Bloggers help prevent Eminent Domain abuse in Colorado
Toll road gets tangled in Web of defeat
Bloggers' successful blocking of 'Super Slab' bill stuns developer
(Rocky Mountain News, 3/24/05)
I'm all for private funding of roads, so initially a private toll road through much of Colorado sounds like a good idea. The problem is how to get the land the road would go through. The answer: "Probably no way constitutionally."
The Front Range Toll Road project nicknamed "Super Slab" by opponents was dramatically killed, 6-1, in a Colorado Senate vote after bloggers organized a mass e-mail campaign against the project.
The reason for the opposition is that the State government would have given eminent domain power to the private company. As someone who favors private enterprise over government whenever possible, it's still clear to me that we must never accept eminent domain power being used by or for the benefit of a private company. Such action destroys confidence in property rights which are the foundation of a strong economy.
Eminent Domain was clearly defined as taking land for public USE, not public benefit, and certainly not for private use or benefit. We should all keep our fingers crossed that the Supreme Court does the right thing in Kelo vs. New London although given Justice O'Connor's questions I'm not as optimistic as I'd like to be.
Still, this is a victory not only for limited government but for the power of bloggers to show bureaucrats and politicians that we're paying attention, that we have "viral marketing" power to contact many people at once, and that we won't bend over and take any abuse they want to give the way the old-line liberal media too often does.
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