for Justice, which successfully saved Coking's home, explained the confiscatory scheme:
"Unlike most developers, Donald Trump doesn't have to negotiate with a private owner when he wants to buy a piece of property, because a governmental agency -- the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority or CRDA -- will get it for him at a fraction of the market value, even if the current owner refuses to sell. Here is how the process works.
"After a developer identifies the parcels of land he wants to acquire and a city planning board approves a casino project, CRDA attempts to confiscate these properties using a process called 'eminent domain,' which allows the government to condemn properties 'for public use.' Increasingly, though, CRDA and other government entities exercise the power of eminent domain to take property from one private person and give it to another. At the same time, governments give less and less consideration to the necessity of taking property and also ignore the personal loss to the individuals being evicted."
Trump has attempted to use the same tactics in Connecticut and has championed the reviled Kelo vs. City of New London Supreme Court ruling upholding expansive use of eminent domain. He told Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto that he agreed with the ruling "100 percent" and defended the chilling power of government to kick people out of their homes and businesses based on arbitrary determinations:
"The fact is, if you have a person living in an area that's not even necessarily a good area, and government, whether it's local or whatever, government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and make (an) area that's not good into a good area, and move the person that's living there into a better place -- now, I know it might not be their choice -- but move the person to a better place and yet create thousands upon thousands of jobs and beautification and lots of other things, I think it happens to be good."
Like most statist promises of bountiful job creation, government-engineered redevelopment math rarely adds up. Trump's corporations have backed casino industry bailouts and wealth-redistributing "tax-increment financing" schemes -- the very kind of taxpayer-subsidized interventions we've seen on a grand scale under the Obama administration.
Championing liberty begins at the local level. There is nothing more fundamental than the principle that a man's home is his castle. Donald Trump's career-long willingness to trample this right tells you everything you need to know about his bogus tea party sideshow.
Most people who aspire to political office of any kind think they are smarter than the rest of us little people.
Like Bush and the Texas Rangers stadium in Arlington? Or different? Why does it matter now and not then?
According to his detractors, Trump just won't do...even if he knocks off Obama through the Birther issues.
So, instead of trump, we go for...?
I don’t like Trump, never have.
Don’t have any intention of ever voting for him, but...
I love to see him going after Zer0. What’s gotten him his sudden popularity is his being so confrontational, and loud. Not so much the message but the method.
Boehner, take notes..
The reason that Trump is getting traction is because the so-called ‘leaders’ of the gop are a bunch of p***ies. That’s what this all boils down to. People are dying for some leadership on the right wing and they’re getting girly men who are more concerned with their coiffure.
I woke up to find that someone had invoked God to rebuke me for speaking out against Trump. Tell me that ain’t some crazy crap. LOL
Don’t buy the Lame Stream Media assumption that there is no one on our site worthy for election
I don't get this friendly fire nonsense. Trump is no conservative, but he at least has the nerve to speak out against the Dems and zero. Why neutralize the messenger now, unless one wants Obama in for another term?
Here we go again, shooting ourselves in the foot or maybe, head?
Geeeez, wtf is up with all these people who are so exorcised over Trump?
Now even Malkin has jumped on the "Trump is evil" bandwagon and showing signs of "TDS?"
Hey, y'all STFU already!
I could care less about what Trump did as a 7 year old or whenever. He is doing "God's Work" and helping expose that Narcissistic, Fascist, Community Agitator as well as taking it to the Lame Stream Media and RINO talking heads, such as Rove and in spite of the incessant attacks (sadly by so many on "our" side) he is gaining traction and waking people up.
Until he declares we should all be supporting him. There will be time enough to decide who anyone wants to support in the primaries.
Many Conservatives are all Ideology and no Strategy.
Everything Michelle Malkin says is true but I’ll still be voting Trump. He had to be a bast**d to be worth 7 billion these days. He can beat Obama to a pulp. In fact he is doing it right now
So if Michelle doesn’t like Trump she has to tell me who she has who can drive the Kenyan out of the White House. I’ll back anyone who can do this and Trump is the best bet today
The useful idiot theory is interesting, I hadn’t thought of Trump as a useful idiot for conservatism.
But it could be. Maybe—in a shallow, Donald Trump way of viewing politics—he really is sincere about the birth certificate, and has truly come to realize what a nightmare Obama is.
Although Trump has the heart of a liberal, he might do some good by exposing Obama’s lies. Then go back to counting his money while we elect a constitutional conservative.
Keep pushing, keeping asking. Dont be shamed, dont be bullied out of asking a legitimate question.
Dont lay down and die or shrink away like so many Republicans have.
Bush? I didn’t nominate him, but he was still a big disappointment.
Agree. Well said.
Obama and all his sleazy advisers (Axelrod, Plouffe etc) are hoping and praying Trump does not run. Michelle Malkin is the same. So she must come up with someone better who can beat Obama.
I don’t see anyone else who can beat Obama
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.