Communist Piscataway: Where Eminent Domain Meets Corruption.

Well he’s saying thats not Communist. It’s shitty.

But not communist.

Of course it is. Why else would the masses live so poorly and the Party members live so well?

Which is a Communist country in both creed and action.

In other words, a Communist country.

You may be able to back that up theoretically, but not in reality. Name a communist country where the poor have actually been lifted up out of poverty. Generally, the wealth is just transferred from one set of upper-class people, who then become part of the poor, to a newly-created upper class, who then become rich.

The justification they usually give is that the development of the land will benefit the public as a whole, through tax revenue, or tourist dollars, or whatever.

You can put “communist” in quotes all you want, but China IS a communist country.

I cannot understand this anti communist villainy at all, when it is pure capitalism.

Asset worth small amount of money is seized from the rightful owner to develop and make lots of money for the businessman, how the fuck is that communist ?

Corruption, yes, greed yes, communist not at all.

The way to discourage such behaviour is to set a purchase price for the land as if it had been developed, if they still want it after that then at least the original owners have been compensated according to the great and good american way.

As long as the people killed are the councilcritters that approved this rape, I have no problems with that.

Something is screwy here. The government can’t evict anybody without a court order. They also can’t seize private property via eminent domain without paying compensation. Neither of those things are mentioned in the quote in the OP, which reads very much like it may have also ommitted other relevant facts. If there’s a protest, all that will happen is some well meaning but ill informed participants will go to jail. Proceed with caution.

Just out of curiosity, do you know where else this has happened? I only ask because I have lived in Piscataway for 4 years now.

Some local history:
Clara Halper ran for mayor 2 years ago so that she could save her farm. I don’t remember all the arguments on both sides, but I ended up voting for Mayor Wahler. It was a pretty heated campaign for a town this size (about 50,000 in 2000), but both (actually, all 3) sides were slinging the mud, as I recall, and none looked too appealing. Well, I don’t mean to defend this whole thing, but I feel like we aren’t getting the whole story… I can’t find online right now what Mayor Wahler’s responses were to Ms Halper’s accuasations in 2004, but I do remember that I ended up voting for him…
In the end, I do generally think eminent domain is abused. Check out Highland Park, NJ! (Computer lab closing, no time to find a link)
Rutgers’ shitty newspaper covers the election (registration required for pages 2,3)

NJ supreme court OKed the eviction. Township offered compensation, but Halpers didn’t like the price.

Ahhh. In other words, they want kind strangers to risk jail because they lost the lawsuit, and are too damn stubborn to obey a lawful order. Fuck them. I just hope nobody gets hurt trying to help these people.

Does a citizen have to pay taxes on the enforced “sale” of his property through eminent domain? Just curious.

Nah, they’ll end up being a bunch of hapless state cops or ATF agents.

I think some independant organization has picked up the fight, I’m not sure if they were asked to but the family is supporting them. The Halper’s stated in the paper that they will not be on the property when the court order tells them they have to be gone, which is some time on Monday. The protestors from out of state may still be there. Thats per todays Star Ledger.

No it has nothing to do with Kelo. This has been in the works for a long time before that decision. The land was condemned and seized under the open space laws in the state. Under Kelo a town can seize a property and hand it over to another private entity. That’s not the case here. At least not yet.

For the record the government of Piscataway is Democrat, for ever and ever world without end amen. It’s a one party town. Even the last “hotly contested” three way mayor race was a landslide.

Also for the record the Halper “farm” has nothing growing on it that I can tell and it’s the ugliest piece of property in the town. There is a horse riding school with the worst looking horses I have ever seen. Lots of mounds of dirt and acres of weeds.

I have very strong feelings against eminent domain and Kelo in particular. I would generally lean towards the Halper’s side in a case like this. On the other hand I have met the Halper’s, which makes me much less sympathetic.

Basically what happened is the town has tried to take the property for years. They orginally offered something like 4 million in 1999. The family refused and it went into the courts (my figures aren’t exact but close enough to give you an idea.) The process through the courts took years and the town finally won. So now it’s like 4 years later and the town says ok here’s your 4 million. The family said GFY the property is now worth a lot more. The town argued in the court that they should only pay the amount from when the process started, not fair market value when the family has to turn it over. That took another couple of years. The court found for the Halper’s and the town has to pay them close to 18 million. Today the Ledger reports that they are still contesting the amount and have only paid the family 4.3 million so far.

Oh and it case anyone was wondering, this is one of the reasons why the governor resigned. You thought it was that gay thing?

Sorry, I didn’t know about the mismatched numbers.

I did know that Governor McGreevy resigned because of scandals, and used his sexuality to garner sympathy, but I thought the main scandal was appointing his lover to be the head of NJ homeland security dept, or somesuch.
I am relatively new to NJ, so I hadn’t heard of the Halpers until the mayoral election in 2004.

Thanks, Loach.

I didn’t say the poor were uplifted, just that the existing capitalist rich tend not to be.

I didn’t deny that they can be labelled communist. However, my point is that corrupt wealth transfers to ostensibly capitalist ventures is anything but supporting evidence that a regime is Communist, and indeed, it is more indicative of just about any other governmental and economic model. In fact, China’s current model is evidence that they are not Communist: I can call myself a cream soda but that doesn’t make me one. When one of your slogans is “to get rich is glorious”, that sort of give lie to the notion that you’re a completely Communist society!

Are the Halpers in violation of any laws by having “ugly” property with weeds and mounds of dirt? That is not unusual in rural areas that are not being used for crops. If the horses are not being well cared for, then that’s still another legal matter. But swaybacks and other unattractive horses aren’t against the law either. There has to be something of value there for the property to be worth between four and eighteen million dollars. Must be the location.

I’m wondering what it is about them that makes you feel less sympathetic. Are they unattractive? Lacking in social graces? Uneducated? Pedophiles? Neo-Nazis? Crimson Tide Transplants???

What are the open space laws about? That sounds unconstitutional to me, to take land away from a private owner to keep the space open. If there is not enough open space, then it seems to me more careful zoning would be a more appropriate way to handle the problem.

That the local government is Democrat doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Don’t know how this justifies taking the land away. Are there local ordinances they are violating? If so, there must be some recourse other than eminent domain to deal with the problem.

Whether or not the people involved are sympathetic figures is irrelevant.

So why all the outrage by some “independent” group? The Halpers had full and fair due process, and are about to walk away with millions of dollars. Really not seeing the miscarriage of justice this is alleged to be in the OP. Kinda doubt there’d be many protestors if they weren’t telling selected parts of the story…