News from The Libertarian Party of New York
For more information: Libertarian Party of NY, 516-767-4688, www.ny.lp.org; John Clifton, firstname.lastname@example.org; Eric Sundwall, email@example.com; Jeff Russell, firstname.lastname@example.org
RALLY TO STOP EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE
BELLPORT, NY -- (03/29/2006; 1115)(EIS) -- Libertarian Party of New York officials and concerned candidates, crying "No More Land Grabs," are launching a "spring offensive" to influence legislators towards amending state law to ban eminent domain abuse. Local Libertarians such as Eric Sundwall of Columbia County (running for Congress, 20th District) and Jeff Russell (of Clifton Park, candidate for U.S. Senate) have announced they will be emphasizing the misuse of eminent domain throughout their campaigns.
Representatives of groups who have been victimized by such property seizures have been contacted to participate, including African-Americans from the Park South community in Albany, and Develop-Don't-Destroy Brooklyn, where residents are threatened with being kicked out of their homes to build a new stadium for the NY Nets. A demonstration in the Capitol building area has been scheduled for Friday, April 28 to draw attention to stalled and piecemeal legislation currently pending on the issue.
"New Yorkers grow impatient that, nine months after the U.S. Supreme Court's widely criticized Kelo decision, no bill has yet emerged from the NY Legislature to prevent state or local government from using eminent domain to take property from homeowners, to benefit private developers," says LPNY Chair John Clifton. He asks: "Many states have already passed laws to halt this type of theft of land and housing, within weeks of the Kelo ruling. Why is New York lagging behind the country on this subject?"
Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, now running for Governor of New York, opposes eminent domain abuse and has said giving broad leeway to local governments to seize property reminded him of "Communist China." Weld is himself a past victim of an eminent domain seizure of one of his properties. He has challenged would-be opponent and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to define his position on the issue.
"This case stands as an example of government overreaching and constraining a fundamental liberty. Title to every property in this nation is now effectively clouded by the threat of a government taking and transfer in the name of increasing the value upon which government can levy imposts. This practice must stop," Weld said.
Language to amend the current law was also drafted in 2005 by then-LPNY Legislative Director Jeff Shapiro, immediately following the Supreme Court decision. Clifton says the party prefers its "clean" version, to address the disruption of neighborhoods occurring across the state by way of the corporate demolition ball. "Eminent domain abuse for commercial and economic development purposes should be specifically outlawed, and the term 'blighted' needs to be very precisely defined in the law, before the designation is applied to deprive citizens or whole communities of their property."
Libertarians are determined to nominate a strong pro-property rights, anti-EDA candidate for Governor at its state convention at the Best Western in Albany on Saturday, April 29.