(Click post title for PDF file discussion on this case)
A very slippery way to exercise Eminent Domain is the creation of Inverse condemnation conditions. Inverse Condemnation is an action brought by a property owner who's property has become so damaged that it is no longer livable, thereby giving 'cover' to municipalities who do not have to exercise a controversial Eminent Domain claim--aqll they have to do is sit back and wait.
In the latest proposal from the Shelby County Planning Commission, drawn up by Kristine Goddard Planner II, a one page syllabus of the KELO et al vs. CITY OF NEW LONDON et al No. 04-108 was included with the information to the Vincent officials.
Who included this document? Did it originate from WRQ representatives or Shelby County?
Why was this particular case, which caused nationwide outcry, a part of the materials in the revised proposal requested by White Rock Quarries? The answer is obvious; WRQ does not intend to buy anymore land for their operations, they intend to take it using this legal precedence from the highest court in the land.
Shelby County seems to be cooperative with this as it is usually a municipality that exercises this move, and we see it as the most reasonable explanation for this document to be a part of the latest proposal.
It is worthy to note that there has never been a case of Eminent Domain exercised since this ruling in the county. We suspect it is being raised now because the majority of citizens are against this quarry and will not sell out to them. It may also be because WRQ has already made their "high dollar" buys to some individuals who benefited from their familial ties to our current Mayor.
Shelby County's "Home Rule" amendment in 2006 is threatening that Eminent Domain will come up again, and we think the the biggest reason is Columbiana's complete disregard for this section of the county that they consider the "armpit of Shelby County."
From the discussion link:
"....when a government undertakes to use eminent domain in order to advance an economic redevelopment program, controversy has reigned supreme.
Critics assert that the wealthy and powerful are too likely to be able to manipulate the system at the expense of the weak and the poor.
Accordingly, for economic redevelopment eminent domain cases, the Supreme Court, in an appropriate case, should ratchet up the judicial standard of review."
It continually comes back to same issue that is the 500 pound gorilla in the room regarding this quarry; the wealthy and powerful preying upon the weak and poor.
We have done extensive PAC research on campaign contributions to elected officials for the last 5 years, that were the recipients of Stephen Bradley's direct PACs, PAC to PAC transfers and the companies that make up BARD, political contributions. The presence of undue influence is alarming; elected officials from the local level all the way up to Alabama Supreme Court judges received large and numerous donations from these entities. Troy King, the current Attorney General is included among them.
The state, for all intents and purposes, has been "bought."
Challenges to this ruling will be heard on local and state levels by judicial arbiters that we expect will be friendly to the corporate view of the situation.