Fighting Eminent Domain Abuse in California [Updated]

My view: Yes on 98, No on 99

By Neil Stevens Posted in | | | | | Comments (11) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

The fight continues to protect Californians from the abuses of civil liberties authorized by the Supreme Court in Kelo v. New London. Proponents of our civil rights against theft of property have placed on the June ballot Proposition 98. Unlike the last Proposition 98, which began our disastrous budget problems by placing hard lower limits on school spending growth, this one is from the good guys. The new Proposition 98 is a proposed state Constitutional amendment that would place sweeping restrictions on eminent domain abuse statewide, and ensure that "just compensation" is provided even when the takings occur.

However, the forces of big government are not quick to give up. Corrupt city and county governments have in turn put on the ballot Proposition 99, another proposed amendment. Masquerading as an anti-eminent domain law, Proposition 99 would not even have helped in the Kelo case, so narrow are the limits on government set.

Read on... Updated below the fold

As could probably be predicted, I support Proposition 98. I think it's just the kind of amendment that a state like California needs to pass, revolutionizing the way we look at property rights, much as Proposition 13 shocked the nation with our controlling of property taxes. In fact, there's a way of looking at Proposition 98 as a successor to Proposition 13.

So of course, big government and big spending types statewide are strongly against it, led by the girly man himself, Governor Schwarzenegger. Given a chance to take a stand on for freedom, he backs down.

As an aside, let this be a reminder that being pro-abortion does not make one a 'libertarian' Republican.

Add enough well-funded elements against a ballot measure with a good chance of passing, such is the case with Proposition 98, and a particular tactic has grown common: Get another, deceptively similar measure on the ballot, muddy the waters, and hope for the best. That's the plan with Proposition 99. Proposition 99 limits eminent domain only for a "primary residence," but adds a laundry list of exceptions to even that narrow limitation. It lacks any broad recognition of property rights, a firm definition of just compensation, and for freedom lovers is no substitute for Proposition 98.

So for my vote, I recommend support for Proposition 98, and opposition to Proposition 99. Strike down big government, tell the Supreme Court who's boss, and make California safe to own property again.

Update: Upon looking up the text of Proposition 98, it has come to my attention that the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is responsible for the amendment. The group is of course best known for Proposition 13, meaning 98 is more of a successor to 13 than I even imagined when I wrote the above!

Major McCain endorsement in CA tomorrow (or, "Debate Open Thread #2")Comments (123) »
Fighting Eminent Domain Abuse in California [Updated] 11 Comments (0 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Why the heck is Arnold against it? If it's like you say, I can't imagine ANYBODY who's not a real-estate developer opposing it. I mean, good grief, Kelo had like 90% disapproval numbers.

There must be more to this story. Can you give us more info?

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

He's just pro-big government, and all the pro-big government types are claiming that 98 will prevent "water projects" from being completed.

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I still have trouble believing it. It seems like political suicide. Are you sure there's not more to this?

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

That's the entirety of the argument I've run into, anyway.

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While I want the law to restrain the corrupt municipalities that use the ED to expand the tax base, I am very favorable to the methods of economic development going on now in Anaheim. Their mayor, (most of) the council and the public administrators have done wonders for redevelopment by not using ED except for what it was intended.

I just read in a trade mag that the revitalization in Anaheim is developing faster and with better long term business then anywhere else in SoCal. And for what Anaheim had become in the 1990's this is testament to the effects of quality economic development. Not only that, the constituent approval of the city's (econ dev) activities is extraordinarily high.

I'm not a fan of California, but this is a positive movement that would be good if it was adopted elsewhere.

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--Aristotle

Help!!/

But I think that Kelo v. New London is one of the best SCOTUS decisions from the last 50 years.

By taking the federal government out of it Kelo, each local government, state or local, can for themselves, limit Eminent Domain as they see fit. We have already done so here in Missouri, and w/o knowing, I'm sure that what we have is different from either Prop 98 or 99. But it works (we hope) for us. Even with the state limits in place, towns and counties here have passed even more stringent limits. This too is as it should be.

Good Luck to you and the people of California

By taking the federal government out of it Kelo, each local government, state or local, can for themselves, limit Eminent Domain as they see fit.

But they could have done that before Kelo too.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

When ethically devoid municipalities are moving to condemn actively used and maintained land in order to increase the tax base, this is where Kelo is an abomination.

Cities must act according to their choices and I am big on home rule and local management, however, some cities are being run like fiefdoms. The limiting of these improper takings should be restricted. However, at the state level, not federal. And since the SCOTUS had the opportunity to impart restrictions on improperly applied eminent domain activities, and didn't, it was IMO a horrendous ruling.

_____________________________

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
--Aristotle

Help!!/

The MO SC just allowed all non-charter cities to use em dom when they were forbidden prior. It is the reason for the two new petitions that are circulating to add amendments to the state constitution. Click the picture below for more info.



Now also found at The Minority Report

What would 98 do to rent control?

Quoting from Section 6:

...any statute, charter provision, ordinance, or regulation by a public agency enacted prior to January 1,2007, that limits the price a rental property owner may charge a tenant to occupy a residential rental unit ("unit") or mobile home space ("space") may remain in effect as to such unit or space after the effective date for so long as, but only so long as, at least one of the tenants of such unit or space as of the effective date ("qualified tenant") continues to live in such unit or space as his or her principal place of residence. At such time as a unit or space no longer is used by any qualified tenant as his or her principal place of residence because, as to such unit or space, he or she has: (a) voluntarily vacated; (b) assigned, sublet, sold or transferred his or her tenancy rights either voluntarily or by court order; (c) abandoned; (d) died; or he or she has (e) been evicted pursuant to paragraph (2), (3), (4) or (5) of Section 1161 of the Code of Civil Procedure or Section 798.56 of the Civil Code as in effect on January 1,2007; then, and in such event, the provisions of this Act $hall be effective immediately as to such unit or space.

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