Vindicated, but Still Unhappy

Via Kevin Drum, perhaps the most ridiculous example yet of eminent domain abuse in our post-Kelo Amerika:

On May 24, the five-member township committee voted unanimously to authorize
the municipality to seize Segal's land through eminent domain and name its own

"They want to steal my land," Segal said. "What right do they have when I
intend to do the exact same thing they want to do with my property?"

.... Segal...signed a contract last week to sell his property to Centex Homes
for about $13 million, contingent upon local approval. Centex, a nationally
known developer with projects in Middlesex, Morris and Monmouth counties, would
then build 100 townhouses on Segal's property....

Florio and Capodice [the mayor and deputy mayor] said they preferred AMJM
because it is a local company.

"I've never heard of Centex," Capodice said. "They're not Union County

Un-freaking-believable.  Who wants to bet that AMJM has Tony Soprano on the board, or that AMJM has made some nice donations to the township committee's various election funds. 

By the way, the post title comes from this closing remark from Drum:

Still, it smells pretty bad, and it couldn't have happened if Kelo had
gone the other way. Libertarians should feel free to feel vindicated.

Missed this Gem:  Sorry, the contributions revelation is right up front:

On May 21, Albert G. Mauti Jr. and his cousin Joseph [owners of AMJM] hosted a fundraiser for
Assemblyman Joseph Cryan at the Westmount Country Club in Passaic County. The
two developers and family members picked up the $10,400 dinner tab, donated
another $8,000 and raised more than $70,000 that night for the powerful Union
County Democrat, according to state election records.

Three days later, the governing body in Cryan's hometown of Union Township --
all Democrats -- introduced an ordinance paving the way for the Mautis to build
90 or so townhouses on six acres of abandoned industrial land along the Conrail
line in town.


  1. A Stitch in Haste:

    Kelo Backlash: Motel 6 for a Driveway?

    "Nothing is to prevent the State from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."
    --Kelo v. New London, No. 04-108 (O'Connor, J. October 6, 2005, 12:48 pm

  2. Small Biz Matters!:

    Eminent Domain Abuse

    Here are a couple of thoughts about a twisted story of the abuse of eminent domain, by Kevin Drum by way of Coyote Blog.

  3. Max Lybbert:

    As much as I hate Kelo, the decision did leave the ability to challenge the particulars of any single exercise of eminent domain.

  4. Void Where Prohibited:

    More comments on the Passaic County Mafia

    Link: Coyote Blog. Collusion? Ain't no Collusion. We just doin' bidness. Ya know?

  5. John B. Chilton:

    Funny and sad at the same time.

    Centex, they're not from around here are they?