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Well-Kept Secret: New London, Conn. Mayor Has Apologized for Kelo Property Seizures
Newsbusters ^ | 03/01/2014 | Tom Blumer

Posted on 03/15/2014 12:13:05 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Daryl Justin Finizio, the recently elected Democratic Party Mayor of New London, Connecticut has apologized to the families and homeowners who lost their homes as a result of the city's decision to condemn properties in the Fort Trumbull area of that city. Those efforts began over a decade ago. A lawsuit by the victims which attempted to stop the city from taking their properties and destroying their homes ultimately led to the Supreme Court's Kelo vs. New London decision in 2005. The Court ruled in favor of the City based on what it believed was "a carefully considered development plan." A few remaining holdouts who tried to get the city to reverse course after the ruling, including Susette Kelo, lost their battle and settled with the city in 2006. To my knowledge, no ground has been broken on any kind of new development in the area originally occupied by the homes in the 5-1/2 years since.

Obviously, one could argue that the apology is way too late, given that the buildings have long since been leveled.

Considering that it relates to one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in the past few decades, how much opposition that decision has generated since it was handed down in 2005, and how so many other trivial apologies get so much more attention, it's more than a little surprising that there has been virtually no coverage of it outside of the immediate local area, as seen in the results of the following Google News search on ["new london" kelo apology] (input exactly as indicated between brackets):

NewLondonApologySearch021512

That's it.

Here are the first seven paragraphs from Kathleen Edgecomb's longer February 1 story at the New London Day:

NLDC getting a new identity
Finizio says development agency to be overhauled, offers apology for city's use of eminent domain

Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio on Tuesday apologized to property owners whose homes were seized by eminent domain in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005. At the same time, Finizio announced a restructuring of the New London Development Corp.

The changes to the NLDC, which bought and took the properties to pave the way for private development in the Fort Trumbull area, include a name change and new leadership.

"I issued a formal apology to all those adversely affected by eminent domain to acknowledge, in my opinion, that mistakes were made,'' Finizio said. "I think our development strategy was flawed. We are moving forward with new strategy that will embrace a new vision."

Future development will be undertaken in partnership with neighborhoods, Finizio said.

In a redevelopment project at Fort Trumbull that began more than 12 years ago and was headed by the NLDC, seven property owners who fought the eminent domain filings saw the Supreme Court uphold the city's right to seize their homes for economic development.

Richard Beyer, a plaintiff in the nationally recognized Kelo v. New London eminent domain case, said he's not sure what good an apology does today.

"It's been so long,'' he said. "If he needs to apologize to anybody at this time, it's the families of the elders that lived there."

The reaction of Scott Bullock at the Institute for Justice, which defended Susette Kelo and other homeowners all the way to the Supreme Court, is that Mayor Finizio and the city need to pass legislation to ensure that what happened to Kelo and her neighbors can't happen again in New London:

City of New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio may have acknowledged that the city government wrongfully bulldozed Susette Kelo and her neighbors’ homes. But as IJ’s Scott Bullock points out, more is needed to protect against future abuses.

Below is Scott’s response to this article from The Day.

"It was good to see that Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio apologized on behalf of the city and the New London Development Corp. for abusing the power of eminent domain in the disastrous Fort Trumbull project ("NLDC Gets a New Identity," Feb. 1). But if the city wants to ensure that no other New Londoner goes through what the residents in Fort Trumbull did, then it should take the lead of other Connecticut cities, such as Fairfield and Milford, which have passed ordinances prohibiting the use of eminent domain for private development. That way, future mayors will not have to apologize yet again to homeowners and small businesses when their property is taken to give to private developers."

As to the lack of press coverage (a search on "kelo" at the Associated Press's main national site returns nothing relevant), my gut instinct is that the press is generally uninterested in apologies which make an aggressive, overbearing government look bad -- especially one which makes the portion of the Supreme Court which doesn't mind seeing the government take away people's property for unconstitutional reasons look positively foolish in hindsight.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; US: Connecticut
KEYWORDS: apology; eminentdomain; kelo; newlondon; pfizer
So, thanks to Justices Ginsberg, Breyer, Kennedy, Stevens and Souter, the homeowners were dispossessed for nothing. Fort Trumbull was never redeveloped. Pfizer itself bailed out of New London in 2009.

