Burkholders

Virginia News Stand: May 26, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations You Want Bipartisanship?

The president visited the Senate Republicans yesterday asking for bipartisanship, then promptly went to a partisan fundraiser to mock them. Classy. Not only that, he's disingenuous, as ever. There is bipartisanship in Washington — and it's all against his policies as evidenced by the large numbers of Democrats who voted against the health care bill and cap and trade. Now, Democrats are joining Republican calls for the White House to be more forthcoming on a brewing scandal — did the president offer a candidate a job to drop out of a primary? The candidate, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) says yes. By the way, if it happened, it wouldn't be your normal political patronage. It's against the law.

Elsewhere, we're sorry to hear the Jay and Stephanie Burkholder have given up their lawsuit against the city of Roanoke for stealing their land and giving it to a private company. It's been a long fight and the legal expenses are mounting. The Burkholders pledge to work for, as are we, a state constitutional amendment beginning the next session of the General Assembly to prevent such government abuse and protect property rights. We'll have more comment about this later this week.

More notes of interest in this News Stand: The GOP wants your ideas. It has started a Web site to take the ideas from every day Americans. U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia's 6th District explains in Human Events. Lawrence Meyers of Big Hollywood explains how we fuel Hollywood trash while Mark J. Fitzgibbons, usually of the Washington Examiner, goes national in the American Thinker, putting the lie on the G-Men's reply to Virginia's lawsuit against the health care law; and Ronald Kessler of News Max says it all when he writes that conservatives are the mainstream — and that's not partisan. All of the above is below. Check it out. 

News

Burkholders give up fight for Reserve Ave. property (Roanoke Times)

Government challenges state's health care stance (Roanoke Times)

Fifth District candidates face off (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Allen says ‘poor judgment’ led to 'macaca moment' (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell says he didn't know of Fred Malek's Nixon work, SEC settlement (Washington Post)

National News

House GOP unveils Web site to build agenda (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Republicans, Dems press White House on job offer to Sestak (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama gets an earful in clash with GOP senators (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama offers scaled down version of Bush plan to put troops on the border (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP hopes candidate will flip Wash. Senate seat (AP/GOPUSA.com

Analysis

Does Hollywood Ideology Affect Hollywood Revenue? (Lawrence Meyers/Big Hollywood-Breitbart.com)

Commentary

ObamaCare Lawsuit Reveals National Grab to Regulate Individual 'Decisions' (Mark J. Fitzgibbons/American Thinker Blog)

Conservatives Are the Mainstream (Ronald Kessler/NewsMax.com)

America — It's Time to Speak Out (U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va./Human Events)

Obama's Border Security Plan: More Desk Jobs! (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Look Who's Behind the White House — Sestak Stonewall (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Preposterous Bill Press (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

West of the Potomac, GOP Hopes Rise (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Republicans take it to the president (Fresh Ink Blog GOPUSA.com

Gov't employees used crystal meth & downloaded porn. ... (Kay Daly/Fresh Ink Blog GOPUSA.com)

Beat Back Big Government And Protect Property Rights!

Thursday afternoon in the Senate Courts of Justice Civil Sub-committee, a bill to allow people to receive just compensation when their property is taken by the government in eminent domain cases will be heard. The bill, HB 652, is supported by a broad coalition including The Family Foundation, the Farm Bureau, Tertium Quids (see comment here) and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.  The bill passed the House of Delegates 98-1, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything to the Senate. The patron of the bill is House Democrat Leader Ward Armstrong (D-10, Martinsville) and is co-patroned by several Republicans.  It faces the forces of big government — VDOT and local governments who use our tax money to hire lobbyists to work against our interests — who forced the bill while in the House from the Courts of Justice Committee to the Appropriations Committee with a tactic designed to kill it. There is no doubt they will pull out all the stops in the Senate as well.

But we can beat them in the Senate, too: In the House Appropriations Transportation Sub-committee, Delegate Bob Tata (R-85, Virginia Beach), a senior member of the committee, said he HB 652 came to his attention after he received more e-mail on it than any other bill this session. It shows that actively engaged citizens truly have power!

The bill simply allows property owners to present evidence to juries that they deserve just compensation for land not taken in eminent domain cases, but rendered useless because of the taking of adjacent land.  Right now, people are compensated only for the land taken, not additional land that the taking has rendered unusable. The bill is a complement to the landmark 2007 eminent domain reform law that limits government abuse of people’s property rights.

This is a very fair, very needed and very just bill for families who own homes, small businesses and farms.  If government really needs your land, they should buy only what they need and not try to get more of it on the cheap. This bill costs government nothing — it only provides for a fair hearing as to what property owners are entitled to. Government agencies will retain their right to make their case as well. It’s about fairness! As Delegate Armstrong has said, 'The worst thing the government can do is take your life; the second worst thing it can do is take your property."

If you who think the 2007 law solved all eminent domain problems, a case in Roanoke from two years ago is still in the news (see From On High), where the Burkholder family is losing its small business to the city who wants its land, even though it has no plans for it! So, click here to contact members of the Senate Courts of Justice Civil Sub-committee and ask them to vote for HB 652 in sub-committee this Thursday afternoon.

Eminent Domain Reform Bill In Sub-Committee Tomorrow Afternoon!

Okay, here's one that defines strange political bedfellows. The Family Foundation, the Farm Bureau, Tertium Quids and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, are backing a HB 562, patroned by House Democrat Leader Ward Armstrong (D-10, Martinsville). The bill provides just compensation to those who have land rendered useless because of an eminent domain taking. Right now, people are compensated only for the land taken, not additional land that the taking has rendered unusable. The bill is a complement to the landmark 2007 eminent domain reform law which limits government abuse of people's property rights.  In other words, condemners want to take the land they need but not pay for all of it. This bill will allow the addition of the unusable land to be factored into the price of the compensation for the eminent domain taking. Very fair. Very needed. (For those who think the 2007 law solved all our problems, see this about the Burkholder's — a Roanoke couple and its small business, via FromOnHigh.)

The bill comes before the House Courts of Justice Civil Sub-committee (click here for members)tomorrow afternoon. Contact the members and ask them to support property rights in Virginia. This bill will go a long way to restoring the rights of farmers, small businesses and home owners who work very hard for their property, only for government agencies to take it, or worse, play games with it with no fair compensation.