I think we overloaded the term limits thread, it won’t load on my computer anymore. Please continue it here, starting with wu ming’s comments
As Brian put up in the quickie, ACA 8 has been amended. The amendment protects churches and other houses of worship from eminent domain abuse, it is as follows:
The State or a local government shall not acquire by eminent domain for conveyance to a private person any real property that is used exclusively by the owner for religious worship, if that property is exempt from property taxation pursuant to subdivision…
ACA 8 now goes to the Assembly floor and still remains a piece of shit. I am not going to support something that increases and decreases people’s constitutional rights based on the kind of property they own.
Do you not think property rights are important? Well, maybe a little enlightening will help. Without property rights, all other rights are meaningless. If the government could take your home at any time for any reason, regardless of whether they pay compensation or not, would you be more or less likely to use your first amendment rights to criticize the government? Probably a lot less. We have no free press if no one can own a printing press. We have no freedom of religion if no one can own a house of worship. I could go on and on and on, but you get the idea
The 5th Amendment is clear: “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation“
It says FOR PUBLIC USE! It doesn’t just say you they need to pay just compensation; if the property is taken, it has to be FOR PUBLIC USE! It also doesn’t say “nor shall residential property…” It says PRIVATE PROPERTY. It doesn’t distinguish the kind of property. And don’t tell me that that’s too specific for the constitution. Just look at the 4th Amendment:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated”
And don’t try the “unless they’re on welfare” argument on me. I’ve responded to that before, and click the link if you wanna see it
So, now with the constitutional parts out of the way. Can someone explain to me why taking away the roof over my head is so much different from taking away what pays for the roof over my head?
Brian has repeatedly cited “only 2 in the Bay Area in the last decade.” Only 2, my ass. That statistic is exclusively talking about homes, and to the extent that the government has had to resort to eminent domain. To claim what he is claiming is like counting the amount of robberies by how often the gun gets fired. It’s the fact that the gun is pointed at the person’s head that’s the problem
A “sale under threat of seizure” is not a voluntary sale. It’s just as bad as seizure, but it’s not counted in the statistic.
Second, eminent domain abuse overwhelmingly happens more with small businesses. And again, taking away what pays for the roof over my head isn’t much different from taking away the roof over my head. And again, property is property, our constitution makes no distinction in the 5th Amendment.
Now I hear you saying, “It’s not seizure, people receive just compensation. No one’s property rights are being violated”
First off, just compensation my ass. They send in their own appraiser, whose lowball estimate is final unless you want to spend your savings (if it’s your business they’re condemning, which is most likely) challenging them in court. And the second you touch the money, YOU WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO CHALLENGE THE AMOUNT!
Second, even if they paid “just compensation,” that misses the big picture. Property rights include the right to say NO. That’s gone in eminent domain. If they OWN the property, it is theirs to sell or not to sell as they please. And if you don’t think so, here’s a check for your home, and pack your things because I’m moving in on Monday. You wanna resist? Okay, I’m gonna send in thugs to force you to sell for this amount
The government should then be there to protect you from the thugs. Now the government IS the thugs.
When De La Torre says, “Eminent domain is a legitimate government function,” yes it is a legitimate government function FOR PUBLIC USE!
ACA 8 ingrains eminent domain abuse into the constitution. It allows eminent domain for private use if it’s “part of a comprehensive plan to eliminate blight.” THAT’S THE EXACT PROBLEM WE HAVE NOW. THE PROBLEM IS THAT BLIGHT IS TOO VAGUELY DEFINED THAT IT CAN APPLY TO ANYTHING! THIS DOES NOTHING TO CHANGE THAT, BUT RATHER IT INGRAINS THAT ABUSE INTO THE CONSTITUTION
“Local governments know better than us as to what is blighted and what’s not. Our deference is to them” That’s like letting the accused decide whether he’s guilty. Need I say more?
*Apartment buildings and rental properties are not protected
*Farmland isn’t protected. (and they actually say “Farmland is already protected from being taken by eminent domain for redevelopment.”) Already protected, my ass. Tell that to the owners of Conaway Ranch (look it up if you don’t know what it is)
*This makes little change to current law, and locks in the abuses in the Constitution
*This increases and decreases people’s constitutional rights based on the kind of property they own
I will repeat the 5th Amendment one more time: “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation“
If you would like for it to say “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without a majority vote of the people or due process of law; nor shall private property be taken without just compensation” then go through the legal channels to amend the constitution. At least they’re doing that with the flag burning amendment. Don’t pretend it says that now
Hector De La Torre on the Democratic radio address and my blow-by-blow response:
Hello, this is Assemblymember Hector De La Torre.
