Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Simple Questions the Big Daily Papers Never Asked:

No Land Grab Reports:

The NY Sun
By Eliot Brown

The appeal, heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, is one of few remaining legal options for the group opposing the seizure of property. If successful, the trial would likely be held in district court, which could delay or block construction.

A federal district court judge in Brooklyn, Nicholas Garaufis, dismissed the plaintiffs' lawsuit in June, before it could reach a trial.

In the arguments today before a three-judge panel, the landowners' attorney, Matthew Brinckerhoff, said that a trial was necessary to determine whether New York State illegitimately awarded the project to the developer, Forest City Ratner. He noted that a competing proposal would have brought more money to the state and did not require the use of eminent domain.

"The taking here was motivated by a desire to benefit a particular private developer," Mr. Brinckerhoff said.

The state argued that allegations of motive are irrelevant since the public benefit of the project — a requirement in the use of eminent domain — was not in doubt.


Question one: Why is the ESDC defending a proposal that knowingly would bring in less money than a competing project, and NOT require disenfranchising other citizens, which this project obviously is, as one of the defendants, Mr. Weinstein, notes:

"My constitutional rights have been violated," said Henry Weinstein, who owns a commercial property on the land that would be taken by the government for the project. "I feel like that is one of the most important things I possess."


Question two: Why Is the state taking such a cavalier attitude towards impropriety and corruption? Isn't this a de facto endorsement of government corruption?

This is a little harder to grasp, but represents a fundamental shift in the purpose of government and its relationship with the people. Here, the ESDC has clearly become a champion for Bruce Ratner and Forest City, in opposition to organized local citizenry. Questions of ethics and transparency and honesty they argue are irrelevant, even if they were true. The government, essentially has become a tool for the private interests of a private citizen.

The fact that this is not disturbing to our 'elite' who run the major dailies is a reflection of how embedded they are in this obviously corrupt system.

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