Thursday, September 01, 2005

Perry: "There is no bigger supporter of eminent domain than I am."

Governor signs off on property shield


Lisa Marie Gómez, Staff Writer
San Antonio Express-News
Copyright 2005

With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Rick Perry signed an eminent domain bill into law Wednesday that will prohibit the government from seizing land strictly for commercial purposes.

Perry signed the bill in San Antonio at Columbia 300, a bowling ball manufacturing company on West Avenue, and said the bill will help protect 98 percent of Texas land considered to be private property.

"There is no bigger supporter of eminent domain than I am," he told the media and plant workers. "The message here today is that the ends doesn't necessarily justify the means."

Perry added Senate Bill 7 to a special-session agenda after the U.S. Supreme Court in June issued a ruling allowing the city of New London, Conn., to seize private homes so that a private developer could build a biomedical research facility.

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, a Republican running for governor in 2006, criticized Perry's support of the bill calling him a "hypocrite" and a "flip-flopper."

Strayhorn's campaign said Perry signed a bill giving a North Texas water district the power to condemn private party for economic development purposes just five days before the Supreme Court ruling.

A Perry spokesman said the governor was too focused on Hurricane Katrina assistance to respond to Strayhorn's "shrill political attack."

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