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Eminent domain now big business(lady's home in Chicago now a Walgreens)

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RedEarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 01:38 PM
Original message
Eminent domain now big business(lady's home in Chicago now a Walgreens)
Eminent domain now big business
Lawmakers, owners confront land grabs

By Crystal Yednak
Tribune staff reporter
Published January 3, 2006


One day at the age of 82, Irene Angell received an unexpected letter. The city of Des Plaines needed her home and planned to use eminent domain to force her to sell it. Angell lived in the home for more than 80 years. Before that, it was her father's home, and before that it was her grandfather's home.

And now, it's a Walgreens.

Opting to trade in Angell's home for a retailer with jobs and more tax revenues, Des Plaines invoked a power that local governments have used more than 250 times over the past five years for economic development, a Tribune review of court records shows.

With the national debate over eminent domain expected to sweep into Springfield in January, municipalities are cautioning against overreacting to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the use of eminent domain for private economic development.

But property owners who have been forced to clear out for strip malls or big-box stores hope the public outcry against eminent domain will prompt Illinois lawmakers to act.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/yahoo/chi-0601030244...
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. that's a bunch of BS
eminent domain is bogus, and should have been struck down, rather than upheld by SCOTUS, IMO.

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DRoseDARs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Eminent Domain has legitimate uses, but can be grotesquely abused. n/t
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. can be, has been and is now being abused
Edited on Tue Jan-03-06 02:28 PM by ixion
there needs to be some kind of public oversight. Government should not be able to deprive someone of their property, except in the most unique cases.

Walgreens isn't one of those cases, IMO.

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DRoseDARs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Ex: Washoe County considered using ED to preserve open space and deny...
Edited on Tue Jan-03-06 02:33 PM by DRoseDARs
...the land to developers. The Truckee Meadows (where the cities of Reno and Sparks are situated) has all but disappeared underneath homes, shopping centers, and parking lots. Not to mention the increasingly smaller and smaller groundwater supplies; we can only take so much from the Truckee River. The owner of the land originally said he wanted to sell to the county, but later went back on his word in favor of developers by jacking-up the price. County officials were not amused. I don't know what happened; it's been a while since I've heard any news on it. :shrug:
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. preserving open space seem like a more intelligent use to me
I don't have any current information on the case you cited, though. :-(
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. The courts cannot account for government run by profiteers.
The court ruling was in line with the constitution. The problem is not the power of eminant domain, the problem is the government weilding it.
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texpatriot2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is horrible nm
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. This snake is gonna bite the corporates
The patents for public health drugs are wide open for an eminent domain suit.
The patents for windowing systems, internet protocols and such are also wide open
for an eminent domain suit, expecially considering how much the public has contributed
to the knowedge body.

They keep going after a few properties for corporate development... just wait until
the shoe is on the other foot... the corporates will wish they never considered using
eminent domain before this is over.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Except...
that those industries own our government, and so it's not very likely that we'll see any eminent domain suits like that in the forseeable future :-)
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Sweetheart, thanks for making that point. Why not seize corporate
property?

hmmmmmmm
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. When will the state bite the rich? EOM
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Justice will come
it may take some time, but the pendulum
swings....
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greenman3610 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. this is how Bush made his money
remember, with Texas Stadium displacing
communities -- pushed out by his
political cronies.
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yorkiemommie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. simply awful

nothing like kicking an old lady out of her family's home and bulldozing her memories.
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American liberal Donating Member (915 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-04-06 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #8
25. Kudos to the Tribune
for publishing the story. I don't care much for the Tribune, especially after signing the petition to try to keep them from laying off journalists, and especially 'cause it's a conservative rag, but every now and then, they get it right.

How despicable! There is absolutely NO justification for taking away the family home of a taxpaying citizen of Cook County! My taxes are already too high! One more frigging Walgreens (there's too many of them as it is!) is not gonna make that much of a difference. Shame on the City of Chicago! :( :mad:
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
11. They put a Kohls over a Historic French and Indian Fort site in my town
yup...who give a shit about history....the site was where a block house and small fort had been...where the early settlers would huddle when under attack....and today most of the site is covered by a Kohls...

there's progress for ya...
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newswolf56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
12. Been going on for decades. Here in Tacoma 20 years ago the city...
Edited on Tue Jan-03-06 03:51 PM by newswolf56
ousted an entire 30-block working-class residential neighborhood dating from Victorian times to build its TacomaDome and the vast wasteland of the adjacent parking lots: a huge windfall for Big Business. Knoxville, Tennessee did the same thing in the late '50s -- destroying an old, traditional and very stable Afro-American community known (if memory serves) as "Happy Hollow" -- this to build a civic auditorium and coliseum that benefited only the white aristocracy and their white middle-class imitators. In both cases the cities' paid only fractions of what the properties were worth, with the result the displaced citizens were inescapably condemned to permanent tenancy -- a real horror in places without rent control, which is most of the U.S. Thus in many instances these people eventually became homeless -- and of course (especially after corporate media repeatedly paints homelessness as one's own fault) no one cared (or cares). Old, bitter story of government as the servant and goon-squad of the oligarchy: yet another indisputable proof of the ultimate evil of capitalism, now merely underscored by the Bush Court's decision.

