Saturday, July 15, 2006

Eminent Domain-Protecting What We've Won

We won a pretty substantial victory on Friday with the override of Gov. Vilsack's eminent domain. Few things threaten the liberty of a free people like the ability to confiscate and condemn private property. This victory could be pretty short lived, however.

Democrats love broad eminent domain powers for government at all levels! The ability to seize property from a citizen is central to the liberal ideology of government control and redistribution of wealth and property. The "New Democrat" also understands the need to weaken the traditional relationship between Republicans and the business community through corporate welfare.

Democrats can cherry pick Republican real estate developers with promises of generous benefits for locating in a given county, state or even municipality. This entire industry becomes increasingly dependent on Democrat promises of more booty at the public expense, kind of like Democrats' view of farm policy, and hence less willing to support the Republican Party and its candidates, also kind of like farmers.

So, broad eminent domain power is the cherry on top for the Democrats, a real win, win, win for them. As a result, Gov. Visack gambled that he could hold the Democrats in the legislature together to support him if the issue could be camaflouged as something other than limiting eminent domain power. He gambled wrong. In a tight election year even the most zealous Rawlsian on the other side won't buck 80% disapproval in the electorate. But, as they say, tomorrow is another day.

Never think for a moment that the Democrats themselves don't recognize these advantages in the campaign to control ever more of economic life in this country. Gov. Vilsack and Attorney General Miller, unopposed in this year's election, have already threatened litigation. Think about that arrogance. The Attorney General will marshal your tax dollars to litigate against the expressed will of 80% of the electorate, kind of like he did as part of Al Gore's attempts to litigate his way into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I wonder if he'd do the same were he opposed?

The Democrats plan to tie up the legislation in court until after the election. If we keep the legislature they keep fighting in court. Even if we take Terrace Hill, they keep fighting. If they win either or both branches, they can quietly kill the issue. Does anyone really think that a Gov. Culver with a Democrat legislature wouldn't neutralize if not outright repeal any recent limitation on eminent domain. That will trigger the flight of the housing and development industry from the RPI to the IDP for good.

We need to kill the issue right now before the Democrats can use ever greater economic powers in ways the Republicans would never contemplate when we govern. We need to make limitation of eminent domain a state constitutional amendment. The amendment needs to do two things: (1) Strictly limit the state's, and its subdivisions, ability to use eminent domain. (2) Limit the ability of adversaries to tie it up or circumvent its purpose in court. We then need to take it to the voters.

This is a winner of a political issue. The amendment is a simple bright line issue, you're either for it or against it. The public overwhelmingly supports the idea of limiting eminent domain. The presumption goes to us.

Sure, the Democrats will say we are over reaching. Wouldn't that expose their hypocricy and the plan to pay lip service until election day? Remember, a very strong majority support us on the underlying issue of limiting eminent domain.

I'm as much for economic development as the next Chicago School guy. But are you willing to trust your new development project to a Democrat Board of Supervisors who might decide one of their donors will do a better project and deprive you of some multi-million dollar plan because they can take your real estate for farm or woodlot value instead of development value, then sell it cheap to the Democrat donor to develop your idea?

We have a chance to put this issue down for good, before it can hurt us. A short war helps us and we can use it as a win, win, win for us in November of '06 and the proverbial people every year thereafter. Let's seize the initiative and take it to them on this one.

So please,



Anonymous said...

This tells you what the Democrats view of Economic Development is. They want the Govt to own the land and be able to dole it out as they see fit.

See how disappointed Jack Hatch is that it's going to be harder for him to take your land and develope it into to for profit making opportunity for him? How did he get that land in Sherman Hill to Develop for his personal economic benefit?

This from the Register:

In the Senate, the only objections came from Democratic members.
Sen. Jack Hatch, a Des Moines developer of housing and commercial property, said the Legislature was sending a message to major companies like Wells Fargo and Principal Financial Group that “Des Moines isn’t a friendly place to build because you can’t get the land” as a result of tougher eminent domain restrictions.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Sporer doing his own blog.

He's right abouy eminent domain. We can make some hay with that.

Anonymous said...

Here's who voted no in the House - Hunter, Murphy, Jacoby, Lensing, R. Olson, Mascher, Tomenga (R) and Oldson. Jo Oldson is Married to Bryce Oakley, who represents West Des Moines as a lobbyist. Looks like he urged his wife to NOT vote for override.

Kind of a conflict of interest isn't it? Is she representing the people in her district or her husband's employer?

Anonymous said...

Here's how the lobbyists weighed in the subject. As expected, cities and chambers all urged NOT to override

City of West Des Moines
City of Coraville
Ia League of Cities
Ia Chamber Alliance
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Cedar Rapids Chamber
Siouxland Chamber
Southern Iowa Lake Alliance
Professional Developers of Iowa
Ia Association of Business and Industry

These are the folks who have a stake in taking your property. These will be the ones that decide to sue ordinary citizens over who gets to own private property.

