Placer County Young Republicans

Thursday, July 14, 2005

LaMalfa and McClintock Move to Protect Private Property Rights

In response to the attack on private property rights made by the Supreme Court in their decision on Kelo vs. The City of New London, California Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa and State Senator Tom McClintock have introduced a California Constitutional Amendment to limit the taking of private property in California. The following is a statement released by Assemblyman LaMalfa regarding ACA 22 and SCA 15.

Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa Statement regarding ACA 22 – The Homeowner & Property Protection Act

The Legislation addresses the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision of Kelo V. City of New London, Connecticut permitting government to seize the property of ordinary citizens for private gain.

"As a farmer, I hold the value of property ownership and enjoyment as a paramount right and with the recent Supreme Court decision occurring in such close proximity to the celebration of our independence 229 years ago, I wonder if those farmers, colonists and settlers that rose up then would not expect the same of us now, especially those of us elected and sworn to protect these and our other constitutional rights.

The notion that government can place a higher value on one person’s activity and use of their own assets over someone else’s is an elitist and dangerous enterprise that connotes the totalitarian thinking of a few making value judgments over the masses. I believe this is contrary to our most fundamental constitutional rights.

By accepting this ruling, we would all essentially become renters and not owners of our property. No one is safe in their home or with their possessions. The abuse of the process of eminent domain allows the government, all too frequently, to declare a property blighted and take it on a whim, with little or no justification whatsoever.

The Constitutional Amendment that we are introducing today, ACA 22 and SCA 15, will protect private property owners and homeowners in California from the arbitrary use of eminent domain. It sets a high standard for establishing what is a legitimate public use and provides remedies if the government entity that executes a taking does not follow through with that stated public use. This is a critical measure that we are hopeful all of our colleagues in the Legislature will support so that we can place it before the voters as soon as possible.

I want to thank our colleagues that are joining us today. I also want to thank Senator McClintock for his leadership on this issue and the Pacific Legal Foundation for their guidance in helping us craft a measure that will accomplish this vital protection for all Californians. Thank you."

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  • I tried to think objectively the concept of "eminent domain". Like any other law, “eminent domain” also must have been created with a good purpose in mind. However, problem comes when “business men” and the “government” build a nexus and try to use it in an unfair manner for the advantage of some, forgetting its true purpose. When done "diplomatically" in today's context, nobody can stop this unfairness.

    However, there are some contexts where we can use "eminent domain" wisely. All we need is somebody in the government who can understand the true meaning of "eminent domain" and act fairly. Clover valley development in Rocklin, CA
    is such a context. This time, the other end is a rich builder, as opposed to a poor farmer. If officials in the city of Rocklin look at facts objectively and act fairly, it is clear that they could use eminent domain to secure the Clover Valley land for the rightful purpose (acquire clover valley and preserve it, convert it into a national sanctuary and museum which will attract a large number of visitors to Rocklin and give the city of Rocklin growth and opportunity).

    Anybody who takes that initiative will have their name writtern in history. But who has the courage to work against a powerful builder?

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