Hmmm. Well I’m opposed to this “property rights measure,” and folks might note I’m plenty angry.

Here is a story in the New York Times that features Idaho as ground zero for the so-called “property rights” measures.

Anger Drives Property Rights Measures. New York Times.

This ” Katie Breckenridge” of Picabo, Idaho might be angry because their property was down-zoned (don’t know if this is really true), but people who play by the rules, people who buy property fully aware of what is and is not allowed in their neighborhood ought not to have their home values destroyed because some sleaze wants to build a porn palace or some similar enterprise next door, and the nuisance can’t be legally stopped because a landowner can now do anything they want with their land include destroying your property by harmful spillovers from theirs.

Regulated use of private property, where the rights of all the property owners are considered, is a hallmark of a lawful society and orderly government. If you own property, you can bet some jackass will try to abuse it with something obnoxious on his, and this radical scheme from outside Idaho (Proposition 2) would force law abiding citizens to pay off the jerk or let him do what he wants.

In this article in the Idaho Statesman, Rocky Barker makes it clear that conservative interests are not supporting this, and of course that is because it is an extremist, not a conservative measure; nor is it a conservation measure although the paid signature gathers showed up at conservation events claiming it was a land protection measure.

If we are lucky, Proposition 2 will be defeated. If this falsely-worded scheme passes, there will be litigation for years, and if in the end property rights only belong to the most aggressive, nasty people, you can expect law-abiding Idahoans to do what is necessary to protect what they own from an unconstitutional law.

Here is a link to Prop. 2. Note that the first part is “the bait.” It is already law in Idaho, and, therefore, meaningless. It is the second part that is “the switch, which would in effect disestablish zoning, and other safeguards for the use of property, and which would make Idaho taxapyers liable for billions of dollars of claims from speculators who want to turn property speculation into a sure thing.

Oregon voters were gulled into passing a similar law in 2004. Now Oregon taxpayers owe $5.8-billion in claims to people who say they couldn’t do what they wanted with their property because of past laws.

Here is info on Howie Rich from New York City, one of the main funders of efforts to abolish the protection of lawful property on the other side of the country (from him).

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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