Thursday, August 11, 2005

Eminent Domain Hearing in Indianapolis

I attended the Eminent Domain Hearing in Indianapolis. About 160 poeple attended the hearing.

The hearing started with 4 keynote speakers. Two were in favor of restricting Eminent Domain and two (Who represented various Indiana government interests) thought that Eminent Domain is needed as is.

None of the keynote speakers said anything surprising.

Many citizens of Indiana then spoke to the committee. I was the third citizen. I gave the committee several examples of how Fort Wayne has abused Eminent Domain (Especially the recent Belmont Liquors debacle). I had a very good conversation with the Committee and I hope that they understand how Eminent Domain has been abused in Fort Wayne!

At the end of my remarks the Committee Chairman, Rep. Dave Wolkins, told me that he has a list of recent Eminent Domain cases that he plans on reseraching this summer. Fort Wayne's use of Eminent Domain is already on his list! He then proceeded to ask me what Cindy's Diner is!

It became obvious to me that people in the rest of Indiana have heard of Fort Wayne's abuse of Eminent Domain...

I enjoyed attending this Committee Hearing.

Every citizen I heard speak thought the the government has been abusing Eminent Domain in one fashion or another. Most of the citizens felt that it should be limited to cases where the land is to be taken for public use.

I was only surprised by one thing, and it did not surprise me very much. Not one single official from this area attended the hearing.


Mike Kole said...

Couple of interesting items to consider:

No local officials from my area (Hamilton County) attended either.

The lobbyists spoke first, and then there was a break before the members of the public would comment. The press packed up and left at the break.

The members of the public were 95% in favor of banning eminent domain use for commercial purposes. One guy said he could see it both ways.

Three Libertarians spoke, and self-identified as Libertarians: Mike Sylvester, Mike Kole, and Rebecca Sink-Burris. No persons who spoke self-identified as Democrats or Republicans.

Mike- you had a hilarious line that is worth repeating. "I've never been to a blighted Taco Bell." It brought huge laughter that underscored the absurdity and abuse of the urban blight justification for the theft of private property.

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