Election Results II

I was watching the "Continuation of Kelo By Other Means" ballot initiatives, myself. With only two exceptions, they all passed easily. Indeed, it wasn't even close in most of them (Yes in AZ, FL, GA, LA, MI, NV, NH, ND, OR and SC; No in CA and ID). In NH, for example, 86% approved amending the state's constitution to limit eminent domain in the following way: "No part of a person's property shall be taken by eminent domain and transferred, directly or indirectly, to another person if the taking is for the purpose of private development or other private use of the property." This seems to confirm how special the homestead is to people -- and what a nerve New London's move touched back in 2004. But it doesn't forecast what people will feel when their municipality can't assemble land and attract investment in the competitive world municipalities face today. Then again, for a lot of those people, it won't be very clear why their local economy is failing and people are leaving for greener pastures.

Most interestingly, though, the two initiatives that failed were both coupled with "regulatory takings" provisos similar to Oregon's Measure 37. Such measures essentially disable land use regulations unless the responsible government can pay for any losses in market value to affected parcels. In every instance but one (AZ), they failed where they appeared on the ballot alone or with an eminent domain 'reform' provision.