Eminent domain is a huge scam too. In many such instances private interests are authorized to purchase the property directly from the residents, who are invariably forced by the city to sell at whatever is offered. The private interests then inflate the price several hundred percent by selling the property back and forth between various dummy corporations before the government officially takes title and then vacuums the taxpayers' pockets to further fatten the bank accounts of the rich.

Probably the only eminent-domain condemnations in the history of the U.S. in which the displaced persons were given genuinely fair compensation were the evictions necessitated by the Tennessee Valley Authority dams: not only in terms of real estate dollars but with extra compensation for the emotional shock of displacement and even job training for persons whose livelihoods were displaced. True socialism in action -- and here in the United States as well: the reason the oligarchy (and thus the Republicans) so despise TVA, not only for what it is, but for the examples it has set.


Edit: typos.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
16. This is such a misuse of eminent domain.
I just makes me sick at heart.
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zann725 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
18. Eminent Domain no doubt to be used in New Orleans, & MS...
Aside from one-by-one seizing of houses and property...I foresee LARGE Emininent Domain claims of areas hit by ever-increasing "natural disasters"...as residents are forced to flee and relocated for a while (i.e., flooded Northern CA, vast fires in OK). And with "Reverse Mortgages" taking place nationwide... and pensions cut by most employers, and living expenses rising among elderly...and massive nationwide foreclosures in near future, I foresee government (if not foreign) ownership of nearly ALL property. Publc Parks and land are also being sold, right? Serfdom, here we come!

Eminent domain IS a key issue. Also particularly in light of Patriot Act...which could literally call ANYONE "enemy of the state", and seize their property.
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
19. The recent SC eminent domain decision makes us ALL renters
nt
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
20. Life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness for all corporate bodies! Consumers need not apply.
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f-bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
21. Business is Evil
As I have always said....business is evil. Because it doesn't give a shit about people only profits.

Our church, First United Methodist is going to lose it's sanctuary due to Tacoma General Hospital who wants our site for their new emergency room.

We could say no, but then they'll just invoke emminent domain. We're screwed either way!
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
22. This is what happens when you allow chamber members control
of your city commissions.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
23. Eminent domain should be strictly limited to PUBLIC purposes
Roads, airports, parks etc. For the government to be acting on behalf of private interests like this is an abomination.

Remember when the Supreme Court decision came down? On that night, only the bulletin board format allowed you to distinguish Free Republic from Democratic Underground.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-04-06 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. For very different reasons.
Democrats were hoping that court would block the product of a piece of legislation they felt was a handout to developers. Conservatives opposed the decision because they were hoping for a court decision limiting eminant domain and weakening the ability of the government to regulate private property.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-04-06 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. True--kind of like the difference between conservative opposition--
--to NAFTA and ours. We're coming from human solidarity, and they're coming from xenophobia.
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
24. Horrible.
Local officials can take payola from businesses who want to acquire private property. They can also use taxpayer dollars to finance their lawsuits against private property owners.

I guess, in the case of Irene Angell, it could have been worse. Her home/land could have been given to WalMart, thereby further costing taxpayers in the form of public assistance for WalMart employees.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-04-06 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
28. Should be restricted to *exclusively* public needs, not for-profits
Follow the pretzel logic here: Replacing a home with a business will bring in more taxes. More taxes is a benefit to the local gov't. So taking a private home is now justified for the "greater good".

Take it further: Walgreen's could build their store in any one of several different locations. But one location offers the best business opportunity, hence the most taxes. So taking that property is justified for the "greater good", even when other sites are avalable.

Wouldn't the same argument justify taking a mom-and-pop pharmacy's land so a more profitable chain could set up shop? If Walgreen's runs into financial trouble, doesn't the same logic apply to taking their store? Could Wal-Mart take over Walgreen's land?

Once you accept that helping out a business serves the "greater good" because it brings in more taxes, don't you then accept that other "help" to businesses is also justified for the greater good? How about relaxing workplace safety regulations? Environmental regulations? Of course this is what the Repugs have been trying to do all along. Now the party that has done everything it can to minimize business taxation is using the argument of "maximally effective taxation" to help businesses acquire property at most favorable prices, using a one-sided legal "justification" not available to private citizens!

Ironically, if local gov't is allowed to go to the extreme of deciding all property rights on the basis of what is best for local gov't, the logical end result would be ... a CENTRALLY PLANNED ECONOMY, in which the local beureaucrats make all economic decisions indirectly, by deciding which businesses get the best properties, and which are shut out.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-04-06 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
29. If the ACLU had a brain in their heads they would be on this
If only to see the RW talking heads pop like popcorn.
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