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MYTH: Easter is derived from false pagan goddess

What Is A Christian Nation

Biblical References in Give Me Liberty Speech by Patrick Henry

HISTORICAL RECORD: Winter Months Grazing for Sheep in Bethlehem area

Fox News December 24, 2013: Too cold for shepherds in December

The Real Lincoln - Despot

Is the Constitution Really Inimical To States Rights? - Part Fourteen

MYTH: Too cold for shepherds to Tend Flocks in December - Part 2

Gun Control Coming to the Senate Floor on Monday

74th Anniversary of 'Gone with the Wind' premiere

Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendment in November� Lip Service Only!

Eminent Domain � or rather government abuse of eminent domain powers is a major issue this year. While this problem has been with us for many years it reached national prominence with the recent Supreme Court decision, providing federal protection for State and local government abuse of eminent domain powers.

Actually the Supreme Court decision did little except solidify the federal government continued intrusion into every aspect of your life � even though such powers are not granted in the Constitution. But that is the subject for other articles, this one will concentrate on the Constitutional Amendment on our ballot in November.

It is typical Sonny Perdue style. Sounds good, but has been influenced by special interests. Please read the following very carefully:

Even if this Constitutional Amendment is passed on the November ballot, YOUR PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE STILL AT RISK!

The Legislature and your Governor added two "special interests" loopholes. They believe that the citizens of Georgia will buy their rhetoric, vote for them because they stood up for your property rights and then still be able to pocket the campaign contributions of developers and other special interests.

Loophole Number 1:

One innocent looking phrase in the proposed Constitutional Amendment is the special interest "perk!" The wording (from HB-1306) follows:

" � The power of eminent domain shall not be used for redevelopment purposes by any entity, except for public use, as defined by general law.

This simple phrase, " � as defined by general law" means that any future Legislature can "redefine" what constitutes "public use!" In other words, with a simple majority vote of the Legislature, a developer�s pet project can be classified as "public use" and your property can be seized against your will and transferred to a developer for profits and campaign contributions. HERE WE GO AGAIN!

Only two State Senators voted against this abomination of Our Founding Principles. Zero State Representatives voted against this clever stunt.

We all know what will happen, lobbyists will descend upon the Legislature like a swarm of locusts to get their pet projects declared "public use."

State Senator Jeff Chapman (R-3) (one of the two voting against HB-1306) has the following comments:

"The real weakness of the Constitutional Amendment is the fact that it defers to statutory law and fails to offer any additional protections not already stated in HB 1313.  Therefore, if Georgians are not vigilant, even if the Constitutional Amendment passes on election day, legislators can change the definition of "public use," which includes a definition for blight, in Georgia law anytime they choose without voter approval.  Further, the Constitutional Amendment does not contain a clear prohibition against using eminent domain for private development.  Therefore, I could not support it, but it will be on the November ballot.  Georgians need to realize this is not meaningful constitutional reform and that an honest effort should move forward again next year."

Senator Chapman of course echoes our observation about the special interest loophole:

"Therefore, if Georgians are not vigilant, even if the Constitutional Amendment passes on election day, legislators can change the definition of "public use," which includes a definition for blight, in Georgia law anytime they choose without voter approval."

Senator Chapman�s conclusion also echoes our concern:

Georgians need to realize this is not meaningful constitutional reform and that an honest effort should move forward again next year.

We should vote for this Constitutional Amendment in November, but redouble our efforts to remove this special interest "perk" from our State Constitution before it is your property that they come for.

Loophole Number 2:

This loophole is very vague and most will not think about it until later.

The Georgia Constitution states that any Constitutional Amendment can deal with ONE and only ONE subject. Actual wording follows:

Article 10 Section I of the Georgia Constitution states:

When more than one amendment is submitted at the same time, they shall be so submitted as to enable the electors to vote on each amendment separately

In reviewing the entire set of changes to the Constitution on the Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendment - it is obvious that a crafty lawyer will be able to argue that this proposed ballot referendum constitutes multiple amendments and thus violates Article 10 Section I of the Georgia Constitution.

This will give Sonny Perdue and various other politicians a chance to scream "judicial activism," call a special session (read wasting tax payer money) and use it as a soap box to proclaim how the courts are preventing them from protecting your rights.

But the truth is that they took no action until just before the elections. They added a special interest loophole. They worded the Constitutional Amendment in such a way that it will probably be declared "unconstitutional" if it passes. These methods have more to do with playing partisan politics (while you pay for it with your tax dollars) and setting up campaign rhetoric than protecting your property rights!

This may sound familiar to the current controversy on the Marriage Amendment which was ruled unconstitutional because it violated the ONE and only ONE subject provision of our State Constitution � not because the judge rendered a decision on gay marriage.

This was not a case of judicial activism; it was case of either political duplicity or political incompetence. Why was the Constitutional Amendment not written in a manner that would pass Constitutional review? We all know the the Republican majority in our Legislature and Governor Perdue have access to the Georgia Constitution. Was this incompetence, neglect or political duplicity to create a future political issue?

We support traditional marriage as strongly as any political party � but do not believe in the questionable practices used by the Sonny Perdue led Republican Administration to use such a fundamental issue as a political toy to generate votes and controversy.

Just as the Sonny Perdue Administration tried to manipulate the Democrats into eliminating the FAIR Vote bill in the Democratic controlled House in 2003 they carefully manipulated a judge into giving them a second round on sound bites on traditional marriage by crafting a defective Amendment in 2004.

Now it looks like they have done the same thing on the Eminent Domain in 2006 so that they can get their second round in 2008.


This style of government is Party over Principle and is abusing the faith and confidence placed in our elected officials for partisan purposes. It is up to you � the citizens of Georgia to decide when you have had enough. Until then you will continue to get played for the sucker, be given lip service and on this issue will continue to lose your property.

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