ELECT THE PEOPLE'S LAWYER: David Van Os, Democrat for Texas Attorney General

Monday, October 16, 2006

Van Os Proposes Constitutional Amendment to Protect Against Eminent Domain, Tolling

PRESS RELEASE :: Van Os Completing 254-County Tour; Proposes
Constitutional Protection from Eminent Domain and Tolling

OCTOBER 16: In the last week of his 254-county whistlestop tour, Attorney General candidate David Van Os suggests Constitutional Amendments to protect Texans from continuing abuses of eminent domain and toll roads.

Unveiling what he terms "Citizens' Protection Amendments," Van Os proposes that the power of eminent domain be limited to reasons of public security and safety. He also proposes that toll roads should require voter referendums.

Van Os stated, "If government can take private property from the individual on a whim, then we're living in dictatorship, not democracy. Texans are seeing a continuing and growing abuse of eminent domain. This has to stop."

Van Os continued, "These amendments will restore the checks and balances between government and the individual. I call upon the governor and the legislature to tackle this issue as soon as possible."

At 4:00 p.m. on each day, Van Os will meet the public and the press at the Tarrant County Courthouse on October 16 (#250), Dallas County Courthouse on October 17 (#251), Harris County Courthouse on October 18 (#252), Bexar County Courthouse on October 19 (#253), and Travis County Courthouse on October 20 (#254).

Proposed Amendments to the Bill of Rights of the Texas Constitution
"Citizens' Protection Amendments"

1. No private property may be taken without the owner's consent unless the taking is necessitated by the public security or safety and there is no other reasonable recourse. In no case may economic considerations be considered reasons of public security or safety. This amendment is self-executing and is applicable to any pending uncompleted taking.

2. In no case may any private person or enterprise purchase, lease, or utilize for the pursuit of profit or gain any property that has been taken for public purposes without the owner's consent. This section does not prohibit the payment of public money as fair compensation for employment, construction or maintenance, or ancillary services to employees, construction or maintenance contractors, or vendors of ancillary services. This amendment is self-executing and is applicable to any pending usage that has not begun remunerative operations.

3. In no case may a toll or fee be demanded or collected for travel on any transportation facility constructed through any use of public authority or money unless the voters of the county in which the facility is located shall have approved the tolling by referendum. This amendment is self-executing and is applicable to any pending uncompleted project.

posted by snarko! at 1:27 PM

Blogger michayl mellen said...

I am glad someone is sticking up for the common people instead of developers or big money. The city of abilene is creating blighted areas through inverse condemnation to steal property in these city created blighted ares for redevelopment by speculators. Ask me, I am watching and trying to fight this onerous situation created by the Supreme Courts communist right wing decisions

9:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If an outsider may drop an observation into the mix...

The State of Illinois Tollway system is one example of how slippery a slope using tolls can become...at the expense of both the taxpayer in the state as well as placing a significant economic burden on all potential out-of-state users of the highway system in Texas. Trucking companies have fled Illinois in droves for a variety of reasons and toll expenses certainly are a part of that decision.

If I may suggest to anyone doubting the dangers involved with turning to a tollway system to fund your highway infrastructure. go to your favorite search engine and type in keywords such as corruption, illinois, tollway, statistics (toss in others at will! LOL!) It is there you will discover things like Blago spending $480,000 on new tollway signage with his name all over it...at the cost of $15,000 a piece.

Then think about whether or not you want these types of expenses being approved in your annual budget.

I can only wish you success in preventing this revenue source from sprouting from your State Ledger, for I am not a Texas citizen and cannot vote against it and roads must be paid for with some sort of financial tool.

3:25 PM  

Anonymous Sam Phillips said...

I like the idea about not being able to use land obtained through eminent domain on projects that produce profit for private business / people.

I don't agree with Van Os on only being able to use eminent domain for public security and saftey. In reality we are ultimatley trying to avoid having private individuals loose their lands, so that others can make a profit. If you just prohibit eminate domain used for profit, you don't have to limit the boundaries of eminent domain.

Eminet domain is not a evil that need to be limited. Instead eminet domain is a means to accomplish social services, which has been used by others to line their pockets. Instead of eliminating eminent domain, eliminate the ability to use emiminent domain for profit.

12:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city of Clear Lake is trying to use eminent domain to prevent the loss of green space (a defunct golf course) that the owners want to try to sell. The owners came in, bought it, owned it legally just long enough, and hoped to sell it to developers. Clear Lake is arguing we need the green space for flood control, and we do! Eminent Domain has its place when used correctly. Please word any consitutional amendment with care. There are governing agencies out there who use it as it was meant to be used. To protect the public.

8:56 PM  

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