Monday, July 11, 2005

Progress on Eminent Domain?

Maybe.

The leadership of the state House and Senate have just announced that legislative hearings are going to begin to explore the some 80 state statutes that apply to eminent domain in Connecticut with an eye toward preventing what happened in New London in the future.

Speaker of the House Rep. Jim Amann of Milford says they want to take a good look at the issue, including holding public hearings. (AP)

This has apparently grown from just a Republican issue to a bipartisan one, which gives it a much better chance of resulting in some sort of meaningful change. So what happened? Did the leadership go home after the special session to find angry and frightened constituents banging at their doors? Well, maybe not, but it's a good bet they felt at least some pressure from the home front. It wasn't a terribly popular decision, after all.

Source: "Lawmakers Tackle Changes To Eminent Domain Law." Associated Press 11 July, 2005.

5 comments:

FrankS said...

Mr. Merriam's offered an interesting example that Michigan adopted in his Hartford Courant article, http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/commentary/hc-merriamcommentary0710.artjul10,0,1141990.story?coll=hc-headlines-commentary

Permanent control of the land should remain within government. Government could lease to tenants, but control should remain to preserve the public purpose.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to change the subject for a minute....

I would like to correct “ MikeCT “ on a few points that he made in the open forum in responds to my view on the race for Secretary of State ... I have attached both of our conversations. I have also included a message from a different blogger who agrees with me to show you that just because Andy Fleischmann has rasied more money doesn’t make him the nominee yet. It is early still in the race and we don’t know what will happen.

1) I said....As for Andy Fleischmann he has people making $1,000 contributions to his campaign like Bruce Morrison, the spokesman for former Dem Party Chairman Ed Marcus

MikeCT said ...While I'm sure Andy would be glad to accept a contribution from Bruce Morrison, who served Connecticut well in Congress, Morrison has not in fact made such a contribution (as anyone can see). (Morrison is also not a "spokesperson" for Ed Marcus, but who's counting all the false statements?)

Correction...I mis spoke I meant to say that Bruce Rubenstein donated to Andrew Flieschmann’s campaign, he is the spokesman for former Dem Party Chairman Ed Marcus

2) I said....But I only have one word to say "DEAN for President" this is a prime example of the old gaurd of the party flexing it's political muscle to get its way and keep outsiders out.

MikeCT said...It is particularly ironic that Anonymous invokes the name of Howard Dean, since Audrey Blondin was quite active and vocal in her support of Joe Lieberman's "old guard" Presidential campaign, serving as a coordinator and traveling to New Hampshire and Michigan to work for him and sing his praises in news articles (see her quotes in the links). In contrast, Andy Fleischmann actively supported Howard Dean and hosted a fundraiser for him - a bold move for a state legislator in Connecticut.
Correction...
Audrey never went to Michigan for Lieberman. Yes it is true that she supported Joe Lieberman early during the primary and for most of her time in politics, he has in some roll been a big figure on the political scene in Connecticut and good for Connecticut. I must remind you until recently (2000 to the present) Joe Lieberman has become unpopular with Democrats. She was acting as a good Democrat from Connecticut in 2000 supporting Joe Lieberman, because it is his homestate and having a Vice President from your home state is big advantage. But you also forget to say is that she joined the “Kerry for President” in March of 2004 ( way before the convention ) and was the Campaign Coordinator for 5th Congressional District for John Kerry. She went all over the state for the Kerry Campaign, visiting at least 25-30 Democratic Town Committees and organizing fund-raising events for Kerry 2004. Oh and yes she is the biggest fan of Howard Dean these days and has attended several area Democracy for America Meetings the organization that Howard Dean started.

Here’s the Original Discussion on the Open Forum....

