Posts Tagged ‘eminent domain’
At our state committee meeting we nominated our first round of candidates. Their campaign are already off and running.
- David Atkinson: State Representative, Orange-Addison-1
- Bob Wolffe: State Representative, Orange-Addison-1
- Ben Todd: State Representative, Orleans-Calendonia-1
- Thomas Carpenter Jr: State Representative, Rutland-5-3
- Kevin Volz: State Representative, Rutland-5-4
- Jeff Manney: State Representative, Rutland-5-1
- Hardy Machia: State Representative, Grand Isle-Chittenden-1-1
- Milton C. DeGeorge Jr.: Probate Judge, Essex County
- Milton C. DeGeorge Jr.: High Bailiff, Essex County
We will be nominating additional candidates at our September meeting.
The answer is easy as to what party supports youth rights — the Libertarian Party
Lower voting age to give teens a voice
Rutland Herald, August 10, 2006
At “alcohol summits” held this past spring in Windsor County and throughout the state, teens complained that adults did not listen seriously to their concerns. As a result, the young people argued, community leaders and police developed unrealistic and excessively harsh approaches to teen substance abuse. As we enter this most political time of the year, it is worth considering whether young people have been given the “voice” they deserve in helping to shape local and statewide policies.
In my judgment they have not, and the time has come to allow teens to participate directly in our democracy by giving them the right to vote. I propose amending Vermont law to give 16- and 17-year-olds to right to vote in state and local elections.
Giving 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote would serve many laudable goals. It would help instill civic awareness, encourage meaningful dialogue between adults and teenagers, and develop, perhaps, a lifetime pattern of voter participation. It would also change the nature of the political process. Currently, some candidates make an effort to address the concerns of young people. Matt Dunne’s candidacy for lieutenant governor comes immediately to mind. This proposed reform would obligate all candidates to speak to issues affecting young people and, more importantly, to speak to young people directly. Politicians would ignore youth at their peril.
One can fairly ask if 16- and 17-year-olds are mature enough to vote. We have already decided they are ready (or at least permitted) to drive, hunt, drop out of school, consent to sexual relations, become emancipated, join the work force, and be charged as adults for criminal behavior. Certainly all of these activities pose greater public risks than affording teens the right to vote. Granting the right to vote to 16- and 17-year-olds in state and local elections would be commensurate with and complementary to the existing responsibilities and privileges given to these teens.
Additional criticisms that could be levied against the teen vote are the likelihood that teens will simply parrot their parents and/or be heavily influenced by teachers. As to the first criticism, it is true that our home environment influences all of us and may affect how we vote. However, one rarely hears parents complaining about teens following their directives too closely. Most teens are far too independent simply to mirror the views of their parents. Regarding undue influence by teachers, one would hope that ethical educators would not overstep appropriate bounds. But even if they did, the societal benefit of a more active citizenry outweighs the risks of undue influence.
Here it is worth noting that this proposal only extends to state and local elections. The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution extends voting privileges in federal elections to those 18 years old and older. Federal reform can only occur with a constitutional amendment. For information on efforts to address federal voting issues, a group called youthrights.org maintains an interesting Web site.
State reform, however, is readily accomplishable with a statutory change and logistical coordination. With tiered state and federal voting ages we create graduated voting privileges, akin to a graduated driver’s license. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds could vote first in state and local elections and then at 18 in all elections.
What party would gain an edge by this reform? It is almost impossible to say. Polls show that on certain issues such as gay marriage teens are more tolerant than adults. On the issue of substance use and abuse, the teen vote might help move us toward more intelligent drug policies based on a public health rather than a criminal justice model. Regarding fiscal, environmental, religious, and myriad other social and political issues, no one can accurately predict the impact of teen participation in the electoral process.
Teens and adults routinely complain about inadequate understanding and communication. Politicians pass laws and shape social policy in ways that affect young people profoundly. The time has come to give young people a greater voice in helping to shape those policies. And in the process, young people and adults just might start talking to each other more.
Robert L. Sand is Windsor County state’s attorney.
This Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the day that the Supreme Court put every property in America up for grabs to the highest bidder. On June 23, 2005, the Court ruled that private property can be seized through eminent domain for private economic development on the mere possibility of increased tax revenue or jobs. Following the decision, Congressmen James Sensenbrenner and John Conyers – the majority and minority leaders of the House Judiciary Committee – co-sponsored H.R. 4128, the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005. This bill will cut off federal economic development funding for governments using the power of eminent domain to take property and transfer it for private commercial development. It will strongly discourage the large numbers of abuses we are now seeing in the wake of Kelo.
By a vote of 376 – 38, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4128 on November 3, 2005 – and it has remained in the Senate Judiciary Committee untouched ever since. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Contact Senator Leahy TODAY and tell him:
It’s time for the Senate to pass this bill NOW – It’s been one year since the Kelo decision and seven months since the House passed H.R. 4128. The Senate needs to do what the Supreme Court was unwilling to do and protect this country’s home and small business owners.
Any blight exception in the bill must be narrowly defined and only for properties that pose an immediate threat to public health or safety – Most condemnations for economic development take place under the claim that the area is supposedly “blighted.” The federal bill has an exception allowing local governments to still receive federal money if it takes properties that are harmful to public health or safety. The question is whether this exception will allow taking only severely troubled properties or whether it will allow cities to take any property just by calling it “blighted.” Unless “blight” is narrowly defined as something that is an immediate threat to public health or safety, that term will gut the bill and render it worthless.
Senator Leahy’s contact information is below. We strongly encourage you to contact both his home and Washington, D.C. offices. His home state office addresses are also listed; visiting to voice your concerns is a very effective and powerful way to show your support for eminent domain reform. If you’d like to send him an email instead, you can do so through this link: https://action.popuvox.com/default.aspx?actionID=270.
This bill will not pass without your voice! With your help, we’ll be able to stop tax-hungry governments and land-hungry developers from seizing private property for their own private purposes. Take a few minutes to protect your home or business and contact Senator Leahy TODAY!
Assistant Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
Leahy, Patrick J. (D – VT)
433 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
199 Main Street, 4th Floor
P.O. Box 933
87 State St., Room 338
VERMONT LIBERTARIAN PARTY RELEASES LOCAL OFFICIAL SURVEY RESULTS
Montpelier: The Vermont Libertarian Party announced the survey results of local officials for 2006. There were 12 questions ranging from eminent domain to death with dignity. Responses were received from 31 towns across Vermont.
Hardy Machia, Chairman of the Vermont Libertarian Party, stated, “The survey responses highlight the need for a state government and party that better represents the respondents’ views.
Nearly all survey respondents wanted much tougher eminent domain restrictions. Only one respondent agreed with the weak bill passed by the Vermont Legislature this year.
Seven out of ten respondents thought spending should be reduced instead of raising gas taxes. A backlash of protest and some moderate leadership in the Senate removed the gas tax increase passed by the Vermont House.
Nearly all survey respondents thought we needed major reforms in health care, but were split 40-60 on whether a single payer system or free market system was the better way to accomplish those goals.
Support for Death with Dignity and treating marijuana like alcohol both had strong support, with over 80 percent supporting both these reforms.
Zero respondents thought our school system was working great. Getting out of No Child Left Behind received majority support, as did, public and private school choice, limiting spending to the rate of inflation, and shifting funding to an income tax instead of the controversial Act 68 & 68 property tax distribution.
Seven out of ten respondents thought Vermont’s state budget should be 4 billion dollars or less, with a quarter of respondents believing spending should be rolled back to 2002 levels, 3.3 billion. The Governor and Legislature passed a budget that was a 400 million in excess of 2005′s budget of four billion.
The open-ended question on the biggest issue facing their town revealed that education funding is still a top priority for many towns, followed by roads.
The Vermont Libertarian Party has been active in Vermont politics for over 30 years. Vermont Libertarians have served in local office throughout the state. The National Libertarian Party was founded in 1971 and is the third largest political party in the United States. Millions of Americans have voted for Libertarian Party candidates in past elections throughout the country. Libertarians believe the answer to America’s political problems is the same commitment to freedom that earned America its greatness: a free-market economy and the abundance and prosperity it brings, a dedication to individual liberties and personal freedom, and a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade.