Green Room

Raising the Stakes, Carl Paladino Promises to Use Eminent Domain to Stop Ground Zero Mosque

posted at 8:06 am on July 23, 2010 by

Quandary for conservatives: should the construction of the Cordoba House mosque overlooking Ground Zero be stopped using eminent domain?  Carl Paladino thinks so.

In a new radio ad, the Republican gubernatorial candidate said he would instead use the property as a war memorial.  From the transcript:

ANNOUNCER: There are two major candidates for Governor of New York.

Career Politician Andrew Cuomo supports the construction of a $100 million Islamic mosque near Ground Zero.

Businessman Carl Paladino opposes a Mosque near the the site of the 9-11 attack on America and questions the true sources of the mosque’s funding.

Andrew Cuomo says it’s about religious freedom and the construction of the Mosque should proceed.

Carl Palaldino says it’s an affront to those murdered on 9-11, it’s an insult to all Americans and it must be stopped.

CARL: “This is Carl Paladino. As Governor I will use the power of eminent domain to stop this Mosque and make the site a war memorial instead of a monument to those who attacked our country.”

Conservatives balked at the government using eminent domain to seize the property of seven Pennsylvania landowners (without prior negotiations or notification) in order to accelerate the construction of the Flight 93 memorial.  Yet when the proposed structure is a 13-story mosque overlooking the site where 3000 civilians were killed at the hands of Islamic fanatics, do we now heartily approve a government land grab?

It appears to qualify as a “legitimate” acquisition as it wouldn’t be used for economic interests.  Yet, the seizure itself is ideologically driven.  Given the sheer number of mosques already in NYC, can the government safely revoke property rights based on ethical considerations alone?  I guess my question is: if Paladino has the cojones to actually do this, should he?

While I never want to see this incredibly insulting structure stand, if Paladino gets his chance as Governor, I can’t see how this will end well (read: outrageous outrage, protests, etc.).  Call me a pessimist.

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Absolutely not. It’s private property.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 8:36 AM

If there is going to be lawbreaking, i’d rather it not be by govt officials. I appreciate his passion, but that is absolutely the wrong way to do this. Using the machine of government to steal is worse than citizens burning the attrocity to the ground. I would rather contractors and unions and citizens raising the cost of construction by protesting and .. much much worse. I’d rather an army of lawyers descend on them and sue them into oblivion. I would rather the daily release of pigs onto that property. rabid pigs would be nicer.

WashingtonsWake on July 23, 2010 at 9:03 AM

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 8:36 AM
WashingtonsWake on July 23, 2010 at 9:03 AM

I agree (although, dear Lord, I don’t want this mosque there). Devil’s advocate, though: is there ever a case when local government could/should seize private property for public use? What did you think of Bush’s executive order?

Bee on July 23, 2010 at 9:20 AM

I agree (although, dear Lord, I don’t want this mosque there). Devil’s advocate, though: is there ever a case when local government could/should seize private property for public use? What did you think of Bush’s executive order?

Bee on July 23, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Protest. Write letters, emails, articles. Call. Talk to local politicians. Talk to the stupid board that approved this. Speak your piece.

However, they have the right to do with their property what they wish, and the government has no business preventing them from doing so.

Hopefully, buildings on either side will also have the right to open a bacon store and a porn shop, specializing in gay porn.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Bee on July 23, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Is there a case where it should be seized for public use? Sure, in wartime, when the location is of strategic importance, after the area has been invaded by enemy forces. The McLean house, for example, though that was clearly temporary.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 9:37 AM

I also agree that law should not be used to appropriate the property and halt the project. One thing I had always been careful to state in my previous discussions (as have other who are against the building) is that I don’t desire to make it against the law to build this, but that instead the wishes of those vehemently opposed to it should be respected.

As for Bush’s executive order, I actually wasn’t aware with that. I disagree with that as too. Is it ever ok for the government to grab provate property? I’m going to have to say: No.

I may not be considering all circumstances, but that is my general feeling on it.

