Tom Matiska tom.matiska at att.net
Thu May 10 13:41:48 MDT 2018

Feb 2016...... this will certainly derail his nomination .....  
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Carl Spitzer <cwsiv at juno.com> wrote:

>Donald Trump really did try to take an elderly widow's house for a
>limousine parking lot
>By Timothy B. Leetim at vox.com 
>Feb 7, 2016
>Donald Trump really did try to take an elderly widow's house for a
>limousine parking lot tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email 
>One of the testiest exchanges in last night's Republican presidential
>debate came when Jeb Bush accused Donald Trump of trying to take the
>home of an elderly woman to make room for a limousine parking lot in
>Atlantic City.
>Trump denied that he'd taken the property, but he defended the use of
>the legal power known as eminent domain to take property. "Eminent
>domain is an absolute necessity for a country," he said. "Without it,
>you wouldn't have roads, you wouldn't have hospitals, you wouldn't have
>Bush is right about this. Trump really did try to take an elderly
>woman's home in the 1990s to make more room to park limousines next door
>to his casino in Atlantic City — though the woman ultimately won in
>court. And while it's sometimes necessary for government to take private
>property for a road or post office, the abuse of eminent domain for
>purely private purposes was — and still is — a serious problem.
>When the government uses eminent domain to take property, the US
>Constitution requires that it be for "public use." Traditionally, this
>was interpreted to mean a government-run facility, or at least a
>regulated public utility like a railroad. However, since the 1950s, the
>courts have allowed takings if they serve a "public purpose" — and they
>have given local governments a lot of discretion to decide what
>constitutes a public purpose.
>As a result, it has become routine for cities to take private property
>from one private party and give it to another. This often leads to local
>government taking the homes of working-class people to make room for
>big-box stores, corporate headquarters, or luxury condos.
>Trump's battle with Atlantic City resident Vera Coking in the 1990s is
>the ultimate example of this kind of Robin-Hood-in-reverse development
>scheme. Coking had lived in her home since the 1960s, and had turned
>down another developer's $1 million offer for her house in the 1980s.
>In the mid-1990s, Trump tried to persuade her to sell her home to make
>room for a parking lot for the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which was
>located next door. When she refused, Trump got Atlantic City's Casino
>Reinvestment Development Authority to threaten to take the property
>using eminent domain. If she'd accepted the offer, she would have gotten
>$250,000 — a quarter of the price she was offered a decade earlier.
>Instead, she turned to a libertarian law firm called the Institute for
>Justice, which fought the city in court. Ultimately, the courts sided
>with Coking, ruling that the vagueness of the city's plans made it
>impossible for the courts to determine if the taking would serve a
>public purpose.
>But not everyone in Coking's situation has been so lucky. A few years
>after Coking's victory, the city of New London, Connecticut, sought to
>demolish a working-class neighborhood to make room for a new Pfizer
>research facility. One of the property owners, Susette Kelo, fought the
>taking all the way to the Supreme Court, where a 5-4 majority ruled for
>the city in 2005.
>Beyond the basic unfairness of taking ordinary peoples' homes for the
>benefit of the rich and powerful, there are a couple of specific
>problems with the use of eminent domain for private use. While the law
>requires property owners to get "just compensation," cities are often
>able to pay property owners much less than the actual market value for
>their properties. Many property owners simply can't afford to challenge
>compensation amounts in court.
>Second, while developers like Donald Trump benefit greatly from the use
>of eminent domain for private projects, the benefits to the general
>public are less clear. In New London, for example, Pfizer decided to
>leave the city in 2009, just four years after the Supreme Court's
>ruling. The ultimate result: A working-class residential neighborhood
>was transformed into an empty field, reducing New London's already
>meager tax base.
>Donald Trump is right that eminent domain is often necessary for public
>projects like parks, bridges, or schools. But for purely private
>projects, it would be better to require wealthy developers to purchase
>land at market rates.
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