Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Johnson and Bakk are the way it should be

Rep. Johnson and Sen. Bakk are showing Minnesotans that despite the shutdown last session, both parties can work together to better Minnesota.


"Minnesotans from across the economic, ethnic and political spectrum support reforming the use of eminent domain," said Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook. Bakk and Jeff Johnson, R-Plymouth, are sponsoring legislation that significantly reforms government power to take private property for public use.

While the Bakk/Johnson legislation is about the abuse of eminent domain, it is also a much needed lesson in limiting government's arbitrary use of legitimate authority. Would legislators were as eager to confront abuses of government power that are less popular causes. As "economic development" has become justification for virtually any use of eminent domain, "public health" has become justification for inserting government into virtually any area of private life.

From total indoor smoking bans to recommendations for regulating and taxing fast foods to data collection and mental health tracking of school children, protecting "public health" is equally abused by the same disregard for individual rights as is eminent domain. Neutral criteria are as badly needed to curtail abuse of "public health" legislation as they are to eliminate abuse of eminent domain. (Source: Pioneer Press, Jan 11, 2005)


If I were Matt Entenza I'd be worried. Johnson will be cast as a GOPer who is not afraid to reach across the isle to make things better for Minnesota. Entenza, on the other hand, has cast himself as a partisan DFLer who tries to buy elections. Even better is the fact that Entenza will not be able to appear impartial when dealing with certain non-profits.


At 1:34 PM, Blogger North Star Politics said...

The eminent domain stuff is just about unanimously supported in the Legislature. Johnson just happens to have his name on it, probably BECAUSE he's running for AG. Try again.


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