[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of GP over at the Daily Douchebag. Check out some of his other blogging here. Eds.]
Sonny and everyone else under the dome yesterday scrambled to take credit for HB1313 at the signing ceremony. Republicans proclaimed loudly their victory over those that would abuse eminent domain at the expense of private property rights. I’m tempted to think that the “abusers of eminent domain” are strawmen created by Republicans to exploit a sensitive nationwide issue, but that’s not true. The potential abusers of eminent domain in Georgia were the Republicans themselves.
Dan Moody proposed SB 5 in early January 2005 which would have allowed developers to use eminent domain to seize private land in partnership with almost any local government. Neal Boortz brought attention to the bill on his radio show resulting in a public outcry. Under pressure, Moody changed direction and co-sponsored SB86 in mid March 2005, which specified that eminent domain could not be used to seize property for the benefit of private developers. This was at best a modification of his previous stance if not an all out reversal. Somehow this has evolved into a campaign issue. Ralph Reed has been attacking Casey Cagle as being soft on private property rights through weekly email newsletters.
While I’m glad that HB1313 was signed yesterday, I’m rather annoyed that Republicans are taking credit for “solving” an issue that they themselves created, while simultaneously using it as an attack issue in their campaigns. Your opinions welcome.