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Nuts! Nougat! Chill!
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.

Future World

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 goobernatorial race.

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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Copyright (c) 2006 by Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff. This material may be freely distributed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License. This license relieves the author of any liability or implication of warranty, grants others permission to use the Content in whole or in part, and insures that the original author will be properly credited when Content is used. It also grants others permission to modify and redistribute the Content if they clearly mark what changes have been made, when they were made, and who made them. Finally, the license insures that if someone else bases a work on this Content, that the resultant work will be made available under the Open Publication License as well.

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