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Minner Veto of Eminent Domain Bill Upheld 30 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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Miracles can happen even if they are small ones. SB 245 (described in a previous post) is a bill which gave protection against the government using its powers of eminent domain to take property for public use against some individuals to benefit other private individuals without there being a legitimate public use like a road or school.

The Senate voted on the veto override (which required 13 votes, 3/5) 11 in favor and 9 opposed. The vote failed. The bipartisan bill looks dead in its current form for this year. The majority of Democrats flipped on this important issue. They would rather stand with a lame duck governor (Ruth Ann Minner) than the public. Unfortunately so did a couple of Republicans who would have been the difference. I am not pleased with the result, but I do celebrate progress. Most people didn’t think we would even get a vote.

I support bill in Kent County ensuring that our rights are protected regardless of the status of future legislation.

Minner Vetos property rights protection 30 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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Governor Minner vetoed the bipartisan SB 245. Delaware on line reported the following:

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner announced today she is vetoing legislation that would have redefined “public use” in the eminent domain law and made it harder for government agencies to take private land.

The Legislature passed Senate Bill 245 on June 12, after months of negotiations between parities involved in the issue.

The legislation would have only allowed government agencies to take private land if it was intended for “public use” and added that economic development did not meet the definition of “public.” It also would have tightened the definition of blighted, adding it must be a threat to public health and safety.

I am so glad we have the Governor looking out for the interests of the powerful. If we didn’t have people like her, the average citizen might be able to sneak a break in once in a while. I am so relieved that Marx’s vision of the government desires trumping private property is not locked up in a museum.

This bill passed with only one negative vote between the two houses, yet it is rumored that Senator Adams won’t let the veto override come up tomorrow. I hope that rumor is untrue. I respect standing with your team. I respect loyalty to the leader of one’s party. I also believe that loyalty to the people has to rank as well, hopefully first. There is no partisan benefit to sustaining the veto of a lame duck governor which flies in the face of the position of most of her own party and the vast majority of the public. To the contrary, blind loyalty here only gives ammunition to be used against Lt. Gov. Carney. I hope President Pro Tem Adams sees that sometimes it is time to place the long term interests of his party over the feelings of one member. Let them have a free vote.

For those who needed another reason not to vote for a Democrat controlled State House of Representatives, here it is. We need at least two parties in this state. Don’t turn our state into an echo chamber instead of a place where all sides are heard.

Blog influence discussed on WHYY 28 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.

I thank WHYY for recognizing the influence of the blogosphere. Feel free to watch the clip. It is posted by our friend Tyler Nixon. Thank you Dave Burris. for letting me sit in for you. Mike and Shirley were a pleasure even to a remote guest. Since the other blogs are talking about it (kindly–thankfully), I can’t let ours fall behind.

I am fascinated that just 4 years ago, this was not a daily source of information for the vast majority of people. Now it is the number 1 source of political information for those under 30. I have seen marked increases in readership in the past year. The Internet is now a source as utilized as daily papers for political information. The world is changing. If gas prices go much higher, we may not be find delivering papers affordable.

Local Potporri, BWW, Taxes, and the budget. 23 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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The General Assembly is near the end of its session which means a lot of issues will come in rapid fire over the week. There is no way I have time to write full posts on them so I will give them quick analysis and mentions in this format. Please feel free to expand upon the one that interests you in the comments. Your opinion is just as valuable as mine.

Delmarva Power and Light has reached an agreement with Bluewater Wind’s parent company. Typical of the Delaware way, it seems like a proposition where we lose some of the advantage we could have had. At least this victory, watered down as it maybe is still a boon for Delaware. It was going to happen, but by being first it will give us guaranteed rates and local jobs which could have been lost to NJ if we waited another year. Delaware needs to get beyond its lose, lose mentality and go to a win, win mentality. One part which should have happened regardless is spreading the cost over a larger base not just residential customers.

To all the people who kept fighting when it was said to be a dead issue–a fist bump goes out to you! Delaware online credited bloggers and citizen activists for keeping up the pressure which saved this deal. The voice of the people can still be heard.

“I think their efforts have been probably the most single-handedly instrumental in this thing coming to an agreement,” State Rep. John Kowalko said. “There’s a group of people that we wouldn’t have done it without.