The current mayor, who was elected in 2011, has formally apologized to the Kelo plaintiffs, calling the decision a "black stain" on New London's reputation. City officials agreed to install a plaque on the heights above the Thames in memory of Margherita Cristofaro, who died during the long legal battle. It notes that she and her family "made significant contributions to the Italian-American community, sacrificing two family homes to the eminent domain process."

THAT's IT?

Were these dispossessed home owners compensated?

1 posted on 03/15/2014 12:13:05 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

They were compensated to the amount the city thought their homes were worth. Usually about 30 cents on the dollar.

I’m surprised he hasn’t had an accident.


2 posted on 03/15/2014 12:18:30 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: SeekAndFind

An apology don’t pay the bills.


3 posted on 03/15/2014 12:18:52 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: SeekAndFind

Certainly they should be required to rebuild these neighborhoods, as they were, and return the homes to the owners.


4 posted on 03/15/2014 12:19:24 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: driftdiver

RE: Usually about 30 cents on the dollar.

Where’s the justice there?

I’d like Pfizer to pay up for doing this injustice.


5 posted on 03/15/2014 12:20:01 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: kaehurowing

I’d make it a mission to get elected, then seize his property under this foolish ruling.


6 posted on 03/15/2014 12:21:16 PM PDT by ealgeone (obama, border)
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To: SeekAndFind
-- Were these dispossessed home owners compensated? --

Yes. It was a taking, and takings must be compensated. A taking can be challenged as "not for a public use" (which SCOTUS has now defined as including "for private use if the tax flow to the government is increased"), or on the basis of not providing "just compensation."

I don't know how the compensation to the New London residents stacked up against market value and possible appreciation. IIRC, the taking resulted in diminished property value to the city.

Another good case along these lines is Poletown.

7 posted on 03/15/2014 12:22:45 PM PDT by Cboldt
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To: SeekAndFind

So the city lied. The homeowners now have a new legal case, yes?


8 posted on 03/15/2014 12:32:54 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: SeekAndFind

The Demonrat mayor’s apology might be more believable if he ate a bullet to demonstrate his sincerity. Otherwise, a Demonrat’s word has negative value.


9 posted on 03/15/2014 12:59:25 PM PDT by Carl Vehse
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, that apology and $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Denny’s.


10 posted on 03/15/2014 1:05:29 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: SeekAndFind

As far as I’m concerned, that property is cursed (at least in moral terms). I will never shop at a development on that property. The vacant tract of land should either stand as a permanent memorial to crony capitalism and its corrupt partnership with big government, or be rebuilt as new homes given to the evicted owners or their surviving family members in compensation for the immoral theft of their property.


11 posted on 03/15/2014 1:09:18 PM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: SeekAndFind
To paraphrase Will:

             Sound and blubbering, signifying nothing

12 posted on 03/15/2014 1:16:14 PM PDT by tomkat (3%+1)
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To: SeekAndFind

The KELO decision has national implications. The Governor of Connecticut should also apologize to the nation. Oh wait, he’s too busy confiscating guns from his law-abiding constituents to be bothered.


13 posted on 03/15/2014 1:25:52 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: SeekAndFind

We had a similar incident, the developers were all going become zillionaires, they sold out our small local little pool and tennis club, then the bottom went out of the market and it sits there undeveloped.


14 posted on 03/15/2014 1:29:17 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: SeekAndFind
It notes that she and her family "made significant contributions to the Italian-American community, sacrificing two family homes to the eminent domain process."

You have got to be kidding !!!

That's almost as insulting as the original decision...

15 posted on 03/15/2014 1:31:10 PM PDT by Popman ("Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God" - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: SeekAndFind

What should happen is that the government entity nearest to where David Souter lives should condemn and take his damn house - for the public good.


