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Ballot Initiatives

I spoke too soon when I told Jack at the Grumpy Forester that we had taken care of our ballot initiatives during the primary election, because there are six of them on the sample ballot.

I will be voting for Number 3, which increase the percentage of voters who must approve a constitutional amendment to 60% and Number 8, which reins in Eminent Domain.

I don’t think the state constitution should be amended by a bare majority of people who vote in an election and we already have too many extraneous provisions in the constitution.

For the newspaper editors in Florida who don’t think eminent domain proceedings to transfer property to private developers on the promise of tax increases is a problem: get on the Internet; go to Google.com; enter “eminent domain florida lawsuit” and start reading the 400,000+ sites that you get in response. CRAs all over the state have been abusing the power and it’s time for the abuse to stop. Understand these sites only cover the people who have the resources to “fight city hall,” and not the hundreds of small landowners who give up when threatened with eminent domain by developers. The threats have happened locally to people I know personally, so don’t try to tell me: it’s not a problem.

The issue raised in Number 1 can be resolved by electing Democrats, instead of Republicans. I think the federal deficit is a pretty good indicator that Republicans aren’t very good at balancing a budget.

Number 4 on tobacco is related to Number 1 and the budget process and doesn’t belong in the constitution. The same solution is applicable, get rid of the Republicans and send some adults to Tallahassee.

Number 6 and Number 7 are election year pandering. Low-income people, especially the disabled and seniors, can apply to their county assessor for relief from property taxes. They fill out the forms annually and if they qualify, they don’t pay any property taxes. This is just a ploy to make people think that the current crop in Tallahassee are “compassionate and caring” about the problems of the unfortunate. If you aren’t funding their campaign, they don’t know you’re alive.

Early voting starts tomorrow.

2 comments

1 Steve Bates { 10.23.06 at 12:10 am }

Eminent domain for private purposes is scary stuff… and about as far from conservative as I can imagine. What rights do conservatives consider sacred, if not gun rights and property rights?

In Houston, along Richmond Ave., a very long street with everything from upscale hi-rise office buildings and fancy restaurants to middle-class homes to shopping centers, you’ll see thousands of tiny signs stuck in residents’ lawns, opposing light rail along Richmond. As much as I would enjoy rail on Richmond for the sheer convenience of it, I side with the homeowners. Why? Because the citizenry voted on a Metro plan to put that rail line on another street (Westpark)… and powerful forces are pressing the city and Metro to build it along Richmond anyway, to benefit their own commercial interests. Did the election mean nothing? We’re talking about a “taking” comparable to anything I’ve read about in Florida or Ohio… and it’s entirely for private commercial interests, not the public interest. I’m an enthusiastic backer of mass transit in Houston… but the city must not be allowed to get away with doing this in behalf of their cronies, or we’re all vulnerable to similar theft.

2 Bryan { 10.23.06 at 12:25 am }

That’s exactly the kind of thing that has been going on all over Florida, only, after the land is acquired for a “public” purpose, it suddenly becomes surplus and is sold to developers. This is in addition to actually condemning peoples’ houses for parking for commercial buildings.