Heralder on July 23, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Sure, in wartime, when the location is of strategic importance, after the area has been invaded by enemy forces.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Ah, I actually hadn’t considered this. I was thinking more in the context of normal every day life.

Heralder on July 23, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Ah, I actually hadn’t considered this. I was thinking more in the context of normal every day life.

Heralder on July 23, 2010 at 9:45 AM

A geothermal or volcanic fissure opens up and threatens the surrounding area.

Past that…I can’t think of anything else. I’m sure I could come up with a few more scenarios, but not many.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Is it ever ok for the government to grab provate property? I’m going to have to say: No.
Heralder on July 23, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Check The Constitution. It is OK if the owner is fairly compensated and the taking is for a public use.

DamnCat on July 23, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Really? My state can check the market value on my home, hand me a check for it and say “Thanks for selling your house to us for this park, be out by Friday.” ?

I will look at the Constitution.

Heralder on July 23, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Check The Constitution. It is OK if the owner is fairly compensated and the taking is for a public use.

DamnCat on July 23, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Yes, providing that it is “public use”, limited by the Fifth Amendment. However, they probably didn’t foresee a government 13 trillion dollars in debt that treats money like pixie dust. Under what public use would the seizure of the mosque fall?

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Hopefully, buildings on either side will also have the right to open a bacon store and a porn shop, specializing in gay porn.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 9:34 AM

But they won’t. We’ll keep on being good dhimmis, making more and more accommodations to the demands of the ummah, submitting inch by inch.

Disturb the Universe on July 23, 2010 at 10:09 AM

This is not a wish, this is a prediction, if they build that mosque it will lead to violence.

WashingtonsWake on July 23, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Really? My state can check the market value on my home, hand me a check for it and say “Thanks for selling your house to us for this park, be out by Friday.” ?
Heralder on July 23, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Yep, pretty much. You could likely get an injunction to delay the taking for a few months to give you time to move. Or, if time were of the essence, they could add compensation to offset your costs related to moving so quickly. Either way, government does have the right to take real property for legitimate public uses – and even some most of us would consider less-than-legitimate (see Kelo v. City of New London).

DamnCat on July 23, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Hopefully, buildings on either side will also have the right to open a bacon store and a porn shop, specializing in gay porn.
MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 9:34 AM

I predict the gay porn shop will do land-office business.

DamnCat on July 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Yet when the proposed structure is a 13-story mosque overlooking the site where 3000 civilians were killed at the hands of Islamic fanatics, do we now heartily approve a government land grab?

Hell, yeah!

Blake on July 23, 2010 at 11:38 AM

DamnCat on July 23, 2010 at 10:54 AM

I linked Kelo v New London at the end. Bush’s executive order further clarified the limitations.

Sure, in wartime, when the location is of strategic importance, after the area has been invaded by enemy forces. The McLean house, for example, though that was clearly temporary.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Understood. Though, one could potentially argue that we are at war, Ground Zero was an attack site and this mosque in particular (and as viewed by radical muslims globally) is an act of provocation and/or symbol of conquest.

Bee on July 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I’d take you liars seriously if there weren’t similar protests at sites other than GZ around the country protesting mosques being built. It’s not the location, it’s the bigotry against a religion that fuels these protests.

A petition opposing the new mosque is being circulated by a group called Concerned Community Citizens, and other politically active volunteers have started organizing a campaign against the facility.

Karen Fesini, who belongs to a Republican women’s group in the Temecula and Murrieta area, said she’s been making calls to warn her friends about the project.

“They say they’re not radicals, but how do we know?”‘ said Fesini, 68.

“Right now we’re at war with the Taliban and the Muslims and our boys are over there fighting and dying for our freedom. What would it be like if they come home and found out we just let them in the front door?”

This is sad. Republicans should be the ones defending property rights. Republicans were the ones who ushered in civil-rights for blacks, right? That legacy has been decimated of late. GOP is full of crap and so are most Republicans these days.

I don’t know how it happened so fast. But it did and watching secularists like madisonconservative give in to religious bigotry is weird.

What’s the point of being an atheist if you’re going to use the same religious crutch as everybody else?

