Property Rights Fight FlashbackApr 10, 2012
As a reminder of just how tough the fight for the most basic right to protect private property was over the last seven years, view this short video of then and now Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-35, Springfield) — from 2007. Even though the resolution that year (HJ 723, patroned by Delegate Rob Bell), made it to the Senate floor, it failed to pass because of the efforts by Senator Saslaw and others. Six sessions later, in 2012, he still "didn't think property rights belonged in the constitution."
The parliamentary gimmick employed in the video was one of many used throughout the years. It was tried this year, as well, and almost worked (more about that in a future post). The truly galling aspect to this is that in 2011, in an election year, Senator Saslaw and several opponents voted for the resolution and it passed the Senate 35-5. Of course, with it on the line and three more years until the next Senate election, he and the others reverted to form and nearly defeated it in the crucial second-year vote all constitutional amendments must pass.
Senator Saslaw, local government and special interests for seven years doomed property rights protections. The wall of resistance broke the last two years. Saslaw: "I don't believe property rights belong in the Constitution." Guess he never heard of Mason, Madison, Henry or Jefferson and that they put them in our original Constitution.