“To win this debate, we had to keep the public aware of what was good about this proposal and what was necessary, and I can’t say enough for the activists and the bloggers.”

Other credit for bloggers came from wind power supporter Dave Burris, a former Sussex Republican Party chairman and blogger, who said ordinary people deserve a lot of the credit for the agreement.

$130,000,000 looks like the figure the General Assembly will seek in new revenue. I say sin taxes are great because I won’t pay them. To get serious, we could be facing significant tax increases. There are 17 revenue increasing bills with a significant following. It bares watching. The GA had put out that half of the $217,000,000 deficit would come from spending cuts and half from tax and fee increases. Revenue turned out to be $63,000,000 better, but the tax and fee increases didn’t go down. All of the great ideas for more efficient government seem left on the table.

2010 looks shaky for revenue so this could be a multi-year struggle. Nancy Wagner held a public hearing to get our input before she went into the final days, what a novel concept!

The disgusting people file has a new addition. 2 trailers of chicken were stolen from the Delaware Food Bank. Times are hard enough without the predators among us. If you know who did this or see cheap chicken mysteriously show up for sale out of the back of something, report it. There is a reward, payable in heaven.

Drill 13 June, 2008

Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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Here is the American Solutions Petition to open up more oil drilling.

Blue Water Wind would save us money right now 12 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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Not to mention that I would take 25 year price stability anytime.

I also heart Sarah Palin. 12 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Sarah Palin.

I invite you to read my update on Sarah Palin on Battlegroundstates08. I wrote

Gov. Sarah Palin cut Alaska’s requested earmarks in the federal budget down from 550M to under 200M and from 54 to 31 projects. How many governors are saying they want less federal money? She is providing leadership which could restore the state’s reputation after the bridge to no where. Not to mention this fits perfectly with McCain’s reform message.

I heart Huckabee–Three leading voices on the Governor 12 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Election 2008, federal.
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There was a great article on real clear politics on Mike Huckabee taking from J. C. Watts, Ken Blackwell, and another contributor. You just have to read it. Governor Huckabee should be on the ticket or at least the next GOP Chairman and the number two slot which actually goes out there should be Lt. Gov. Michael Steel. These two men are where the GOP needs to go. It needs to be a people’s party again.

A Smarter Approach to Planning 8 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Economic Policy, Kent county, Local, Revolutionary Reform.

When I listen to the land management debate, I wonder why the real issues are often mentioned only in passing. We are in danger of becoming a bedroom community not a vibrant self-sustaining one. In Kent county, most people can no longer afford to live here on the wages paid. According to the housing report, most people are being stretched by rent and mortgages beyond what they can comfortably afford. High energy costs make commuting to find a better job an unproductive option for many. Stagnant wages, high energy costs, and a lack of affordable housing have created an iron triangle of despair for many people.

To answer this we need to begin with a smarter, fairer approach to land management. It should meet these three objectives: reviving our towns and cities, providing a diversity of housing stock, and promoting a vibrant business environment. It needs to respect property rights and be environmentally and culturally sustainable.

First, I wonder why we need to build town centers where there is no town. It is almost like the Democrat majority in Kent county is trying to dump all of the growth in areas still represented by Republicans; political gamesmanship is not leadership. That doesn’t seem like real change to the CR district and does nothing to alleviate the traffic issues about which everyone around Dover complains. The idea has merit if it is connected to town growth plans and can connect to town services. The county needs to cooperate with the towns not build new towns.

Second, we need implement a Transfer of Development bank and institute a system where people can easily sale or trade TDR’s. If someone wants to sell their development rights, not even the county can tell them for sure what to do. I spoke with someone who did three different deals and each one had different rules, all in the same year. The worse part is that it was becoming harder not easier. If you want to control growth, let people make money off of keeping their property rural. It is the best way to fairly compensate people for choosing to preserve their property. It won’t work unless it is a market commodity. Ideally, the TDR’s should also be able to be used in the towns to facilitate Traditional neighborhood design plans and giving developers matching tax credits to rehabilitate housing. We don’t need to devalue property and place unheard of restrictions on people.

