Monday, August 28, 2006

"Prop. 90 endorsers"

Reposted commentary from: The California Observer

I support the provisions of property protection behind Prop 90, though I also believe a greater solution is necessary at the federal level to protect people's property rights.

My congressional opponent, Brad Sherman, voted against H.R.340, a non-binding resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that last year’s highly publicized Supreme Court decision in ‘Kelo et al. v. City of New London et al.’ [1] was wrong.

In this landmark case, the government of the City of New London, Connecticut, seized private property from individuals, claiming that the “city has carefully formulated a development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including, but not limited to, new jobs and increased tax revenue,” thereby hiding behind the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause regarding ‘eminent domain’. However, those who stood to profit most from the property transfer were NOT its owners: they were the private developers.

While “increased tax revenue” for the city may be a result of its actions, and may, therefore, benefit all residents to some extent, it is NOT a sufficient reason to seize private property. As for another reason cited, new jobs will certainly be created: all those jobs necessary to demolish homes and build shopping centers.

The House bill [2] declared “eminent domain should never be used to advantage one private party over another.” Fortunately, despite my opponent’s strange efforts to the contrary, Congress overwhelmingly passed this Resolution in June 2005, 365–33 [3], with the support of 144 Democrats, Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA) included among them.

Clearly, this is not a partisan issue; this is an issue of private property rights. And the people of the San Fernando Valley deserve to know that the Gentleman from California’s 27th District has little, if any, interest in protecting theirs.



Anonymous SFBrianCL said...

Mr. Hankwitz:

I'll leave aside the inherent irony in your belonging to a party that consciously discriminates against you (and I). Indeed you are running against Brad Sherman, a man that has received a 100 rating by the HRC in their most recent rankings.

I'm more interested in adressing your remarks about Prop 90. You seem to be misguided as to what Prop 90 would actually do. I'm not sure if you really understand how the Kelo ruling works. Kelo does not define eminent domain law. That is left for the states to define. In fact, Kelo didn't affect California at all. California has a "blight" requirement that Connecticutt does not have. Thus, the city/state must make a showing of blight. Though you claim "increased tax revenue" isn't sufficient reason for E.D., you are addressing a straw man. "Increased tax revenue" is not a sufficient showing for E.D. in California.

Prop. 90 is a trap for the taxpayers of this state. The "damage" provisions would make land-use regulation impossible. It stops cities from zoning and other land-use restrictions. We need the ability to stop some uses of land, and Prop 90 would require the government to pay to support the greater good of the community.

In fact, a similar proposition in Oregon has had devastating effects.

Despite delays in Measure 37's implementation caused by court fights, Oregon property owners have already filed about 2,700 Measure 37 claims, aiming to develop about 143,000 acres. The claimants demand that governments either waive land-use regulations or pay nearly $4 billion in compensation. In almost all of the 700 or so claims settled to date, governments have waived the regulations.SF Chronicle 8/20/06

The supporters of Prop 90 have consistenly been dishonest and relied on fear-mongering in order to get this terrible proposition passed. It's been rejected by Police and fire fighters associations, environmental organizations, labor organizations, taxpayer advocates, and municipalities. It is bad for the state and bad for Californians. Feel free to respond here, or at the California community blog, Calitics

5:01 PM  

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