Wednesday, June 29, 2005

No Trespassing! Property of Special Interests

Republican Representative Frank Lasee of Bellevue recently railed about a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows local governments to take someone’s property and give it to developers or corporations that will use it to generate more taxes. “Government can take it for no better reason than somebody with deeper pockets wants it,” Lasee said.

Interesting….the same Frank Lasee recently voted in favor of a bill approved by the Assembly that would require communities to give up their land if a utility came along and said it needed it for a power line or plant project. The proposal grew out of outrage by some legislators over the Douglas County Board’s refusal to acquiesce to the demands of American Transmission Company to run a power line across county property.

So Lasee’s got a problem with government taking property for no other reason than someone with deep pockets wants it, but he doesn’t have a problem with private companies with deep pockets taking property?

Well, the utility industry and their friends have some pretty deep pockets. Utilities have contributed $324,695 to legislators’ campaigns and its projects have the blessing of other wealthy special interests like manufacturing, business, construction, agriculture and transportation that have contributed millions more. By the way, the utilities and those other special interests have contributed $49,213 to Lasee’s campaigns, about one-third of his total special interest contributions since 1993.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Also, don’t forget that allowing ATC to develop the county land means that they won’t have to develop private land (They already have the right to do this under current law) so property owners are protected by the bill too."

Actually the county was using it's authority to protect county land to PROTECT private lands. Most of the new easement is PRIVATE lands. In other words private property owners were protected and had the ability to have their local government help protect their property before the governor signed the largely republican bill. Not so now. The counties are now not allowed to protect private property or even their own county forests.