Jeb Bush’s Attacks on Trump on Eminent Domain
is Hypocritical at best.
G.W. used Eminent domain, a sales tax surcharge, was granted control over areas around the stadium, and allowed by the City to buy the Stadium in the future for $60M, when it cost the City $191M to construct, to Build a Stadium for His Baseball team!!!
Even worse, an independent assessment of one of the properties that had to be acquired, the Mathes properties, was valued it at $1.515M. Bush’s team, the Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority, a quasi governmental entity with the power of eminent domain, offered $831K and the land owner rejected the offer. Then the Bush’s ASFDA, seized the property USING EMINENT DOMAIN.
The attorney for the Mathes family stated at the time: “It was the first time in Texas history that the power of eminent domain has been used to assist a private organization like a baseball team” Sound like a limo parking lot? In May 1996, a Tarrant County jury found that the sports authority’s offer of $817,220 for the Mathes property was too low, and it awarded the Mathes heirs $4.98 million, plus accumulated interest.
The issue at Hand is how Eminent Domain should be used and for what purposes?
Is it Constitutional?
Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution Created Eminent Domain by Stating: (Takings Clause)
“…nor shall private property be taken for PUBLIC USE, without just compensation.
The key phrase is “PUBLIC USE” and how it has been interpreted by the SCOTUS. In 2005, the court held in Kelo v. City of New London, “that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible “public use” under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.” The case specifically dealt with using eminent domain to transfer private property from one individual to another.
G.W. Bush, (ironically since he used eminent domain to build the Ranger’s Stadium), on June 23, 2006, the first anniversary of the original SCOTUS decision, President George W. Bush issued an executive order instructing the federal government to restrict the use of eminent domain, “…for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.” However, since eminent domain is most often exercised by local and state governments, the presidential order may thus have little overall effect.
The key words here are GENERAL PUBLIC which sort of, kind of, limits the use of eminent domain to the taking of personal property for use by the Federal Government for the benefit of the general public (everyone), rather than for PUBLIC USE, which can be used to take property from one private property and give it to another as long as the receiver’s use has a greater PUBLIC USE than the person losing the property.
What is the Answer?
For one thing, National Review and the other self-labeled conservative activist, should lobby for Congress to pass Federal Legislation restricting property seized by Federal eminent domain to be used on by the government for the general public’s use. Congress has been trying to pass this legislation since 2005 and SURPRISE, they can’t get it done!!!!
The conservative activists need to start working with State Legislatures to limit the use of eminent domain in their States. This would eliminate the use of eminent domain for sports complexes or limo parking lots.
So you so-called Conservative Activists, if you really want to do some good, other than just write editorials and appear on talk shows wringing your hands over eminent domain, roll up your sleeves and start working to fix the problem.
But then, what would you have to opine about on the talk shows-Hypocrites!
11/5/2005, Looking Glass News on Ranger’s Stadium-Eminent Domain: http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=3349