Third, we need to implement a traditional neighborhood design as a development option. In my view it should be available in all areas and be encouraged not subjected to higher scrutiny. It would provide a mix of housing, allow churches, medical offices, smaller stores, and other businesses not high traffic to be in an area. It would allow a landowner and developer to make a greater profit offering some affordable housing while bringing good local jobs where people live. That is good environmental policy, and economic policy. The bedroom community mandates have failed. Let’s try something different. Let’s give people more choices. History shows that choice works better than mandates.

Fourth, we need to be pro-business in order to be pro-jobs. I would like to see our industrial-commercial areas become enterprise zones and international trade zones. We need to work with the chamber of commerce (CDCC) to take advantage of grants available to businesses which export overseas. With the Internet and parcel post services, it is an easy proposition for more businesses than we think. There are more than 360 federal economic development programs. Let’s have a contest with the colleges to see who can come with the best way to tap them. I would also like us to take advantage of alternative energy and science grants. I would also like to see a tax credit to any business anywhere in the county which expands. The new expansion portion should be exempt from higher taxes for three years. I would love to see start ups get a one year tax holiday. These ideas won’t cost us money but could bring us a real return.

Fifth, we need to continue cooperation with the cities to coordinate economic development and not work contrary to one another. The county should ensure that it plans proper infrastructure for industrial parks like the Garrison Farm. If you don’t build it, they won’t come. That was even true in the “Field of Dreams”. Impact and adequate facility related fees should go into a trust fund used to for that purpose and not into the general fund.

What we are attempting to do in the Livable Delaware and the proposed Kent County Comprehensive plan hasn’t worked well for the average person and often fails at its stated goals anywhere I can find. So why not try something smarter? We need smart change.

Obama redraws the map; Clinton late for her own Funeral 7 June, 2008

Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.

Senator Obama has seized a new strategy which banks on higher turnout of African Americans and young voters. They are targeting 25 states including CO, MS, VA, GA, and NC. Colorado is somewhat possible, but it has been 40 years since the Democrats have had much luck in the other states (GA did go for Carter and Clinton in 1992). It seems like either a bold strategy to remake the electoral map or a rookie mistake which may divert resources from the states he can really win. It could be a mistake on par with the Rudy big state strategy. We shall see.

Senator Clinton running late for the endorsement rally in which she endorsed Senator Obama seemed like someone being late for her own funeral. I don’t know that it helps her chances to be revived by being on the ticket.

I think this year could be determined by voter turnout not traditional polling measures just as 2004 was. The special elections show Republicans are dispirited. That can change. Democrats are exuberant. That can change. According to Rasmussen Polling, party identification favors the Democrats by 10 points among likely voters today. That tends to suggest that the ticket which could excite Democrats the most Obama/Clinton would be the logical choice. Fortunately, Senator Obama is rumored to be letting advisers convince him that he doesn’t need her. If the excitement level of Democrats falls by just 3 points, McCain wins and the senate remains close. The Republicans will hold their margins and may pick up a couple of house seats. If it rises, the opposite may happen and it may become a blowout for team Obama and their could be real coattails.

BTW During the campaign season, I will have opportunities to find fault with Senator Obama, but I would like to take a moment to celebrate a great moment in American history. At least we can say that he seems like an honorable person, unlike Senator Clinton.

I think we can say more. What I like about Senator Obama is that he is sure of himself. He believes in the ability of America to be resilient. In his search for his own personal identity, he found a vision which is transforming the American identity. I like the fact that he understands the importance of words, vision, and ideas. I like the fact that he didn’t buy into what a person of color can’t do. I admire the fact that Senator Obama has by the force of his person has transformed the American culture into a post racial society. I like that Senator Obama seems issue oriented not personality oriented. He seems more about accomplishing something great than attaining greatness.

It is for these reasons that I want to take a break in the campaign and congratulate Senator Barrack Obama on an historic achievement. He is the first person of color to be the presumptive nominee of a major American political party. He has broken the color barrier. That is something to celebrate. It seems now that the only color in his way is that he is green (experience), but then again a lot of people don’t think experience has gotten us too far in the last 50 years. What ever happens, I just wanted to celebrate a great moment for all Americans. Thank you, Senator Obama for getting into the arena.