Monday, June 2, 2008

Primary Responsibility

Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow is the California Primary. Up here in the hills the race for the Republican seat in Congress has been particularly nasty. It even made the NYT today. If nothing else, the leading Democrat has name recognition (Charlie Brown......what were his parents thinking?).

There are two Real Estate related initiatives on the ballot. Both related to eminent domain. I am strongly in favor of eminent domain for use in projects that will benefit the public (like airports =).

However I am very conflicted over government taking (with compensation) property from one private citizen to give to another. I know this has been in the news recently with some property the city wants to redevelop downtown on K Street. Much of it comes down to how much we trust our government. I like the idea of government being able to revitalize ailing downtown districts, but I don't like the idea of them taking from low income and elderly, and handing over to big land developers to "gentrify" neighborhoods. Unfortunately, I haven't seen much in the way of a litmus test to outline what type of projects would be okay, and which ones wouldn't.


Jacob said...

I agree. If you take my home to give to someone to make millions building an apartment complex or something, then I (and the other people who lost their land) should get all the profits.

If you need to build a school or hospital or something I can go along with that, but if it is just an excuse for someone else to make a lot of money then they should have no right.

Kip said...

There is no way to draw the line. 'oh, this project seems ok, but that one doesn't' is no way to write law.
Private to private ED takings are a disgrace in ANY context whatsoever. You want to revitalize a district? come up with the money to buy out the current owner. They won't sell? TOO BAD, IT'S THEIR PROPERTY. Just because you don't like what they are doing with THEIR property, doesn't make it ok. No matter how ugly or run down their business is, it is still THEIR business. There is never a good reason to ignore property rights.

Kip said...

if you want more info on what happens when you allow courts to take private property for the purpose of increasing tax revenue.

JOATMON said...

Definitely research the Kelo Supreme Court case. There's no way politicians will be truly OBJECTIVE in coming to their decisions... history shows that money talks... and the owners being subjected to ED generally DON'T have it. New London wanted a hotel development (I think, it was a SC case a few years ago) and 8 owners didn't want to sell their homes and move in order to allow it. I loved the dry humor of the person that filed an ED Petition to build a hotel on Justice Souter's property in NH.