How the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act Deceives

by B.J. Delas Armas on 1/26/2008 08:07:00 AM 0 comments Print this post

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This is for the June 3, 2008 Ballot for California.

YES on the Homeowners Protection Act (HPA), Proposition 99

NO to California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act (CPOFA), Proposition 98


I think it's critical to know the difference between the two eminent domain reforms that will be in California's June ballot.

The simplest act, Homeowners Protection Act, Proposition 99 is best and relatively straightforward. Vote Yes on it.

However, the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act, Proposition 98 is under the guise of eminent domain reform, but actually not...otherwise it would be the Homeowners Protection Act. Vote No on it.


With the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act (CPOFPA) Proposition 98, what they're trying to do is two main things:

1) Move towards the elimination of rent control and mobile home destruction.

2) Erode Environmental Protections for public water use.

Essentially what they try to do is capitalize on the hate for eminent domain going towards private development to say that: poor people are actually "private" entities and that the go

Before the actual initiative is introduced on their website this is was they say about private use:

"Private property may not be taken by eminent domain for private use under any circumstances (i.e. to build a shopping center, auto mall or industrial park)."

Focus on the word "private use."

They want you to think that this is all about protecting your house from being taken over by the government to be given to private developers.

In the actual document they are very smart to use the phrase "private use" only about twice in the entire document, but this is the key phrase.

"Private property may not be taken or damaged for private use."

And these are two key ways they define "private use"

"(ii) transfer of ownership, occupancy or use of private property or associated property rights to a public agency for the consumption of natural resources"

(iii) regulation of the ownership, occupancy or use of privately owned real property or associated property rights in order to transfer an economic benefit to one or more private persons at the expense of the property owner."

Just a use of the word "private use" already packs so much meaning for those with a hand in drafting the act, but such ambiguity to make it seem non-confrontational and thus appealing to an average voter.

The clause numbered "(ii)" is an attempt to make it difficult for government agencies to acquire land for public water projects such as reservioirs and other public water storage projects. Essentially, private property may not be taken or damaged so that public agencies can "consume" natural resources. "Consume" is another ambiguous word because that can encompass a lot of things.

This seems like the type of thing that will just open and strangle public water projects in litigation, all the while indirectly opening the market even wider for private companies "to come to the rescue" and start showing how efficient they are at privatizing water and profitting off your basic needs.

Impact on Water Supplies

The clause numbered "(iii)" is the attempt to savage rent control and open mobile home projects.

Despite their compensations for being rent controlled properties, they're saying that the government putting regulations on how much they charge equates to the government basically using their property. No one told these people that they had to own land. It's not like these people with the power don't have a choice.

What this act is saying is that the government cannot regulate what property owners such as landlords and mobile park owners do in charging rent. If that were suddenly the case, it is likely that they'll work, jack and pump up those prices more than a 13-year old boy on summer vacation at home with a stack of material not meant for reading. All the folks who take on the lowly-paid jobs would be pushed the hell out of cities where the jobs are. Pushed out because there's no space to live anywhere.

Impact on Renters

At this point, if you're not sure about the act and it's always best to actually know what it is you're voting for, take a brief look at who else supports this act.

California Federation of Republican Women
California Republican Party
Riverside County Libertarian Party
California Republican Taxpayers Association

Full list of Supporters

You should ask yourself:

What the hell do these groups get out of it?

Aren't these the groups that traditionally run against humanistic interests such as affordable housing and environmental protections?

Are these groups more tied with selfish, business and privatization interests?

Any tenants rights' organizations?

Any water agencies?

Are there any environmental groups you see?

According to California for Democracy:

"Wealthy apartment and mobile home park owners spent close to $2 million to qualify their deceptive rent control rollback proposition for the June 2008 ballot. The landlords are going to try to trick voters into believing their measure is about eminent domain."

Hidden Agendas dissected

They definitely paid people to make their bullshit hard to detect, so of course the language will all seem agreeable.

Everything that they write about seems to be good on the surface, but their game is, (and has been since some folks from Europa took land from indigenous people) about creating bullshit laws and finding loopholes to exploit till people take action to stop it, and/or till they can find more loopholes to create.

Are they going to come out and say "we seek the abolishment of rent control" or "we really don't give a shit about what we do to the environment just as long as we get money?"

It's not so much about what they do say, it's about what they don't say.

Eminent Domain Reform

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