Anonymous said...
Dear Ebpie, Mikect and Aldon,

Your right to say " I wouldn't count Audrey Blondin out yet..." She is the most traveled candidate out of all of them, with atleast 60 Democratic Town Committees visited and more to come. No other candidate has come close. She has the right connections to all the important people in the state party, having been in politics in some shape or form for over 30 years (something the other candidates can't boast about) and by far has the best organized volunteers and capablity to run in the general election against the Republican challenger. She served on the Litchfield Board of Ethics (4 years) and the litchfield Board of Selectmen (10 years), a town chairwomen,a bankruptcy attorney,a realtor attorney and currently as a DSCC member for the 30th Senatorial District. She has passed town budgets,school refrendum's and realizes that the state/federal gov. doesn't always come through with the funds that they promise. Perfect example all the candidates are boasting about the new electronic voting machines and the 33 Million dollars that we get from the federal government from HAVA (help america vote act)while what they won't tell you is that the adverage life span of a voting machine is 7 years. Is the state and federal government going to pony up the money every 7 years for the new voting machines. Audrey has the common sense to known that burden may fall on the towns, having been there and done that for 10 years. There are 3400 lever machines in Connecticut. Hava dictates one electronic voting machine in every polling place needs to be replaced to be ADD (Americans with Disablities Act) Compilant, thats about 700 electronic voting machines that will have to be replaced every 7 years. Sounds like a business deal between the government and the electronic voting machine companies.
As far as websites Audrey Blondin's website is better then any of the other candidates at this point. Andrew Fleischmann's website could have been done by my 16 year old daugther in her drafting class over the weekend and Landino doesn't have a site up yet.Where's is Evelyn Mantilla website, she supposed to be the designer of the great voter file. Andrew Fleischmann is seen on the campaign trail by many DTC as a smuggle college frat boy and his seat in the General Assembly is his only job.If he runs for this and loses he will be eating potato chip and watching "survior" to pass the time away. He doesn't even hold the Chairmanship or any important rankings on any important commitities like "GAE". At least Susan Byzsetwitic was the Chairwoman of GAE before running for SOTS. Bob Landino has some major conflicts of interest with his business "the largest artcitectural firm in the state. They have alot of state contracts. Even tho Landino has said that he will get rid of his ties to his business, he didn't have the common sense to figure it out on his own. He had to have a lawyer tell him it was a conflict of interest. Another Rowland in the making. Check out the documents: http://www.ethics.state.ct.us/
Advisory_Opinions/2003_12.htm .

The only reason these two candidates have lots of money rolling into thier campaigns is simple: "keep the outsider's out" if anyone comes along that threatens the leadership of the old gaurd of the Democratic Party in Connecticut they have to be discredited. This is the same leadership that blundered up campaign finance and most of the ethics bills from passing at the end of the session. Then they turned around and blamed the Governor. (Who by the way is the biggest opportunist, because she never can make a decision until the last minute, so it always works in her favor). But I only have one word to say "DEAN" this is a prime example of the old gaurd of the party flexing it's political muscle to get its way. The leadership of our party can be as greedy as the Republicans at times when it comes to fundraising, thats why there is no more talk about campaign finance or another special session. Bob Landino and Andy Fleischmann are from the Hartford area and are or were part of the Hartford sence. Landino is probably getting alot of contributions from former cliental. Why can't anyone see this can't be good? As for Andy Fleischmann he has people making $1,000 contributions to his campaign like Bruce Morrison, the spokesman for former Dem Party Chairman Ed Marcus. How awful this is & what a disaster to have a state constitutional officer beholden to Ed Marcus. In general how is he raising all this special interest money from developers like Konover-is this what we want-a SOTS office bought by special interest money???

MikeCT Original Discussion...
6:00 AM, July 10, 2005 MikeCT said...
It is a sad statement about the desperate condition of the Audrey Blondin campaign when her supporters feel they must engage in anonymous, adolescent name calling and make bizarre allegations riddled with inaccuracies. A few examples:

He doesn't even hold the Chairmanship or any important rankings on any important commitities like "GAE".

