Remember when I speculated on “the prospects of developers making campaign donations–or outright kickbacks–to local politicians” in return for using eminent domain to seize properties? And remember Nancy Pelosi’s shrill defense of the Kelo decision?
Well, now. Check this out:
The city of Oakland, using eminent domain, seized Revelli Tire and the adjacent property, owner-operated Autohouse, on 20th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo avenues on Friday and evicted the longtime property owners, who have refused to sell to clear the way for a large housing development.
The properties in question were seized to make room for the “Uptown Project,” which is intended to replace under performing properties (at least in tax collection terms) with pricey condos.
I did a little Googling and found out that the prime contractor for the Uptown Project is Forest City Residential West, Inc. Forest City Residential West’s co-chairmain of the board is Albert B. Ratner.
Ratner donated $1,000 to Nancy Pelosi in the 2004 election cycle. He and various other people named Ratner and identified as working for Forest City also gave thousands more to the the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee over the last few elections (in addition to Republicans like Mike DeWine and Rick Santorum, but as far as I can tell, neither has stood up to compare Kelo to holy writ).
Everybody knows politicians can be bought. Who knew they came so cheap?