June 29, 2006

California Eminent Domain Ballot Initiative Opponents Organize

By California Eminent Domain Ballot Initiative Opponents Organize

by Timothy Sandefur

The opposition to the Protect Our Homes Initiative has issued this press release, arguing that the Initiative would "drive a stake through the heart of environmental protection," and would "make pollution a property right." This is not true, since laws against pollution are exempted from the Initiative under section b(8).

The "Coalition to Protect California," as the opposition campaign calls itself, is made up of local government officials, the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties, and environmental groups. Chris McKenzie, executive Director of the League of California Cities, says that the Initiative "guts local communities' ability to make decisions in the best interests of all residents and gives that power to a few large, wealthy landowners." It is true, of course, that the Initiative would prohibit local communities from making decisions about other people's property, such as the decision to take that property away and give it to private developers. But otherwise, these claims are hysterical and untrue.

Would the "large, wealthy landowners" McKenzie refers to include Bob Blue, Ahmad Mesdaq, and too many others?

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