June 5, 2006: Summertime has come today. In New York State, Democrats and
Republicans held their conventions in late May and selected
gubernatorial candidates. And the goobers are-- Democrat Eliot
Spitzer and Republican John Faso. Together they make Spitso.
According to an anonymous "insider" quoted by The Buffalo News
("Spitzer must bite the hand that feeds him," 5/31/06) the
statewide bosses who elected Spitzer are "in for a surprise".
Because their goober "doesn't cater to people. It's not the
way Eliot works." Meanwhile, the New York Post described comic
doings at a reception for Spitzer's lieutenant-governor pick,
State Senate Minority Leader David Paterson. The Democratic State
Committee members seen at the reception (no mention if their
glasses held bleeding men) almost plotzed when Paterson did a
"poor taste" stand up shtick wherein he listed his top 10 reasons
for wanting to be lieut-goober. His number 5 reason being "You
get to fart in the executive bathroom."
Looks like David Paterson, if elected, won't be catering to
anyone either. Not even his boss, the Goobernor. Who presumably
would also use the executive bathroom. Luckily, Eliot Spitzer has
a closet full of air freshener leftover from his years as state
attorney general. When being the Sheriff of Wall Street kept him
too busy to effectively deodorize state politics at either macro
or micro levels. As governor, Spitzer will plug it in plug it in.
New Yorkers can bid adieu to Medicaid scams and taxpayer funded
housing and mortgage frauds. And say buh buy to crony ridden
development deals, political appointments and public contract
processes. As for the organized drug trade that's rotted out the
heart of so many upstate cities, and is being spread by well
wishers into suburbs and rural areas---
Hey. Wait. This is a poolside piece. Chill the social decay
stuff. Back to the goobers.
Such as Faso. Republican machine. John. Nuff said.
Now for the eminent domain front. First up as usual: New London,
Connecticut. Martians unaware of the eminent domain battle raging
in New London over the neighborhood of Fort Trumbull can catch up
at deep qt: dossier 52 or google kazillion references to the
2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision Kelo v. City of New London.
This evening (June 5th) the New London City Council voted to
evict the last of Fort Trumbull's eminent domain resistors. Or
as the New London Day editorial page put it: "to retain control
of the properties in accordance with the United States Supreme
Court decision". The wording of the piece (Rell's Generous,
Flawed Offer) suggests the Supremes told New London to go go go.
Whereas the justices merely refused to constitutionally define
"public use" as a rationale for government seizure of private
property. Leaving states free to make their own eminent domain
laws and define "public use" in any zany way they like.
In the weeks prior to the June 5th New London City Council vote,
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell seemed to be playing Pilate.
Washing her hands of responsibility for non intervention in the
eviction of Fort Trumbull's residents by placing the blame
on the state legislature. True, the Democrat controlled assembly
over the months of its last session didn't act to reform the
state's eminent domain laws as Rell requested, and were obviously
loath to limit a power urban pols love. But state government has
called the shots in Fort Trumbull ever since the state funded
project was first conceptualized during the reign of Republican
Governor John Rowland. (Corruption convicted in 2004.) So Rell
has the grandfathered clout to push the city and quasi-public New
London Development Corporation (NLDC) to return the deeds to the
last property owners in Fort Trumbull. Instead Rell invoked the
legal rights of the city-- and she too cited the Supreme Court's
decision as an authoritative guide to her actions.
But by June 2nd, Governor Rell was clarifying her position. In a
letter to New London Mayor Elizabeth Sabilia, Rell asked the city
to return some of the property deeds to owners in Fort Trumbull.
Though only to resident homeowners; investment property owners
were excluded. And though some homeowner deeds would be returned,
rights of resale would be abridged. Mayor Sabilia, the New London
City Council (excepting 2 third party members) and the NLDC nixed
Rell's "generous flawed" offer.
Though it's hard to find humor in the high minded totalitarian
greed, moral cowardice, and political buck passing that has steam
rolled the blue collar neighborhood of Fort Trumbull, a few laffs
can be had. Consider the words of Claire Gaudiani, the former
president of the NLDC. Gaudiani was also president of Connecticut
College and well connected to development circles within the
Rowland administration. She was one of the earliest and most
avid perpetrators of the plan to raze Fort Trumbull and
dispossess its residents. Among her rationales was that what
would rise in its place (glitzy condos & an office park) would
help New London become a "hip little city".
Is that a punchline- or what?
One of the best jokes to come down the pike is how "hip" is now
worshipfully invoked by farty (sorry-- it's the David Paterson
thing) quasi-public revitalizers and money hungry pols. Who
believe they can artificially create-- and control-- the kind
of communities that can only develop organically. Like, man,
is anything more L7 than this kind of hubris?
Among the property owners to be dispossessed in Fort Trumbull are
Susette Kelo and Michael Cristofaro. Both are what some might
call "average" people. Yet Kelo and Cristofaro, along with the
other Fort Trumbull resistors, including those who fell by the
wayside from natural causes and government pressure, are the
hippest of the hip. Their fight for their rights as individuals,
and their connection to the community they created, when faced
with an overwhelming misuse of power by the state, has put them
right up there with the godz of cool.
Circle July 16th on your calendar. A rally is being held at 2
p.m. at Grand Army Plaza in the boro of Brooklyn, in New York
City. Against the Forest City Ratner Atlantic Yards project.
Another case of eminent domain abuse and state power run amuck.
At the helm of this bulldozer? Developers Forest City Ratner
and the quasi-public Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC).
A quasi-public spender of billions in public money, both federal
and state. Which brings us back to New York State's upcoming
The buzz has long been that the ESDC is a Republican patronage
piggy bank for Goobernor George Pataki. So the Democratic bosses
who picked Eliot Spitzer as their candidate will doubtless want
him to reform the situation. But will Spitzer, who doesn't
"cater to people", do the do? Advocates of good gooberment
are crossing their fingers.
Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
For more info re the July 16th demonstration against the Atlantic
Yards project visit Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn.
For updates on the battle of Fort Trumbull visit CT RSVP, or the
Institute for Justice.
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