4.5.06 - Rep. Rhodes Calls For Constitutional Amendment To End Eminent Domain Abuse
North Mecklenburg, NC. - Representative John Rhodes asked that his opponent acknowledge the state needs further legal protections for individuals against towns taking their property away through eminent domain.
Rhodes issued the following statement:
"In order to keep town officials from running rough shod over citizens' property rights, our citizens require constitutional protection.
"The Supreme Court held that government could take private property by eminent domain for a public use as well as a public purpose. Recently, I turned down a request to introduce legislation to fine landowners in Cornelius who would not 'voluntarily donate' their land to the city. I believe that is the height of arrogance on the part of the town council. They wanted me to use my office to force valuable assets from families. They now openly support my opponent in this primary election.
"With the Supreme Court ruling, North Carolina needs state constitutional protection from government seizure of private property for perceived public benefits. Other states have experienced the taking of an individual's property by government to give to another individual who will change the use and increase the tax revenue. The basic right of an individual to own property is at stake.
"Some legislators argue there is no need to amend the N.C. Constitution because they say our state is relatively restrictive. State law can be changed at any time, and often without public notice. Knowing what we do about crooked dealmaking which occurs in Raleigh, the only safety our families have is in a constitutional amendment.
"I call upon my opponent to back an amendment that will stop local governments from seizing private property even for a perceived public benefit.
"I want to know who my opponent will work for if elected - the citizens of this district who deserve legal protection, or the town councils who want the authority to destroy your property rights?
"I ask my opponent, where do you stand?"
Republican primary voters may vote on May 2nd, 2006 at their local precinct for Representative John W. Rhodes.
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