As anyone can see, Andy is chair of the Education Committee and a member of the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) committee. Most people think that educating our children is important. Some may disagree.

...his seat in the General Assembly is his only job.

As anyone can see from his bio, Andy works as a communications and strategic planning consultant. One of his recent projects was on behalf of a national organization seeking to expand voter registration.

As for Andy Fleischmann he has people making $1,000 contributions to his campaign like Bruce Morrison, the spokesman for former Dem Party Chairman Ed Marcus

While I'm sure Andy would be glad to accept a contribution from Bruce Morrison, who served Connecticut well in Congress, Morrison has not in fact made such a contribution (as anyone can see). (Morrison is also not a "spokesperson" for Ed Marcus, but who's counting all the false statements?)

But I only have one word to say "DEAN" this is a prime example of the old gaurd of the party flexing it's political muscle to get its way.

It is particularly ironic that Anonymous invokes the name of Howard Dean, since Audrey Blondin was quite active and vocal in her support of Joe Lieberman's "old guard" Presidential campaign, serving as a coordinator and traveling to New Hampshire and Michigan to work for him and sing his praises in news articles (see her quotes in the links). In contrast, Andy Fleischmann actively supported Howard Dean and hosted a fundraiser for him - a bold move for a state legislator in Connecticut.

Anyone who knows the state legislature knows that Andy has been a leader for years on campaign finance reform, voter verified paper trails on electronic voting machines, and expanding voter registration. He has more experience working on democracy issues than any other candidate in the race.

Andy's perfect voting record on campaign finance reform, public interest, environnmental, labor, and other issues speaks for itself.

Andy deserves support not only as a strong front runner but because he has been fighting the good fight for all of his political career.

Anonymous Original Discussion.....
4:04 PM, July 10, 2005 Anonymous said...
Different Anonymous here than the prior blogger. I have seen each of the SOTS candidates at my town committee (as well as Mayor Malloy, Mayor DeStefano and Alderman Paul Vance among others.) As someone who is not tied to any SOTS campaign, I was impressed that Audrey Blondin's roots are in local government. Too often we look to Hartford to pick our candidates. While this is not an anonymous endorsement, this is a state filled with small communities-- our communities are filled with excellent candidates and holding an office in the state house is not necessarily always a plus and should not be seen as a requirement or a STEPPING stone.

Anonymous said...

Eminent Domain Has ‘defensible' Reasons

New London Day Published on 7/19/2005

Letters To The Editor:
I read with interest Gov. M. Jodi Rell's statement that the eminent-domain issue is the equivalent of the Boston Tea Party. She claims she is fighting “five robed justices at the Supreme Court in Washington.” If so, Gov. Rell is also fighting seven robed justices at the Connecticut Supreme Court, all of whom held that economic development was a public purpose.

The governor would also be fighting commissioners of the Department of Environmental Protection; Office of Policy and Management; and Department of Economic and Community Development, all of whom approved this plan on her watch. She stated the government took rights of property owners without giving them a voice. Remember, she was their voice as an elected official of the executive branch throughout this process. She agreed to invest $70 million of state taxpayers' monies to acquire Fort Trumbull, clean and remediate its land, reconstruct and redesign it. She stated New London's case to take property was not defensible. If so, why did the executive and legislative branches agree to implement it? I suggest some “defensible reasons”:

• The area was blighted.

• The New London Redevelopment Agency., after a public hearing, adopted the plan under the “blight” statute.

• The administration, of which Gov. Rell was part, told New London it would not proceed under the “blight” statute with our Redevelopment Agency, but under the Economic Development statute with its agent, New London Development Corp.

• The 90-acre peninsula needed $18 million in environmental cleanup — it had been zoned industrial/commercial since 1929.

• The municipal plan is not just economic development, but includes public uses and benefits.

I am sure the city would be pleased to meet with the governor to find solutions to her concerns about eminent domain in Connecticut.

Thomas J. Londregan
New London

Editor's note: The writer is New London's director of

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