Skip to comments.The Great Basketball Swindle: New documentary on New York's shameful eminent domain abuse
Posted on 08/12/2011 11:49:05 AM PDT by GSWarrior
In December 2003, Bruce Ratner, a real estate tycoon and part-owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, held a press conference in New York City to announce his latest project, a 22-acre "urban utopia" called the Atlantic Yards. The idea was to transform downtown Brooklyn by erecting 16 office and residential skyscrapers, a luxury 180-room hotel, and a fancy new arena for the Nets. Standing by Ratner's side that day was the architect Frank Gehry, who told the press he was particularly excited "to build a whole neighborhood practically from scratch."
It was a revealing statement. After all, the Atlantic Yards wasn't going to be built on top of a blank slate. More than half of those 22-acres were privately-owned, with the properties ranging from small businesses and modest brownstone apartment buildings to luxury condominiums that sold for $500,000 or more. To build the Atlantic Yards from scratch meant you had to first wipe part of an existing neighborhood off the map.
Which is precisely what Ratner set out to doonly he didn't go about it the old-fashioned way, by contacting each property owner and making them a handsome cash offer. Instead Ratner turned to his powerful friends in the government, including his old Columbia law school buddy Gov. George Pataki, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, a buffoonish figure eager to prattle on about how the Atlantic Yards would make up for the loss of the Brooklyn Dodgers. But most importantly, Ratner reached out to New York's Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the secretive state agency with the power to seize private property via eminent domain.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
THIS is why many people are angry at the very wealthy. Not their money, but the abuses of power they so casually enjoy.
I’ve known for very long time that Michael Bloomberg is a vicious, hateful, fascistic, morally bankrupt piece of sub-human garbage, but I honestly thought George Pataki was better than this.
Oh well. He can rot in hell also.
Property rights are the very foundation of our society. Without property rights, we have nothing.
Men therefore in society having property, they have such a right to the goods, which by the law of the community are their's, that no body hath a right to take their substance or any part of it from them, without their own consent: without this they have no property at all; for I have truly no property in that, which another can by right take from me, when he pleases, against my consent. Hence it is a mistake to think, that the supreme or legislative power of any commonwealth, can do what it will, and dispose of the estates of the subject arbitrarily, or take any part of them at pleasure. This is not much to be feared in governments where the legislative consists, wholly or in part, in assemblies which are variable, whose members, upon the dissolution of the assembly, are subjects under the common laws of their country, equally with the rest. But in governments, where the legislative is in one lasting assembly always in being, or in one man, as in absolute monarchies, there is danger still, that they will think themselves to have a distinct interest from the rest of the community; and so will be apt to increase their own riches and power, by taking what they think fit from the people: for a man's property is not at all secure, tho' there be good and equitable laws to set the bounds of it between him and his fellow subjects, if he who commands those subjects have power to take from any private man, what part he pleases of his property, and use and dispose of it as he thinks good.
This is one area, there are many, where the rinos and democraps should come together and stop letting tax exempt bonds be used, let the bastard risk his own money and keep the tax payers out of it. Industrial revenue bonds are 80% cronyism. Closing this tax exempt loophole will not harm anyone.
His sister is liberal commentator Ellen Ratner.
Apparently, this liberal family has no problems ousting people from their own property because the Ratners covet it.
Apparently, this liberal family has no problems ousting people from their own property because the Ratners covet it."
Look up the fates of Ahab & Jezebel, the powerful rulers who also coveted then schemed to take someones property.
There are organizations (often left-wing environmental) that specialize in sabotaging development projects through “lawfare” and invocation of every environmental law in the books. Their methods should be directed against Ratner, and also Jim Koman of Koman Properties along with Donald Trump, at every possible opportunity.
Just because “jurists” like Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer ruled that private developers can collude with municipal officials to seize private property does not mean citizens cannot punish and hopefully destroy the developers who exercise this newly-created “right” through boycotts, bad press, invocation of environmental laws and traffic study requirements to drive up the developers’ costs, and other legal and nonviolent methods.
By the way, I laughed my head off when the project for which the properties involved in the Kelo decision fell through; I even called up the City of New London and told them I was glad to see them stuck with the property it had condemned, and which now yielded NO property taxes or any other revenue. They deserved it.
I was not aware of the outcome of the Kelo case. Thanks for posting.