Don Marti

Fri 24 Jun 2005 02:42:45 AM PDT

Never meaning no harm

Did I learn everything I need to know about US politics in the 2000s from watching "Dukes of Hazzard"?

Abusing eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to a politically more powerful private owner is more like some Boss Hogg scheme to get his hands on Uncle Jesse's farm than a US Supreme Court decision.

The Alameda City Council voted unanimously to pull one of these stunts. In the Alameda version, the property owner was willing to sell, but was holding out for a higher price. So now, thanks to the Supreme Court, even willing sellers lose negotiating power, since a developer can go to the City Council and make the owner accept a Council-hired appraiser's "fair market value" lower than what the developer would have been willing to pay.

Who's going to invest in Alameda real estate if an investment is subject to confiscation as soon as someone the City Council likes can think of a better idea for your property?

Anyway, Stop the Alameda Megaplex. If the City Council wants to go into the movie theater business, they can resign from public office and go into the movie theater business on their own time.