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Proposition 207

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Proposition 207

On June 23, 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized the theft of private property. With the 5-4 decision on the case of Kelo vs. New London, it is now permissible for the government to seize private property from one individual and turn it over to another private body in the hope of realizing financial gain. Seeking to protect the citizenry from this from this landmark decision, many states have already passed legislation to prevent such sanctioned larceny. All but two states that lack freshly enacted Kelo laws have placed ballot propositions in the 2006 general elections aimed to countermand the disastrous court decision. Fortunately for the constituency, Arizona is one of the states that have decided to put this issue to a vote of the people. Proposition 207 must pass in order to protect Arizona from this type of immoral and despicable government encroachment on basic liberties.

Governments have long since been obligated to take property under the clause of eminent domain. Eminent Domain is a necessary evil. As bad as one may feel for a displaced family or a farmer left without fields, property must occasionally be remanded for the public good. Highways need to be widened, rivers must be spanned, and schools must be built. Progress and community growth sometimes come at a price that is very painful to some. However, it is understood that these projects are to improve the lives and well being of the general public, and are therefore worthwhile.

Where the Kelo decision parts from communal respectability, is that it allows land and property to be appropriated for the sole purpose of generating additional revenue. For scores of municipalities and townships, the Kelo decision immediately lead to government abuse of eminent domain in the hopes of making a quick buck. Property taken from small business and home owners is turned over to private companies in anticipation that the redevelopment will result in a profit windfall via property, sales, and increased income taxes from the new, wealthier residents.

The town of Riviera Beach, Florida is just one of many examples of Kelo fallout. The city is attempting to take the housing of 6,000 poor, predominantly African-American residents. In place of the occupied homes, the city hopes to install a multibillion dollar yachting complex and high-end retail and residential areas. The residential area features homes starting in the low seven figures.

The poor are not the only class of people who need fear this decision. The abuse of eminent domain, if left unchecked, can extend to attempts to remove or shut-down any entities not approved of by the governing body. Any business, corporation, or private group can effectively be erased from existence if they meet with the disapproval of the local elders. Churches, night clubs, gun stores, newspapers and a plethora of other establishments are now fair game for seizure and closure

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