The Unholy Alliance:
Perhaps emboldened by the Supreme Court's day-old ruling on eminent domain, Mayor Menino is rattling his sword
at the owners of Fan Pier. ... Hey, I'm not happy about Fan Pier. The Priztkers are overestimated owners, in my opinion, in the same bush-league as Frank McCourt. Both have talked a lot -- and done nothing with their properties. But read Menino's remarks and think about the last word in the sentence: "It is about the city -- jobs, housing, and revenue." Revenue? Does he mean taxes? The problem with eminent domain for economic development -- and there are cases when it's justified -- is that it's morphed into a new way for governments to raise revenue. Have a couple non-blighted homes on a waterfront? Hey, plop a hotel and office complex there and call it 'economic development' -- and let both fat-cat developers and revenue-hungry governments collect the profit. ... Has there ever been a case of a government going to little guys and saying, 'We want to make you rich. We'll rezone your property -- and let you keep the profits.' But nope. The relationship between developers and pols is turning into an Unholy Alliance of out-of-control capitalists and socialists. This issue ain't going away. ... Here's a George Will column
on the subject and a particularly outrageous use of eminent domain
for a Stop and Shop parking lot.