Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More Kelo fallout--the truth is starting to hurt

From Wizbang, we read a little quiz. Only one of the outrageous fact-patterns is untrue. And guess what? It's the one that is funny.

If my house were in Lakewood, Ohio, it would be considered "blighted." Here's the nut of one of the sources from Wizbang:

Jim and Joanne Saleet are refusing to sell the home they've lived in for 38 years. They live in a quiet neighborhood of single-family houses in Lakewood, Ohio, just outside Cleveland.

The City of Lakewood is trying to use eminent domain to force the Saleets out to make way for more expensive condominiums. But the Saleets are telling the town, "Hell no! They won't go."

“The bottom line is this is morally wrong, what they're doing here. This is our home. And we're going to stay here. And I'm gonna fight them tooth and nail. I've just begun to fight,” says Jim Saleet.

“We talked about this when we were dating. I used to point to the houses and say, 'Joanne, one of these days we're going to have one of these houses.' And I meant it. And I worked hard.”

Jim Saleet worked in the pharmaceutical industry, paid off his house and then retired. Now, he and his wife plan to spend the rest of their days there, and pass their house on to their children.

But Lakewood's mayor, Madeleine Cain, has other plans. She wants to tear down the Saleets' home, plus 55 homes around it, along with four apartment buildings and more than a dozen businesses.

Why? So that private developers can build high-priced condos, and a high-end shopping mall, and thus raise Lakewood's property tax base.

The mayor told 60 Minutes that she sought out a developer for the project because Lakewood's aging tax base has been shrinking and the city simply needs more money.

Perhaps this is the best result from Kelo--the light of day has been shed on a shameful and oppressive practice. But remember, the New York Times says this is all fine--because it is benefitting from the practice.