Saturday, June 24, 2006

Executive Order 13405: I'll protect you from what I used to do

It's titled Executive Order: Protecting the Property Rights of the American People. What it should be called is Executive Order: Protecting my Right to Mislead the American People

The policy section of the EO is as follows:

It is the policy of the United States to protect the rights of Americans to their private property, including by limiting the taking of private property by the Federal Government to situations in which the taking is for public use, with just compensation, and for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.

Sounds like Bush may be: Noble. American. Judicious. Concerned. Sympathetic. on.

From the May 9, 1997, Texas Observer:

George W. Bush loves baseball. And why not? After all, baseball has been very good to the governor. When it comes to power, the governor is a true triple-threat. Consider his record: (1) His initial baseball investment of $600,000 carries the current potential of a 2,500 percent return. (2) Through savvy P.R. and political maneuvering, he and his partners have persuaded a city and the state to directly subsidize a facility for their business. (3) Not content with taxpayer subsidies, he and his fellow owners have also successfully used the power of government to take land from other private citizens so it could be used for their own private purposes.

[In case you missed it, the article goes on...]

Ongoing litigation over the Ballpark deal has revealed documents showing that beginning in 1990, the Rangers management—which included Bush as a managing general partner—conspired to use the government’s power of eminent domain to further its private business interests.

It should be noted that Bush's inital investment in the Rangers baseball team - about $600,000 - returned at about 2,500%, earning him about $15 million. All thanks to the misuse of eminent domain.

Don't forget that almost a year ago to the day the Supreme Court ruled that local governments may force property owners to sell out and make way for private economic development when officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not blighted and the new project's success is not guaranteed. The EO almost isn't necessary.

It saddens me that America's collective memory lasts about 30 seconds.


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