Anonymous said...

Here's the Senate list:

Hatch - Natch

Only 1 R in the whole bunch. The Supreme Court decision came from the lib wing, the democrat heavy chambers and cities are threatening to sue..

I guess Republicans get to own the right to own property issue AND, the real economic develpment issue.

Maybe the Ed Fallon Democrats need to vote Republican this time out.

Anonymous said...

I was just reading about Project Desstiny. Thank God we got this veto override handled because look what's coming down the pike.

From the Register today:

A sales tax proposed by a Des Moines economic development group could raise more than $843 million over 10 years, elected leaders in Dallas, Polk and Warren counties learned Tuesday.

Most said they would move quickly with plans on how to spend the money, even though voters won't decide the issue until November.

The shopping list so far includes everything from longer library hours and better water service to recreation centers and more police officers.

Siegelman said he predicted the tax increase - shoppers in the three counties would pay 7 percent, or an extra penny per dollar on most things they buy - could generate $89 million the first year.

The tax-increase plan was devised by Project Destiny, an arm of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

Partnership officials say one-third of the money would go to reduce property taxes, and another third would be earmarked for more recreation trails and to boost metro-area cultural attractions.

That money would be spent by a regional board of directors that has not yet been appointed.

The rest would go to cities and counties to spend as they see fit;

De Soto would receive about $137,900 to spend as it pleases.

The whole point of this plan is to make this place attractive for business".

City leaders have said they might spend their share on expanded library hours, Blank Park Zoo and law enforcement, among other things.

Officials in West Des Moines and Urbandale have said they would spend their shares of sales-tax money on recreation and community centers.

George Dickerson, 69, of West Des Moines said he's unconvinced that property taxes would go down. He worries that elected officials would go on a spending spree and said his doubt was sparked by the ongoing salary scandal at the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium, where top officials were paid salaries and bonuses deemed excessive by a state audit.

"That's where the lack of trust comes in," Dickerson said. "I think it's bad timing to try to get it through."

Beth Ingram of West Des Moines said city officials are good stewards of public money, and they need more of it.

"I think they're already doing as much as they can for the money they have," she said. "I'd rather see them raise funds than cut services."

Anonymous said...

Guess who gave Project Destiny $25,000 a couple of weeks ago?

Bill Knapp. Yes, the Ankeny Airport, DOT scandel Bill Knapp. The Commercial Real Estate Developer and one of the largest Farm Subsidy receivers, Bill Knapp

Vote NO on Project Destiny

RINO Hunter said...

"Here's how the lobbyists weighed in the subject. As expected, cities and chambers all urged NOT to override

City of West Des Moines
City of Coraville
Ia League of Cities
Ia Chamber Alliance
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Cedar Rapids Chamber
Siouxland Chamber
Southern Iowa Lake Alliance
Professional Developers of Iowa
Ia Association of Business and Industry

These are the folks who have a stake in taking your property. These will be the ones that decide to sue ordinary citizens over who gets to own private property."

So that means John Gilliland (ABI), Dave Roederer (IA Chamber Alliance), Lee Clancey (CR Chamber), Tom Cope (West Des Moines/Coralville) all voted in favor of Gov. Vilsack's veto. Where is NFIB (Andy Warren) at on this?

What in the sam hell is the world coming to?!?!?!?! These are supposed to be republicans!!!!!

Go get them Ted and don't let them get off the hook!

Whores. The lot of them.

The Real Sporer said...

Can't agree on the whores part.

Business have a duty to their owners and trade groups have a responsibility to their members. Those guys were doing their jobs and they're all good guys with solid Republican credentials.

The Republican office holders and seekers did their job also and respected the very strongly held convictions, especially among Republicans, that supported the over ride. Almost every Republican running around here is running hard on this issue.

Let's keep forcing the Dems into a corner on this issue.

Its great to see the system work.

Anonymous said...

Does someone have a source on those senate names?

Anonymous said...

The source is the Leg Website. When you get into the bill, there is a section to the left that has a link to Lobbyist's. It goes through them all and gives for or against or undecided.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Ted -

I enjoy your blog and you are a great thinker/communicator. You are a great leader for our Republican party.

Unfortunately, your views on eminent domain cannot be more wrong. Iowa's laws on eminent domain were already among the strongest in the nation. Now, they are even more strict - stifling economic growth in Iowa. Additionally, they completely strip away the ability of local governments to police themselves.

What a travesty!

People need to wake up and protect Iowa's economic development tools, not weaken them for political gain.