[announce] Press Release - Missouri Citizens for Property Rights Withdraws Suit Against Secretary of State
Official Missouri Libertarian Party Announcements
announce at lpmo.org
Sat Sep 6 20:17:06 CDT 2008
For Immediate Release
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights Withdraws Suit Against Secretary
Dixon, MO - September 4, 2008 -- Today, Missouri Citizens for Property
Rights (MO-CPR) announced that they were withdrawing their lawsuit
challenging the Secretary of State's declaration that their eminent
domain petition was insufficient to qualify for the November ballot.
The Secretary of State reported that the group had turned in about
438,000 signatures for the two petitions. Although both petitions had
many thousands more valid signatures than the required 147,000, not
enough of them were in the 2nd congressional district to meet the
"We got so close! It's frustrating to collect tens of thousands more
signatures than the total needed, and still fall short.", said Ron
Calzone, chairman of MO-CPR. "But the requirement to gather signatures
from various parts of the state is a good one. Even though it shot us
down this time, I wouldn't have it any other way, since that
requirement helps to protect everyone's interest, alike." Calzone said
that equal and fair treatment under the law for everyone is at the core
of the group's desire to reform the use of eminent domain in Missouri.
Bevis Schock, MO-CPR board member and attorney, said that the law
required a legal challenge within 10 days in order to give the MO-CPR
legal team time to fully review the work of the Secretary of State and
county officials. "For the last few weeks we have had a good team
working to "clawback" signatures, that is to find signatures which were
improperly invalidated. Yesterday the team concluded that we could not
clawback enough to make it. We forthwith dismissed the challenge."
The grassroots organization mustered scores of volunteers and also
raised money - almost entirely from Missouri property owners -- to hire
a petition management firm to gather signatures. In Cole County
Circuit court, they faced off against powerful, well-funded opponents
like the Missouri Municipal League, the St. Louis Regional Chamber and
Growth Association (RCGA), Missouri Chamber of Commerce, and lawyers
from a Canadian pipeline company. MO-CPR has raised concerns about the
Missouri Municipal League's use of taxpayer's money to keep the people
from voting on a public policy change.
Calzone is looking at the positive side of the loss, though. "We failed
this time, and like the captain of any ship, I must take full
responsibility, but we also learned a lot from this time around. We
know better who are the enemies of property rights and free market
capitalism, and we know how far they'll go to keep us from securing
property rights for Missourians."
Calzone likened this to the War for American Independence, in which the
colonists struggled almost 8 years against the well-armed King of
England before they won the freedom Americans have enjoyed since.
"The parallels are uncanny. Then you had the king's sword being abused
to provide favored treatment for the well-connected and powerful at the
expense of the people - the tea tax and navigation acts come to mind.
Today, government's power of eminent domain, used with Tax Increment
Financing (TIFs), punish the people for the private profit of a few."
Calzone continued, "We've been asked if we will try again. How can we
stop now? We've been working on this for three long years, but I've
met folks around the state, like Homer and Julie Tourkakis, who have
been struggling for much longer to keep their home or business from
being taken -- not for a road or school, but for the private profit
of a developer. We can not stop! Watch for us next summer."
Go to http://www.mo-cpr.org for this release and other information
about the project.
Ron Calzone, chairman
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights
33867 Highway E
Dixon, MO 65459
E-Mail: ron at mo-cpr.org
Phone: (573) 759-3585
More information about the announce