Stop The Pork Lawsuit Combats Corporate Welfare & Eminent Domain Abuse
Many Americans were outraged by the dramatic bailouts in the headlines of late, but fewer seem outraged by the constant flow of corporate welfare at the federal, state and local levels. Some New Yorkers have filed suit against the State of New York, Governor David Paterson, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Silver and Paterson are Democrats, while Skelos is a Republican. Corporate welfare is a bipartisan project here as elsewhere. Buffalo, New York attorney Jim Ostrowski http://blog.jimostrowski.com initiated the suit with Lockport stockbroker Lee Bordeleau as lead plaintiff. I am a plaintiff myself in this case and contributed to the legal fund. My Libertarian Party colleague Jim Lesczynski is also on board. The Libertarian Party of New York www.ny.lp.org has endorsed the lawsuit. For a video of the rally at the Capitol on Dec. 3rd, see the Capital Outsider program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHssOlQS5FQ and http://capitaloutsider.org/2008/12/special-segment-jim-ostrowski.html.
New York's State Constitution explicitly prohibits corporate welfare "The money of the state shall not be given or loaned to or in aid of any private corporation or association, or private undertaking.” Article VII, § 8. 1.
As a Libertarian, I term corporate welfare legalized theft. It is in short, immoral. Ostrowski and my fellow plaintiffs are pointing out that it is unconstitutional.
Entire agencies are devoted largely to this legalized crime such as the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDSC). The ESDC is a principal practitioner of eminent domain abuse, making it doubly engaged in legalized theft. Should the lawsuit succeed in curbing transfers or loans to corporations it probably would curb most eminent domain abuse by cutting off the taxpayer as a source of funds.
Taxpayers and property-owner should come to the aid of this important effort. However it turns out, the question that voters should ask every candidate for New York State office is whether they will uphold the constitution's prohibition of corporate welfare or not. -30-
About the author: Richard Cooper is an international trade executive with a manufacturing firm on Long Island, New York, USA. He is active in the Libertarian Party www.lp.org on eminent domain and other issues. He was chair of the Libertarian Party of New York www.ny.lp.org.
Tags: Eminent Domain Abuse , Corporate Welfare , Atlantic Yards , Willets Point , NYRI , West Harlem
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