Eminent domain is one of those government powers that has gotten some bad press in recent years, mainly due it being used for economic development. But eminent domain doesn’t have to be all bad. Ellen Brown wrote a compelling piece on using ED as a tool to help reclaim foreclosed properties whose ownership is lost somewhere in the murky waters of Wall Street tranches. I strongly recommend taking a peek at it.
[excerpt] Gayle McLaughlin, the bold mayor of Richmond, California, has gone where no woman dared go before, threatening to take underwater mortgages by eminent domain from Wall Street banks and renegotiate them on behalf of beleaguered homeowners. A member of the Green Party, which takes no corporate campaign money, she proved her mettle standing up to Chevron, which dominates the Richmond landscape. But the banks have signaled that if Richmond or another city tries the eminent domain gambit, they will rush to court seeking an injunction. Their grounds: an unconstitutional taking of private property and breach of contract.