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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kelo and After

Well, well. The corporate welfare junkie moved on

Pfizer said it would pull 1,400 jobs out of New London within two years and move most of them a few miles away to a campus it owns in Groton, Conn., as a cost-cutting measure. It would leave behind the city’s biggest office complex and an adjacent swath of barren land that was cleared of dozens of homes to make room for a hotel, stores and condominiums that were never built.

The announcement stirred up resentment and bitterness among some local residents. They see Pfizer as a corporate carpetbagger that took public money, in the form of big tax breaks, and now wants to run.

“I’m not surprised that they’re gone,” said Susette Kelo, who moved to Groton from New London after the city took her home near Pfizer’s property. “They didn’t get what they wanted: their development, their big plan.”

The Kelo Decision, one of the most infamous in recent US Supreme Court history, affirmed the power of local governments to use eminent domain to seize private property for reasons of economic development. Historically, eminent domain was a power exercised in the construction of infrastructure. It was, however, an intellectual short step from arguing that roads and sewers were in the public interest, to arguing that urban renewal was in the public interest. Another very slippery slope. The up shot of Kelo was that it spurred a property rights movement across the United States, forcing through laws restricting the power of eminent domain in 43 states. Though not Connecticut. Susette Kelo is still angry. I don't blame her one bit.

Posted by Richard Anderson on November 25, 2009 | Permalink


American politics as usual

Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-11-25 9:57:10 AM

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