Sunday, April 27, 2008

Government Officials Love Eminent Domain

Governor joins list of those opposed to Prop. 98
By Michael Gardner
4:25 p.m. April 25, 2008
SACRAMENTO – Citing fears that passage could stymie important water development and other public works projects, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday he opposes a ballot measure that would greatly restrict the ability of government to seize private property.
“Eminent domain is an issue worth addressing, however Proposition 98 would undermine California's ability to improve our infrastructure, including our water delivery and storage,” Schwarzenegger said in a prepared statement.
“California voters strongly support rebuilding our transportation, housing, education and water infrastructure, so it would be irresponsible to support a measure that would prevent the state from accomplishing our goals,” he added.
Schwarzenegger joins a growing list of influential figures to oppose Proposition 98, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, and former Gov. Pete Wilson, a Republican.
Jon Coupal, executive director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said in an earlier interview the governor's decision would have little effect on the outcome.
Coupal pointed out most political power brokers lined up against Proposition 13, the landmark property tax protection initiative. Nevertheless, it passed handily in 1978.
“At the grass roots level, this is about individuals and their property rights,” he said.
Schwarzenegger did not take a position on Proposition 99, a narrower measure limited to imposing some restrictions on taking single-family homes.

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