Friday, April 20, 2012

Property Rights and NY's Senators

WPU is still waiting for the chameleon Kirstin Gillibrand to answer our letter on eminent domain abuse-her silence speaks volumes. NY State currently has two senators that are hostile to private property rights-Gillibrand, and the Wall Street toady Chuck Schumer. Schumer has long since abandoned any pretense of representing average folks.

That being said, the current aspirants for the Gillibrand seat have failed to step up on the issue of eminent domain-all three had other things to do when we held our press conference last week. It's a shame that they punted because we got some decent coverage that would have given Turner, Long and Maragos a nice platform with which to reach voters all across the state on this important issue.

The Queens Tribune highlighted the presser-with State Senator Avella as one of the keynoters: "It’s always been my understanding that eminent domain should only be used in those isolated cases when we are talking about a public highway, a hospital, a school, something that has a real public purpose,” Avella said. “With this, we’re going to take somebody’s private business to give it to a big developer, who’s another private business, who’s going to make millions of dollars. To me, that’s the opposite of the American dream.”

And the inimitable Ben Haber, still going strong in his eighties captures the outrage of this legalized theft: "I am upset at people who believe a Gucci store and luxury apartment buildings serve a greater public interest than repair and body fender shops,” said Benjamin Haber, president of the Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association."

All of which leaves us at the mercy of Sillent Schumer, a man for whom the next defense of the little guy against what LaGuardia called, "The Interests," will be his first. Gillibrand for her part, well her part is playing Charlie McCarthy to Schumer's Edgar Bergen. ( So in a Democratic state will are left with two senators who believe that property is owned only at the whim of the state-and in NYC Bloomberg who believes, "l'├ętat, c'est moi."