Thursday, July 3, 2008

Celebrate Freedom with a Discount and New Perspectives!

Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 12:45:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Anne Z. Whitman"
Subject: Fw: Celebrate Freedom with a Discount and New Perspectives!
To: Jordi Reyes Montblanc

Anne Z. Whitman

--- On Thu, 7/3/08, Christina Walsh wrote:
From: Christina Walsh
Subject: Celebrate Freedom with a Discount and New Perspectives!
To: "IJ Distribution"
Date: Thursday, July 3, 2008, 11:53 AM

Happy 4th of July! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

This Independence Day, we want to thank you for standing on the frontlines of the battle against eminent domain abuse. Property rights are the foundation of all our rights, and dedicated activists like you ensure that our homes, businesses, churches and farms remain our castles.

To celebrate, we are offering all Castle Coalition members 10% off at the Freedom Market through Sunday, and will include copies of our two new exciting Perspectives on Eminent Domain Abuse (see below) with every order.

We will also extend this to any new members that sign up now through Sunday - so be sure to forward this message to your friends and family! They can sign up here:

Visit the Freedom Market at, and enter coupon code Happy4thCC upon check-out.

New Studies Detail the Roadblocks Cities Put Up to Revitalization

Last week, the Castle Coalition released the next two installments of Perspectives on Eminent Domain Abuse - trust us, you won't be able to put them down!

In "Baltimore's Flawed Renaissance: The Failure of Plan-Control-Subsidize Redevelopment," authors Stephen J.K. Walters, a professor of economics at Loyola College, and Louis Miserendino, a graduate of Loyola, closely examine Baltimore's half-century-long failed attempt to bring investment back into the city. While the Inner Harbor is often touted as the prime example of government-subsidized redevelopment, Baltimore "is today two cities, separate but unequal, not in spite of its extravagant and interventionist redevelopment program, but because of it," argue Walters and Miserendino. They conclude, "The city's lack of progress on so many fronts is a direct by-product of its failure to understand and treat the real source of its problems: hostility to private property rights and a resulting flight of capital that largely drained the city of its economic lifeblood."

"Simplify, Don't Subsidize: The Right Way to Support Private Development," by independent developer Doug Kaplan, details the outrageous bureaucratic and regulatory hurdles small developers must pass in order to build projects. Kaplan shares his experiences attempting to build a shopping center in Santa Cruz County, Calif., and demonstrates that the "ever-expanding gauntlet of government-imposed regulatory, administrative and financial obstacles" actually stifles efforts to bring economic development to local communities. Kaplan has found that "more often than not, local governments don't 'catalyze' private development; they drive it away by making it too expensive."

Both studies are available for download here:, and both come free with any Freedom Market orders placed now through Sunday!

Sued for Protesting Eminent Domain Abuse: Activists Fight Frivolous Lawsuit Filed by Politician and Developers

Richard Swift and Wayne Wilkinson are developers in Clarksville, Tenn., who are using the power of government to benefit developers - and they sued citizens, demanding $500,000, simply for saying so. On Monday, those citizens, members of the Clarksville Property Rights Coalition, fought back with the help of the Institute for Justice. IJ filed a motion to dismiss Swift and Wilkinson's frivolous defamation lawsuit.

On May 3, the CPRC ran an ad in the local newspaper, criticizing Clarksville’s proposed redevelopment plan and its backers, including Swift and Wilkinson. Swift is not only a developer, but also a member of the Clarksville City Council - an elected official with the ability to vote for eminent domain for private development. Wilkinson is a member of Clarksville’s Downtown District Partnership.

The ad, noting that both Swift and Wilkinson are developers, said, “This Redevelopment Plan is of the developers, by the developers, and for the developers.” Six days after the ad appeared, Swift and Wilkinson sued the group and its members for defamation.

Indeed, political criticism like the CPRC’s ad occurs every day and has been a mainstay of debate on public issues since America’s founding. For home and small business owners in Clarksville and nationwide, the ability to protect what they own depends on the right to speak freely. Especially after the U.S. Supreme Court opened the floodgates to eminent domain abuse in its infamous Kelo decision, protest is often the most effective way for property owners to defend what is rightfully theirs.

Being the subject of a pending lawsuit is intimidating - and that is the point. At first, the members of the group became reluctant to speak out against the plan and worried about hiring a lawyer and defending themselves in court. But then they decided to fight back.

Swift and Wilkinson's defamation lawsuit is part of an ominous nationwide trend of politicians and developers using frivolous litigation to silence and intimidate home and business owners who are fighting to save their neighborhoods. We are trying to document more examples of this type of lawsuit. If you have ever been threatened with a lawsuit for speaking out against eminent domain abuse in your community, please reply to this e-mail with more information.

For more information about this case, visit


We hope you have exciting plans for this 4th of July! Have a safe and happy holiday.


Christina Walsh Castle Coalition Coordinator Institute for Justice 901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22203 (703) 682-9320

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