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Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, CA
email@example.com 530-468-5355 August 17,
2005 Page 13, Column 1
Permission is granted to reproduce and republish the following articles.
Assault on private property hits hard
Siskiyou County moves to provide protection for property owners.
By Liz Bowen, Pioneer Press Assistant Editor
YREKA – It was a filibuster in reverse last week at the Siskiyou County
Board of Supervisors meeting.
Instead of gathering to defeat a bill, a contingent of more than 60
individuals attended the meeting to show support of a new ordinance that
is expected to bring back protection for those who own property.
California Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa spoke to the county supervisors
asking them to support his proposed bill to the state legislature that
will protect private property rights.
In an unusual accommodation, leaders from both the Republican and
Democrat Parties also expressed support for protection of private
property ownership at county level.
Many other organizations voted to join with the Greenhorn Grange, which
is leading the charge through Master Leo Bergeron.
“The ruling does not prohibit local governments from establishing
ordinances for protection,” said Bergeron. “County law is the law,
unless it conflicts with state and federal law.”
What happened to create such a stir?
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck fear into the hearts of property
and business owners throughout the nation, when it made a decision that
goes against the U.S. Constitution. Five of the nine judges voted to
allow any level of government to confiscate private property and use it
for another private business – all in the guise of the term “for the
Since the decision, grass roots organizations and leaders in political
parties have been reeling. Previously, the 5th Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution allowed for a very narrow definition of “public-use” land
that could be confiscated. The property could only be seized and
utilized for a government use.
Through the “Kelo v City of New London,” in Connecticut, decision, a
government or quasi-government agency can determine what “public-use”
means and seize property from one legal owner and give it to a new “owner.”
But the people of California are not willing to lose their right to own
Immediately after the June 23 decision, the Greenhorn Grange met in
Yreka to strategize protections by pressuring the county government.
Organizations like the Farm Bureau, Cattlemen and SOSS, the Save Our
Shasta and Scott Valleys coalition, are throwing in their weight for the
county ordinance. Within five days of the decision, Assemblyman LaMalfa
and state Senator Tom McClintock were proposing an amendment to the
Constitution of California by writing bills for the state assembly and
“Under this ruling, a government can push grandma out of her house in
the name of public good,” LaMalfa told the “Pioneer Press” last Friday.
It all comes down to money. If a government can make more taxes from a
new hotel rather than grandma’s old home, it can now be confiscated for
the “public good.”
But LaMalfa is also a landowner and he is battling at the state level to
stop this encroachment of what is being referred to as “organized theft.”
Throughout July and now August, Bergeron, LaMalfa and McClintock have
been on the go rounding up support. LaMalfa even traveled to Orange
County to ask its board of supervisors for support. He received it.
Locally, Bergeron said it is extremely important that the proposed
county ordinance is passed as soon as possible.
Marcia Armstrong, supervisor for district 5, moved to establish the
private-property-protecting ordinance at the Aug. 9 meeting. It was
seconded and passed 5-0.
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