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The Supreme Court’s widely condemned “Kelo” decision – which allows government to use the power of eminent domain to seize your home, small business or church against your will, and give it to a developer to build a casino, resort or apartment building – has led many citizens to conclude private property rights are dead in America.
Their fears are fully justified, as the stunning April edition of WND’s acclaimed Whistleblower magazine – titled “THE END OF PRIVATE PROPERTY” – dramatically proves.
Subtitled “How bureaucrats use eminent domain to steal homes, trample the Constitution and destroy lives,” this groundbreaking investigative report takes readers on a jarring tour of America – a land where bureaucrats can decide to take away your home and give it to another individual or company, for no other reason than that it will the result in higher tax revenues for them.
“Imagine the home you own,” says WND Editor Joseph Farah, “the one you scrimped and saved your entire life to purchase, the one you planned on living in for the rest of your life, was taken from you, arbitrarily by a small group of local officials in conspiracy with wealthy developers who want to level it and build office buildings.
“You may not have to imagine it,” says Farah. “It could happen to you any time.”
Fasten your seat belts. As this issue of Whistleblower reveals, in America today more than 10,000 properties have been condemned or threatened with condemnation – not for the public good, but for the benefit of private parties.
“We’re not talking about a constitutional use of eminent domain to facilitate construction of a needed railroad or school or superhighway,” said WND Managing Editor David Kupelian. “We’re talking about bulldozing your home and giving the land to a private developer because his new office building will produce more tax revenues for greedy city planners.”
Here are just a few examples taken from the avalanche of property confiscations unleashed by last summer’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London:
- Oakland, Calif.: A week after the Kelo ruling, Oakland city officials used eminent domain to evict John Revelli from the downtown tire shop his family has owned since 1949. Revelli and a neighboring business owner had refused to sell their property to make way for a new housing development. Said Revelli of his fight with the City, “We thought we’d win, but the Supreme Court took away my last chance.”
- Boynton Beach, Fla.: Under the threat of eminent domain, the 50-year-old Alex Sims Barber Shop is selling to the City of Boynton Beach to make way for new residences and storefronts. Guarn Sims called the Kelo ruling “the nail in the coffin” that ended his hope of saving the business.
- Baltimore, Md. Baltimore’s redevelopment agency, the Baltimore Development Corp., is exercising eminent domain to acquire more than 2,000 properties in East Baltimore for a biotech park and new residences. BDC Executive Vice President Andrew B. Frank told the Daily Record the Kelo decision “is very good news. It means many of the projects on which we’ve been working for the last several years can continue.”
- Boston, Mass.: Two days after the Kelo decision, Boston City Council President Michael Flaherty called on the mayor of Boston to seize South Boston waterfront property from unwilling sellers for a private development project.
- Richmond Heights, Mo.: City officials are taking bids to demolish 200 homes in the Hadley Township Neighborhood, just to turn the land over to a private developer who will build more homes.
- Spring Valley, N.Y.: Less than a week after the Kelo decision, Spring Valley officials asked the New York Supreme Court to authorize the condemnation of 15 downtown properties in an area where a private developer plans to construct residential and retail buildings.
- Ventor City, N.J.: Mayor Tim Kreischer wants to demolish 126 buildings – mom-and-pop shops, $200,000 homes, and apartments – to erect luxury condos, high-end specialty stores, and a parking garage.
“THE END OF PRIVATE PROPERTY” features powerful investigative journalism by Joseph Farah, Sarah Foster, Dana Berliner, Steven Greenhut, Walter Williams, Charlotte Allen, David Kupelian and others, and documents the widespread theft of private property by government today.
Incredibly, while unconstitutional eminent domain condemnations are skyrocketing in the wake of Kelo, the public is virtually unanimous in its opposition. While most issues divide Americans – from abortion and “gay rights” to the Iraq war and church-state separation – poll after poll reveals that virtually everyone, whether red-state conservative or blue-state liberal, opposes the outright theft of property sanctioned by the Supreme Court.
“If you value your most cherished freedoms as Americans,” said Kupelian, “you really need to know what’s happening all around you. This issue will amaze and frighten you, but it will also prove that it is possible to fight back – and prevail.”
Indeed, alongside the horror stories, this issue of Whistleblower features the inspiring and instructive examples of homeowners and small-business owners who are fighting back against the government – and winning!
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