Saturday, July 01, 2006

It's What Inside That Counts

Interesting development in California this week, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. The secretary of state's office announced it had qualified signatures and cleared for placing on the ballot this November an initiative petition called the "Protect Our Homes Act," which would ostensibly require government to occupy property acquired by eminent domain themselves, or contract it out for public use.

Nothing really new or surprising here, as this appears to be one of many such petitions circulation around the country in response to the U.S. Supreme Courts Kelo ruling on eminent domain for economic development purposes.

What is more insidious is what else the petition contains, that is essentially "buried" in the more obvious anti-Kelo language. The Act also would require governments to compensate landowners if new regulations not directly related to public safety hurt a property's value. This is more in line with the language of Measure 37 in Oregon, but not in as direct a manner.

The thinking must be that most people will support the anti-Kelo provisions, and will either not notice or not mind the additional language that will implement Measure 37-like actions in California.

Wow. Watch your back, folks, the silly season (election time) seems to run year round now.

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