Joe Waldo of Norfolk law firm Waldo & Lyle, our go-to guys and expert witnesses during General Assembly debate on property rights legislation appeared again on the Fox News Channel show Fox & Friends this morning. The show has a regular segment called "It's Your Your Land" about eminent domain abuse. If this doesn't qualify, Patrick Henry never said, "Give me liberty or give me death!" At issue is a defense contractor whose business has been at the same location for 50 years. Wanting the property for a mall — which is an abuse of the idea of a government taking for a "public purpose" (a school, a road or a hospital) — the city of Norfolk, through its redevelopment and housing authority, apparently is declaring blight and trying to seize the property. But it's worse than that. It's not even that the city of Norfolk to wants his land — it's that it wants to take it and give it to another company because it prefers that company's particular business (retail). What country allows this except dictatorships and banana republics?
So, when people say, "Virginia is so conservative," you know otherwise. Conservative, freedom protecting governments do not do this to their people. The need to eliminate government intrusion into private property and families' rights to conduct legal business in the commonwealth remains urgent, as this is not an isolated case.
Let's see: Law abiding, nation protecting, productive business or city brokered shopping center? What has the commonwealth come to? Where are our principles and protections. Where does the landmark 2007 property rights law come into play?
Now you know why we're so passionate about property rights and fight for good legislation (and fight against bad bills) during General Assembly. We're going to follow this one for you. In the meantime, here's the video from this morning: