'Do I take that as a threat when he says someone is going to get hurt?" she said. "Can you imagine a judge telling you this?'" ...From The Asbury Park Press.
Now, whether Hurley actually said that or not is utterly beside the point. The fact remains that it is a wonder that with all the eminent domain abuse nationwide that nobody (That I'm aware of.) has been hurt or killed. When I try to put myself in the shoes of the homeowner facing loss of their property, sometimes after being in a family for generations, for the purpose of a developer making money, I can't even fathom the horror they must be going through. When I try to put myself in the shoes of the developers, politicians and judges who steal people's homes and property, I would think that they would have to spend their lives looking over their shoulder and sleeping with one eye open. The Monmouth County Republican Blog in no way shape or form advocates turning to violence in this or any other issue. There are legitimate groups like The Castle Coalition which were formed to protect private property.
Eminent domain was set up for very limited purposes; for public uses. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "...nor to be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." That's public use, not some ethereal public so-called benefit as the eminent domain skells say.
The Founders worded this very carefully. Public use specifically meant roads, bridges, parks and public buildings. It did not mean taking a farmer's land and modest home so a wealthy planter could build a plantation, no matter how well-connected the planter. The Founders specifically wanted to protect the private property owner from siezure by government for the benefit of some lord or baron, as was a problem under the British regime.
Here in Monmouth County, the City of Long Branch under the administration of Mayor Adam Schneider (D) is the number 1 poster child for eminent domain abuse, but the issue has reared its ugly head in other towns as well. That list can grow much longer when you include such below-the-radar abuses as using the threat of eminent domain to force an owner to negotiate. With such a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, many owners feel they have no choice but to sell.
Thirteen months after the U. S. Supreme Court's diabolical Kelo decision, some states have enacted reforms; New Jersey's reforms so far have languished in the Legislature.
Many bills have been introduced; Monmouth County's Assembly members Jen Beck and Sean Kean are among the leaders in eminent domain reform in New Jersey. Former State Senator and Assemblyman Joe Azzolina has also weighed in on this.
One theory given as to why reform has been held up is that with Democratic majorities in both houses of the State Legislature, policies are weighted towards the cities, which are largely under the control of Democratic bosses. A number of these cities have redevelopment programs with just the kind of eminent domain abuse that needs to be reformed. Delaying enactment of reforms only buys time for these projects and the players involved.
The Halper family farm in Piscataway Township, may actually be considered a legitimate use of the eminent domain process as the township wants the land for open space, however the issue runs a lot deeper than that. This is the very property which became embroiled in the "Machiavelli" scandal, which involved none other than former Governor James Edward Hyde McGreevey himself. It might not be a bad idea for Piscataway to just drop it.