Town Square

Yes on 99, if you want more governmental control and property confiscation

Original post made by Kevin, another community, on May 27, 2008

Confused about Prop 98 and 99? Well of course you are, and that’s intentional. Most of what you hear is designed to take your attention away from the real purpose these propositions were intended to address.

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Posted by Dolores Fox Ciardelli, editor Danville Weekly
a resident of Danville
on May 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Pacific Sun endorsements: Proposition positions

There are only two initiatives on the statewide June primary ballot. Both are constitutional amendments that restrict the power of eminent domain—the ability of governments to take private property for a public purpose in return for fair compensation. Proposition 98, sponsored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, prohibits state and local governments from condemning or damaging private property for private uses and prohibits rent control as well. The latter provision would override local rent control ordinances, including controls on rents in mobile home parks in dozens of California cities. It might also eliminate the type of inclusionary affordable housing provisions that have been used in Marin to require developers to build some affordable units along with high-priced homes. The land use/eminent domain restrictions attempt to accomplish what a similar initiative, Proposition 90, proposed, and the voters rejected, in 2006.

We opposed Proposition 90 in 2006 because we believed it had the potential to effectively prevent the state and local governments from enacting laws to protect the environment and open space and would have undermined the authority of locally elected leaders to do what they think is best in their communities. Prop 98 appears to have even broader application than Prop 90 did. Prop 98 is opposed by the state's major environmental groups and a diverse coalition including the Consumer Federation of California, the League of Women Voters, the California Chamber of Commerce, California Teachers Association, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, tenants' groups, labor organizations and others. Proponents, in addition to the Jarvis group, include major mobile home and apartment owners' organizations.

Opponents argue that the measure's language could void many existing environmental protections, prohibit new ones and restrict actions needed for water projects, schools and infrastructure, and lead to lawsuits and project delays. Most opponents of this initiative are supporting a competing measure, Proposition 99.

Prop 99 says it addresses the core issue that Prop 98 proponents say they are addressing, without all the collateral damage. It prohibits state and local governments from using eminent domain to acquire an owner-occupied residence for conveyance to a private person or business entity with exceptions for public work or improvement, public health and safety protection, and crime prevention. This provision deals with the core fear triggered by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 Kelo decision. It is drafted to nullify Prop 98 if it receives more votes.

It's clear to us that Proposition 98 is a dangerous initiative that deserves to be rejected. The sleazy ads being run by its proponents, with the voices of children talking about their fears, complete the picture. You can vote against 98 a second time by voting for 99.

We recommend No on Proposition 98 and Yes on Proposition 99.