Picture 2There are some votes in any legislative body that reveal who the real fringe members are. The vote today on House Bill 8, which calls for a constitutional amendment to protect North Carolina property owners from the dreadful Supreme Court Kelo case, was one such vote.

Here’s the list of those who voted against this provision:

Darren G. Jackson (Wake)
Pricey Harrison (Guilford)
Paul Luebke (Durham)
Deborah Ross (Wake)
Verla Insko (Orange)
Larry Hall (Durham)
Rosa Gill (Wake)
Nathan Baskerville (Vance, Granville, Warren)

Significantly, 34 Democrats, among them Durham Rep. Mickey Michaux, voted for the bill.

Here’s how the legislation was described in a news release from Speaker Thom Tillis:

The North Carolina House of Representatives on Tuesday passed House Bill 8, which proposes an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution preventing state and local governments from seizing private property for anything other than a public use. The Constitutional amendment would further require “just compensation” to be paid to the property owner.

“House Bill 8 protects private property rights for North Carolinians against the practice known as ‘eminent domain,’” said House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg.) “We have seen government abuse of this power all-too-often. This measure protects our citizens’ ability to make their own choices about their property and codifies their rights in our Constitution.”

What the amendment would do, if passed eventually by the people of North Carolina, is prevent government from taking property from one private individual and giving it to another private individual or corporation for a “public purpose” rather than for “public use.” “Public purpose” is the euphemism dreamed up by power-hungry urban planners to describe taking land from one person and giving it to another so it might bring in more tax revenues, and usually they rationalize their decision by claiming they are eliminating “blight.”

An example of public use would be taking your land via eminent domain to use for a new highway. An example of public purpose would be using eminent domain to take land from homeowners so that a shopping center could be built on the property. Because this would bring in much more revenue than from the homeowners, this is declared a “public purpose” because it would benefit government tax coffers.

This egregious and patently un-American concept was unaccountably ratified by the U.S. Supreme Court in its infamous Kelo v. City of New London case in 2005.

Liberals, Democrats, and others who like strong governmental powers over private individuals praised the decision. Those who value private property and individuals over government excoriated it. In the years since that decision came down, efforts have been underway in states to gut its effects on the state level. That’s what House Bill 8 is all about. That’s also why it never came up until Republicans took over both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Oh, and by the way. That land that the city of New London, Conn., needed bad enough to run people off their land and out of their houses? It remains vacant to this day.