16 posted on 03/15/2014 2:00:33 PM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: Carl Vehse

True. However, should they sue the city for false taking (i.e., taking the property and doing nothing with it) AND use the new Mayor’s apology as insider confirmation of the fact, they might have a chance. I’ll be there are a few smart lawyers out there....


17 posted on 03/15/2014 2:03:01 PM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: SeekAndFind

And this is the same mayor who will be ordering door-to-door no-knock confiscation of firearms.

Will he apologize for those, too?


18 posted on 03/15/2014 2:47:57 PM PDT by Old Sarge (TINVOWOOT: There Is No Voting Our Way Out Of This)
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes, the propaganda omits compensation amounts. In most of the cases I’ve seen in the past, property owners were compensated quite a bit above market values. That said, it’s unconstitutional for governments to take properties from owners without any cause that would benefit the general public. The “Property values” excuse, for example, doesn’t qualify. Facilitating large scale transportation of needed resources does (railroads, pipelines, etc.).


19 posted on 03/15/2014 2:59:43 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“The Court ruled in favor of the City based on what it believed was “a carefully considered development plan.”

The city officials who pushed the taking of the private property should be prosecuted and sent to prison for lying in their lawsuit.

Whatever they stated to convince the Supreme Court that they had “a carefully considered development plan” turns out to be lies.


20 posted on 03/15/2014 3:02:57 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Albert Einstein: The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: SeekAndFind
The current mayor, who was elected in 2011, has formally apologized to the Kelo plaintiffs, calling the decision a "black stain" on New London's reputation.

Possibly the Chamber of Commerce wasn't entirely thrilled with its two new slogans: "Come buy a home in New London. Maybe the government won't take it away," and "New London: what's yours is ours." At least they're a little more honest than erecting a plaque to one of the victims as if she were a volunteer.

21 posted on 03/15/2014 3:13:05 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: SeekAndFind
Between Kelo and the illegal gun registration “law” , Connecticut must be ground zero for the removal of our Constitutional rights by the powers that be.
22 posted on 03/15/2014 3:21:43 PM PDT by Pajamajan (Pray for our nation. Thank the Lord for everything you have. Don't wait. Do it today.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Obviously, one could argue that the apology is way too late, given that the buildings have long since been leveled.

And "obviously" one could argue that apologizing for what someone else did is meaningless.

23 posted on 03/15/2014 4:44:55 PM PDT by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: Old Sarge

That apology will come later.


24 posted on 03/15/2014 6:03:13 PM PDT by samadams2000 (Someone important make......The Call!)
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To: SeekAndFind

That’s the difference between an apology and atonement - an apology makes you feel better and does nothing of substance for the victims. Atonement is making it as right as possible (lots of money in this case), is uncomfortable for the atoner and has some real value to the victim.


25 posted on 03/16/2014 4:12:41 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: SeekAndFind

This story mentions seven property owners. In the 1960s a similar story played out along the Hudson River in NY, where dozens of property owners of the hamlet of Doodletown (south of West Point) had their properties taken to create a ski center for Bear Mountain State Park. It was never built, and their properties were simply added to the park; hikers today can still see the roads, stairs, foundations, and cemeteries of the former inhabitants.


26 posted on 03/16/2014 5:02:46 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Liberty Valance
The Governor of Connecticut should also apologize to the nation. Oh wait, he’s too busy confiscating guns from his law-abiding constituents to be bothered.

That fag isn't confiscating anything, and there's a good chance he'll lose his job soon.

27 posted on 03/16/2014 5:08:54 AM PDT by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: SeekAndFind

This creep should be tarred and feathered. He doesn’t give a rip about the owners only that he didn’t get his development. He won’t apologize, ever, for establishin the precident that all property can be siezed at the whim of a democrat developer and unelected bureaucray.


28 posted on 03/16/2014 9:24:01 AM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: trebb

RE: Atonement is making it as right as possible (lots of money in this case), is uncomfortable for the atoner and has some real value to the victim.

OK, let’s determine the parties that should atone.

Here are some of them IMHO:

1) The city of New London

2) Pfizer

3) The Federal Government via the 5 idiotic members of the Supreme Court.


29 posted on 03/16/2014 11:49:36 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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