How would you feel if your city government seized your land for no other reason than to build a strip mall or a Wal-Mart Supercenter?
CHEATED. ABUSED. EXPLOITED. INFURIATED. SOLD OUT BY GOVERNMENT WHO’S SUPPOSED TO PROTECT MY PROPERTY RIGHTS. I THINK THAT’S ENOUGH
If you’re like most Californians, you’d be understandably upset.
In 2005, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision known as Kelo versus New London, Connecticut.
I’M WELL AWARE
Some argued that this case greatly expanded the ability of state governments to purchase private property from one person for the private gain of another person or corporation.
IT DID GREATLY EXPAND IT. STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, BUT I THINK YOU LEAVING OUT LOCAL WAS UNINTENTIONAL
Many feared the Kelo decision was overly broad and would unduly endanger private property rights. To protect homes and small businesses, I authored Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8, the Eminent Domain Reform Act.
IT IS OVERLY BROAD. TELL ME ABOUT ACA 8
The Eminent Domain Reform Act prohibits State or local governments from using eminent domain to acquire an owner-occupied home for transfer to another private party. This is unprecedented.
OKAY, BETTER THAN NOTHING AT ALL. BUT WHAT ABOUT RENTAL PROPERTIES? APARTMENTS? BUSINESSES? FARMS? CHURCHES?
TAKING AWAY THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD ISN’T AS BAD AS TAKING AWAY WHAT PAYS FOR THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD. WHY? IF THEY TAKE AWAY THE LATTER, YOU’LL LIKELY ALSO LOSE THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD
This constitutional amendment also would prohibit government from using eminent domain to acquire property where a small business is located to transfer to another private party
SOUNDS GOOD! EXCEPT THIS DEFINES SMALL BUSINESS AS <25 EMPLOYEES, WHILE CALIFORNIA LAW DEFINES SMALL BUSINESS AS <100 EMPLOYEES
unless there is a comprehensive plan to eliminate blight.
LOOPHOLE ALERT! BLIGHT, OF COURSE, BEING WHATEVER THE GOVERNMENT SAYS IT IS. CITIES CAN DECLARE A NEIGHBORHOOD TO BE BLIGHTED (UNDER EXTREMELY VAGUE STANDARDS IN THE HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE) AND THEN TAKE ANY PROPERTY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO CONSTRUCT A SHOPPING MALL, LUXURY HOMES, ETC… THIS LOOPHOLE COMPLETELY NULLS THE PREVIOUS POINT YOU MADE
But before eminent domain is allowed a small business owner must have the opportunity to be a part of the new development.
THE OPPORTUNITY BEING WHATEVER THE GOVERNMENT WANTS, AND THE GOVERNMENT MAY WAIVE IT
If a small business does move, it will receive the fair market value of the previous location, moving expenses, expenses to reestablish the business at a new location, and compensation for the increased cost of rent or mortgage payments for up to three years.
BETTER THAN WHAT THEY HAVE NOW. HOWEVER, THIS MISSES THE ENTIRE POINT: IF THEY OWN THE PROPERTY, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULDN’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO FORCE SOMEONE TO MOVE FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S PRIVATE GAIN.
In short, this is legislation grounded in a simple concept: the government should not have the ability to abuse its eminent domain privileges, and during the rare times when eminent domain is appropriate, business owners will be fairly compensated.
NO, THIS IS LEGISLATION GROUNDED IN PROTECTING THE STATUS QUO WHILE MAKING PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT REFORM HAS TAKEN PLACE. THIS IS WORSE THAN NOTHING.
This philosophy has guided legislative Democrats for years.
IF THERE’S ANY ISSUE WHERE I QUESTION MY ALLEGIANCE TO THE DEMOCRATS, IT’S THIS! THE LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS HAVE REPEATEDLY TOLD ME, ON THIS ISSUE, THAT THERE’S FROSTING ON MY CUPCAKE WHEN THERE ISN’T. NOW YOU’RE TRYING TO SELL ME PAPER DISGUISED AS FROSTING
Last year, the State Legislature listened to voters and passed several new laws to protect peoples’ homes.
We made it harder for government to proclaim an area “blighted.”