The Race Card on July 23, 2010 at 1:15 PM

similar protest

The Race Card on July 23, 2010 at 1:16 PM

similar protest

The Race Card on July 23, 2010 at 1:17 PM

another

The Race Card on July 23, 2010 at 1:18 PM

News Source: Sheboygan Press

The proposal had drawn large crowds over the last several months to town Plan Commission meetings and several hundreds to public forums at local churches and other locations, with some saying the U.S. Constitutional guarantee of freedom of worship dictated approval while others said the mosque could attract Islamic fundamentalists and even terrorists to the area.

The Race Card on July 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

I’d take you liars seriously

The Race Card on July 23, 2010 at 1:15 PM

F**k off, troll.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Know what? On second thought, I’ll indulge your bulls**t.

I’d take you liars seriously if there weren’t similar protests at sites other than GZ around the country protesting mosques being built. It’s not the location, it’s the bigotry against a religion that fuels these protests.

Guess what? We’re not part of those protests. We aren’t even aware of them, and wouldn’t partake. We’re talking about the Ground Zero mosque. Please link to any HA articles where the topic is a mosque being protested on purely anti-Muslim grounds. Good luck, because there aren’t any. This is about Ground Zero. That’s why nine years have passed without us protesting a mosque, you dolt.

Comparing the national response, including people like Sarah Palin, is roughly akin to saying that all people against gay marriage are the same as the Westboro Baptists. Get some honesty. I don’t know if you’re bipolar or what, but it seems like every now and then you return just to troll threads and bait people, and this time you’ve become outright sanctimonious on it, sounding no different than the litany of liberal trolls who solely come here to rile people up. If all you can do is call us liars when we explain our positions, go to hell.

I don’t know how it happened so fast. But it did and watching secularists like madisonconservative give in to religious bigotry is weird.

What’s the point of being an atheist if you’re going to use the same religious crutch as everybody else?

The Race Card on July 23, 2010 at 1:15 PM

I’m not an atheist, as I’ve said 10,000 times. I’m an agnostic. I’ve got no dog on either side of the ideological aisle. I’m attacking this objectively.

The problem is the location, period. I’ve never protested any other mosque, nor will I, unless it is placed in the immediate area of Ground Zero.

Since you always throw a fit whenever race is invoked, I invite you to read my other post on this topic, come in, call me a bigot and a racist and whatever else you feel like spewing in order to overcome your impotency, and get on with your glorious life of making enemies out of everyone you see.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Ah, the defender(s) of the “Religion of Peace” come out to troll.

You want to build a mosque? Fine, have at it.

You want to build a mosque at Ground Zero? Nope.

As for the imminent domain angle, I generally don’t support it. In this instance, a case could be made however on the grounds that we are at war with radical Islamists. Allowing the construction to proceed would give them aide & comfort. The taking of the property in this light could be construed as being for the public good. I would reserve this as a FINAL option though.

P2 on July 23, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Agreed: eminent domain is not the way to approach this. Wrongheaded to begin with, and would set a horrible precedent. Unless we want to see eminent domain preempting churches, synagogues, Greek Orthodox community centers and Chabad houses, we need to stand against this one.

I saw a guy on Hannity last night (can stand to watch Hannity about once a week), who was arguing with ineffable sanctimony that the Muslims have every right to build a mosque in America and pursue their faith! But that’s no counter to the conservative argument about the Ground Zero mosque, because no one disputes that.

What does not exist in America is a right to build any mosque in particular, anywhere you want to build one. No such right exists for any religion. Local communities object to building projects all the time, and precisely because of the projects’ characters in most cases. Communities have objected to new churches, as they have objected to synagogues and mosques — and to adult-video stores, unconventional outdoor art projects, and Wal-Marts.

It’s always an epic clash of Good and Evil whenever a community has a dispute over something like this. It’s always the end of the world and Armageddon on the horizon. Yet amazingly, thousands of such local disputes have been decided in someone’s favor over the years without Americans losing their right to worship, shop, and view gay porn. Treating every local community preference as the end of freedom as we know it is a red herring.

