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Sunday, March 20, 2011

CA GOP Saves Eminent Domain! Party of the tax payer? NOT! Party of the Property Owner? NOT!

MARCH 18, 2011

By STEVEN GREENHUT

California Republicans love to talk about limiting government, fighting bureaucracy and keeping taxes low, but on Thursday they proved that this is nothing more than a rhetorical device. Given the opportunity to rein in the size and power of government in a tangible way, Assembly Republicans – with one sole exception – punted. They rallied to save some of the most abusive and wastrel government agencies around.

As the California GOP begins its convention in Sacramento today, party members ought to at least understand where its Assembly members stand – on the side of big government, higher taxes and uncontrolled debt and against property rights, individualism and freedom. As the party blathers about luring minority and working-class voters, let it be clear that the GOP sided with the developers and government planners who want to drive minorities and working-class people off of their property. The Democrats are right: The GOP is the party of big business and privilege.

As part of the governor’s budget package, the Assembly voted on SB77, which would have ended the state’s redevelopment agencies. But only longtime redevelopment foe, Chris Norby of Fullerton, sided with taxpayers and property owners. The rest of the Assembly Republicans voted “no” or didn’t vote at all. Had even one of the Republicans joined Norby, the bill would have passed with a two-thirds majority. There may still be time, but the GOP is too busy celebrating that it stopped Brown on this one issue. They put partisanship above their own ideology. They stopped Brown in one of the few areas where Brown was right.Click here to read more.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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