OH, YOU MEAN SB 1206? BULLS**T. AGAIN, YOU’RE TRYING TO TELL ME THE PAPER IS FROSTING. THOSE STANDARDS IN THE BILL WERE VAGUE, AND MOST WERE ALREADY CURRENT LAW. LOOK AT ALL THE TIMES IT SAYS “MAY” INSTEAD OF “MUST” AND LOOK AT ALL THE UNDEFINED TERMS.
Raising the requirements for an area to be declared blighted helps protect property owners.
AND SB 1206 DIDN’T DO THAT!
An area has to be declared blighted before a redevelopment agency can use eminent domain.
THAT WAS ALREADY THE CASE! THE PROBLEM IS THAT BLIGHT IS SO VAGUELY DEFINED THAT IT IS WHATEVER THE GOVERNMENT SAYS IT IS. SB 1206 DID NEXT TO NOTHING
Raising the requirements for an area to be declared blighted helps protect property owners.
AND SB 1206 DIDN’T DO THAT
To keep the process out in the open, we increased state oversight by involving the Attorney General, the Department of Finance and the Department of Housing and Community Development to protect your rights as a property owner.
DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THAT. BUT GIVEN THE TRACK RECORD IN CLAIMING TO PROTECT PROPERTY RIGHTS WHEN YOU’RE NOT, I’M NOT GOING TO GIVE THIS THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
Now that these bills have been signed into law, California has clearly taken steps to protect the rights of homeowners and other property owners.
THE ONLY BILL WITH ANY TEETH THAT CAN BE REFERRED TO HERE WAS SB 1650. SB 53, 1206, 1210, AND 1809 WEREN’T EVEN WORTH THE PAPER THEY WERE PRINTED ON
And with your support, the Eminent Domain Reform Act will take those protections even further, into the California state constitution.
NO, I’LL SUPPORT REAL EMINENT DOMAIN REFORM, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THIS BILL, JUST LIKE THOSE OTHER ONES, ISN’T EVEN WORTH THE PAPER IT’S PRINTED ON. I’D RATHER HAVE NOTHING THAN THIS PIECE OF CRAP
To add, this proposal doesn’t even define “private person” which is an essential term. So this proposal would allow for the taking of property for private use if the government participated in some undefined way. The government could construct a public facility, condemn the surrounding land and give it to private developers.
Lastly, this proposal doesn’t entitle the person to attorney fees if the court rules that the government isn’t in compliance with this section. Thereby, this continues to deny many property owners a day in court
You all remember Prop 78? It was the prescription drug proposition sponsored by the drug companies during Arnold’s special election.
You remember what the biggest problem with it was? It was a classic example of the fox pretending it cares about the hen house. The goal of the drug companies was to convince people that real reform took place when it didn’t really. They wanted to offset true reform by consumer groups in Prop 79. The very groups over the years defending and benefiting from charging high prices for prescription drugs pretending to now support reform. Pure window dressing!
Now, we have a similar example. This time, it comes from people who tend to be on the other side of the aisle
The very people who have defended the abuse of eminent domain involving governments forcing the transfer of private property from one owner to another by claiming the other can produce more tax revenue are now proposing this eminent domain reform package.
Just like the drug companies, their motive is clear. They want to offset true reform by property rights activists that does not include the flaws of Proposition 90. So rather than opposing it, they do what the drug companies did: offer a bullshit alternative
It appears to offer some protections, but the loopholes make it meaningless. Case in point: they claim it only allows taking property for private use when part of a “comprehensive plan to eliminate blight.”
CURRENT LAW ALREADY REQUIRES BLIGHT. THE PROBLEM IS THAT BLIGHT IS VAGUELY DEFINED THAT IT CAN APPLY TO ANYTHING, ANYWHERE AS LONG AS THERE IS ANYTHING BLIGHTED WITHIN THE AREA. THIS DOES NOTHING TO CHANGE THAT.
This only applies to owner-occupied homes, not rental property. What is it about renting a home that makes you less innocent? It doesn’t protect farms, churches, and homeowners who haven’t lived in their house for more than a year. What is it about just purchasing a home that makes you less innocent?
This would protect some homeowners, and increase compensation for some small business owners (only if <25 employees, when California law defines small business as <100 employees). But just like Prop 78, passing this is worse than passing nothing. It would convince voters that real reform has passed when it hasn't
Just like Prop 90 and 78, this is a fox dressed as a hen. Pathetic!
Susette Kelo’s thoughts on De La Torre’s ACA 8 http://calpropertyri…