Of course Muslims have the right to worship in America. But they don’t have a right to put a mosque just anywhere, any more than Christians, Jews, or Buddhists have an analogous right. The placement of buildings with dedicated functions is inherently subject to additional laws and considerations.

J.E. Dyer on July 23, 2010 at 2:34 PM

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Don’t do it! AP already closed one thread because of The Race Troll. Just let it lie. (so to speak)

Mary in LA on July 23, 2010 at 3:44 PM

That’s all I’m going to say on this thread.

Mary in LA on July 23, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Sure, in wartime, when the location is of strategic importance, after the area has been invaded by enemy forces. The McLean house, for example, though that was clearly temporary.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 9:37 AM

NYC building inspectors could slow this down on their own.

Jeff2161 on July 23, 2010 at 4:16 PM

I think there is a pretty good argument for eminent domain here, and not for a war memorial on the property. A mosque on a piece of property of this size in the financial district of Manhattan represents a potentially huge loss of rrevenue for the city, as religious property is tax-exempt. The city would be well within the parameters of Kelo to seize the property and give or sell it to a private developer who will keep it on the tax rolls and create jobs.

On the other hand, seizing the property for a war memorial might open the city or state to a First Amendment challenge because there are Christian churches even closer to the WTC site and there are lots of war memorials in New York City.

rockmom on July 23, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic posted about this issue. I replied to him here

YehuditTX on July 23, 2010 at 7:15 PM

The city would be well within the parameters of Kelo to seize the property and give or sell it to a private developer who will keep it on the tax rolls and create jobs.

But Kelo was a really bad decision. We want to repeal it, not enshrine it as a precedent.

YehuditTX on July 23, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Absolutely not. It’s private property.

MadisonConservative on July 23, 2010 at 8:36 AM

So, you’re saying that you disagree when police departments seize private property they claim is the proceeds of illegal activity? Even when the charges are dropped or the accused is acquitted, it’s almost impossible to get police seized property back.

rokemronnie on July 24, 2010 at 12:29 AM

So, you’re saying that you disagree when police departments seize private property they claim is the proceeds of illegal activity?

rokemronnie on July 24, 2010 at 12:29 AM

What laws are being broken by Cordoba House?

MadisonConservative on July 24, 2010 at 12:43 AM

I’m not a fan of emminent Domain either. I’m all for CBN building a 14 story office building next door, putting a chapel and memorial on the top floor, and then a big honking cross on top so that the shadow of it constantly falls on the mosque. Hells, I’d give money to CBN if they promised that.

As to the troll… Why are we surprised he sees people organizing and protesting as some horrid threat? Next he’ll be arguing that you don’t need to know what the government is doing… trust them.

The_Livewire on July 24, 2010 at 10:20 AM

The befuddled thinking by many of you on this is mindboggling. Would we put an homage to nazism next to the Pentagon? You guys are conflating a wierd view of Constitutionalism with a public policy decision. And Islamist (read Nazi) display in the middle of holy ground has no Contitutional protection. We have no “takings” clause issues here. the 9/11 area is national historic landmark and there is no rational legal case (I am a lawyer) to be made that denying the desecration of a national historic landmark is unconstitutional. the legal cases applicable would ask, is there somewhere else this coudl be built…and answer is YES. Please, stop being stuck on stupid

georgealbert on July 25, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Strongly against eminent domain, but not an absolutist on any issue really.

STOP THE MOSQUE.

DrZin on July 25, 2010 at 10:42 AM

You hear that sound? It’s the sound of every jihadist freak the world ’round laughing at us.

Stop. That. Mosque.

Dark-Star on July 26, 2010 at 12:38 PM

An easier approach to this issue is to declare the existing building a landmark. True, it is still an abuse of private property rights IMHO but the courts have allowed this particular abuse for decades.

It is an alternate path to blocking the mosque though. Another approach is to bury the developer in lawsuits. Hey, it works for Scientology and nuclear power opponents.

GnuBreed on July 27, 2010 at 1:21 AM