"No" on 90
Case in point: Proposition 90.
We all oppose the use of eminent domain to take property from one person and give it to another. That's what the proponents are counting on.
They are also counting on us to overlook the OTHER provisions in Proposition 90, which would declare that taxpayers -- that's you and I -- must compensate a property owner whenever any "government actions" -- except actions to protect "public health and safety" -- "result in substantial economic loss to private property." (You'll find this in Section 3 of Proposition 90, which would add Section 19(b)(8) of the California Constitution.)
To see what a fiscal nightmare this would be, especially since the City Clowncil would have the power to spend your money to settle lawsuits filed by property owners (aka their campaign contributors), consider the following hypotheticals:
Hypothetical No. 1.
Janice Hahn, et al., succeed in imposing a "living wage" law that applies only to hotels located near the airport. Result? The governmental action, which involves neither public health nor safety, drives down the value of those properties by driving up the price of labor there. Guess who gets to pay for the diminution in property value under Proposition 90?
Hypothetical No. 2.
As a result of massive government subsidies and tax breaks the City gives to select developers for their downtown properties (e.g., the 20-year tax "holiday" for the hotel to be built by the Convention Center), other hotel properties decline in value. After all, the other hotel properties are more costly to operate, and therefore not worth as much as they were. Who will foot the bill for the resulting economic damage to those hotels? Hint: you can see him or her in your nearest mirror.
Hypothetical No. 3.
As a result of new subway lines opening up, existing retail businesses -- especially gas stations -- are no longer as valuable as they once were, because the government action has diverted traffic away from those properties. Guess who gets to make up for the lost profits? That's right: you and I do!
What makes these scenarios particularly frightening is the potential for abuse by the Clowncil. They already do enough damage to our wallets by passing insane laws and giving our money to their millionaire special interest contributors. Can you imagine how much MORE tax money they will give away to settle lawsuits their contributors file for compensation under Prop 90? They would spend enough for the remaining three members of the middle class still living here to say "adios!"
So I say vote "no" on Proposition 90, and, instead, enact separate legislation -- or just elect better people -- to prevent the government from using eminent domain to take property from one person and give it to another.
To read the actual text of Proposition 90 itself -- which is what I read -- rather than someone's "spin" thereon, go to the following URL and scroll to page 7 / page 187: http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/vig_06/general_06/pdf/proposition_90/entire_prop90.pdf
The picture? It's from a movie called "Take The Money And Run," which Woody Allen made back when he was funny -- hilarious, in fact.