Taking Pity on Prop. 98

Larry’s baby Proposition 98 seems to be doing so poorly in the polls, that I will go ahead in an attempt to help him a little bit, and post the latest ad that he and his cohorts created for it. (And I take back my snarky comment of Saturday, when I wrote, “…the tag line, ‘Proposition 98, THE BEST YES.’ has a sort of… Little Saigon feel to it, sort of an E. S. L. je ne sais quoi, don’t you think?” What was I thinking, how racist, how snobbish! Larry’s right, “The best Yes” has great wisdom Amen.)

So. This ad makes three points: The eminent domain reform in 98 is much more comprehensive than that in 99 (agreed); it ends “a badly flawed form of rent control that 44 other states have made illegal” (see below) and 99 isn’t really ED reform but is just a poison pill to kill 98 (agreed.) I think it’s nice that they’re finally mentioning rent control when they used to completely minimize that aspect – a testimony to the hard work of all us 98 opponents yelling and screaming about it! (But what’s this “a badly flawed form of rent control?” It ends RENT CONTROL. And sure, other states don’t have rent control, but California does and most Californians are happy with it!)

Two things Larry just refuses to answer; maybe he just doesn’t read me closely, but I thought we were supposed to be “Juice Brothers!” 🙁

1. My frequently repeated question, “If Eminent Domain is such a problem, why can’t somebody write a bill some day that is just comprehensive ED reform, without rent control or any of these other sneaky provisions stuck in (such as Adler details below?)” The fact that this question isn’t answered makes me suspect that these Jarvis people don’t really care about Eminent Domain, it’s just a red herring or fig leaf for a much vaster, more ambitious anti-regulatory agenda.

2. He hasn’t answered anything I posted the other day from his nemesis, attorney Jonathan Adler. Which I repost here in case any of you missed it. Make sure to click “read more…” And I give you the worthy Adler.

All this may be hard to believe. But it’s actually understated. It’s literally true. Not a word is a stretch. Believe it: Prop. 98 is a grave, real, threat to our entire way of life.

Prop 98 will amend our State Constitution. Prop 98 Will End … :
–Re-Development in California by public entities
–All planning and zoning laws and ordinances, state and local

–New public water quality and supply projects
–Most environmental protections, including on open space, habitat, logging, toxics, air and water qu
–Most state and local renters’ rights law, including on rent control, arbitrary eviction, etc.
ality, projects’ impacts (Coastal Act, CEQA), etc.
–Most consumer protection laws, including on product safety, unfair business practices, labeling, disclosures, anti-trust, etc.
–Most workplace and labor protections, including Cal-OSHA (safety), wage-and-hour, union organizing, plants’ security vs. attack, etc.
–And countless other laws regulating many other areas, e.g. healthcare, credit, insurance, finance, disclosures, many other state and local rules restraining business and property.

–Prop. 98 is the most extreme far-right, pro-unrestrained-business-and-property, anti-public-interest, secret full agenda initiative ever seen in Calif.

That’s why it’s vital that we all spread the word to vote NO on Prop. 98, Yes on 99

Background: Twin of 98, 2006 Prop. 90

Prop. 98 is 90’s twin in most aspects. In 2006, backers of 90 nearly fooled enough voters: It lost by just 2½%. The S.F. Chronicle, Nader’s Public Citizen group and other investigators exposed its secret main funder as an aptly named far-right NY billionaire who put anti-regulation, anti-environment, anti-tax, etc. initiatives on many state ballots, funded via a web of front groups. (See links to their reports at www.HowieRichExposed.com).
Backers of Prop. 90, like 98, are so far right they think, like Grover Norquist, that our state and local government should be “shrunk ‘til it can be drowned in a bathtub” and do no more than in 1789 – defend the nation, police, fight fires, build roads, and little else; and that all taxation is “theft”, taxing the rich more is “class warfare,” public education is “communism”, etc.

Why a Yes on Prop. 99?

It helps defeat Prop. 98, because: Both are billed “eminent domain reform.” (Prop. 99 really is, and only that.) Prop. 98 loses if it either, 1) loses outright; or, 2) passes, but 99 also passes, with more votes, and thus prevails over 98.

Hidden Trickery of Prop 98How it Works:

(Read this only if you must “get down in the weeds”)
Prop. 98 is a highly devious “bait-and-switch” fraud, billed as mere “Eminent Domain” law reform. But its real agenda is buried deep in unique definitions and use of terms like “taken”, “damaged”, “private use,” “associated property rights,” “just compensation,” and “transfer an economic benefit to … private persons at the expense of … owner.”
If its definitions are plugged into its operative parts, it says: “Regulation of the … use of … property or associated property rights … to transfer an economic benefit to private persons [is unlawful, subject to] injunction … or [court] declaration invalidating [it]” and taxpayers must pay for all lost value it causes to business or property, plus attorney fees.
Businesses “use” property and its “associated … rights.” The public and its sub-groups – consumers, workers, tenants, patients, seniors, etc. – are “private persons” who usually get some kind of “economic benefit” from regulations. The result: Prop. 98 exalts all claimed rights to unfettered business or property over all public interests to restrain business and property for the common good, and public health and safety. Businesses will sue to enjoin, and claim losses due to, laws and rules of all kinds – all at little risk, since, if they win (even a dime, but more likely millions, or billions for entire industries), they also win huge attorneys’ fees, all at taxpayers’ expense – thus in effect deterring countless laws and rules that restrain business and property at all.
The list of laws we’d lose is nearly endless. Prop. 98 is breathtaking in its disastrous anti-government scope. It must be defeated. And you are the key. Please help.

What is “Eminent Domain (‘ED’)?

(Read this only if you don’t know Prop. 98’s “bait”.)
ED goes back centuries. Governments at all levels use it as a last resort to compel sale of property, at fair market value – set by a court if need be – for such classic public uses as roads, bridges, parks, schools, public buildings, etc.
ED has also been used since the 1930’s to re-develop blighted areas, as voted by local governments, after hearings, that usually end up sold or leased to private entities.
Prop. 98’s “bait” (in its “bait-’n’-switch”) is based on fear – mostly false, fabricated by folks with a much wider anti-regulation pro-property-rights agenda – of ED forcing sale of homes for re-development that ends up privately owned. It began with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 Kelo case holding that the U.S. Constitution allowed the decades-old practice of re-developing run-down areas, waterfronts, etc. for re-vitalization and a bigger tax base, even if it required ED to buy homes not truly “blighted”.
California law already bars ED to force sale of homes to re-develop non-blighted areas. Orange Co. Measure “A” passed in 2006 bars ED for any re-development that ends up sold to private persons or companies. Few if any owner-occupied homes in non-blighted areas are actually taken by ED any more for re-development in Calif.
Prop. 99 will bar use of ED statewide to force sale of only owner-occupied homes for re-development that ends up privately owned. Prop. 98 goes all the way to apply such a bar also to all non-owner-occupied residential, as well as all business and commercial property, churches, farmland, and even totally undeveloped property – all private property.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.