Monday, July 5, 2010

Property Rights Must Be Protected

“The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.”
- Thomas Jefferson

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kelo versus The City of New London that local governments can exercise eminent domain to seize private property and then transfer it to a third party for private use. This is obviously an assault on private property rights and it's very disappointing that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in such a way. Since 2005, several states have amended their state constitutions to protect property rights.

North Carolina has yet to do so, although we are getting much closer.

Just recently, the NC House of Representatives voted to adopt HB 1659 - Eminent Domain. The bill amends the North Carolina Constitution to prohibit condemnation of private property for economic development and provides for the payment of just compensation with right of trial by jury in condemnation cases. HB 1659 was adopted by a vote of 106-9 and now goes to the NC Senate for consideration.

As a candidate for NC House, I can tell you that I am in full support of HB 1659 - Eminent Domain.

Pricey Harrison, my opponent for NC House District 57, was one of the “no” votes on HB 1659. She was one of only nine representatives in the entire house delegation to vote against the bill. This shows that Rep. Harrison does not support property rights.

No government body has the right to seize private property and turn it over to a third party for economic development. When there is a legitimate need for public use, just compensation must be provided with right of trial by jury. This is what HB 1659 calls for, which is why I support it.

Freedom and liberty are in big trouble when government can seize private property on a whim. We can’t allow the possibility for political and business cronies to literally force people out of their homes for economic gain.

This is a situation where we need to say "yes" to freedom and "no" to tyrannical government.