Letter from Jawj to be mailed to McClintock today. Jawj asked me to sign, which OK with me.
September 12, 2005
Senator Tom McClintock
State Capitol Room 3070
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Sen. McClintock:
The Libertarian Party of San Francisco wholeheartedly supports proposed Senate Constitutional Amendment 15, The Homeowners & Property Protection Act, and any other measures California can take to ensure that the recent travesty of property rights by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. New London is not the law in California.
Property rights are the foundation for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The right of eminent domain for governments to appropriate private property for public purposes has always required a strict showing of public necessity. The proposed amendment makes explicit what, until Kelo, was always assumed -- that the taking must be for public use, and that only the government could own and operate the property afterwards. Otherwise, the property owner's unwillingness to sell in a voluntary transaction is his right.
Recent abuses of eminent domain have resulted in a system whereby private businesses routinely condemn property for their own use -- whether it's General Motors condemning large swathes of Michigan for factories and warehouses on the theory that what's good for General Motors is good for the country, or operators of urban shopping malls condemning property in prime tourist areas on the theory that sales taxes make it patriotic to shop. If this trend continues, the government will soon be condemning the Smiths' house to give it to the Joneses' because the Joneses pay higher taxes.
We would like to be associated with your efforts in support of this constitutional amendment in any way we can. Please feel free to publicize our endorsement, and let us know what else we can do to help.
Marcy D. Berry, Chair
for the Libertarian Party of San Francisco