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.