Reader's view: Proposition 2 protects Idaho property

Statesman Editorial board
Idaho Statesman
October 15, 2006

Dan Popkey is right. The debate over Proposition 2 is "a case where the company one keeps is more telling than claims made in," in his case, a liberal newspaper column.

Popkey may be comfortable "keeping company" with far-left icons such as billionaire George Soros and Hollywood gadfly Barbra Streisand, but that's something the Brad Littles of the world may have trouble explaining next time they run for office.

In its biased coverage Sunday, the Statesman cited the out-of-state Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., which it innocently identified as "a group opposing" Idaho's Proposition 2.

Not reported was the admission published on the center's Web site: "The Open Society Institute, founded by George Soros, is a funder of the Center for Public Integrity."

That's nearly $900,000 in funding to be precise, plus $30,000 from the Barbra Streisand Foundation, $1.3 million from the Carnegie Foundation of New York, and $375,000 from the New York Community Trust.

The Proposition 2 opponents Web site also links to propaganda published by the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, which the Wall Street Journal reported is "a left-leaning umbrella group backed by labor unions and financier George Soros."

Soros now requires any group he funds to sign a secrecy agreement promising not to identify him as a donor, the Washington Post reported. Unfortunately for Little and others, the center apparently didn't get the memo.

Idahoans supporting a "yes" vote on Proposition 2 prefer instead to keep company with traditional American values such as the adage, "a man's home is his castle."

Regulatory takings

If government officials pass regulations that reduce your property value, a regulatory "taking," should the government be required to compensate you for that loss? If you answer yes, please vote "yes" on Proposition 2.

Here's who Proposition 2 supporters "keep company" with:

* Jess Goetz of Kootenai County watched the value of his retirement nest egg plummet 90 percent when government officials arbitrarily down-zoned his property value. Three hundred and fifty other parcels in Kootenai County suffered the same fate, without compensation.

* When Ed Terrazzas of Blaine County bought his property, he could have legally subdivided it into 11 parcels. But the environmentally conscious, "smart growth" award-winning architect voluntarily proposed only a four-parcel subdivision, until government officials arbitrarily devalued his property, without compensation, to allow only two.

* Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, a Proposition 2 supporter, tried to enact protections against government "takings" that devalue your property, but the lobbyist-influenced Legislature refused.

Eminent Domain

Should Idaho law protect your home, business and church from being bulldozed and turned over to big developers just to generate more tax dollars?

Yes, it should, but the Legislature's response was so weak that the lawyer who represented homeowner Suzette Kelo in the infamous Kelo decision actually opposed it.

Proposition 2 puts teeth intoprotecting our homes, family businesses and churches from eminent domain abuse for commercial development projects.

And because 100 percent of those voting "yes" on Proposition 2 are Idaho residents, Proposition 2 expressly preserves rules and regulations that protect public health and safety, clean air and water, prohibit hazardous waste and nuisances and ensure proper sanitation and traffic control.

For the George Soros-funded opponents of Proposition 2, it's all about protecting government officials' arbitrary power to rob you of yourproperty or property value without fair compensation.

But if you're an Idahoan who believes government officials should be required to compensate you for regulatory "takings" that reduce your property value, and that Idaho law should effectively protect your home, business, and church from being bulldozed for commercial development, please join us in voting "yes" on Proposition 2.

Becky McKnight of Boise is a licensed Realtor and spokeswoman for ThisHouseisMyHome.com, the ballot campaign committee supporting Proposition 2.

Story provided by permission of its original publisher.

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