Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kelo Anniversary on Schilling Show

Charlottesville, Va.—On Monday, WINA’s Rob Schilling talked about eminent domain on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision June 23, 2005 in the case of Susette Kelo versus New London, CT.

Steven Anderson of the Institute for Justice updated listeners on the Kelo case. The 90-acre neighborhood is now vacant land and not paying taxes. Nothing has been built. Kelo’s pink house has been relocated and stands as a historical marker for due process. Kelo now resides just outside of New London. The land was stolen in order to entice Pfizer Pharmaceutical to move its headquarters there. The Supreme Court ruled the theft to be legal in a 5-to-4 vote.

Anderson spoke about this case in Charlottesville Feb. 15, 2005, a week before the court heard oral arguments Feb. 22. Since the infamous ruling, 43 states have reformed eminent domain to varying degrees.

Jim Lark of the Jefferson Area Libertarians also appeared on the show. Schilling exposed Delegate David Toscano (57th, Charlottesville) for his position against private property civil rights. According to Schilling, Toscano said in a Feb. 2009 newsletter that he opposes a state constitutional amendment to restrict eminent domain to legitimate public uses. If state senator Creigh Deeds is elected governor, Toscano may run for this office. And former city councilor Blake Caravati may run for Toscano’s seat.

Toscano has long opposed civil rights when it comes to ownership of homes and businesses. On Dec. 14, 2006 both Toscano and Deeds said eminent domain was not a problem in Virginia. Yet a month later, they both voted for the reform bill introduced by Delegate Rob Bell.

Toscano spoke at the city council meeting Nov. 21, 2005, where Caravati introduced a city charter amendment to dramatically expand eminent domain in Charlottesville for “affordable housing" again. Of the five councilors, the sole Republican Schilling voted against the amendment in favor of civil rights. Current Mayor Dave Norris supported the amendment.

Citizen journalist Blair Hawkins spoke at that meeting against the amendment. Hawkins asked Toscano to vote against the amendment in the House of Delegates if it passed Council, obligating Toscano to introduce it into the General Assembly. Hawkins followed up with a letter in opposition. A state senate committee blocked the bill until the eminent domain language was removed.

Toscano was present and a city councilor when Hawkins delivered two speeches on eminent domain June 5, 2000, the public hearing to rename the 9th-10th Connector for Sally Hemings, slave of Thomas Jefferson. (1) Letter to Mayor Daugherty to investigate urban renewal. (2) Property Street for Sally Hemings and Laura Dowell. Toscano is a long-time supporter of public housing and forced relocation of minorities.

Hour 1, Schilling Show, Steven Anderson in 2nd half-hour.

Hour 2, Schilling Show, Jim Lark in 1st half-hour.

“UVa alumnus talks about eminent domain”, Feb. 16, 2005, Charlottesville Independent Media. Reprinted: “Arin Sime for Va Senate”, Oct. 23, 2007, Blair’s Blog.

Deeds and Toscano: Eminent domain not a problem in Va., Dec. 14, 2006.

“The letter that stopped Charlottesville’s eminent domain amendment” Jan. 8, 2006 – Includes text of proposed Section 50.7, passed by the Council Nov. 21, 2005, introduced by Blake Caravati who only weeks later announced he would not seek reelection. The amendment passed 4-1. For: Kendra Hamilton, David Brown, Kevin Lynch, Blake Caravati. Against: Rob Schilling.

“Response to David Toscano and Tammy Londeree on my endorsement of Rob Schilling published on George Loper's blog” April 30, 2006 – Toscano claims credit for stripping eminent domain from Charlottesville charter amendment introduced in ’06 session. In so doing, he claims the bill was passed, then amended by him and later passed again. The Daily Progress reported that a Senate committee, not the House of Delegates, made the changes.

John and Nancy McCord speak in Charlottesville Jan. 13, 2007.

2007: Virginia Reforms Eminent Domain, Jan. 12, 2008.

Latest Archive Request on WINA”, Feb 12, 2009.

Blair to be on WINA, May 5, 2009.

Audio on car tax, archives, May 6, 2009.

On the air, I gave Councilor Holly Edwards credit for trying to get a meeting with Housing Authority Director Randy Bickers and UVA’s Dr. Scot French. I have not heard from Edwards since then. I’m seeking to publish the Housing Authority’s urban renewal archives, which comprise 6,845 documents and 1,189 photographs. Or they could publish what remains of the archives. Except for about 300 photos, I have been denied access since my first request Mar. 25, 2004.


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