Will Jerry Brown chain down California’s eminent domain abusers?


Author: Timothy Sandefur

At first, California governor Jerry Brown doesn’t seem to have much credibility on the issue of eminent domain abuse. As mayor of Oakland, he coldly oversaw one of the state’s most notorious examples of theft—the condemnation of John Revelli’s tire shop, so that the city could shift land around and open a Sears tire shop instead.

But just as Brown declared himself a “born again tax cutter” after Prop. 13, so perhaps he’s also seen the light about the state’s ravenous redevelopment industry. He’s proposed a budget that would eliminate the state’s 425 redevelopment agencies, and divert the money that these agencies usually squirrel away for themselves toward actual public services. As Steve Greenhut notes, this wouldn’t just be a welcome change, but it actually might have a chance of passing. Still, it’s an uphill battle, given how politically influential the Redevelopment Triangle Trade is in this state.

The Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 4 will be holding a hearing about the bill tomorrow at 9:30 here in Sacramento, and that Subcommittee’s counterpart in the Assembly will hold a hearing about the bill on Monday. So we’ll see.

For more information, check out the California Alliance to Protect Property Rights.

Update: Here’s more from the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters.